August 2019
Greetings from GCOOS
There’s a lot of news to unpack this month — among newly funded positions, new funding opportunities and more, it’s been a pretty busy summer for ocean and coastal observing in the Gulf!

First, I’d like to mention a special honor: the naming of Howard Trough after GCOOS Data Manager Matt Howard. Many of you knew Matt well and have shared what his data management and oceanography work meant to the Gulf of Mexico. I'm so pleased that we could honor Matt this way and that his name and work will live on for future oceanographers. A special thanks also to Dr. Chris Simoniello for leading the charge to make this happen.

HABs have also been big in the news this year following on the heels of last year’s red tide impacts in the Gulf of Mexico. Many of you may know that my scientific background is in understanding how HABs — particularly the Gulf’s red tide — impact human health.

I’m honored to have been appointed to the reinvigorated Red Tide Task Force by Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis and look forward to working with other state and national red tide experts to help focus research efforts on this public health and economic threat. GCOOS is also working with NCCOS to fund a study of the 2017-2018 economic impacts of Florida’s severe red tide and will be ‘home base’ for a new position to coordinate the activities of the U.S. glider community. Gliders, of course, have been essential in helping us understand and predict HAB impacts in Florida and across the nation.

As our climate continues to change, ocean observing tools and expertise will only grow more important to helping our coastal communities cope.

Until next time!

News From GCOOS HQ
Save the Date: GCOOS Fall Meeting
GCOOS will hold the public portion of our fall meeting from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Oct. 9 at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary facility in Galveston, Texas. Details & the agenda to follow.
GCOOS Seeks Glider Community Coordinator
GCOOS is pleased to announce that we have an opening for a newly funded position: Coordinator for the U.S. Underwater Glider User Group — UG2. 

The Glider Community Coordinator will be responsible for coordinating and further developing UG2, facilitating the exchange of information and expertise among glider users throughout the Gulf of Mexico and the broader U.S., including sharing best practices. The Coordinator will also be responsible for creating and supporting communications tools to allow for the exchange of ideas and the support of ongoing and new collaborative efforts and liaise with the CENOTE, a strategic partnership with the US Navy concerning unmanned systems development, transition and training.

The shared position is funded through the U.S. IOOS, will be housed at the Gulf Coast Research Center in Gulfport, Mississippi, and employed by GCOOS/Texas A&M University. Applicants should have glider and communications/coordination expertise. Salary commensurate with experience. 

Announcing Howard Trough!
An undersea feature in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary has been named in memory of Dr. Matthew K. Howard, founding staff member and Data Manager for the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) and Research Scientist in the Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University-College Station. Howard, 65, died unexpectedly while attending a scientific conference in 2018. 
The undersea feature — named Howard Trough — is about 2.2 km north of the main West Flower Garden Bank Plateau in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS). The Sanctuary is 70 to 115 miles off the coasts of Texas and Louisiana and is the only national marine sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico. The trough was discovered in 1997 by Dr. James V. Gardner, Research Professor in the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping at the University of New Hampshire.

First Howard Scholarship Awarded
Congratulations to Allison Savoi, recipient of the first Howard Scholarship! Allison, a student at the University of Southern Mississippi, will be presenting a synthesis of the data collected during her master’s thesis work at the 2020 Ocean Sciences meeting in San Diego. Her research looks at dissolved inorganic carbon and total alkalinity in the Mississippi Sound and northern Gulf of Mexico to better understand how changing ocean pH is impacting marine life. 

Human Health & Safety
GCOOS Director Appointed to Governor’s Red Tide Task Force
GCOOS Executive Director Dr. Barbara Kirkpatrick has been named to the reorganized Red Tide Task Force, Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis announced Aug. 2.

The Red Tide Task Force will complement the Blue Green Algae Task Force and the Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative, which were implemented following Florida’s double whammy hit of toxic red tide and blue-green blooms on the state’s east and west coasts. Kirkpatrick joins a distinguished panel of Florida and national HAB researchers.

GCOOS Photo Contest Has First Winner
GCOOS is developing an app, "All Things Beaches" as a comprehensive source for current conditions at Gulf of Mexico Beaches and we have been hosting a photo contest for images of your favorite beaches to help us showcase the Gulf’s beautiful places.

We’re happy to announce the first winner: Julie Sereda of Florida Gulf Coast University. Julie took this shot at Bowman’s Beach, Sanibel Island, Florida. 

We’re still seeking additional images for the app — and are in particular need of images from Texas, Southwest Florida and the Florida Panhandle. All entries receive a GCOOS flash drive and each month a staff favorite is selected for an additional prize. This month, Julie will be receiving a GCOOS rain jacket — very timely as those on the Gulf Coast know! 

  • Have an image to share? Please send to Be sure to include your name, date and location the image was taken — and don’t forget to give us your mailing address so we can send you the flash drive.
GRP Announces Policy Fellows
The Gulf Research Program is pleased to announce the recipients of our 2019 Science Policy Fellowships. These competitive awards will support the development of ten scientists, engineers, and health professionals who are prepared to work at the intersections of ecosystem health, community health and resilience, and offshore energy system safety in the Gulf of Mexico and other coastal regions.

Marine Operations
Ocean Waves Workshop
The Ocean Waves Workshop brings together scientists, engineers and managers to present results and ideas related to the use of wave buoys, models and information to support at-sea operations. Workshop organizers are soliciting papers, case studies and participation from researchers, engineers, military officers and managers. 

  • When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, Room 407 of the Earl K. Long Library at the University of New Orleans.
  • Details & registration
Looking for Meteorological Data?
GCOOS is now hosting meteorological data from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

The BOEM’s Air Quality Modeling in the Gulf of Mexico Region study (M14PC00007) prepared offshore meteorological files for use in the American Meteorological Society/Environmental Protection Agency Regulatory Model (AERMOD) and California Puff Model (CALPUFF). The Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, generated a five-year meteorological dataset for the Gulf of Mexico region for years 2010-2014. The data was processed with the Mesoscale Model Interface (MMIF) program for formatting.

These datasets support air dispersion modeling efforts to report modeled air quality impacts.

Healthy Ecosystems & Living Resources
Lionfish Invasion
Lionfish are an invasive species that have been plaguing the Gulf 2010. Will Patterson of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab is studying reef fish communities and the dramatic effect these non-natives are having.

  • Watch the video
  • Want to see how lionfish have moved throughout the Gulf over time?
Webinar: New Tools from the Florida Conservation Planning Atlas
The Florida CPA is a data discovery, visualization, and analytical platform for stakeholders throughout Florida that allows you to search for spatial datasets, visualize supported projects and learn more about landscape scale conservation science and design in the region.

An FWC expert will host a webinar from 2-3 p.m. (EST) Sept. 3 to teach participants about the newest available tools: The Conservation Actions Tracker and the Climate Adaptation Explorer.

Coastal Hazards
OceanObs'19: New Session on HABs
SCCOOS Executive Director Dr. Clarissa Anderson and her co-authors will present a special session from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (HST) Tuesday, Sept. 17 on harmful algal blooms during OceanObs'19. (Location to be determined.)

The session is titled “Design and Implementation of a Global Harmful Algal Bloom Observing System,” and will be focused on the OceanObs19 white paper “Scaling Up From Regional Case Studies to a Global Harmful Algal Bloom Observation System.”
The session will include open discussion.

Public Input Needed: HAB/Hypoxic Events of National Significance
NOAA is requesting informal public input on the criteria that it will use to determine HAB and hypoxia "events of national significance" in marine and coastal waters. The proposed language and instructions for providing input are in the  Federal Register notice .   

The recent reauthorization of the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act (HABHRCA)(Public Law 115-423)  requires NOAA to determine whether HAB and hypoxia events are of national significance. NOAA will use the feedback from this Federal Register solicitation to assist in developing a policy to implement this requirement.

Make a submission: 
  • Electronic: Through the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science web page
  • Email: Please indicate ''HAB and hypoxia event of national significance'' in the email subject line. 
  • Mail: Address written comments to Caitlin Gould at NOAA, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, SSMC–4, Rm. #8237, 1305 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Please mark the outside of the envelope ''HAB and hypoxia event of national significance."
Call for Abstracts: GoMOSES 2020
Organizers for the 2020 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference — Feb. 3-6 in Tampa, Fla., have opened abstract the submission site — upload your abstracts now!

The conference is soliciting abstracts designed to share latest research findings and facilitate interdisciplinary dialogue about research implications, applications and synthesis. Priority will be given to abstracts that promote fundamental Gulf ecosystem science and link scientific results to ecosystem resilience, oil spill response, or restoration and management. 

Abstracts will be accepted through Sept. 30.

GoMRI Newsletter
The latest issue of the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative’s newsletter is out. It includes an announcement of the C-IMAGE-led books focused on oil spills that was recently published by Springer Nature Publishing Company; GoMRI research highlights; updates GoMRI synthesis and legacy activities and more.

Save the Date: Mississippi Restoration Summit
The next Mississippi Restoration Summit is scheduled for Nov. 12 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum & Convention Center.

Restoration Resources
In 2010, the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon resulted in the largest man-made disaster in U.S. history. Today, each Gulf state administers restoration funds and programs. Additionally, other agencies and organizations are also tasked with administering programs designed to restore Gulf habitats and better understand Gulf ecosystems.

Long-Term Change
GCAN Webinar Series: Next Episode Aug. 21
GCOOS's Coastal Acidification Network (GCAN) will present Dr. Xinping Hu of TAMU & Dr. Leticia Barbero of AOML/NOAA during our next webinar at noon (CENTRAL) on Wednesday, Aug. 21.

Their topic is “Ocean Acidification in the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico.”

Leticia Barbero is an assistant scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies (CIMAS) from the University of Miami and conducts her work at the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) of NOAA. Xinping Hu is an associate professor in chemical oceanography and a Ruth A. Campbell Professor in Coastal and Marine System Science at Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi. 

Educators Adapting for Tomorrow
Death Valley or Durham, New Hampshire? It was difficult to tell during the National Marine Educators Association Annual Meeting in July at the University of New Hampshire! The sizzling temperatures were in keeping with the event theme “Turning the Tide: Learning from Yesterday, Adapting for Tomorrow.”

Hosted by the Gulf of Maine Marine Education Association chapter, the event brought together scientists, informal marine educators and classroom teachers from all over the world to share knowledge and resources. GCOOS Outreach and Education Manager, Dr. Chris Simoniello, and Outreach and Education partners with Louisiana Sea Grant, Dauphin Island Sea Lab and Texas State Aquarium, shared resources including grade K-12 lessons and how to build mini-drifters to track trash.

Conference participants learned about fisheries management challenges for Maine’s groundfish and lobsters from keynote speaker Dr. Bob Steneck, University of Maine School of Marine Sciences; and discussed current fisheries issues. The challenges and opportunities for northeast fishermen and resource managers are fundamentally similar to those of the Gulf of Mexico — warming water, changing marine chemistry, coastal development and increased demand for food.

Job Opportunities
GCOOS maintains a jobs listing for positions and fellowships in the ocean observing community. Want to advertise a position? Email Nadine Slimak
  • GCOOS — Glider Coordinator
  • Northern Gulf Institute — Research Associate & Assistant/Associate Research Professor
  • University of Cambridge, UK — Research Assistant/Research Associate
  • USGS, Florida — Oceanographers
  • Gulf Research Program — Associate Program Officer & Program Assistant
  • Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies, University of Miami — Marine Mammal Acoustic Technician
  • Texas A&M University — Instructional Assistant Professor
  • Postdoctoral Positions: University of Miami; CIMAS; NRC
  • Fellowships: National Academies & NOAA Office of Coastal Management

Funding Opportunities
GCOOS maintains a listing of funding opportunities. Have an opportunity you'd like to advertise? Email Nadine Slimak
  • Red Tide Socioeconomic Impacts
  • FY 2020 Ocean Technology Transition Project
  • Gulf of Mexico Alliance

16-20: OceanObs’19, Hawaii Convention Center, Honolulu. As part of the decadal conference series, OceanObs’19 will galvanize the ocean observing community — from scientists to end users. OceanObs’19 seeks to improve response to scientific and societal needs of a fit-for-purpose integrated ocean observing system, for better understanding the environment of the Earth, monitoring climate and informing adaptation strategies as well as the sustainable use of ocean resources.
3-7: 2019 CERF 25th Biennial Conference, Mobile Convention Center, Mobile, AL. C onnecting science and society in the collective goals of preserving coastal and estuarine habitats, resources and heritage . Registration to open in February 2019. Abstract submission deadline May 1.
9-13: AGU Fall Meeting, Moscone Center, San Francisco. As AGU marks its Centennial, the meeting will prepare you for rapid developments in science, new approaches to observing Earth and beyond, the introduction of new data streams, growing demand for accessible science, the expansion of convergent science and more.
16: OceanObs RCN San Diego, immediately preceding the AGU/TOS Ocean Sciences Meeting.
16-21: Ocean Sciences Meeting 2020, San Diego Convention Center. This is the flagship conference for the ocean sciences and the larger ocean-connected community. As we approach the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, beginning in 2021, it is increasingly important to gather as a scientific community to raise awareness of the truly global dimension of the ocean, address environmental challenges, and set forth on a path towards a resilient planet. 
Contact Us
GCOOS is the Gulf of Mexico regional component of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) and the only certified system dedicated solely to the Gulf of Mexico. Our mission is to provide timely, reliable and accurate information on the open ocean and coastal ocean waters of the Gulf of Mexico to ensure a healthy, clean, productive ocean and resilient coastal zone.

Share Your News
Meeting, job or funding announcement? News about a published study, new project or something that the Gulf ocean observing community needs to know? Email Nadine Slimak .
Dr. Barbara Kirkpatrick , Executive Director • Dr. Chris Simoniello , Outreach & Education Coordinator •  Felimon Gayanilo , Interim DMAC Manager • Dr. Shinichi Kobara , Assistant Research Scientist, Product Developer •   Bob Currier, Research Specialist, Product Developer • Marion Stoessel , Senior Research Associate • Dr. Steven Baum , Associate Research Scientist • Jennifer Vreeland-Dawson , Research Associate •  Grant Craig , Program Coordinator • Nadine Slimak , Public Relations & Content Marketing, Vetted Communications, LLC • Dr. Chuan-Yuan Hsu , Post Doctoral Research Associate • Robbie Iles , Graduate Research Assistant • 979.847.8879
In Memoriam: Matt Howard, 1952-2018