GCOOS is the Gulf of Mexico regional component of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). Our mission is to provide timely, reliable and accurate information on the open and coastal ocean waters of the Gulf of Mexico to ensure a healthy, clean, productive ocean and resilient coastal zone.
September 2018 - In This Issue:
Great news from IOOS headquarters: All regional observing systems have now been certified! That means our data is good as gold -- that is, all partners now adhere to a common standard for data collection, storage and management, which is another way that we can be sure the information we're providing to users is reliable and accurate.
GCOOS received its certification earlier this year and we're very proud that our staff in many ways helped to set the national standards. (We couldn't have done it without Matt Howard.)  
I also want to congratulate GCOOS Board Member Ruth Perry, who was recently recognized with the Geosciences Young Alumni Award from TAMU. We're lucky to have her on our board.  
You can meet most of our board members during the upcoming GCOOS Members meeting in Tampa, Florida, on Oct. 4. We're looking forward to an interesting and informative program.  
And finally, I have a request to all our members: GCOOS is currently developing an updated website that will be responsive (you can read it on your smartphones) and easier to navigate. But we need your help! We're looking for partner project stories and -- especially -- for photographs of ocean observers in action. Please consider sharing photos of your field work, data collection (we like graphs and charts... really!) and any other information that you think will help us tell the story of ocean observing in the Gulf of Mexico. You can email information to our communications consultant, Nadine Slimak, at nadine@vettedcommunications.com.
Your help will be more than welcome!

Barb Kirkpatrick
Executive Director
Contact GCOOS
Dr. Barbara Kirkpatrick , Executive Director

Dr. Chris Simoniello
Outreach and Education Coordinator

Dr. Shinichi Kobara
, Assistant Research Scientist, Product Developer

Felimon Gayanilo
, Interim DMAC Manager

Bob Currier
, Research Specialist, Product Developer

Stephanie Watson, Strategic Program Manager

Marion Stoessel,
Senior Research Associate

 Jennifer Vreeland-Dawson, Research Associate 

Nadine Slimak, Public Relations & Content Marketing, Vetted Communications, LLC

Grant Craig, Program Coordinator

Laura Caldwell, Staff Assistant

In Memoriam: Matt Howard, 1952-2018
News from GCOOS HQ
GCOOS Members Meeting: Register Nowmeeting
The next GCOOS Members meeting is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 4 in Tampa, Florida, at the Westin WaterSide, 725 South Harbour Island Blvd.
Our agenda includes talks by Admiral Jon White, from the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, Carl Gouldman from the IOOS program office and Chris Cooley and Dr. Mark Luther from the Port of Tampa Bay. Other topics will be on Florida's red tide and NOAA's Big Data Project. We'll also be hearing from our subcontractors at Mote Marine Laboratory and the Sanibel Captive Conservation Foundation.
Additionally, we'll have updates from staff on everything from Outreach & Education, to Data Management and even new products and the update of our website.  
Please note that our room block at the Westin Waterside Hotel is full. Please contact GCOOS Research Associate Jen Vreeland if you need help locating a nearby hotel.
Red Tide in the Gulf
Red tide has been in the news a lot lately thanks to a severe and long-lasting bloom occurring off the coast of Southwest Florida. The bloom, caused by Karenia brevis, has caused massive fish kills, marine mammal and sea turtle deaths and is having a severe negative impact on the Florida Gulf Coast economy.
GCOOS Board Member Receives Honors
GCOOS Board Member Dr. Ruth Mullins Perry has received a Distinguished Achievement Award from Texas A&M University's College of Geosciences. Awardees are distinctly renowned for their geosciences expertise, service to the Aggie family and legacy contributions to science.

Dr. Perry, '04, a marine scientist and regulatory policy specialist at Shell Exploration and Production Company, will be awarded the Geosciences Young Alumni Award.

Prior to joining Shell in 2014, Perry received a bachelor's in biology in 2004, a master's in oceanography in 2008, and a doctorate in oceanography in 2013, all from Texas A&M.

"Dr. Perry is an exceptional scientist and has demonstrated an exceedingly broad expertise and disciplinary experience," said Dr. Steve DiMarco, Texas A&M oceanography professor, who served as her doctoral and post-doctoral advisor. "For the past five years, Dr. Perry has been developing private-public partnerships for Shell to help improve industry and community knowledge of the offshore marine environment."

She has served on several boards and committees, and has made presentations to the U.S. Congress to advocate for sustained ocean monitoring for societal benefits and to help advance the understanding of human impacts on the marine environment. Perry also conceptualized and is leading the Ocean Observing partnership of the Stones Observatory in the Gulf of Mexico, which is a unique public-private collaboration. "The Stones observational platform will provide interdisciplinary observations in 3,000 meters for decades to come and stands as a model for future private-public partnerships," DiMarco said.

Partner News
All IOOS regional networks now NOAA-certified
NOAA has now certified all of the 11 Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) regional associations as Regional Information Coordination Entities. Data coming from all IOOS partners now adheres to common federal collection, storage and management standards, meaning it can be integrated with other data, and help make "big data" research and development possible. 
Certification expands the pool of federal-quality data available nationwide. Users can rely on the data or information tools offered through these regional associations and be assured it is as reliable and trusted as the data from other federal sources like NOAA. Scientists, managers and businesses are able to directly use this data without spending additional time and resources quality checking or archiving data, and this will help spur new data-driven products and innovations.
Tracking Hurricane Florence
GCOOS partners in the Earth Scan Laboratory at Louisiana State University have been busy tracking Hurricane Florence move along the East Coast.
Here are links a couple of recent animations:
  • Animation 1: This short animation was made by Alaric S. Haag, Systems Administrator, at the Earth Scan Laboratory from the GOES-16 "CONUS" (Cont. US) scan data, taken every 5 minutes. The imagery uses bands 1, 2 and 3 to derive a "green" band which is then re-combined with 1 (blue) & 2 red) to produce a so-called truecolor rendition. 
  • Animation 2: Of Florence's landfall, also by Dr. Haag.
Gulf Dead Zone
This image shows the distribution of bottom-water dissolved oxygen taken during a research cruise from July 24 to 28. Image by N.Rabalais, LSU, LUMCON, R. Turner, LSU, NOAA.
This year's dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico turned out to be smaller than anticipated.
NOAA-funded scientists went on their yearly research cruise aboard the R/V Pelican in order to determine the size of the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. They discovered that not only is this summer's size below average, but is the fourth smallest area mapped since 1985. Researchers approximated the zone as 2,720 square miles, which is much lower than NOAA's June forecast of 5,780 square miles.
GCOOS Board Member, Dr. Nancy Rabalias, a professor at LSU and LUMCON who led the survey mission, attributes the low levels to persistent winds from the west and northwest in the few weeks preceding the cruise that "likely pushed the low oxygen water mass to the east and piled it toward the central shelf and toward Grand Isle. Additional winds and waves at the beginning of the cruise in the area of the immediate west of the Mississippi River delta to the area off Barataria Pass, likely mixed oxygen into these shallower waters."
Re-launch of GOMA Portal
The GOMAportal.org is a metadata catalog and data repository for Gulf of Mexico related geospatial datasets housed at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI). The portal was developed initially by the former GOMA Ecosystem Integration and Assessment (EIA) Team. GOMAportal.org holds the results of a multi-year project to improve the state metadata for geospatial datasets for the Gulf of Mexico. The system contains metadata and data that may not be found in other standard repositories.
Originally lead by EIA Team members at HRI, state partners collected geospatial datasets and metadata records and upgraded them to be compliant with the Federal Geospatial Data Committee (FGDC) Content Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM) standard, preserving as much of the original character of the metadata as possible. Where possible, the original datasets were also obtained and renamed to have meaningful file names. Finally, available data was packaged with the upgraded metadata, and made available for download.
The portal became an action priority for the Data and Monitoring Team; an outgrowth of the EIA Team. A 2017 Gulf Star grant to HRI updated and revamped the tool. It is possible to search and browse the information through an interactive Esri ArcGIS interface.
  • Where available, datasets can be downloaded.
  • Individuals and organizations that want to contribute to GOMAportal can register for a free account. 
Gulf Restoration News
Submission Deadline Draws Near
The deadline to make submissions to the 2019 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference is Sept. 24. The 2019 conference solicits abstracts designed to share latest research findings and support 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.
Developing Next Funded Priorities List
The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council) is hosting two public webinars to provide Gulf stakeholders with an overview of the path forward to the next Funded Priorities List (FPL).
During each live webinar, questions related to process, schedule and next steps will be answered.
This will begin the process to develop the next FPL, targeted to be finalized in mid-2020. Both webinars will be recorded and posted on www.restorethegulf.gov.

The FPL is the vehicle that funds from the Council-Selected Restoration Component, commonly referred to as "Bucket 2," are approved for ecosystem restoration activities in the Gulf Coast region.
You may register for these webinars in advance. Once registered, a link to access the webinar will be sent to the email address provided during registration.  
Restoration Resources
Restoration Funding Calendar
By State:

In Other News
Interior Announces Results of Gulf of Mexico Region-Wide Oil and Gas Lease
Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt has announced that region-wide Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 251 generated $178,069,406 in high bids for 144 tracts covering 801,288 acres in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. A total of 29 companies participated in the lease sale, submitting $202,667,923 in bids.
NatureServe Ecological Resilience Indicators Report
NatureServe just released a new report: "Ecological Resilience Indicators for Five Northern Gulf of Mexico Ecosystems."
The report comes from a project that established conceptual ecological models for salt marsh, mangrove, seagrass, oyster and coral ecosystems. The models guide the identification of indicators, the metrics used to assess them and metric ratings that allow evaluation of ecological conditions and ecosystem service provisions. The project was funded through a grant from the NOAA RESTORE Science Program.
GRP Annual Report
The Gulf Research Program released its 2017 annual report, summing last year's activities and accomplishments including:
  • A record number of grant awards totaling nearly $25 million;
  • The award more than $1.2 million to support 19 up-and-coming professionals through the Early-Career Research Fellowship and Science Policy Fellowship;
  • The support of six National Academies consensus studies and two National Academies workshops;
  • The refinement of GRP long-term vision and plans for future funding opportunities and investment.
  • Read the report 
Funding Opportunities
Deadline Draws Near for Resiliency Grant
Up to $10 million in grant funding is available to support efforts that enhance the resilience and well-being of coastal communities in the Gulf of Mexico region. The opportunity is aimed at bringing researchers and practitioners together to conduct research and develop actionable strategies that support Gulf region communities in enhancing their resilience to stressors like climate change, severe weather or environmental degradation.
  • The deadline to submit your letter of intent is 5 p.m. EST Sept. 19, 2018.
  • Details 
Sea Turtles 2019 Request for Proposals
NFWF's Sea Turtles Program implements a multi-species business plan that guides conservation investments that will measurably improve the current recovery trajectory of seven sea turtle populations in the Western Hemisphere: leatherbacks, Kemp's ridleys, loggerheads and hawksbills in the Northwest Atlantic, and leatherbacks, loggerheads and hawksbills in the Eastern Pacific. This Request for Proposals will award up to $500,000 in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service funds.
  • Pre-proposal due date: 11:59 p.m. EST, Monday, Sept. 24
  • Details 
Employment Opportunities
Dalhousie University
Dalhousie University has a postdoc position focused on assessing the physiological response and bioenergetics of bivalves to harmful algal blooms.
University of Delaware
The University of Delaware is seeking to fill a postdoctoral position for a natural products chemist. The primary responsibility: identify, isolate and purify bioactive compounds produced by a marine bacteria. Experience in metabolomics is highly desired. The selected applicant must have a Ph.D. and significant experience in the separation, purification and structural characterization of water soluble, low-molecular weight compounds. Experience in desalting and separation and purification approaches, such as gel-permeation chromatography, ion-exchange chromatography and/or HPLC, will be essential.


The Office of Ground Water and Drinking water is seeking applicants for a position in the field of harmful algal blooms (and other topics), through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) program.  The position is based in the Washington, DC area, and the initial appointment is for one year, renewable upon recommendation of EPA and contingent on the availability of funds. 
Scottish Association for Marine Science
The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) is Scotland's premier independent marine science organization, generating new knowledge for the benefit of the marine environment and society since 1884. SAMS currently has openings for:
  • Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Biological Oceanography/Marine Microbial Ecology, SAMS - closing date 30th September 2018
  • Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Marine Social Science, SAMS - closing date 30th September 2018
  • Knowledge Exchange and Communications Manager (Blue Action), SRSL - closing date 21st September 2018
  • Details 
Events & Meetings
Glider Data Management
International Conference on Glider Data Management - "Connecting glider data flows in Europe and beyond": 18-20 September 2018, Aquario du Genova, Italy. Since 3 years and the end of the EGO COST Action and the GROOM FP7 European project, a lot of improvements have been made on real time glider data management (new format, new tools, better management of the metadata, new platforms) but few issues still remain and the community struggles to reach a full European harmonization of the gliders data management and a full contribution to research, ocean monitoring and operational services. Moreover, delayed mode data management is becoming a priority for the glider community. Many operators and PIs are putting a lot of efforts in the qualification of their data sets after recovery. Several existing data management tools are freely available through toolboxes and scientific publications. Unfortunately, there is not yet a clear agreement on how these datasets can be shared in delayed mode nor a common strategy to handle these questions at the community level.
Call for Applications: Student Workshop on International Marine and Coastal Management
The 4th Student Workshop on International Marine and Coastal Management in the Gulf of Mexico (SWIMM 2018) is scheduled for Oct. 7-16, 2018 in northern central Cuba (Yaguajay, Caguanes National Park, and Cayo Santa Maria.
The program brings together graduate students from the United States, Mexico, and Cuba for week-long workshops involving peer-to-peer exchanges, shared learning, and intensive interactions with scientists, managers, and practitioners.  The focus of SWIMM 2018 will be on northern central Cuba, an area that experienced the catastrophic impact of Hurricane Irma in August 2017.  Students will participate in the development of a set of indicators and a visual report that provide a synoptic evaluation of the damage caused by the hurricane and the degree of ecological recovery.

Applications are invited from graduate students who are enrolled in Ph.D. or M.S. programs:
  1. in the United States, Mexico, and Cuba, or
  2. who are citizens of any of these three countries, but enrolled in a graduate program elsewhere.
Candidates should be engaged in a program of studies and/or research in areas of environmental management, environmental or ecological sciences, environmental anthropology or political and social sciences with a focus on environmental issues, adaptation to risk and disasters, coastal or marine sciences, oceanography, biology, ecology or marine zoology, and related disciplines.

The program will cover roundtrip airfare from the U.S. or Mexico to Cuba and transport, food, and lodging expenses related to the workshop while in Cuba.
Register now for the 2018 Alabama-Mississippi Bays and Bayous Symposium, Nov. 28-29 in Mobile, Alabama. 
Clean Gulf, November 13-15, 2018. New Orleans, LA. 
The CLEAN GULF Conference & Exhibition is the premier event for industry and government to come together and discuss planning and preparedness issues for oil and hazardous materials spills. The main focus of the conference sessions are case studies, best practices and lessons-learned, and the exhibit hall is filled with products and services for prevention and response. CLEAN GULF brings together all parties responsible for response operations from North America and beyond to hear best practices and build relationships vital to a successful response on land or water. A strong relationship between all parties is the foundation of a successful response, and CLEAN GULF has helped forge these relationships for the last 27 years.
  •  Register before August 24 to receive early bird registration rates.

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference, Hyatt Regency Hotel, New Orleans, February 4-7, 2019
Share Your News with GCOOS
Do you have a meeting, job or funding announcement? Please let us know so we can help spread the word. Email info, including all pertinent details and website links, to Laura Caldwell, GCOOS Staff Assistant, lcaldwell@gcoos.org.

Are you starting or finishing a research project, reporting new findings, have a new publication or other big news to share with the GCOOS community? Please email our Public Relations and Content Coordinator, Nadine Slimak at Vetted Communications, nadine@vettedcommunications.com.

Your input, guidance, support and membership are important to the development of data, products and services that you need. Contact the  GCOOS Business Office to become a GCOOS member and for more information. We welcome your feedback and ideas for relevant news items. Please email your feedback and ideas to Laura Caldwell.