June 2019
Greetings from GCOOS
It’s Capitol Hill Ocean Week , Saturday marks World Oceans Day and, of course, June 1 just marked the official start of the 2019 hurricane season. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is predicting a near-normal year for hurricane activity with a likely range of nine to 15 named storms. Four to eight storms could become hurricanes — including two to four major hurricanes.

We’ve already had one named storm this year and weather experts are currently tracking a disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico that has the potential for development.

In 2017, GCOOS developed a one-stop product that combines hurricane tracking maps, emergency operations information and much more hurricane-relevant information. Now, I’m pleased to share that this tool is even more smart-phone friendly than ever before. It’s pretty handy, so be sure to bookmark it so you can keep an eye on hurricane activity in the Gulf this season.

We’ve also created a new harmful algal bloom products page on our website that gives visitors a one-stop location to find the tools available in the GOM that are being used to gather data on HABs and mitigate their impacts on humans. There, you can find data from Texas A&M’s Imaging Flow Cytobot, Mote Marine Laboratory’s Programmable Hyperspectral Seawater Scanner and Beach Conditions Reporting System and the NOAA-GCOOS Experimental Red Tide Respiratory Forecast.

These are just two of the data-driven products we offer that are designed to help support resilient coastal communities. Please help us get the word out by sharing the links with your colleagues.

Finally, I just wanted to take a minute to recognize GCOOS Staff Assistant Laura Caldwell , who will be retiring from Texas A&M on June 14. Laura has been with GCOOS since our earliest days and in so many ways she has been essential at keeping the office humming along smoothly. We sure will miss working with her everyday and wish her the best in life's next chapter.

P.S. Don’t forget: We’ll be at GOMA’s All-Hands Meeting next week in Alabama, so be sure to stop by and say hello or join us in the Tools Café. Hope to see you soon!
GCOOS Accepting Applications for First
Howard Scholarship Fund Award
GCOOS is soliciting applications for the first Howard Scholarship award. The awardee will receive registration and travel support (a maximum of $1,500) to give an ocean data-related presentation at either the  American Geophysical Union Meeting  or  2020 Ocean Sciences Meeting .

Human Health & Safety
Photo Contest for New GCOOS App: We need You!
GCOOS is developing an app, "All Things Beaches," which will be a comprehensive source for current conditions at Gulf of Mexico Beaches. It will include beach safety information and other resources to help people enjoy their day at the beach. 

But we need your help! We need photos of your favorite beaches — and the amenities they have — to help us populate the app. We're looking for shots of scenery, plants, animals, fishing piers — just about anything you can think of. And we're even giving out prizes! To everyone!

  • Entries are eligible for prizes if they are received on or before Aug. 31, 2019. Submissions must include photographer's name, email address and the name of the beach, plus the city & state it's in. We'd also like you to include an approximate date for when the photo was taken.
  • Photos should be submitted to Chris.Simoniello@gcoos.org.
  • All eligible entries will receive a prize PLUS each month GCOOS will choose a staff favorite and those winners will receive an additional prize. (Non-winning images will be considered again until the contest ends.)
  • Of COURSE you can include pics of your kids/grandkids!
Healthy Ecosystems & Living Resources
CSI On a Coral Reef
In 2016, divers in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary discovered an unexpected scene: dead and dying corals and benthic animals in a localized area on what had been one of the nation’s healthiest reefs. What happened? In 2017, experts came together for a marine science CSI-moment: A symposium to discuss the findings and factors for such a localized — and fast moving — mortality event.

This Thursday, June 6, Research Biologist Dr. Michelle A. Johnston, from the FGBNMS, will present information about this event, the findings and updates on current research during a Gulf of Mexico Forum webinar. The webinar series is organized by NOAA's Gulf of Mexico Regional Collaboration Team and takes place every other month on a variety of topics relevant for the Gulf.

Marine Biodiversity Update
US IOOS, GCOOS and OAR's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) hosted the “Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON) & Integrated Ecosystem Assessment Product Development Workshop” in April.

This cross-organizational effort is designed to develop web-based conceptual models and infographics for multiple sanctuary sites and Integrated Ecosystem Assessment programs, as well as early warning tools and dashboards to flag anomalous conditions of concern to resource managers and researchers.

The Miami workshop was designed to capture lessons learned from West Coast ONMS/California Current IEA process and products and apply those lessons to development of tools and products for the Florida Keys IEA and Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
Coastal Hazards
GRP Annual Report
The National Academies Gulf Research Program has released its 2018 annual report. Highlights include the awarding of nearly $20 million in grants to 50 projects and $2 million to support 30 up-and-coming professionals. GRP also supported six consensus studies, one workshop and various external conferences and workshops on topics relevant to their initiatives.

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.

Marine Operations
Glider Workshop Meeting
GCOOS was well-represented at last week's US Glider User Group (UG2) international glider workshop at Rutgers University. 130 of us — including many international participants — shared experiences, information, best practices and more. GCOOS-ians included Executive Director Barb Kirkpatrick and Developer Bob Currier along with Ruth Mullins Perry of Shell, Stephan Howden, Kevin Martin and Rich Delgado of USM, Steven F. DiMarco and Kerri Whilden from TAMU, Gary Kirkpatrick from Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium and Dawn Petraitis of the National Data Buoy Center.

Over the next few weeks, the organizing committee will synthesize recommendations and work with the community to move them forward — information will be available on the meeting website.

Our personal fave? This picture of Barb with Slocum glider inventor Doug Webb — such an honor to meet him. (By the way, have you checked our glider page lately? We’re tracking three gliders now… )
The Gulf Loop Current and Ocean Observing
The GRP is hosting a survey to gather information on the needs of the communities involved in the collection, analysis and use of observations, models and forecasts of the Loop Current System. They’re asking members of the community to share their perspectives by taking a short (10 minute) survey.

Save the Date: OceanObs‘19 & OceanObs‘20
The OceanObs’19 conference is a community-driven conference that brings people from all over the planet together to communicate the decadal progress of ocean observing networks and to chart innovative solutions to society’s growing needs for ocean information in the coming decade.

  • Sept. 16-20, 2019, Honolulu.
  • Details

Then, OceanObs RCN annual meeting in 2020 will be dedicated to the synthesis of threads and recommendations emerging from the OceanObs'19 Conference. One goal will be focusing the community on planning for the implementation of initiatives. It will also advance links between observation networks and users to facilitate the delivery of critical information to stakeholders and address critical policy issues that require multidisciplinary ocean observing systems.

  • Feb. 16, 2020, San Diego, immediately preceding the AGU/TOS Ocean Sciences Meeting.
DMAC Recap
More than 70 people attended the 2019 IOOS DMAC Annual Meeting in Silver Spring April 30 to May 2. Did you miss it?

Long-Term Change
Committee Hearing Update
The House Natural Resources Committee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife held a legislative hearing in May on various proposed bills including H.R. 1314 “Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act Amendments of 2019.” DML Timothy Gallaudet, Ph.D., USN Ret., provided witness testimony at the hearing and Molly McCammon Executive Director Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS) also provided testimony on a panel.

Outreach & Education
Citizen Scientists & Ocean Observing Systems
GCOOS Outreach & Education Manager Dr. Chris Simoniello was the lead author on an article in a recent edition of the journal Frontiers in Marine Science. In “Citizen-Science for the Future: Advisory Case Studies From Around the Globe,” the authors provide examples of how everyday citizens are helping to advance ocean observing capabilities around the world.

“Information they are providing is increasing the spatial and temporal frequency and duration of sampling, reducing time and labor costs for academic and government monitoring programs, providing hands-on STEM learning related to real-world issues and increasing public awareness and support for the scientific process,” according to the paper, which concludes that “citizen scientists should be part of an effective global strategy for a sustained, multidisciplinary and integrated observing system.”

GCOOS at the FMSEA Conference
GCOOS educators Dr. Chris Simoniello and Grant Craig and GCOOS Members Nature’s Academy’s (Kira Krall and Sarah Pecoraro) and Mote Marine Laboratory (Alison Goldy), teamed up to share an engaging watershed activity with participants attending the Florida Marine Science Educators Association Annual Meeting in Crystal River, Florida.

Earlier this year, the team participated in a workshop to learn how to facilitate The Watershed Game, a resource developed by Minnesota Sea Grant, which covers fundamental concepts of watershed management. Players must think about strategies to balance ecological, economic and social pressures on natural resources.

The 28 FMSEA participants who attended the session, including GCOOS Outreach and Education Council member Charlene Mauro, learned how to facilitate classroom and local-leader versions of the game.

Furthering Upstream-Downstream Collaboration in the Gulf
NOAA's Central and Gulf of Mexico Regional Collaboration Teams — including partners from GCOOS, the Northern Gulf Institute, Sea Grant and Regional Climate Centers — held a joint meeting in Baton Rouge in April.
The meeting, hosted by Louisiana Sea Grant at the Louisiana State University Center for River Studies, focused on upstream-downstream discussions and cross-regional collaborative priorities.
Discussion topics included: best practices, cross-team connections, collaboration opportunities within the Mississippi River Basin and the Gulf of Mexico and sharing the partner initiatives, projects and the capabilities of the Water Campus. Following the meeting, participants will focus future collaborations on communications, citizen science and water quality.
Question Writers Needed for Ocean Sciences Bowl
The National Ocean Sciences Bowl is seeking question writers for its 2020 competitions. Selected paid writers can earn up to $1,000 for their contributions. Contributions from volunteers are also welcome. Questions should focus on interconnecting human, environmental, and energy systems; emphasis should be placed on the Gulf of Mexico.

Scientists and educators with varying expertise in biology, chemistry, physics, geology, geography, technology, social science and marine policy are encouraged to apply.

Job Opportunities
GCOOS maintains a jobs listing for positions and fellowships in the ocean observing community. Want to advertise a position? Email Nadine Slimak
  • Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research — Oceanographer
  • Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University — Instructional Assistant Professor
  • New England Aquarium, The Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life — three positions
  • The University of Southern Mississippi — Assistant Professor
  • NRC Research Associateship Programs — Postdoctoral and Senior Research Awards
  • Simons Foundation — Postdoctoral Fellowships in Marine Microbial Ecology
  • Mote Marine Laboratory — Postdoctoral Fellowship in Ecotoxicology
  • Marine GEO-University of Washington — Postdoctoral Fellowship for Salish Sea Research

Funding Opportunities
GCOOS maintains a listing of funding opportunities. Have an opportunity you'd like to advertise? Email Nadine Slimak
  • Sea Grant Announces Funding Opportunity for Highly Migratory Species Research
  • Texas General Land Office
  • Gulf of Mexico Alliance

10-13: GOMA All-Hands Meeting, The Lodge, Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores, Alabama.
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 • Laura Caldwell , Staff Assistant • Dr. Chuan-Yuan Hsu , Post Doctoral Research Associate • Robbie Iles , Graduate Research Assistant
info@gcoos.org • 979.847.8879
In Memoriam: Matt Howard, 1952-2018