GCOOS News and Updates for May 2014

Greetings from GCOOS

In addition to the news items below, please visit our Website, http://gcoos.org, our real-time Data Portal, http://data.gcoos.org and Products page, http://gcoos.org/products/ for more information, data and products information.


Gulf of Mexico Regional News 

The GCOOS-RA is honored to include this special tribute to Dr. Ann Jochens, celebrating her illustrious career as she steps down as Executive Director.

Since its inception in 2005, Ann served first as the Regional Coordinator and subsequently as Executive Director of the GCOOS-RA. Her exceptional leadership, vision and management skills have paved the way for the infrastructure of a much needed regional monitoring 'System of Systems' for the Gulf of Mexico. Ann's trademark characteristics, keen intelligence, tireless drive and selflessness, have facilitated the development of not just a Gulf system, but that of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System. As a national steering committee member and leader on numerous councils, committees and task teams, her expertise has guided so many areas of the ocean observing enterprise.

The GCOOS-RA extends its utmost gratitude to Ann and wishes her all the best life has to offer.  That is certainly what she has shown all those fortunate enough to have worked with her. To read the complete tribute to Dr. Ann Jochens, visit http://gcoos.tamu.edu/?p=6350 


Meet the GCOOS Board of Directors - Dr. Mike Spranger, University of Florida

Our latest GCOOS Meet the Board Member spotlights Dr. Mike Spranger. Dr. Spranger has a long and distinguished history with ocean observing in the Gulf of Mexico region. He moved to the area from Washington in 2000 and has served on the Board of two ocean observing regional associations - GCOOS and SECOORA. Dr. Spranger has been on the GCOOS Board since 2005. During his tenure, he has been a fierce advocate for outreach and education interests, instrumental in the creation of the Education and Outreach Council (now Outreach and Education Council; OEC) and working with the Board to adopt the 10% principle whereby 10% of funds would be applied to OEC activities. Not all RAs have this commitment and the foresight led to the GCOOS-RA being a national leader in IOOS education and extension activities. To read more about Dr. Spranger, visit http://gcoos.tamu.edu/?p=6366

GCOOS Outreach and Education Coordinator Wins Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award

The Pinellas County School Board recognized the volunteer work of GCOOS Outreach and Education Coordinator, Dr. Chris Simoniello, at Bay Point Elementary (BPE) School's annual Volunteer Appreciation Brunch, held 9 April 2014, St. Petersburg, FL. Simoniello was named Bay Point Elementary Outstanding Volunteer of the Year, which led to her being nominated as an Outstanding County Volunteer. The award was given in recognition of the science and technology programs she has developed and implemented at the school over the past several years. Debbie Alvarez, one of the BPE teachers, said to Dr. Simoniello, "I appreciate so much all you have done to make learning science fun. I think you have planted a science seed in the brains of future scientists...It has been an absolute pleasure being a part of your lessons and love of science." To read more about Dr. Simoniello and the award, see http://gcoos.tamu.edu/?p=6428  


Glider Demonstration Project for Hypoxia Monitoring in the Gulf of Mexico

A project to demonstrate the use of gliders in monitoring hypoxia in the Northern Gulf of Mexico will be conducted during this year's hypoxia season. The gliders will be deployed in Summer 2014, in conjunction with shipboard hypoxia measurements from a cruise directed by Chief Scientist Dr. Steven DiMarco, Texas A&M University (TAMU) Geochemical and Environmental Research Group (GERG). The coordinated mission will allow for efficient and effective comparisons between the glider- and cruise-collected data in a highly vertically stratified, shallow, and heavily ship-trafficked region of the Gulf of Mexico. The glider-hypoxia demonstration is the result of the efforts of many organizations to cooperate and collaborate on a project that will achieve the objectives for showing the usefulness of gliders for the detection and assessment of hypoxia. The project is funded by NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) in conjunction with its NGOMEX Program and the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Office through a $35,000 award to the GCOOS-RA. Project development is a public-private cooperative effort of Dr. Stephan Howden of the University of Southern Mississippi, Dr. DiMarco, Teledyne Webb Research (TWR), Exocetus, NCCOS' Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research (CSCOR) and IOOS. Gliders are being contributed by TWR, Exocetus, TAMU GERG, and TAMU-Galveston. The hypoxia cruise is funded by CSCOR as part of its Gulf of Mexico Ecosystems & Hypoxia Assessment (NGOMEX) research program . Read the full story at http://gcoos.tamu.edu/?p=6401.


GCOOS Updates Interactive Map Server

GCOOS uses multiple technologies and for our products, we adopted ESRI's ArcGIS platform. We recently updated to the latest ArcGIS Server on both Windows and Linux. The main purpose of ArcGIS Server for Windows is to integrate and exploit real-time data, such as glider missions. ArcGIS Server for Linux provides almost all map services, which are used for the web map applications on GCOOS Products pages. Users can access both the Windows and Linux servers to see map layer information, download KML files, and overlay our data on their own maps. See the many GCOOS interactive maps, including maps for mobile devices, available at http://gcoos.org/products/index.php/maps. A directory of map services is available at http://gcoos2.tamu.edu/arcgis/rest/services. For more information, contact Dr. Shinichi Kobara at mailto:shinichi@tamu.edu.


Lionfish Roundup

One consistency throughout the evolution of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Program is that clever people always find innovative ways to use the data and products. The latest example is the novel application of the recently developed GCOOS-RA tool to track the spread and distribution of the invasive red lionfish (Pterois volitans, Linnaeus, 1758). Developed by Drs. Shin Kobara, GCOOS GIS Specialist, and Jorge Brenner, The Nature Conservancy, and incorporating information from the USGS, NOAA and other regional institutions, the web map allows users to track the spread of lionfish in the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea and western Atlantic Ocean.  

Because lionfish are a venomous invasive species with no known natural enemies in the Gulf of Mexico, they pose a threat to marine fisheries, habitats and ecosystem function. For more on this story see http://gcoos.tamu.edu/?p=6418 .


Submit a Scientific Session for the 2015 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference  

You are invited to submit a scientific session for the 2015 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference. The2015 conference sessions should be designed to share the latest research findings and to allow dialog on research implications, applications, and synthesis. This year's conference will seek to answer the questions "What have we learned, what does it mean and how can it be used?" A strong emphasis will be placed on the impact of the research and application of published research findings. The Deadline to submit a session proposal is 15 June 2014. Please don't hesitate to forward this email to any colleagues who may be interested. For more information click here .   

New Report on Linking Gulf Restoration Efforts
The Environmental Law Institute's new report analyzes the need to coordinate and create linkages between the Deepwater Horizon disaster recovery efforts and long-term resource conservation and restoration efforts in the Gulf of Mexico region, and identifies some key opportunities to do so. Coordinating and linking the processes-for example, by using the nonfederal match provisions in the RESTORE Act to leverage recovery funds-will help achieve meaningful, long-term, sustainable restoration in the Gulf. For more information please see 



BOEM OCS Meets on Proposed Studies Plan for Environmental Studies Program, 2015-2017

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held a meeting of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Scientific Committee from 13-15 May 2014, in Reston, Virginia. This meeting included a discussion of the Proposed Studies Plans for the Environmental Studies Program for fiscal years 2015-2017. The proposed plans can be viewed at: http://www.boem.gov/BOEM-ESP-SDP-2015-2017/ (with the Gulf of Mexico section starting on page 101).


Phillip Hinesley to Lead the Gulf of Mexico Alliance's Management Team

The State of Alabama now leads the Gulf of Mexico Alliance's Management Team.  Phillip Hinesley, Coastal Section Chief for the State Lands Division, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR), will serve as the Chair, taking an active role on behalf of the State of Alabama. This is the third leadership change for the Gulf regional ocean partnership organized in 2004. Alabama takes over following a productive tenure by Louisiana's Jerome Zeringue, Chairman of Louisiana's Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority. The leadership changes seamlessly and the mission of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance to enhance the environmental and economic health of the Gulf of Mexico remains steadfast. For more on this story see:


IOOS/National/Legislative News 

Share your Ocean Discoveries

The Consortium for Ocean Leadership (COL) is working with BBC and has unveiled a website to help the BBC solicit stories and filming opportunities for their upcoming seven-part series follow-up to Blue Planet entitled "Ocean: New Frontiers".  This is a wonderful opportunity for our community to share their excitement, passion, and discoveries of the ocean with upwards of a billion people in almost 200 countries.  If you have any great ideas or interesting upcoming cruises, please share these opportunities with our colleagues at the BBC here.


Integrated Coastal Ocean Observing System (ICOOS) Act of 2009 Reauthorization (Item from IOOS Association Update)

Conversations with the Senate continue on reauthorization of the ICOOS Act of 2009.  The House has introduced bill HR 2219 on reauthorization. Representatives of the IOOS Program Office have been conducting Hill meetings, briefing members on IOOS progress towards implementing the ICOOS Act.  


NOAA National Ocean Service Roadmap (Item from IOOS Association Update)

NOS just released a Roadmap that will guide their activities for 2014 to 2018 and is centered around the 3 NOS priorities of coastal resilience (preparedness, response, and recovery), coastal intelligence and place-based conservation. The Roadmap includes specific outcomes for each priority, actions necessary to achieve those outcomes, a timeline and lead programs.  IOOS Program Office is the lead with the Office of Coast Survey on "Focus on the port of LA/Long Beach to better understand the decisions that mariners are trying to make (such as under keel clearance), how they are currently access NOAA information and if it meets their needs"   Other activities that specifically highlight IOOS involvement include:  exploring with the private sector better product delivery, integration of data, user training, coastal inundation benchmarks, predictions of total water level, new products for regional inundation, and ecological forecasts.   The Roadmap is available at http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/about/NOSRoadmap.pdf


Ocean Glider Released and Recovered Off Southeast Coast of Florida
A University of South Florida's Teledyne Webb Research Slocum Glider 

was deployed off the Atlantic coast of Florida with the mission to detect hotspots of reef fish activity in and around marine protected areas using funding provided by NOAA's Southeast Fisheries Science Center (SEFSC).

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Habitat Restoration Programs Creates Jobs and Economic Stimulus

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that a peer-reviewed analysis finds that the agency's habitat restoration programs are extraordinary engines for the U.S. economy. The report, Restoration Returns: The Contribution of Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program and Coastal Program Projects to Local U.S. Economies (www.fws.gov/home/restoration_returns.html), finds that, in working directly with partners to implement vital on-the-ground habitat restoration, Service programs created more than 3,900 jobs in Fiscal Year 2011, generating a total economic stimulus of $327.6 millions. For more please see

Funding Opportunities 

ACT Technologies Funding Available for Sensor Testing - Deadline: 30 May 2014

The Alliance for Coastal Technologies (ACT) is currently accepting preliminary applications from developers and manufacturers of commercially available in situ DO sensors interested in participating in independent performance testing. This evaluation is a follow up to the first ACT Technology Evaluation conducted on DO sensors in 2003/2004.  Over the past 10 years, there have been significant advancements in this class of instrumentation, while the need for accurate and reliable spatially and temporally intensive measurements of DO remains a high priority in fresh, coastal and ocean waters around the world. Testing will be conducted under controlled laboratory conditions and under diverse natural field conditions and deployment applications. Like all ACT Technology Evaluations, participation in this effort will be free of charge for qualifying applicants, and results will be made available to the public in individual summary reports. Please visit our web site at www.act-us.info for more information on ACT, and www.act-us.info/rft.php for additional information on the ACT DO sensor II performance verification and to download application forms.  Initial applications are due 30 May 2014, and questions can be directed to Dr. Tom Johengen (johengen@umich.edu) or Dr. Mario Tamburri (tamburri@umces.edu).


NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program Federal Funding Opportunity FAQs 
The NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program has listed a set of FAQs for the program and the upcoming Federal Funding Opportunity on their website. Visit http://restoreactscienceprogram.noaa.gov/about/faqs

Employment Opportunities 

State Liaison Coastal Zone Management Programs - Stennis, MS



Program Specialist - Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative with Consortium for Ocean Leadership 


Physical Scientist/Data Scientist, Silver Springs, MD



Candidates Sought: BOEM Outer Continental Shelf Scientific Committee  
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced it is seeking qualified individuals to serve on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Scientific Committee beginning 15 October 2014, for a three-year period. The Committee is chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act to advise the Secretary of the Interior, through the BOEM Director, on the scientific quality and value of BOEM's Environmental Studies Program (ESP) for the purpose of informing decisions on managing offshore resources. Interested individuals should send a letter of interest and resume to BOEM by 23 May 2014. http://www.boem.gov/press04242014/

Current Events and Meetings 


"Gulf of Mexico Alliance 2014 Priority Issues Team Meeting and 10-Year Celebration" 19-21 May 2014, Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotel, Mobile, AL.



"Spring 2014 Hypoxia Task Force Public Meeting" 21 May 2014, 1 Statehouse Plaza, Little Rock, AR. (Webinar Available)




"Capitol Hill Oceans Week", 10-12 June 2014, Washington's Newseum, Washington, D.C.




"Ocean Global Change Biology Gordon Research Conference", 6-11 July 2014, Waterville Valley Resort, New Hampshire



"Advancing Ecological Modeling for Diversions and Hypoxia in the Northern Gulf of Mexico", 14-16 July 2014, Stennis Space Center, MS, sponsored by NOAA.



"Conference on Ecological and Ecosystem Restoration", 28 July-1 August 2014, Hilton Riverside, New Orleans, LA.




GCOOS Board of Directors and Members Meeting, 10-11 September 2014, Houston, TX


"IEEE/OES/MTS Ocean's 14", 14-19 September 2014, Delta St. John's Hotel, St. John's Convention Center, St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada.  



"Restore America's Estuaries 7th National Summit on Coastal and Estuarine Restoration and 24th Biennial Meeting of the Coastal Society", 1-6 November 2014, Gaylord National Convention Center, Washington, DC.




"Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference", 16-19 February 2015, Westin Galleria Hotel, Houston, TX. 

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. Your input, guidance, support, and membership are important to the development of the data, products and services that you need. Contact the  GCOOS Business Office  (info@gcoos.org), 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 (lsura.caldwell@gcoos.org). 
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