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.
January 2017 - In This Issue:
Greetings and Happy New Year!

I hope your 2017 is off to a pleasant and productive start. I know we've hit the ground running this year with meetings and workshops -- we're attending and sponsoring the U.S. Underwater Glider Workshop   this week at the INFINITY Science Center in Mississippi learning and sharing the latest information on glider deployment and tracking. And I'm sure I'll be seeing many of you at next month's Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference in New Orleans. GCOOS is one of the workshop sponsors and I hope you'll take a minute to stop by our booth.

This month, we're also putting out our call for nominations to serve on the GCOOS Board of Directors. Please see the notice below and consider nominating yourself or one of your colleagues. I'd also like to ask that you share the information below about the GCOOS Board and its nomination process through other listservs, social media channels and other enewsletters. We want to make sure we have representation from as many sectors as possible and it would be great if you could help spread the word!

Please also save the date for the GCOOS annual Members meeting -- scheduled this year for March 23 at La Pavillon in New Orleans. All GCOOS members are invited to attend to hear updates and more. We'll have more details about the meeting in next month's newsletter.  
Best regards,


Contact GCOOS
Dr. Barbara Kirkpatrick , Executive Director

Dr. Matthew K. Howard
DMAC Coordinator

Dr. Chris Simoniello
Outreach and Education Coordinator

Dr. Shinichi Kobara
, Assistant Research Scientist, Product Developer

Felimon Gayanilo
, Systems Architect

Bob Currier
, Research Specialist, Product Developer

Stephanie Watson, Strategic Program Manager

Marion Stoessel,
Senior Research Associate

Jennifer Vreeland, Research Associate 

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

Grant Craig, Program Coordinator

Laura Caldwell, Staff Assistant
News from GCOOS HQ
nomNominations Open for GCOOS Board
The GCOOS Membership Committee is seeking nominations for the organization's Board of Directors. We are seeking individuals interested in and committed to working within an organization dedicated to provide data, information and products to the Gulf of Mexico stakeholder community that includes the private sector, governmental agencies at all levels, academia and researchers, non-governmental organizations and the general public. 
  • The nomination deadline is 5 pm (CST), Friday, March 3, 2017
  • Ballots will be sent out for a vote on Friday, March 11, 2017
  • Voting ends at close of business, Friday, March 24, 2017
Board duties include:
  • Setting policy for the organization and providing direction to the Executive Director Revising bylaws and other documents as necessary;
  • Establishing and maintaining the structure of the Regional Association including approval of appointments to the RA's Councils, Committees, Task Teams or other groups;
  • Approving budgets, the business model, proposals and endorsements requested by members for proposals they intend to submit.
About Board Service:
  • Terms are three years and begin at the autumn Board meeting (usually held in September);
  • The Board meets twice annually in person and via phone every two months; the Board may also be called to meet when priority situations arise;
  • Directors are not paid; however expenses related to GCOOS in-person Board meetings are reimbursed;
  • Self-nominations are welcome.

Welcome New GCOOS Staffer
This month, we're welcoming the newest member of the GCOOS staff: Jen Vreeland as research associate. She has a B.A. in Environmental Science from Eckerd College and is finishing her Master's degree in Environmental Studies from Green Mountain College. With her biology background, Jen will be coordinating G-CAN, our newly formed Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Acidification Network (G-CAN) and in the future will be assisting the data management team as MBON and other biological projects expand and increase.

She'll also be assuming many GCOOS administrative duties, including arrangements for the next GCOOS annual meeting, scheduled for March 23 at La Pavillon in New Orleans. (Look for more details in next month's newsletter.) Jen can be reached at [email protected].

Welcome aboard!

Introducing G-CAN and its First Ocean Acidification Webinar
GCOOS is creating a new hub to gather and share information about ocean acidification in the Gulf of Mexico: G-CAN, the GCOOS Coastal Ocean Acidification Network.
The location of sentinel sites to monitor ocean acidification and subsequent ecosystem impacts that have been established in the Gulf of Mexico. NOAA image.
The goal is to identify vulnerabilities in the Gulf ecosystem that may be impacted by OA, foster collaborations to increase ocean observations and develop strategies to help mitigate impacts.

The network is a collaboration between GCOOS and NOAA's Ocean Acidification Program and includes federal and state agency representatives, resource managers, industry partners and research scientists.
The G-CAN steering committee met in early December and began laying out focus areas and GCOOS has created several webpages focused on ocean acidification and its effects. The pages -- which are live but still under development -- include research findings and journal articles, links to resources, information about OA studies and more.

G-CAN will also be hosting a series of webinars on OA issues. The first webinar -- "Ocean Acidification of the Pelagic Gulf of Mexico" -- will be presented at 1 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Jan. 24, by Drs. Richard H. (Rik) Wanninkhof & Leticia Barbero.
About the presenters:
  • Rik Wanninkhof is a senior scientist at the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory of NOAA in Miami, Fla. He studies the oceanic inorganic carbon cycle with focus of the anthropogenic perturbation thereof and has done extensive research on the transfer of carbon dioxide across the air-water interface. He is involved in several sustained observation programs including surface water CO2 measurements from ships of opportunity (SOOP-CO2), repeat hydrography of ocean interior measurements (GO-SHIP) and coastal ocean acidification monitoring in the Gulf of Mexico and East Coast. He is co-chair of the global ocean ship-based hydrographic investigation panel (GO-SHIP) and member of the executive committee of the international ocean carbon coordination project (IOCCP).
  • 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. Her area of expertise is the CO2 system in the ocean. She has worked with CO2 data from dedicated cruises, ships of opportunity and drifters in the Atlantic Ocean, Southern Ocean and coastal regions of the U.S. Her current research focus is on air-sea fluxes of CO2, ocean acidification (OA) in coastal waters and anthropogenic contribution to changes in aragonite saturation states. She has participated and led several cruises aimed at studying OA conditions in coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico and eastern coast of the U.S.
Partner News
NOAA Fisheries Climate Science Strategy for Gulf of Mexico
The Regional Action Plan to guide implementation of the Fisheries Climate Science Strategy for the Gulf of Mexico (and other regions) has been released by NOAA.

The Plans were developed by NOAA Fisheries Science Centers and Regional Offices with input from internal and external sources with the goal of providing decision makers with information they need to reduce impacts and increase resilience of valuable marine resources and the people who depend on them.
Understanding the Gulf's Loop Current
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine new committee on the Gulf's Loop Current will begin work in 2017. The committee will make recommendations to the Gulf Research Program on activities -- including research, observations, and analyses -- needed to characterize the Gulf of Mexico's Loop Current System dynamics and improve the effectiveness of modeling and forecasting efforts.

The committee will summarize the existing scientific understanding of the physical forces that shape and energize the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current system as well as determine the critical information needed to improve models and forecasts of the system. It will also assess the capacity of current technologies to meet the overarching goal of characterizing Loop Current dynamics, suggest opportunities for new approaches, improved technologies, or transfer of technologies from other realms. Finally, the committee will design a field campaign to collect the information needed to improve modeling and forecasting efforts, including estimated costs, advice on organizational framework, a rough implementation timeline, and identification of opportunities for collaboration and joint sponsorship.
Gulf Restoration News
Mississippi Public Review Period Ends Today
The public review period for Mississippi's Multiyear Implementation Plan (MIP) and Mississippi State Expenditure Plan (MSEP) ends at 5 p.m. CST today, Jan. 17.
The MIP describes each activity, project or program that Mississippi is seeking funding for under Bucket 1 of the RESTORE Act.
The MSEP describes each activity, project or program that Mississippi is seeking funding for under Bucket 3.
Coming Up in 2017 at the Gulf Research Program
The GRP will have three open competitions with early 2017 deadlines focusing on R&D gran ts, early career research followships, science policy fellowships and other research needs.
Restoration Resources
Restoration Funding Calendar
  • NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program hosts a three-year calendar that consolidates planned funding opportunities
By State:

New Reports & Good Reads
Save Coastal Louisiana, and You Protect the Rest of the Nation
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards makes his case for s aving and restoring Louisiana's vanishing coastal ecosystem in this opinion piece in The Times-Picayune.

"This isn't a Louisiana problem; it's a national emergency. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita demonstrated how important coastal infrastructure is to the preservation of human life, and how completely disruptive, costly and disastrous infrastructure failures can be for our nation's economy," he argues.

Sargassum Invasion
A recent issue of Earth & Space Science news featured a cover story on a system to track Sargassum seaweed using satellite and ocean currents data, giving decision makers timely information on seaweed locations and warnings for potential beaching events.

The article, "Warning System for Noxious Seaweed," by By Chuanmin Hu, professor of optical oceanography at the University of South Florida, et al., covers Sargassum beaching events in the Caribbean in 2015 that covered popular tourist beaches, filled bays, and caused numerous environmental and economic problems.

The article highlights recent activities regarding Sargassum observations from both satellite remote sensing and field surveys, and introduces a prototype integrated Sargassum Watch System to monitor and track Sargassum in near-real time using satellite imagery and numerical models and emphasizes targeted research and monitoring needs.
New Florida Sea Grant Publications
Florida Sea Grant's most recent publications include program highlights as well as publications targeting invasive species removal, new evidence showing that red grouper are helping to control the Florida lionfish invasion, staghorn coral production techniques, the effect of freshwater discharges on the Appalachicola oyster fishery and more.
New Ocean Observing Technology
NOAA has released its first-ever report looking at emerging technologies in ocean observations following a July 2016 workshop. The workshop brought together NOAA senior leaders, researchers, analysts and practitioners of systems -- both traditional and nontraditional; remote sensing or in situ -- with expertise in observations across the atmosphere, terrestrial, ocean and space domains and focused on showcasing sensors and platforms that could replace or improve current capabilities, lower costs, or fill gaps within the next three to five years.
Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative
Read the latest edition of the tri-annual newsletter of the Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative, which offers updates on the latest sea-level rise research and tools, upcoming meetings and funding opportunities. The Cooperative has launched a new gallery with the Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks LCC Coastal Planning Atlas. 
Employment Opportunities
National Ocean Service
The NOS is recruiting two positions: Director of the NCCOS Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research in Beaufort, NC and Director the NCCOS Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research in either Charleston, SC or Silver Spring, MD.
The opportunities close on Jan. 24
Naval Research Laboratory
The Naval Research Laboratory - Stennis Space Center has openings for Ph.D. researchers (both permanent and post-doctoral) to push forward and advance the frontiers of ocean forecasting. Problems that must be addressed cover a wide scope of physics including parameterization of oceanic processes, construction and analysis of ocean models and forecast systems (both deterministic and probabilistic), numerical analysis, high performance computing, and basic and applied research of ocean-ice dynamics. This challenging work includes processing and analysis of satellite and in-situ observations, development of numerical modeling systems, and assimilation for predicting the ocean environment. This work is long term, and the end goal is to build cutting-edge technology systems that can transition to operational forecast centers.

Current specific opportunities include implementation and research with two-way nesting in the Arctic region and development and analysis of Localized Ensemble Transform Kalman Filter in high resolution global prediction systems, but we encourage applicants that cover a wide spectrum of research and development in the general area of ocean dynamics and prediction.

Quick overview of some of the research projects within the NRL oceanography division at Stennis Space Center.
  • Direct resumes to Patrick Hogan, NRL Code 7323, Stennis Space Center, MS 39529 or [email protected].
Internships and Other Educational Opportunities
Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) at TAMU
Applications are now open for the REU program hosted by the Geochemical and Environmental Research Group (GERG) and Department of Oceanography at Texas A&M University. This 10-week, paid NSF-funded student internship research program allows up to 10 undergraduate students the opportunity to investigate the ocean using new ocean observing technologies and data from ocean observatories, buoys and time series. Students will work with faculty and staff mentors in laboratories and on seagoing projects to acquire the analytical skills for multidisciplinary oceanographic research.
National Weather Service
The NWS National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP) is accepting applications for its 2017 summer student internship program. NCEP will offer up to 10 paid internships for undergraduate and graduate students in areas that will meet the future needs of the ever-broadening weather-climate-water user community. Students with the following majors are welcome to apply: math, physics, meteorology, atmospheric and climate science, computer science, engineering and social science. Students will collaborate with one or more scientists at the NCEP's five centers in College Park, Md.,: the Climate Prediction Center, Environmental Modeling Center, NOAA Central Operations, Ocean Prediction Center, and Weather Prediction Center.


Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment (GODAE) Ocean School
Applications are now being accepted for the 2017 two-week GODAE OceanView International School Oct. 2-13 in Mallorca, Spain.

The international school for observing, assimilating and forecasting the ocean is a two-week program offered to early career scientists, professionals and students on the current state of the art in operational oceanography and related advances in the ocean sciences. The courses include topics covering the leading edge science in ocean observing systems, as well as the latest methods and techniques for analysis, data assimilation and ocean modeling.


Funding Opportunities
Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium
The Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium (MASGC) is accepting pre-proposals for its 2018-2020 Research Program. Projects selected will address innovative research on coastal issues in Alabama and Mississippi in one or more of these areas: healthy coastal ecosystems; sustainable fisheries and aquaculture; and resilient communities and economies. A webinar about the RFP will be held Wednesday, Jan. 18.


Florida Sea Grant
Florida Sea Grant is accepting statements of interest for two-year coastal and ocean applied research grants covering: healthy coastal environments; sustainable fisheries and aquaculture; resilient communities and economies and environmental literacy and workforce development
NFWF's Gulf Coast Conservation Grant Program
The NFWF's Gulf Coast Conservation Grant Program is now accepting applications. The Program supports conservation projects that enhance coastal habitats of the Gulf of Mexico and bolster priority fish and wildlife populations, while strengthening resilience with the coastal regions.
  • Full Proposal Due: 11:59 p.m. EST Thursday, Jan. 26
  • RFP 
Events & Meetings

The American Meteorological Society will host its 97th Annual Meeting with the theme "Observations Lead the Way." Meeting in Seattle Jan. 22-26, 2017.
Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Sciences Conference, February 6-9, 2017, Hyatt Regency Hotel, New Orleans

ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting, February 26-March 3, 2017. Honolulu, HI.
Radiowave Operators Working Group Meeting (ROWG) is scheduled for March 13-14, 2017 at TAMU-Galveston. CODAR will also hold a user group meeting on March 15 in Galveston.

State of the Gulf Summit, March 26-28, 2017. Houston, TX. The Summit if followed by a GOMA all-hands meeting from March 29-30.

International Research Needs Meeting hosted by BOEM, HRI, GRP and NOAA, March 29-30, 2017, Houston, TX. Invitation-only.

3rd Blue Planet Symposium: Dates have changed
The Symposium will serve as a forum for discussion of societal information needs resulting from the important role the ocean plays in Earth's life-support system and the challenge of minimizing the impacts of human activities on the oceans while utilizing the resources of the oceans to meet our needs.
  • Details
  • College Park, MD, May31-June 2, 2017
Gulf of Mexico Climate Community of Practice Annual Meeting, bringing together extension, outreach and education professionals with community officials in the Gulf to learn how coastal communities can adapt to sea-level rise, precipitation changes and other climate-related issues. May 16-18, 2017, Covington, Louisiana 
Other Gulf-Related Events
Have a meeting, job or funding announcement? Please email details to Laura Caldwell at GCOOS.

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.