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.
November 2018 - In This Issue:
As we all head into the Thanksgiving Holiday, I just wanted to write a short note thanking our GCOOS Board and Staff members for their service and for a year of making good things happen! Thanks also to our subcontractors, members and, of course, to our many funding partners! Together, we're all working to make our oceans healthier and safer, and for this we can all be thankful.
Please don't forget to take some time to slow down and enjoy the holiday... after a busy month of travel, I know that's what I'll be doing. 
Until next time, 

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 

Chuan-Yuan Hsu, Post Doctoral Research Associate

In Memoriam: Matt Howard, 1952-2018
News from GCOOS HQ
Gulf Research Program to Collaborate with Shell on Gulf of Mexico Ocean Observation Effort
The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has announced a new collaboration with Shell and others to provide $1 million in funding support for a pilot effort to convert an existing ocean mooring owned by Shell into the first long-term deep ocean observatory in the Gulf of Mexico. Known as the Stones Metocean Observatory Project, this collaboration will provide a new means to collect important marine data to support scientific research and improve understanding of the Gulf of Mexico.

The concept of utilizing existing oil and gas infrastructure to facilitate comprehensive ocean observation for broader scientific purposes has been discussed by researchers for many years. The Stones Metocean Observatory Project aims to pilot one of the first efforts to do so. The ultimate goal is for the project to serve as a model that other offshore oil and gas operators can follow to make their infrastructure available to help create a network of similar ocean observatories throughout the Gulf of Mexico and beyond.

GCOOS will play a key role in this project by managing the data produced and making it accessible to all.

GCOOS Advisory Council Meetings
The GCOOS Outreach and Education and Products and Services Advisory councils met Nov. 1-2 in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. The first day was hosted by Dr. Jessica Kastler and Chris Snyder at the beautiful new University of Southern Mississippi Marine Education Center. Built to blend with the environment, the facility is an example of the successful marriage between thoughtful design and carbon-reducing efficiency. Many thanks to our gracious hosts for sharing this unique and inspiring learning environment.
During the meeting, council members focused on several objectives, including:
  • Working with GOMA Education and Engagement lead Lee Yokel to identifying contributions GCOOS can make to the 2020 Embrace the Gulf campaign;
  • Working with Project Ocean Watch communication lead Rob Lippincott, to identify O/E activities that support U.S. IOOS priorities, especially the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network, during their upcoming international ocean conservation-focused international expedition;
  • Participating in professional development led by Washington College's Dr. Doug Levin, to learn about the One Watershed curriculum, Data Fountain and Drifter Path Analysis Tool;
  • Evaluating the GCOOS All Things Beaches portal.

Despite the weather challenges that grounded planes and made road travel hazardous, our relentless members managed to persevere. Stay tuned to learn more about the many exciting projects that are underway thanks to the continued collaboration of our talented members.  


We are sad to bid farewell to long-time contributor Lloyd Scott and wish him well in his retirement.

International Citizen Science Campaign: Mosquito Habitat Mapper
There's a new app helping to track mosquito habitats to help stop the spread of disease and engage citizen scientists of all ages to do it.

The Mosquito Habitat Mapper asks users to identify potential breeding sites for mosquitoes, sample and count mosquito larvae, and with optional equipment, examine and photograph a specimen to identify its genus.

The observations contribute to a global database - and a phenological mosquito map - that will be used to by scientists to verify predictive models of mosquito population dynamics based on satellite data. In addition, public health authorities have access to this mosquito data for use in managing disease risk in communities.
This is an international campaign, but has a focus on K-12 students in U.S.

GCOOS played a key role in analyzing the app's usability as it was being developed. The project is part of the NASA GLOBE Observer, which invites citizens to make environmental observations to complement its satellite observations in support of scientists studying Earth and the global environment. It is led by GLOBE Partners NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), in collaboration with the GLOBE Implementation Office.

Other apps from the NASA GLOBE observer include Clouds, which allows citizens to make observations about clouds, and Land Cover, which can fill in local gaps and contribute to consistent, detailed global maps.
For students, GLOBE Mission Mosquito offers monthly newsletters, webinars and ongoing opportunities for interacting with scientists, education and outreach specialists, and students in other classrooms.
  • To learn more about the project or get involved, visit their website 
  • Download the app
  • View past webinars introducing the project and sign up for the next webinar -- taking place Jan. 23 

Partner News
GRP Grant Awards
Congratulations to GCOOS Board Member Renee Collini, of Mississippi University, who recently received a grant through the National Academies Gulf Research Program. The award was one of nine new grant projects totaling $3.2 million awarded by the GRP to help advance the scientific and environmental literacy of children and youth living in coastal regions.

Collini's project "Building Sea-Level Rise and Flood Resilience Capacity in the Northern Gulf Through Students and Teachers" will be conducted in partnership with investigators from Alabama School of Math and Science, Dauphin Island Sea Lab, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium, Northern Gulf of Mexico Sentinel Site Cooperative, Smart Home America and University of South Alabama.
 A Retirement and a New CEO
The nonprofit Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) has announced the retirement of CEO Erick Lindblad, who has served the conservation organization for the last 32 years. The Southwest Florida-based organization also announced their new leader: Ryan Orgera, Ph.D.

Orgera joins SCCF from The Pew Charitable Trusts, where he was an Officer working on marine conservation projects across the globe, including efforts to save vulnerable shark species through CITES and global efforts to stem illegal fishing. He previously served as Legislative Director of the Coastal States Organization and was a Knauss  Marine Policy  Fellow in the Office of  U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson. He holds a B.A  and M.A from the University  of South Florida and earned his Ph.D. in Geography and Environmental Sciences from Louisiana State  University. He's a published author and fluent in French, Spanish and Italian.
A New Gulf Dead Zone
A toxic algae bloom sent waves of dead fish and other marine animals washing ashore in Southwest Florida this past summer. It also left behind a new dead zone, likely caused by the scale of the massive decomposition.
  • GCOOS subcontractor SCCF surveyed the area and produced this report
Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Names New Outreach Director
MASGC has named Dr. Steve Sempier as its new outreach director, an appointment that comes following a topical assessment team (TAT) review from the National Sea Grant Office requested by Director LaDon Swann. "MASGC supports more than 30 individuals representing nine institutions in two states. These staff members have multiple funding sources, affiliations and allegiances. In such a complicated organizational structure, it is imperative to have a strong and committed outreach leader to serve as a catalyst for leadership, motivation and cohesion," Swann says.
National Water Center Innovators Program Summer Institute
The Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc. has announced their 2019 National Water Center Innovators Program Summer Institute and is seeking applicants and theme leaders.
CUAHSI represents more than 130 U.S. universities and international water science-related organizations and receives support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop infrastructure and services for the advancement of water science in the United States.

The Summer Institute brings together graduate students, academic researchers and National Water Center staff to work on projects designed to improve water-related products and decision-support services. Since the first Summer Institute in 2015, more than 100 hundred students have participated in the program, which continues to play an important role in developing and refining the National Water Model.
8th EGO Meeting and International Glider Workshop
Everyone's Gliding Observatories (EGO) has announced the dates & location for its next meeting and international workshop: May 20-24, 2019, at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

The workshop goal is to strengthen international collaboration, exchange information, share experiences, promote dialogue and develop best practices and the meeting will include presentations, panels, breakout groups, poster sessions, and open community dialog.

Attendance is encouraged for program managers, operators, users, early-career scientists and other professionals that employ and/or utilize underwater profiling glider technologies.
Topics include:
  • Harmonizing glider efforts: International data management, leveraging partnerships, documenting best practices and international collaboration.
  • Promoting new developments: Sensors, emerging requirements, novel glider applications.
  • Exploring extreme environments: Sea ice, currents, severe weather conditions
  • Refining operational activities: Reliability, sampling strategies, sustained monitoring
  • Preparing for OceanObs'19: Strategy for the next decade of regional, national and global ocean observing using glider technologies.
The EGO initiative was launched by several teams of oceanographers interested in developing the use of gliders for ocean observations and helped to set up a strong glider community.
Interested in attending? Please fill out this expression of interest form
Gulf of Mexico Alliance: Harmful Algal Bloom Detection Webinar
Please join GOMA and the National Water Quality Monitoring Council for the last Wednesday Webinar of the year. In this year of unprecedented harmful algal bloom (HAB) reporting in Florida, Kate Hubbard with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission and Wildlife Research Institute will cover technologies used to improve forecasts, response and reduce sampling costs. Projects to be discussed include the HABscope developed by NOAA and GCOOS in partnership with FWC.
Gulf Restoration News
MDEQ Announces Restoration Projects
The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) announced 10 new and supplemental restoration projects that will add approximately $37.8 million to the total being spent on restoration projects in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. This brings the total to approximately $508 million of restoration projects that have been announced. The announcement was made Tuesday at the Mississippi Restoration Summit hosted by MDEQ in Biloxi. 

Funded projects include oyster restoration, workforce training, seafood marketing and support for the construction of the Mississippi Aquarium being built in Gulfport.
Restoration Resources
Restoration Funding Calendar
By State:

Good Read
Dive Beneath
In "Diving Beneath," Christine Wendling tells readers how Mark Benfield, Oceanography and Coastal Sciences Professor in LSU's College of the Coast & Environment, is exploring the deepest oceans depths using ROVs.
Funding Opportunities
For Florida Students
Applications are being accepted for the 2019 Guy Harvey Scholarship Award to recognize outstanding achievement of Florida university students conducting research that will help support sustainable management of marine fish.
The competition is open to any full-time undergraduate or graduate student enrolled at one of Florida's institutions of higher education and conducting research on the ecology, management or policy issues related to sustainable marine fisheries, including the protection of their critical habitats. Up to eight scholarships of $5,000 each will be awarded. The funds may be used to support equipment purchases, travel and other expenses incurred in the course of the student's respective research project.
Full-time Florida students whose research has a direct application in marine science are eligible to apply for the Aylesworth Scholarship, a joint effort of the Aylesworth Foundation for the Advancement of Marine Science, the Southeastern Fisheries Association and the Florida Sea Grant College Program. From journalism and education to biology and engineering to economics and food science, Aylesworth Scholarship recipients study many subjects that impact the fishing, seafood and marine industries.
FWS Marine Turtle Conservation Fund 
 The purpose is to support projects that conserve nesting populations and habitat and address other threats to the survival of marine turtles in foreign countries.
  • Details 
  • Deadline: Nov. 26, 2018.
NPS Save America's Treasures - Preservation 
Grants provide preservation and/or conservation assistance to nationally significant historic properties and collections.
NOAA Marine Debris Program Research Funding Opportunity 
Applications are for research funding in any of three areas of focus: research that explores the ecological risk associated with marine debris and determines debris exposure levels; research that examines the fate and transport of marine debris; and/or research that quantifies habitat impacts resulting from marine debris and the gains in ecosystem services that result when debris is removed.
Walmart Foundation Community Grant Program
Through the annual program, grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded to support local nonprofit organizations within the service area of individual Walmart stores in the areas of hunger relief and healthy eating, sustainability, women's economic empowerment, and/or career opportunities.
  • Details 
  • Deadline Dec. 31, 2018.

Gulf of Mexico Climate and Resilience Community of Practice
Gulf of Mexico Climate and Resilience Community of Practice (CoP) is requesting letters of intent for Climate Adaptation Projects.  Funding is to assist a community effort to plan for climate change and natural hazards.
  • Details 
  • Deadline: Jan. 15, 2019.
Employment Opportunities
PacIOOS: Operations Coordinator
The PacIOOS Operations Coordinator is a new full-time position responsible for the coordination and management of day-to-day operations that achieve the vision detailed in the PacIOOS five-year Strategic Framework. Our stakeholders rely on PacIOOS to provide timely, reliable, and accurate ocean data and information to support their decision-making. This position will work with the program management and all of the program components to update and maintain the PacIOOS Operational Plan and Build-out Plan, and provide field and technical support as needed. The Operations Coordinator will also develop initiatives to increase capacity for ocean observing in the region and identify and implement new opportunities to expand the ability of the program to address stakeholder needs.
Instructional Assistant Professor, Department of Oceanography, TAMU
This non-tenure track position will lead efforts in the development and execution of online courses in an Ocean Data Science track being developed for the online Masters of Geosciences (MGSc) degree program. The candidate is expected to transform and deliver courses on Ocean Observing Systems, Physical Oceanography, and Ocean Data Methods in a distance education environment. The successful candidate will work closely with the College of Geosciences Distance Learning Team, Department of Oceanography faculty and associated content experts to develop online course content material.
University of North Florida: Assistant Professor of Biology (Functional Morphology)
UNF is seeking an outstanding teacher-scholar who conducts basic and/or applied research on the form and function of anatomical features of animals with the goal of addressing important questions in ecology and evolution, as well as using these findings to inform synthetic design. The successful candidate will teach an intermediate-level course in Human Anatomy (with non-cadaver based laboratory), as well as General Biology and upper-level courses in their field of expertise. This is a full-time, tenure-track position.
  • Application Review Date: Dec. 3
  • Details
Atlantic Oceanographic Meteorological Laboratory: Director
This position is within the Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. The laboratory conducts oceanographic investigations centering on the transport, thermal and chemical composition, structure and dynamical processes of ocean and coastal water masses; global climate change; fluxes of energy, gases, and materials through the air-sea interface, integrated coastal ecosystem management, and research in tropical meteorology.
East Carolina University Marine and Coastal Systems: Assistant or Associate Professor
This tenure-track/tenured position will be at the Assistant or Associate Professor level depending upon qualifications. ECU seeks an individual with expertise in Quantitative Coastal Ecology to begin Aug. 12, 2019. The ideal candidate has a background in ecological modeling and conducts research that integrates across multiple disciplines in order to improve understanding of coupled human-natural systems. The successful candidate will be expected to lead a vigorous, externally funded research program; mentor graduate students; engage in university, community, and professional service; and teach at the graduate and possibly undergraduate levels. This position is part of ECU's Marine and Coastal Systems research cluster, one of eight new pan-university clusters focused on expanding research and engagement.
Events & Meetings
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. 
Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center, Long Beach, California
AGU Fall Meeting, December 10-14, Washington, DC. 

American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting, January 8-10, 2019, Phoenix, AZ

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference , Hyatt Regency Hotel, New Orleans, February 4-7, 2019

Coastal GeoTools: Building on the Past to Create a Better Future, February 11-14, Kingston Plantation, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

ASLO 2019 Aquatic Sciences Meeting, PlanetWater, Challenges and Successes, February 23 - March 4, 2019, San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

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, [email protected].

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, [email protected].

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.