January/February 2019
Greetings from GCOOS
At GCOOS, we've certainly been busy over the last few months working with new partners on new projects and — I'm very excited to say — developing an updated logo and a new website that offers a better showcase for the products and services we offer to Gulf of Mexico communities.

Whether you're on your desktop or smartphone, we hope you'll find the new site easier to navigate, our products more accessible and our downloadable data more handy than ever. The site includes a new search feature for our operational products, as well as the many archived data sets we host. Along with our new website and logo, we've also revamped this monthly enewsletter to better reflect the key focus areas outlined in our Strategic Plan (marine operations, coastal hazards, healthy ecosystems & living resources, human health & safety and long-term change). We're even starting to tweet — our Twitter handle is @GCOOS1 !

On Jan. 11, I attended the first meeting of the Gulf Research Program's "Understanding Gulf Ocean Systems 1" (UGOS 1) (formerly called the GRP Loop Current study). All project PIs were there, including many GCOOS members and directors who are a part of the project: Tony Knap, Stephan Howden, Youngang Liu, Cliff Merz, Ruth Perry, Nick Shay, Jan van Smirren and Bob Weisberg.

We will be creating the data portal for all project data and we are anxious to work with the team on this important project for the Gulf. Following the UGOS 1 meeting, we kicked off our own PI meeting in Houston and were pleased that Kelly Oskvig and Lauren Showalter from GRP could join us. Special thanks to Ben Williams and Fugro for hosting the meeting.

I'd also like to congratulate GCOOS Board Member Dr. Nick Shay on his recent appointment as Associate Dean for Research of the Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science, University of Miami! Nick's work was recently featured in GoMRI's fall newsletter discussing his research " Three-Dimensional Gulf Circulation and Biogeochemical Processes Unveiled by State-of-the-Art Profiling Float Technology and Data Assimilative Ocean Models ."

As you can see, we've got plenty of exciting things going on at GCOOS — in fact, there's no better time to join us as we open nominations for our Board of Directors. We're seeking folks who are committed to helping us provide data, information and products to Gulf communities. Self nominations are welcome. Details are below.

And finally, I'd like to take a minute to remember Dr. Matt Howard and the anniversary of his passing on Feb. 8, 2018. We had the extreme pleasure of working with Matt, and there isn't a meeting that goes by without his name and contributions to the Gulf, the nation and the world being mentioned. As you know, Matt dearly loved data(!) but also loved interacting with students of all ages. If you haven’t taken the time to make a donation to the scholarship fund in Matt’s name , please do so now. In this way, we can keep his legacy of influence on students in our region alive.

Until next month!

Nominate Yourself — or Your Favorite Colleague — for the GCOOS Board
Nominations are now open for the GCOOS Board of Directors.
  • The nomination deadline is 5 p.m. (CST), Friday, March 1, 2019;
  • Ballots will be sent out for a vote on Friday, March 15, 2019;
  • Voting ends at close of business, Friday, March 29, 2019.

Save the Date: GCOOS Members Meeting
The GCOOS Board of Directors will be hosting the organization's annual members meeting from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, 2019, at the Renaissance New Orleans Pere Marquette in downtown New Orleans. All interested participants are welcome to attend, but must register in advance (registration is free and breakfast/lunch are provided).
  • Registration Deadline: March 8, 2019
  • Register Now
  • Meeting agenda will be posted at a later date.
Howard Scholarship Fund
It's been a year since the death of GCOOS founding staff member Matt Howard. In 2018, we established the Howard Scholarship Fund to support oceanography and data management students who embody Matt’s dedication to collaboration and his visionary data management practices. To begin awarding scholarship support, we first need to grow the fund.

Coastal Hazards
TechSurge: Today in NOLA
The Marine Technology Society Unmanned Untethered Vehicle Committee will convene a focused workshop exploring the intersection of unmanned/untethered technology and the oil spill response/management beginning at 9 a.m. TODAY, Feb. 4, in Room 244 of the New Orleans Convention Center. This “TechSurge” is designed to provide high-quality technical content, foster discussion and create new networks and is taking place at the same time as the Underwater Intervention and the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Conference, ensuring a diverse audience and dynamic discussions.

OilSpillPhoto_(U.S. Coast Guard photo by Walter Shinn)
U.S. Coast Guard photo by Walter Shinn
Oil Spill Preparedness Workshops
The Gulf Research Program, Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach Program and the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative have partnered to create a series of workshops on oil spill preparedness. The first was held in Louisiana and the following workshops are planned:
  • Anchorage, AK, Feb. 20-21, 2019
  • Virginia Beach, VA, March 29, 2019
  • Santa Barbara, CA, April 5, 2019
  • Mobile, AL, Date TBD

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.

Healthy Ecosystems & Living Resources
Educating the Educators
GCOOS partner Natures Academy hosted an EPA Gulf of Mexico Program-funded workshop targeting informal and formal educators Feb. 1-2 at their field classroom in Ft. DeSoto State Park, FL. Participants learned how to play and facilitate The Watershed Game, a tool designed to foster collaboration throughout the watershed to manage challenges like excessive nutrients and sediment loads.

Modern Fish Act Signed Into Law
The Modern Fish Act, signed into law on Dec. 31, 2018, recognizes that the recreational fishery must be managed differently than the commercial fishery and takes steps to provide clear, science-based conservation standards and tools for regional fisheries management. Red snapper in the Gulf were a key species that led to the development of this legislation. GCOOS member organization the Harte Research Institute (HRI) made significant contributions to newly adopted rules as did Gulf legislators U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) and U.S. Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA). Learn more:

Great Red Snapper Count: Catch Tagged Fish, Gain Reward
In 2016, Congress made funding available to independently estimate the population size of U.S. Gulf of Mexico red snapper. $10 million was awarded to Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant for a two-year project that aims to estimate the population size of red snapper in U.S. waters of the Gulf. This spring, scientists will tag and release 4,000 legal-sized red snapper, then recreational and commercial fishers throughout the Gulf who catch the tagged fish can claim a $250 reward.

Floating Seabirds Provide a Novel Way to Trace Ocean Currents
According to Science News, University of Washington scientists are using seabirds like feathered buoys — to tracking ocean currents. “I don’t think it’s going to replace the various instruments we use,” says Evan Mason, a physical oceanographer at the University of Washington in Seattle. “It was just interesting to see what we might find.”

Marine Operations
GCOOS Tracking a Navocean Sailboat on Banana River Lagoon
The GCOOS data portal used to track Gulf glider missions in real-time has proven so popular and easy-to-use by glider operators that we're now tracking other autonomous ocean-going vehicles in other locales — right now that means we're tracking a Navocean Nav2 Sail and Solar ASV being used to gather data in the Banana River Lagoon on Florida's east coast. "Seeing the sailboat tracks and all the data in near-real time on the GANDALF site is just so darn cool!" says Navocean's Scott Duncan.

Abstract Submissions Due Feb. 11: 8th EGO Meeting and International Glider Workshop
The 8th EGO Meeting and International Glider Workshop will run for 3-4 days and be structured into presentations, panels, breakout groups, and poster sessions by thematic areas. All submissions for both poster or oral presentations, abstracts should be related to at least one of the workshop thematic areas. Submissions encouraged from students and early career scientists.

SCCF Introduces New Marine Research Lab & Vessel
GCOOS Member organization the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, based in Sanibel, FL, recently dedicated its new marine laboratory created in a public-private partnership with the J.N. “Ding” National Wildlife Refuge and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. They also christened the R/V Norma Campbell .

Dispatches from the Gulf: Podcast Features GCOOS Member
A recent podcast from the Dispatches from the Gulf series featured GCOOS member Dr. Steve DiMarco of Texas A&M. Science is a full contact sport and it’s not for the faint of heart, DiMarco says, providing daily “eureka” moments and profound “what did I just do?” moments.

Human Health & Safety
Mosquito Habitat Mapper Webinars
The NASA GLOBE Observer is hosting new monthly webinars for Mission Mosquito, which was created to track mosquito habitats to help stop the spread of disease. This citizen-science focused app invites citizens to make environmental observations that complement satellite observations. Led by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), in collaboration with the GLOBE Implementation Office.

Workshop: Identifying Harmful Algae in Marine Waters
The Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences Research and Education campus in East Boothbay, ME, is holding a workshop for local, state, federal and international HAB managers and analysts to train in HAB taxonomic identification. Cost is $2,500 but limited funding is available to support managers who would otherwise be unable to attend.

Long-Term Change
Developing Resilient Communities
The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Wells Fargo have teamed up in a community capacity and regional adaptations grants program designed to help make communities more resilient to long-term change. The program is geared especially to American Indian/Alaska Native communities and Indigenous peoples, as well as low- and moderate-income communities.

  • Deadline: 11:59 p.m EST Feb. 19, 2019
  • 2019 RFP
Climate change might not slow ocean circulation as much as thought
Science News is reporting that "New findings from an international ocean observing network are calling into question the long-standing idea that global warming might slow down a big chunk of the ocean’s “conveyor belt.” The first 21 months of data from sensors moored across much of the North Atlantic are giving new insight into what controls the strength of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, a system of currents that redistributes heat around much of the Western Hemisphere."

Photo by Carolina Nobre, WHOI Media
Job Opportunities
GCOOS maintains a jobs listing for positions and fellowships in the ocean observing community. Want to advertise a position? Email Laura Caldwell
  • University of Florida
  • The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's Gulf Research Program
  • United States Geological Survey — Mendenhall Research Fellowship Program
  • William & Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Funding Opportunities
GCOOS maintains a listing of funding opportunities. Have an opportunity you'd like to advertise? Email Laura Caldwell


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

Feb. 23-March 4: ASLO 2019 Aquatic Sciences Meeting , PlanetWater, Challenges and Successes, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
19-20: NOAA 2019 Emerging Technologies Workshop , at the NOAA Center for Weather and Climate Prediction (NCWCP) in College Park, Maryland
4: Annual GCOOS Members Meeting , 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Renaissance New Orleans Pere Marquette in downtown New Orleans. All interested participants are welcome to attend, but must register in advance (registration is free and breakfast/lunch are provided).
10-13: GOMA All-Hands Meeting, The Lodge, Gulf State Park, Gulf Shores, Alabama.
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.
Contact Us
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 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? Email Laura Caldwell .

Do you have news about a project? 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 • Akshitha Gurrala , Graduate Research Assistant • Robbie Iles, Graduate Research Assistant
info@gcoos.org 979.847.8879
In Memoriam: Matt Howard, 1952-2018