February 2023
Greetings from GCOOS!

I hope you were able to join the first two webinars in our Spring Series that focuses on the work of our PIs, which began earlier this month. I was pleased to open the series with an overview and update of our five-year funding cycle. Thanks to Dr. Mark Luther, University of South Florida, GCOOS’s Felimon Gayanilo and John J. Langan from Mote Marine Laboratory for sharing information about their work as well. If you missed any webinars, please visit our website, where we’re archiving the recordings. You can also preview the rest of the upcoming webinars in the series and register for those that interest you.
I returned this week from a trip to Stennis Space Center where I had the opportunity to meet in person with GCOOS Board Members and many of our partners and collaborators in the central Gulf, including Dr. William Burnett, Director of NOAA's National Data Buoy Center. It is collaborations and partnerships like these that make our observing system robust and will help us continue to develop it into the future.

Next week, we’ll also be opening nominations for the GCOOS Board of Directors. We’re looking for representatives from the academic, governmental, outreach/education and private sectors to help us chart the course for ocean observing in the Gulf. You can review details here. We hope you’ll consider nominating yourself or a willing colleague to serve.
From left to right: Dr. William Burnett, Director of the NDBC; Katherine Foster, Naval Oceanographic Office; Dr. Jorge Brenner, GCOOS; Dr. Karen Grissom, Director of NDBC Mission Control; and Stephen G. Cucullu, Director of NDBC Operations.
We’re also working to finalize our agenda for the GCOOS Spring Members’ Meeting, scheduled for April 18 in Gulfport, Mississippi. We’ll send out details as soon as they’re ready!

Until next month,
News from GCOOS HQ
Register Now For Our Spring Meeting
  • Click here for details and registration
2023 GCOOS Board Nominations Open Tuesday
Nominations for the GCOOS Board of Directors will open on Tuesday, Feb. 21. GCOOS voting members will be electing six directors who will support ocean observing opportunities across the five Gulf states, along with international efforts throughout the wider Gulf of Mexico. Board members help to steer the GCOOS ship by setting organizational policies and providing direction to the executive director.

  • Learn more about the election and how to make a nomination here
  • Self-nominations are welcome
Spring Webinar Series Under Way
The GCOOS Spring Webinar series featuring our principal investigators kicked off on Feb. 8 and will continue each Wednesday through March. Topics include high frequency radar and gliders, water quality and nutrient sensing, satellite services and more.

DEIA Opportunity
At GCOOS, we're committed to providing inclusive opportunities. Have ideas how we can do better? GCOOS Members are invited to join our new Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) Task Team!

Not a GCOOS Member? Join Today
If your work focuses on any aspect of Gulf of Mexico resources and data please consider becoming an official member of GCOOS. Membership is free and members have opportunities for connecting, collaborating, exposure, organizational recognition and the chance to help guide the ongoing development of the Gulf’s observing system.

More than 100 organizations are already GCOOS members from private, academic, governmental and nongovernmental organizations and institutions that have activities and interests in the Gulf. Check out our full list to see the diversity our member community.

Join us and share your organization’s perspective to help GCOOS identify local and regional Gulf priorities and continue to build a robust Gulf observing system.

Data Spotlight
New Lesson Plans from GCOOS
Are your students interested in animal telemetry and how such data is managed? Thanks to an Earth System Information Partnership (ESIP) “FUNding Friday” award, GCOOS Outreach & Education Manager Dr. Chris Simoniello, and System Architect and co-Data Manager Felimon Gayanilo, worked as part of a team to develop three new lessons for middle and high school students: “Ocean Animals on the Move: Using Technology to Track Marine Life.”

Lesson 1 provides an activity-focused introduction to animal tracking; Lesson 2 is an overview of animal tracking tools, technology and applications; and Lesson 3 walks students through a real-world study on the movement ecology of bull sharks. In addition to the lessons, there’s a beautiful companion poster with a QR code linking to the educational resources.

  • The lessons and poster are free to download and use
  • Download now

The award, designed in-part to foster new partnerships dedicated to good data stewardship, included an eclectic team: artist Lori Anzalone of Anzalone and Avarella Studios, Mitch Rider, Ph.D. candidate in the Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric and Earth Science at the University of Miami, Matthew Biddle, Physical Scientist with IOOS and Chair of the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network Data Management and Cyberinfrastructure Working Group, and Grant Craig, GCOOS HABscope Volunteer Coordinator.
Win friends and influence ocean acidification (monitoring)!
The Gulf of Mexico Coastal Acidification Network (GCAN) and the Southeast Ocean and Coastal Acidification Network (SOCAN) have joined forces to address gaps in ocean acidification monitoring and we need your help to identify coastal acidification areas of concern.

Survey results will inform the Interagency Working Group on Ocean Acidification’s (IWGOA) upcoming call for information on priority monitoring needs. All members and stakeholders with interests in Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina are invited to take the short 10-minute survey — and you don’t need prior knowledge to participate.

  • Survey closes March 31
  • Take the survey now
Marine Operations
Disaster Funding Supplement Supports Gulf Ocean Observing
GCOOS is implementing two new projects this year that were funded through federal disaster relief supplements via IOOS and are designed to improve hurricane intensification forecasting and repair and/or replace observing platforms that were damaged during 2020 or 2021.

Hurricane Intensity Forecasting
This project will support five additional glider missions during each of the next two hurricane seasons to gather temperature and salinity data, which will be fed into the National Glider DAC where it can be accessed by NOAA modelers and forecasters working to improve ocean-atmosphere coupled models for hurricane intensification forecasts. Co-PIs on the project are Texas A&M University (TAMU), the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) and the University of South Florida (USF)

Repair/Replace Infrastructure
Due to storms in 2021 and 2022, observing platforms, sensors and stations along the coasts and offshore in the Gulf of Mexico region were damaged or destroyed — particularly high frequency radar (HFR) and mooring assets. These assets are critical infrastructure to help us gain data about environmental conditions during extreme weather events and as such are on the frontline of storm impacts This supplemental funding will allow for station repair, replacement and reconnection. Co-PIs on the project are Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL), Fugro, Louisiana State University (LSU), TAMU and USM.
UG2 Webinar Recording
In January, glider users and researchers discussed lab infrastructure, tricks and tips they employ, as well as operational challenges and shortcomings during a webinar titled “What’s in My Garage” hosted by the Underwater Glider User Group (UG2). Many IOOS and GCOOS collaborators participated in this event, including Dr. Uchenna Nwankwo, GCOOS Oceanographer at TAMU.

  • If you weren’t able to attend, the recording is now available on YouTube.
  • Interested in looking back at other UG2 webinars or seeing what’s coming up? Click here
UG2 Call for Steering Committee Members
UG2 is now accepting nominations for new Steering Committee members to advocate for UG2 goals and objectives and work toward a successful, thriving glider community. UG2 leadership is committed to ensuring a diverse and inclusive selection process, steering committee membership and community and encourages nominations from a variety of backgrounds, skills and views. Self-nominations are welcome.

New Florida Keys HFR
The University of South Florida College of Marine Science (USF-CMS) has added a new CODAR SeaSonde® HF-Radar (HFR) in Key West’s Smathers Beach Park. Funding was provided by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, & Medicine (NASEM) Gulf Research Program (GRP) and it was added to the IOOS National Network HFRNet server in January. This new Key West HFR site provides overlapping radial coverage with a previously installed NASEM-GRP USF/CMS HFR site in Marathon, Florida, enabling better understanding of the complex and variable surface current outflow characteristics of the Gulf of Mexico Loop Current System through the Straits of Florida, as well as supporting other important uses such as improved boater safety and U.S. Coast Guard Search and Rescue (SAR) operations. Questions? Email Dr. Clifford Merz.
Current-Shelf Interactions Workshop
The Skidaway Institute of Oceanography at the University of Georgia is hosting an international workshop on western boundary current-subtropical Continental Shelf interactions. The goal is to convene a globally diverse group of researchers to discuss the state of knowledge of WBC-STCS ecosystems and to identify strategies for coordinating observational and research objectives to advance understanding of these dynamic regions.

Healthy Ecosystems & Living Resources
Call for Abstracts: Biogeochemical Cycling
The call for abstracts for a special session focused on the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea scheduled during the upcoming ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting June 4-9 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, is now open. The session aims to bring together interested international investigators both to highlight new results from the Gulf and also identify areas of common interest and collaborative opportunities to help inform future planning in GEOTRACES, Ocean, Carbon and Biogeochemistry (OCB), Global Ocean Observing Systems and other relevant national and international programs.

  • Full session details (Page to "Biogeochemical Cycling in the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and Beyond" SS033)
  • Conference details
Revisiting a Coral Die-Off in the Gulf
In 2016, divers in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary found something amiss when they dropped to the East Reef at mooring buoy No. 4: green, hazy water, dead benthic animals, white bacterial mats and dead coral heads.

In 2018, some 40 scientists — including 25 “first responders” — from numerous universities, agencies and disciplines, came together in Galveston, Texas, during a symposium sponsored by the FGBNMS, GCOOS, IOOS, the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (MBON), NOAA Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program and the National Ocean Service to discuss possible causes for this mortality event. (Read more)

Now, Thomas Bright and Stephen Gittings have published a new short article in the Bulletin of Marine Science considering the possibility that the die-off was caused by brine released by a geological fault.

Texas Plastic Pollution Symposium
The University of Texas Marine Science Institute, Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve, Texas Sea Grant, Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program, NOAA Marine Debris Program and Texas Coastal Bend Surfrider Foundation are hosting the 4th Annual Texas Plastic Pollution Symposium. Registration is free and includes venue, food, student stipends, swag and virtual programming access.

Mapping Sea Turtle Genomes
Using genetic samples from NOAA Fisheries’ tissue library, scientists have for the first time sequenced the complete genomes of endangered leatherback and green sea turtles. Their lineages have inhabited the planet for more than 100 million years. The genetic maps published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveal strengths and weaknesses in the species that could help understand their risk from climate change.

Human Health and Safety
NHABON March Webinar
Mark your calendar for the next webinar in the National HAB Observing Network series:

  • When: 3-4 p.m. EST March 15; topic to be announced.
  • Missed a previous webinar? View recordings here
Coastal Hazards
Harmful Algal Bloom ID Course
The Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences Research and Education in Boothbay, Maine, is offering a new course in the taxonomic identification of harmful algae in U.S. waters Aug. 15-27. The course is designed for local, state, tribal, federal and international HAB managers and analysts seeking expert training in HAB identification.

Partner News
Congrats to GOMA!
Have you heard the news? The Gulf of Mexico Alliance has received federal authorization as a regional ocean partnership (ROP). ROPs are organizations voluntarily convened by coastal state governors in collaboration with other governments and stakeholders to address issues of common concern in that region. GOMA is a long-time GCOOS partner and serves as the ROP for the Gulf of Mexico region (Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas).

GOMA Survey
The Gulf of Mexico Alliance is asking for input on a new survey on incentives for marine debris removal. The short survey seeks to help the GOMA Marine Debris Cross-Team Initiative better understand incentives that have been used to encourage marine debris and litter removal.

Alabama Water Institute Symposium
Abstract submissions and registration are now open for the Alabama Water Institute’s next symposium: April 6-7, on campus at The University of Alabama.

The theme is “H2O R20: Water Research to Operations,” and features a student poster session, water career fair, oral presentations, faculty workshops and a keynote address from James Spann, award-winning Alabama broadcast meteorologist.

NSF Offers New Mentor/Mentee Opportunity
Full STEAM Ahead is a new research project funded by NSF’s GEO Opportunities for Leadership in Diversity. Led by Dr. Michelle Dovil of Howard University, the team is seeking mentees and mentors to help implement a model that leverages established geoscience networks to nurture relationships with the next generation of geoscience and social science leaders. The six-month mentoring commitment includes virtual engagement sessions and attendance at a professional development conference in New Orleans planned for late 2023. Applicants must have three to five years of mentorship experience, at least seven years of experience in science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM), and a commitment to mentoring members of traditionally underrepresented communities. Applications for mentees and mentors are being accepted until March 1.

Apply now: GRP Science Policy Fellowships and Education Grants
The Gulf Research Program (GRP) is accepting applications for their Science Policy Fellowship program, which helps scientists hone their skills by putting them to practice for the benefit of Gulf Coast communities and ecosystems. Fellows gain first-hand experience as they spend one year on the staff of federal, state, local, or non-governmental environmental, natural resource, oil and gas, and public health agencies in the Gulf of Mexico region.

The GRP is also offering up to $2 million to support place-based educational activities that increase scientific and environmental literacy and problem-solving skills of youth in the Gulf of Mexico region. Proposals will be accepted from nonprofit, state and local entities that support educational, service, and/or coordination activities for children and youth in the K-8 grade range. Applicants must request at least $75,000 for projects that are up to 30 months long (overhead not to exceed 20%).

  • Application deadline: 5 p.m. ET March 2
  • Details
Just for Students
Oceans 2023 Challenge
The Oceans 2023 Conference and Exposition Gulf Coast is challenging K-5, 6-8, 9-12 & community college students to develop videos highlighting the environmental impact of plastics in their communities. The challenge is for students in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.
Groups or individuals are asked to create a project that brings attention to the problem of plastics in the environment, with an emphasis on oceans and/or the coastal environment, carry out that project, and provide a video that outlines the project and results. The video will be judged by the OCEANS 2023 Outreach Committee Team.

Oceans 2023 is sponsored by the Marine Technology Society and the IEEE Ocean Engineering Society for global maritime professionals to learn, innovate and lead in the protection and utilization of the world’s largest natural resource – oceans.

  • When: Sept. 25-28, Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center
  • Details
Marine Technology Society Opportunities
The Emerging Leaders in Marine Technology Program (EMERGE) is designed to give students and early career professionals (ECOPs) a guided program to enhance their experience at OCEANS conferences. The attendance of students/ECOPs accepted into the EMERGE program will be financially supported by MTS, which can include travel, lodging and meeting registration, depending on the individual needs of the participant.

MTS awards scholarship funding to senior high school, undergraduate and graduate students who are accepted into or enrolled in full-time marine-related programs (with a focus on marine technology, marine engineering, or marine science). This year, MTS is offering scholarships ranging from $1,000-$2,500.

Job Opportunities
GCOOS maintains a jobs listing for positions and fellowships in the ocean observing community. Want to advertise a position? Email Laura Caldwell

  • Texas A&M University: GIS Developer
  • National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration NOS: Deputy Assistant Administrator
  • National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, National Ocean Service: Environmental Specialist
  • Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCOOS): Outreach and Education Coordinator
  • Lynker: Communications Specialist
  • The University of Massachusetts Boston: Assistant Professor of Coastal Oceanography
  • Gulf of Mexico Alliance: Program Coordinator
  • Mote Marine Laboratory: Postdoctoral Fellowship in Ray Biology and Conservation Research, Maintenance Technician, Life Support Systems Operator
  • GOOS Biology: Data Manager

Postdoctoral Positions:
  • National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration: National Centers for Coastal Ocean Sciences, NRC Research Programs
  • National Research Council: Research Associateship Programs Postdoctoral and Senior Research Awards
  • Rosenstiel School's Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Sciences: Postdoctoral Associate

  • NMFS-Sea Grant Joint Fellowship Program
  • National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration - Coastal Management Fellowship
  • National Academies of Science, Engineering and Mathematics: Early Career Fellowships
  • Department of Defense: Visualization of Coastal Data, Coastal Vulnerability Assessment Fellow
Funding Opportunities
GCOOS maintains a listing of funding opportunities. Have an opportunity you'd like to advertise? Email Laura Caldwell

  • National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration: Infrastructure and Jobs Investment Act
  • National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration: Translating Coastal Research into Application
  • Gulf Research Program: Safer Offshore Energy Systems Grants
  • Gulf of Mexico Alliance
  • Restore America's Estuaries: 2023 NEP Watershed Grants RFP
  • Restore America's Estuaries: Tampa Bay Environmental Restoration Fund
  • Texas Sea Grant Request for Proposals: 2024-2026
  • Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Request for Proposals: 2024-2025
4-6: Ocean Visions Biennial Summit 2023, Atlanta, Georgia
22-24: Current-Shelf Interactions Workshop, Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, Georgia
4-9: ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting 2023, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
16-21: Gordon Research Conference, Chemical Tracers in the Sea, Manchester, New Hampshire
21-23: Euro-Global Climate Change Conference, Hybrid, Valencia, Spain
25-28: Oceans Conference and Exposition 2023 Gulf Coast, Mississippi Sound, Mississippi
14-17: 2023 International Ocean Colour Science Meeting, St. Petersburg, Florida
Have meeting or workshop info you want to share? Email Laura Caldwell.
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 on-demand information about the Gulf’s coastal and open ocean waters that is accurate, reliable and benefits people, ecosystems and the economy.
Dr. Jorge Brenner, Executive Director • Dr. Barbara Kirkpatrick, Senior Advisor  Bill Lingsch, Underwater Glider User Group Coordinator  Dr. Chris Simoniello, Outreach & Education Manager  Felimon Gayanilo, Systems Architect, Co-Data Manager • Bob Currier, Product Developer, Co-Data Manager • Dr. Uchenna Nwankwo, Oceanographer  Marion Stoessel, Senior Research Associate • Tuomo Saari, Scientific Computing Specialist • Jennifer Vreeland-Dawson, Research Associate, GCAN Coordinator • Grant Craig, Program & Volunteer Coordinator • Laura Caldwell, Program Assistant • Nadine Slimak, Public Relations & Content Marketing, Vetted Communications, LLC
In Memoriam: Matt Howard, 1952-2018