April 2023
Greetings from GCOOS!

It’s been a busy few weeks of travel here, including visits to Washington, D.C., to talk about GCOOS and our mission and, earlier this month, to Georgia for the Ocean Visions Biennial Summit. During the summit, I had the opportunity to serve as a panelist during the IOOS session titled “The New Blue Economy: How NOAA's Ocean and Coastal Data and Information Support Sustainable Solutions across Sectors,” which focused on NOAA efforts to support its academic and private industry partners in leveraging ocean and coastal data, including advancements in ocean science and technology, policy, governance and applications that support the development of solutions in response to changing ocean conditions.

The session was moderated by Dr. Ralph Rayner, IOOS Industry Liaison, and the other panelists were Dr. Krisa Arzayus, Deputy Director, U.S. IOOS Program Office, and Liesl Hotaling, President of Eidos Education, who also serves on the Marine Technology Society (MTS) Board of Directors as Vice President of Education and Research.
I was pleased to share the role of regional ocean observing associations in maintaining a network of assets and how we build communities around regional-scale observing, science and stakeholder engagement, and how these communities can and do contribute to real-world solutions that address issues like climate change.
Jorge Brenner with Ross Timmerman of the Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System and
Krisa Arzayus, IOOS
I’m looking forward to continue building our communities this Tuesday, April 18, during our Spring Members’ Meeting in Gulfport, Mississippi. We’re looking forward to a great program featuring speakers covering many important Gulf issues, including renewable energy, uncrewed systems and opportunities, IOOS and IOOS Association updates and more. We’ll also learn the results from this year’s Board of Directors election.
Can’t wait to see you there!
News from GCOOS HQ
Help Us Make the Case for Ocean Observations
Each spring, GCOOS and other U.S. ocean observing groups head to “The Hill” where we share news and information about our operations and organizations with members of the House and Senate who represent our regions.

During this year’s visit, Executive Director Dr. Jorge Brenner had the opportunity to talk with representatives from Gulf of Mexico states about current GCOOS projects — including glider and high-frequency radar operations, ocean current data that support the offshore industry and how we’re working to mitigate red tide impacts and share the economic, environmental and human safety benefits that stem from the data we collect and share.

These visits help demonstrate the need for the annual IOOS appropriation request and help lawmakers learn how regional observing networks benefit their constituents.

Did you know that testimonials from data users, providers and community stakeholders are one of the most effective tools we use during these visits to demonstrate the importance of GCOOS data and products? We’d like the opportunity to share your story, too!

Simply write a brief statement about how GCOOS data, products, partnerships, meetings, webinars or any other aspect of our organization makes a positive difference for your research, business or for your community so we can share this information with our Congressional representatives to help show the value of GCOOS.

It’s a Wrap: Spring Webinar Series
GCOOS concluded its Spring Webinar series of weekly talks by investigators funded through our U.S. IOOS® five-year cooperative agreement. The recorded series consists of 17 presentations consolidated in eight videos that can be accessed on the GCOOS YouTube channel or on our website. Topics covered support priorities identified in the GCOOS Strategic Plan: Marine Operations, Coastal Hazards, Healthy Ecosystems & Living Resources, Human Health & Safety, Outreach & Education, Data Management & Cyberinfrastructure, Numerical Modeling & Forecasting, and Monitoring Long-term Environmental Change. Speakers demonstrated how the information they are providing is benefitting people, ecosystems and the economy of the Gulf of Mexico and the nation.

Data Provider Spotlight
GCOOS Expands Conrad Blucher Institute Data on Portal
GCOOS is expanding the data harvested from environmental data collection stations managed by the Conrad Blucher Institute for Surveying and Science (CBI) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Atmospheric and oceanographic data from the newly added stations will soon be reflected on the GCOOS ERDDAP and other data endpoints.

CBI began collecting environmental data in 1989 when it installed a water level measurement system — state of the art for its time — for the City of Corpus Christi. The insight gained through this installation laid the foundation for CBI’s research operations and information technology units to operate the Texas Coastal Ocean Observation Network (TCOON) and today, the institute’s research operations have expanded to include the operation, maintenance, and repair of numerous environmental data collection stations along the entire Gulf Coast for federal, state, and local sponsors.

In addition to measuring water levels, CBI also collects environmental data such as wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, air temperature, water temperature, water current, salinity, pH and dissolved oxygen. Automated systems perform the bulk of the data processing, making it possible to provide environmental information to end-users in near-real time for decision makers who use it to support healthy ecosystems, protect public health, increase maritime safety, inform infrastructure development and more.

With a focused history on coastal applications, CBI has played a vital role in protecting citizens and property along the Gulf Coast since it was formed in 1987. As an inclusive geospatial science research environment, CBI utilizes cutting-edge technologies to map, measure, collect and manage data to predict the physical environment and support decision making. As a leading geospatial resource, CBI is committed to providing reliable data that informs decision making and generates innovative solutions to real-world problems.
Join GCAN Today
Did you know that GCAN members have the opportunity to help identify critical knowledge gaps, regional priorities and information needs to guide research, monitoring, modeling and forecasting for ocean acidification?

Members also collaborate with federal, state, local and industry stakeholders to develop and facilitate best practices, standardization and interoperability of methods and data and have access to the OA Information Exchange, an online community for professionals involved with or interested in the topics of ocean and coastal acidification.

Human Health and Safety
Reeling About Red Tide? Check Out These Reels
GCOOS recently worked with an interdisciplinary international team to create Instagram Reels (short videos) to promote the Red Tide Respiratory Forecast and explain how and why the forecast is produced. The Forecast predicts red tide conditions on individual beaches at three hour increments throughout the day during red tide blooms.

The project was part of #SciCommMake, a program organized by Sigma Xi and the Association of Science Communicators designed to bring together teams of scientists, artists and science communicators to effectively and broadly communicate scientific evidence to the public.

GCOOS Product Developer and Co-Data Manager Bob Currier worked with science communicator Hannah Kania, a Ph.D. student at Duke University, and Dr. Clare Gibson, filmmaker at Allegorical Alchemy, to produce the series, which was presented during the Science Talk Conference in Portland, Oregon earlier this month. The reels received positive feedback and many Twitter shoutouts.

Special thanks to GCOOS Senior Advisor Dr. Barbara Kirkpatrick and HABscope Volunteer Coordinator Grant Craig who provided interviews and other support and, especially to Grant’s daughter Norah Craig and her friend Mia Bretko who had starring roles!

Panel Discussion: Red Tide on the Florida Gulf Coast
Are you on Florida's west coast and interested in learning about red tide causes, mitigation and what the future might hold?

GCOOS Senior Advisor Dr. Barbara Kirkpatrick will be moderating a panel discussion sponsored by the Sarasota Manatee Science & Technology Society, with panelists Charlie Hunsicker, Director of the Manatee County Department of Natural Resources; Sandy Gilbert, Chair and CEO of Solutions to Avoid Red Tide (START) and Dr. David Tomasko, Executive Director of the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program.

  • When: 5-8 p.m. Monday, April 17
  • Where: Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, 201 10th St. W, Bradenton, Florida, 34205
  • Cost: $30members/$40nonmembers includes registration, appetizers and refreshments before the 6 p.m. discussion.
Healthy Ecosystems & Living Resources
Missouri Develops Plan to Address Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia
Missouri is part of a group of 12 states bordering the Mississippi River working together to fight the seasonal dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico. These areas of hypoxia, or low dissolved oxygen, can harm fish and marine life in the Gulf, and are primarily driven by excess nutrient runoff coming down the Mississippi River. Working with its first year of federal funding totaling nearly $1 million, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources will implement five projects under its Gulf Hypoxia Program.

Projects include enhancing nutrient monitoring, testing methods of reducing nutrient loading, developing improved modeling and even public outreach.

New Video: Tracking Fish in the Flower Gardens
National marine sanctuaries protect America's most iconic natural and cultural marine resources. To assess the effectiveness of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS) at protecting habitat for key fish species, scientists are working to better understand how different fishes use these habitats.
Looking for innovative ways to communicate this effort to resource managers and the general public, the researchers have produced a short video describing their plans to track fishes in the northwest Gulf of Mexico. The project is being is led by Texas A&M University and the video was produced by collaborators at Mississippi State University’s Marine Fish Ecology group.
New: Marine Life Page
The U.S. IOOS has a new landing page connecting marine life web pages, portals, use cases and guidelines — which have all been recently updated — into a single reference resource. Users now have a central location where they can find the array of IOOS marine life activities.

  • Click here to explore
Long Term Change
New Book: Laguna Madre
Did you know that the Laguna Madre is the only hypersaline coastal lagoon in North America and one of only five such lagoons worldwide? More than 20 years ago, The Nature Conservancy recognized the need to gather the known information about this rare environment in support of science-based conservation and published the first edition of “The Laguna Madre of Texas and Tamaulipas.” Now, a revised edition with 150 figures and illustrations that takes a broad and comprehensive look at both the Texan and Tamaulipan Laguna Madre is available.

This fully updated and revised edition includes the chapter “The Laguna Madre: A Conservation Framework,” co-authored by GCOOS Executive Director Dr. Jorge Brenner and Dr. James F. Bergan, formerly of The Nature Conservancy and now with Delta Land Services.

“This book shows how the Laguna Madre ecosystem, shared on both sides of the Rio Grande, constitutes an internationally diverse and productive pool of benefits that support many things that we care about — including people’s livelihoods and the resilience of their communities,” Brenner said.

Coastal Hazards
New Hurricane Ian Report
Did you know that we’re less than two months away from the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season?

Time to start thinking about your hurricane preparations — especially in light of the new NOAA/National Hurricane Center report about Hurricane Ian — which caused 150 direct and indirect deaths and, with more than $112 billion in damages, is the costliest hurricane in Florida history and the third-most costly storm in U.S. history.

Partner News
Harte Research Institute
Welcome Aboard: New HRI Director
HRI has named Dr. Greg Stunz as its new Senior Executive Director. Stunz has served as HRI’s Interim Senior Executive Director since November 2022. He joined HRI in September 2007 as one of the founding chairs. In addition to his role as Senior Executive Director, Stunz is HRI’s Chair for Fisheries and Ocean Health, Director of the Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation at HRI and a Texas A&M University System Regents Professor.

Congrats Dr. Stunz!

Center for Ocean Leadership
New Advisory Team
Congratulations to GCOOS Executive Director Dr. Jorge Brenner who was nominated for the Strategic Advisory Committee of the Center for Ocean Leadership (COL), which manages, coordinates, and facilitates ocean research and education programs in ocean exploration, ocean observing, and informal learning. COL has a proven track record of shaping the future of ocean science and technology through discovery, understanding and action.

COL is the home for programs formerly run by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, which was dissolved in September 2022.

Other new advisory members are:
  • Brad Moran, University of Alaska Fairbanks, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences
  • Ellen Martin, University of Florida
  • Jacqueline Dixon, University of South Florida, College of Marine Science
  • Kristin Kleisner, Environmental Defense Fund
  • James Austin, University of Texas, Jackson School of Geosciences
  • Paula Bontempi, University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of Oceanography
  • Rebecca Pearson, Great Lakes Observing System Regional AssociationHeidi Cullen, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
  • Gerhard Kuska, Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Observing System and the IOOS Association
  • Margaret Leinen, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD
Gulf of Mexico Alliance
All Hands Meeting Updates
Have you registered for GOMA’s All Hands Meeting taking place June 26-29 in Austin, Texas? You won’t want to miss this meeting that brings together partners from state and federal agencies, academia, nonprofits and industry to plan projects that implement the Governors’ Action Plan IV.

GOMA recently added three new professional development workshops to the pre-meeting agenda, which are free to those registered to attend the All Hands Meeting. They are:

  • Building Engagement, with Dr. Doug Dierking, Distinguished Senior Lecturer in the Management Department at The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business. Discover practical ways to build networks, foster engagement, and increase commitment among colleagues and partners.
  • Effective Communication, with Dr. Melissa Murphy, founder and chief communication coach of The Pitch Academy who teaches business communication at The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business. Learn to communicate with your team members using clear and memorable messages, build positive work relationships through communication, and handle difficult communication challenges.
  • Making Diversity Work, with Dr. David Harrison, who teaches leadership and organizational behavior at The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business and whose work emphasizes the importance of diversity and interpersonal connections in an organizational context. Learn how differences in personal identities create unique forms of diversity in teams, ways managers can make diversity work, and breakout conversations about specific techniques.

Gulf Research Program
New Oil & Gas Risk Assessment Report
The Gulf Research Program has released a new consensus report “Advancing Understanding of Offshore Oil and Gas Systemic Risk in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.” The report assesses industry and regulatory progress against the reforms that were recommended following the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010 and finds that the offshore oil and gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico has shown considerable improvement in systemic risk management. It also finds that progress has been uneven and critical gaps remain in comprehensively addressing the management of systemic risk offshore.

  • Download a free PDF
Water Institute
Congratulations Dr. Collini!
Congratulations to former GCOOS Board Member, Dr. Renee Collini, on her new position as the first director of the Gulf Center for Equitable Climate Resilience at the Water Institute!

Collini is a former coastal climate resilience specialist with Mississippi State University and Sea Grant. In this newly established role, she draws from on-the-ground experience working in underserved communities and navigating federal, state and local governmental processes and systems to help support effective and equitable climate resilience planning and action in communities across the Gulf Coast.

Way to go!
Early Career Support
New Node for Early Career Professionals
As part of the UN Decade for Ocean Science, there’s a new node designed just for Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOP)!

ECOPs with fewer than 10 years since their professional degree who are interested in ocean solutions, sustainability & resilience and connecting science to society are invited to participate in this new node.

The United Nations proclaimed a Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development from 2021-2030 and the goal of this node is to increase engagement of ECOPs in the UN Decade for Ocean Science, listen to and identify their needs and empower them to become future leaders. Specific community objectives include:

  • Facilitating entry & engagement with the UN Decade of Ocean Science
  • Creating a space of inclusivity
  • Enhancing collaboration & partnerships
  • Fostering an ocean sustainability workforce

Participants will:

  • Have access to the U.S. ECOP slack channel to connect with others to enhance disciplinary and interdisciplinary career paths
  • Participate in social events with other ECOPs
  • Learn about relevant conferences, events, and job opportunities
  • Gain understanding of emerging topics in marine science, policy, and management

To sign up, complete a short survey & then you’ll be given access to the Slack channel.
  • Click here to take the survey now
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
  • The University of Massachusetts Boston: Assistant Professor of Coastal Oceanography
  • The University of Miami (RSMAS): Tenure or Tenure-Track Professor
  • Gulf of Mexico Alliance: Program Coordinator
  • Mote Marine Laboratory: Staff Biologist; Coral Reef Monitoring and Assessment Program, Water Quality/Life Support Systems Technician
  • GOOS Biology: Data Manager
  • Ocean Conservancy: Climate Science Coordinator
  • Ocean Conservancy: Senior Policy Analyst; Renewable Energy
  • USACE Jacksonville District, Engineering Division: Coastal Design Section - Civil Engineer

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

  • 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
20-12: Marine Law Symposium, Roger Williams University of Law, Bristol, RI
22-24: Current-Shelf Interactions Workshop, Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, Georgia
4-9: ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting 2023, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
6-9: Capitol Hill Ocean Week, Washington, DC
21-23: Southwest Florida Watershed Summit, hosted by the Coastal & Heartland National Estuary Partnership (CHNEP). Call for abstracts open through April 14.
16-21: Gordon Research Conference, Chemical Tracers in the Sea, Manchester, New Hampshire
25-28: Oceans Conference and Exposition 2023 Gulf Coast, Mississippi Sound, Mississippi
12-16: CERF 2023 Conference, Portland, Oregon
14-17: 2023 International Ocean Colour Science Meeting, St. Petersburg, Florida
19-22: Gulf of Mexico Conference, Tampa Convention Center, Tampa, 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