March/April 2019
Greetings from GCOOS
We wrapped up an excellent annual members' meeting in April, with GCOOS members from all over the Gulf attending to network, share news and listen to updates from our ocean observing community.

Highlights included project updates from GCOOS-funded investigators and members and results from our recent Board elections.
We welcomed several new member organizations ( Gulf Shellfish Institute , RDSEA International Inc ., Perspecta , Ocean Sierra LLC and the FDA Division of Seafood Safety) and new members to our GCOOS Board of Directors. These new or re-elected directors will officially take their seats in the fall: Jan van Smirren, Dr. Pat Hogan, Dr. Stephan D. Howden, Dr. Ruth Perry and Dr. Nan D. Walker.

I’m also pleased to say that we signed an MOU with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance. GCOOS and GOMA have long partnered on projects in the Gulf and this most recent MOU outlines our continued areas of collaboration, including:
  • Developing and supporting Gulf of Mexico regional initiatives;
  • Facilitating educational opportunities that mutually benefit GOMA partners and GCOOS stakeholders;
  • Identifying observations and data products needed from the U.S. coastal estuaries, rivers and the Exclusive Economic Zone (a zone covering 200 miles from the U.S. shoreline;
  • Collaborating on efforts required for observing systems in the Gulf of Mexico;
  • Promoting Gulf-wide information integration and sharing of data and products.

You can read more about our GCOOS meeting here .

Speaking of GOMA, are you attending the upcoming All-Hands meeting? Agendas are now available. If we missed you in NOLA, be sure to stop by our table there.

Until next time,

GCOOS Solicits Applications for First
Howard Scholarship Fund Award
GCOOS is soliciting applications for the first Howard Scholarship award. The awardee will receive registration and travel support (a maximum of $1,500) to give an ocean data-related presentation at either the American Geophysical Union Meeting or 2020 Ocean Sciences Meeting .

Human Health & Safety
GCOOS Executive Director Featured in "Changing Seas"
WPBT2, Miami’s public television station, produces a documentary series focused on our oceans called Changing Seas . The program, now in its 10 th year, is funded in-part by the Batchelor Foundation and focused on ocean explorers and scientists as they uncover new information that could lead to scientific breakthroughs. On April 22, WPBT hosted a special showing of this season’s episode, “Toxic Waters” at the Rosenstiel School in Miami. The episode focuses on toxic algae in Florida — from blue-green blooms to red tides. Following the screening, a panel of scientists featured in the show, including GCOOS’s Barb Kirkpatrick, an expert on human health and HABs, participated in a Q&A with the audience.
  • The episode will air on the Miami station on June 19, then be available online at afterward.
  • Speaking of toxic algae, have you seen NOAA’s story map on red tide? Check it out!
Photo Contest for New GCOOS App
GCOOS is developing an app, "All Things Beaches," which will be a comprehensive source for current conditions at Gulf of Mexico Beaches. It will include beach safety information and other resources to help people enjoy their time at 45 Gulf beaches. Features will include current weather conditions and radar, UV index, recent water quality results and available amenities.

But we need your help! We’re looking for photos of your favorite beaches — and the amenities they have to help us populate the app.
We’re running a contest — with prizes! — for photo entries.
  • Send entries to Chris Simoniello. Please include beach name, address, date (or approximate) when photo was taken.
Healthy Ecosystems & Living Resources
Microplastics in the Environment
Research on microplastics — plastic pieces the size of a pencil eraser or smaller — is an emerging field. Not a lot is known about their impacts yet.

Through Gulf Star, Mississippi State University's Coastal Extension and Research Center developed a Gulf-wide citizen scientist microplastic sampling program. These trained volunteers collect, count, and record microplastics in sediment and water samples across the region. To date, there are 100 sampling sites monitored by 13 different concerned citizen groups contributing to this new research field.
Embracing the Gulf
The GCOOS Outreach and Education team is partnering with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance on a year-long series of events to highlight the value and beauty of the Gulf of Mexico. There are five focus areas of the 2020 Embrace the Gulf campaign: Tourism, Community, Economy, Education and Environment.

The awareness campaign will culminate in a multi-stakeholder, cross-sector celebration of the importance of the Gulf of Mexico throughout the year 2020.
Calling all Paddlers!
Love to kayak or canoe? Have favorite sources for info about trails and conditions? The Paddle the Gulf team is working to identify blueway segments for inclusion in a Gulf-wide website and to identify sites where signage is needed for safe navigation and to educate people about coastal ecosystems.
Coastal Hazards
Dispersants and Oil
A new report looks at the use of dispersants following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. While dispersants have been used in oil spill response for decades, the amount of used in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill response was unprecedented. This stimulated significant interest, debate and research about the fate and effects of dispersants and dispersed oil. The report concludes that, when used appropriately, dispersants can be an effective tool for managing impacts during a major marine oil spill.

Oceanographers from the Dauphin Island Sea Lab used an ROV to measure the impact of oil and dispersants on reef habitats. DISL has been studying the northern Gulf for the last decade, so they have an abundance of data from the pre-spill environment.
Preparing for oil spills in the Eastern Gulf
The Gulf Research Program has been collaborating with the Sea Grant Oil Spill Science Outreach Program to convene a series of regional workshops aimed at improving community preparedness for future oil spills. The next workshops will take place in Mobile and Bayou la Batre, AL, on May 6 & 7.
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.

Marine Operations
Glider Workshop Registration Opens
The 8th EGO Meeting and International Glider Workshop Organizing Committee has opened registration for next meeting and workshop, scheduled for May 21-23 in New Brunswick, NJ. Registration is free and includes three days of conference admission, the conference program and materials, three buffet lunches, and an evening reception with a buffet dinner.

Using Wave Gliders to Measure Sea Surface Height
Researchers from Newcastle University and National Oceanography Centre in the UK have equipped a Wave Glider with a geodetic Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) receiver to overcome the spatial resolution limitations of sea surface height instruments such as tide gauges, satellite altimetry and GNSS buoys.
Long-Term Change
Getting to the Core of Things
A recent episode of Dispatches from the Gulf features a team from the University of South Florida using a multi-corer to obtain deep sediment cores from the Gulf of Mexico. Back in the lab, they analyze the layers of sediment and build a history of the Gulf, with Deepwater Horizon being the latest chapter
Job Opportunities
GCOOS maintains a jobs listing for positions and fellowships in the ocean observing community. Want to advertise a position? Email Laura Caldwell
  • Instructional Assistant Professor — Department of Oceanography, Texas A&M University
  • Environmental Laboratory Assistant — Sitka Tribe of Alaska Environmental Research
  • Cook/Deckhand — University of South Florida
  • 3 positions — New England Aquarium, The Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life
  • Assistant Professor — The University of Southern Mississippi
  • NRC Research Associateship Programs Postdoctoral and Senior Research Awards
  • Simons Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships in Marine Microbial Ecology
  • Mote Marine Laboratory Postdoctoral Fellowship in Ecotoxicology
  • Marine GEO-University of Washington Postdoctoral Fellowship for Salish Sea Research

Funding Opportunities
GCOOS maintains a listing of funding opportunities. Have an opportunity you'd like to advertise? Email Laura Caldwell
  • Sea Grant Announces Funding Opportunity for Highly Migratory Species Research
  • University of Florida Sea Grant (3 opportunities)
  • Texas General Land Office
  • National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
  • National Fish and Wildlife Foundation
  • Gulf of Mexico Alliance

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 979.847.8879
In Memoriam: Matt Howard, 1952-2018