Last updated: 12 November 2015

Terms of Reference

The GCOOS Outreach and Education Council (OEC) is the primary body to provide guidance and assistance to the GCOOS Regional Association in matters of education, outreach and public awareness. The OEC plays the lead role in developing, implementing and evaluating the Outreach and Education Plan for the GCOOS Regional Association. The OEC ensures that the Plan is consistent with the current GCOOS Build-out Plan, Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Development Plan and the GCOOS-RA Business Model. The OEC collectively is expected to be familiar with the GCOOS functions and operations, ocean science education standards, outreach and education pedagogy and evaluation techniques, and constituency building techniques among diverse audiences in the Gulf of Mexico. OEC membership will include representatives from formal, non-formal and informal education communities that reside in the Gulf of Mexico region. The members will be appointed by the GCOOS-RA Board of Directors. At least one member of the Board of Directors shall serve as a member of the OEC Council. The Chair of the OEC will be selected by the Council.

Council Members

Member Affiliation

Representatives from Florida

Charlene Mauro (Co-Chair) Navarre High School
Mike Spranger Universtiy of Florida Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences
Debbi Stone The Florida Aquarium
Chris Verlinde (Co-Chair) University of Florida

Representatives from Alabama

Sara Graves University of Alabama Huntsville
Lloyd Scott Retired, Mobile County Public School System
Margaret Sedlecky Weeks Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Lee Yokel Gulf of Mexico Alliance

Representatives from Mississippi

Jessica Kastler University of Southern Mississippi
Carol Lutken University of Mississippi
Angela Sallis NCEI (NOAA’s National Center for Env Info)
Joe Swaykos NOAA National Data Buoy Center
Ann Weaver NOAA Gulf Coast Services Center

Representatives from Louisiana

Tricia LeBlanc Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
Dianne Lindstedt Louisiana Sea Grant College Program
Jean May-Brett Louisiana Department of Education
Dinah Maygarden University of New Orleans

Representatives from Texas

Sarah Gossett Galveston Bay Foundation
John O’Connell (Past-Chair) Texas Sea Grant College Program
Rob Smith Woods Hole Group, Inc.
Pamela Terasaki Claughton Middle School (Spring ISD)


Rusty Low Institute for Global Environmental Strategies

Board Liaison:

Mike Spranger

Meetings & Reports

The first meeting of the Education & Outreach Council was held April 24-25, 2006, in Biloxi, MS. The meeting report is available.
The second meeting was held June 18, 2007, in Spanish Fort, AL. The meeting report is available.
The third meeting was held June 5-6, 2008, in Pensacola, FL. The meeting report is available.
The fourth annal meeting was held August 6-7, 2009, in Mobile, AL. The meeting report is available.
The fifth annual meeting was held June 24-25, 2010, in Gulfport, MS. The meeting report is available.

Action Plan for 2008

Previous Action Plan