Eighteenth Meeting of the GCOOS Regional Association
Members and Board of Directors
17-19 March 2014
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL

The 18th meeting of the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System Regional Association (GCOOS-RA) and the Board of Directors (BoD) was held on 17-19 March 2014 at the Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS) of the Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL. The attendees and their affiliations are listed in Appendix A. The agenda, as adopted, is given in Appendix B.

17 March 2014: Meeting of the GCOOS-RA and Members


Dr. Eric Chassignet, Director of the COAPS, welcomed the GCOOS-RA, Members and Board of Directors to Tallahassee, FL and to the COAPS. He presented a brief summary of seasonal prediction models of FSU’s Climate Institute and citizen scientist work.

Board members, Jan van Smirren, Chair of the BoD, Terry McPherson and Dave Driver were absent during the first day of the meeting because of rain delays in their travels. Worth Nowlin, substituting for van Smirren, welcomed everyone and offered the following remarks:
“I remind you that the spring GCOOS-RA meeting is open to all Corporate Members interested in attending. Thus the first day of the meeting constitutes a brief overview of the RA and a summary of some key activities. The Corporation is seeking a new Executive Director to replace Ann Jochens who is retiring for health reasons. During the past six months Ann Jochens and the staff have been considering changes that might be made to result in a more effective and efficient operation. A major portion of the Board meeting will be devoted to consideration of these recommended changes which include a reorganization of the Office, establishment of committees within the Board, possible changes to the GCOOS-RA advisory groups and the establishment of systematic long range plans. This meeting also will consider activities related to the RESTORE Act and consequences of the DWH oil spill. Also we are privileged to hear a lecture on and participate in a tour of the Florida Emergency Operation Office. Of course, we will have the opportunity to tour the COAPS, our host facility.”

All attendees, including those joining the meeting using WebEx capabilities, introduced themselves. The agenda for the first day of the meeting was accepted.

Background and Overview Presentations

What is the GCOOS-RA?

W. Nowlin gave an overview of GCOOS-RA, including a brief discussion of the Global Ocean Observing System and the U.S. IOOS; a description, history and current status of the GCOOS-RA; and examples of what that organization does.

The U.S. IOOS within the National Ocean Service

Z. Willis gave a presentation updating the connections of the U.S. IOOS within NOAA. She included redefining priorities within NOAA’s National Ocean Service (NOS), the new way of doing business within the NOS, advantages and opportunities for the IOOS within the NOS, and IOOS accomplishments during the past year.

The GCOOS Build-out Plan

S. Watson gave an overview of the updated and new sections of the GCOOS Build-out Plan (BOP). She pointed out that the BOP has benefitted from broad stakeholder inputs. She noted that most sections of the previous version of the BOP have been updated and gave examples. Then she gave examples of new sections to the revised plan, including an Introduction to Observing System Components and especially the new section with cost estimates on Ecosystem Monitoring.

GCOOS Data and Products

M. Howard briefed on GCOOS Data Management. He first described the staff and the relationship to the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative. Then, he reviewed the Data holdings in the GCOOS Data Portal and the types of servers and data services available. He reviewed products now available and examples of those under development. Included also was discussion of the Hypoxia and Nutrient data Portal under development for GOMA, future data from water quality stations, and the GOMA Catalog of Monitoring Programs. He ended with a rather technical discussion of tool development.

GCOOS-RA Outreach and Education—Status and Plans

C. Simoniello gave an update on the Outreach and Education element. She began by listing involvement in meetings and public events, proposals/grants and letters of support prepared, and general activities. Then she described the Citizen Scientist program. In closing she listed seven upcoming activities.

Examples of GCOOS-RA Success Stories

S. Watson presented on nine Success Stories in six categories. Watson began with two successes in the area of outreach and Education: the Eco Hero Game and the Duke Energy Grant. The ongoing Economic Benefits study of Gulf Observing, a need identified by the Board and supported by BEOM and LSU, was mentioned. Then two successes related to HABs, two related to gliders, and two related to oil spills were described.

First GCOOS-RA Award for Innovation

The first such award was presented to Chris Simoniello.

The citation reads:

“In recognition of her innovative concept for the Eco Hero Game, the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System-Regional Association gratefully acknowledges her creative contributions and presents this award to Dr. Chris Simoniello. This is the initial Innovation Award given by the Association.”

Information Management Plans and Resources within the Florida Division of Emergency Management

Richard Butgereit, State Emergency Operations Center, began his invited talk by explaining the Florida State Emergency Management act that created the Division of Emergency Management. This resulted in a State Emergency Management Plan, a State Emergency Response Team, a State Watch Office and a State Emergency Operations Center. The majority of the talk focused on the State Emergency Response Team and Operations Center, including tools and other capabilities used and examples of their use in emergencies.

Questions and Comments from Members and other Guests

Landry Bernard offered Members and other guests the opportunity to comment or ask questions. Charlene Bonahan, Galveston Bay Foundation, expressed thanks for the opportunity to attend and learn more regarding the GCOOS-RA. Monty Graham, University of Southern Mississippi, strongly suggested that GCOOS-RA should push HF radar as the first priority for additional observations in the Gulf. He opined that both the NAS Gulf of Mexico Program and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation should have interests. Nancy Rabalais seconded that suggestion. Stephanie Watson asked Zdenka Willis about plans to incorporate HF radar data into models. The question was asked as to how priorities for ecosystem monitoring were determined. Stephanie Watson responded that they result from existing Gulf observing plans and documents and from the views of more than forty subject matter experts.

During lunch, Lynn Bannister, Director of Outreach for U.S. Senator Bill Nelson (FL), gave a brief presentation of the activities of her office and left copies of a brochure dated March 12, 2014 highlighting some of the recent activities in which Senator Nelson has been involved.

Reports from Regional Subcontractors

Summary of September 2013 Reports

W. Nowlin gave a report from Ann Jochens on five subcontractors who reported to the Board in September of 2013: DISL, LSU, LUMCON, U. So. MS, and FSU. The report focused on leveraging examples, help requested and Jochens’ comments. Although those subcontracts are primarily for data and products supplied on a regular basis, the reports showed that GCOOS was supporting between 12 and 87% of their operation and maintenance costs.

Report from University of South Florida

W. Nowlin presented a report from Mark Luther. Luther, Frank Muller-Karger and Chuanmin Hu provide data from the Coastal Ocean Monitoring and Prediction System for the West Florida Shelf, Tampa Bay PORTS, the Institute of Marine Remote Sensing and the Optical Oceanography Laboratory. These operations are highly leveraged by grants from NASA, NSF, EPA, USF College of Marine Science and SECOORA.

Report from Mote Marine Laboratory on Integration of Water Quality Monitoring Data and Beach Data

B. Kirkpatrick gave this report on activities undertaken as part of the GCOOS integrated water quality project and on provision of data to GCOOS from the Healthy Beaches project.

Report from Mote Marine Laboratory on Optical Phytoplankton Discriminators

Kellie Dixon presented on operation of optical phytoplankton discriminators for detection and identification of HABs and on transfer of data to the GCOOS Data Portal.

Report from Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation

W. Nowlin gave a presentation on behalf of Eric Milbrandt, A.J. Martignette and J. Siwicke. GCOOS has supported 22% of the total operational costs of their River, Estuary, and Coastal Observing Network since 2011.

Reports from GCOOS Groups

Report from GCOOS Modeling Task Team

Pat Hogan gave the presentation from this Team on behalf of the Chair, Cort Cooper. At their initial meeting in February 2013 they formed two sub-teams: one, lead by Paul Montagna, has organized a second GCOOS Ecosystem Modeling workshop to be held in Houston on April 7-9, 2014 and to revise the Ecosystem Modeling Section of the Build-out Plan; the other, lead by Cort Cooper, is to develop a plan for providing expanded access to Gulf of Mexico hydrodynamic model data through GCOOS and to revise the Hydrodynamic Modeling Section of the Build-out Plan.

The Modeling Task Team proposed that GCOOS-RA take on the continued development and use of the DeepC Viewer, developed at COAPS with funding from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative. It is a powerful and user-friendly tool for displaying data and model output.

Report from the DMAC Committee

Matt Howard, GCOOS Data Manager, reported on behalf of this Committee. It was noted that the DMAC Committee was critical in setting up the GCOOS Date Portal. However, at this time there is no defined function for the Committee. It was recommended that the Committee be disbanded with thanks. Future specific needs for advice can be handled by appointing ad hoc advisory teams.

Report from the Membership Committee

Stephanie Watson made this report for Alyssa Dausman, Committee Chair. It was noted that eight new Members to the GCOOS-RA have been recruited. Prepared and approved by the Board are a list of potential new Members to contact as well as a brochure and a ten-minute PPT describing the benefits of membership.

The results of the spring election of Directors were announced. Dave Driver, Pat Roscigno, Nancy Rabalais and Joe Swaykos were re-elected. Steven Buschang and Carol Dorsey were newly elected from the state government sector and Sara Graves was elected from the outreach and education sector.

Report from the Government Relations Task Team

Mike Spranger reported on visits and other activities undertaken by members of this team since the September 2013 RA meeting.

Report from the Gulf Glider Task Team

S. Howden reported on this Team’s activities. They were very helpful in preparing a revised Section 3.5 of the Build-out Plan and in providing information for the Ecosystem Monitoring Section of the Plan. The Team has begun planning for a Gulf Glider Event (name not decided) and asked for assistance from the staff and Outreach and Education Coordinator in preparing for this event. The Board gave conceptual approval for the glider event pending receipt of a full plan and budget. The question was asked whether the event could be shared with SECOORA?

Report from the Observing System Committee

S. Howden gave this report. Committee members worked with Howden to assist in writing or revising seven sections of the Build-out Plan. Howden recommended that the Observing System Committee be disbanded with thanks. Ad hoc advisory teams can be appointed to assist with future revisions of the Build-out Plan as needed. It was also recommended that a High Frequency Radar (HFR) Task Team be appointed to push for build out of the GCOOS HFR network. The Board did not take action on that recommendation at the meeting.

Public Health Task Team

No report was available and this team has been inactive. It was decided to replace Andy Reich by interim chair Barbara Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick and Carol Dorsey will initiate the newly named Public Health and Safety Task Team activities with new foci, including suggestions for observing system activities that help ensure public health.

Collaborations toward a Gulf Observing System

RESTORE and other Post-DWH Activities

Update on GOMURC and RESTORE Act Centers of Excellence

Monty Graham spoke regarding Section 1605, Centers of Excellence, of the RESTORE Act. He noted that the situation remains unclear until the Department of the Treasury promulgates rules. This may occur in April 2014. The GOMURC, being a cooperative of universities among the Gulf States, is a representative of the universities vis-à-vis the Centers of Excellence. GOMURC is not a doer; it is an advocate for doers. Graham noted that GOMURC sponsored a workshop with Gulf Restoration Science coordination Team, with a report forthcoming. GOMURC will have a members meeting at the 2014 Gulf Summit.

Update on NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program

Russ Beard, Acting Director of this Program, reviewed the RESTORE Act programs, legislative requirements, funding and detailed recent actions and plans for Section 1604, the NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program.

Report on Recent Meetings to Discuss a Gulf Observing System

Landry Bernard reported on the GCOOS/GOMA/GOMURC meeting in New Orleans, LA on November 19, 2013 and the GOMA and Ocean Conservancy Logic Model Workshop at Stennis Infinity Center, MS on March 6, 2014. The purpose of the first meeting was to reach agreement on how to proceed with implementing a comprehensive Observing System for the Gulf of Mexico through a collaborative approach. Principal roles of the three attendees were discussed and agreed. A written agreement regarding collaboration was agreed. The purpose of the second meeting was to develop a shared vision for the Gulf of Mexico Observing and Monitoring System. The summary was to continue dialog between the principal parties.

Report on GCOOS Communications Strategy

Stephanie Watson outlined an approach to develop a progressive strategy to improve GCOOS Communications. She suggested remote approaches, face-to-face interactions, and priority audiences. She also solicited story ideas for the GCOOS web site—there is a link for submitting ideas.

Review Status of Action Items from GCOOS-RA Board Meetings in 2013

Jan van Smirren, Chair of the Board, moderated the review of action items from the March and September 2013 meetings of the Board of Directors. These had been updated from email responses on March 11, 2014. These are not included in this meeting report, because those action items remaining from 2013 were incorporated with action items generated at this meeting to form a new list which is included as Appendix C to these minutes.

Next Steps in Build-out Plan Development

Stephanie Watson, Landry Bernard and Worth Nowlin prepared a brief outlining the next steps in completing version 2.0 of the GCOOS Build-out Plan. The Plan is considered to be a work in progress, so that changes will be posted to the GCOOS web site as new steps in its development are completed. The first steps to be completed by June 1, 2014 are: (1) to prepare a short, attractive summary document describing the Build-out Plan and (2) to edit or in come cases write anew missing or deficient elements of the main text. At that time the Plan can be placed on the GCOOS web site.

The second steps, tentatively scheduled for July 1, 2014 completion, are: Find or prepare versions of three missing sections for Appendix E (containing links to detailed descriptions of all observing system elements), complete cost estimates for all elements in Appendix E, and prepare cost estimate for the full observing system as described. The final step to be completed by November 1, 2014 is to update the full descriptions for all sections linked to Appendix E.

Tour of Florida Emergency Operations Center

The Board and other attendees were given an excellent, informative tour of the Florida Emergency Operations Center. It is the nerve center for Florida in times of any disaster. A brief film documented the actions of Florida emergency managers during the time following the DWH oil spill.

Reports from the Directorate

Report from the Executive Director

Ann Jochens, the Executive Director, offered a report on current and future funding and suggested a FY 2014 budget. The topics covered were: GCOOS funding sources, Board priorities for FY2013 funding; tentative FY2014 allocation from NOAA IOOS Office, recommended priorities for FY2014 funding; suggested organization of the GCOOS-RA Office, and suggested FY2014 budget for NOAA award.

The Board thanked the Executive Director for the preparation of this thorough report. They approved the suggested slight reorganization of the GCOOS-RA Office staff and they approved the expenditure plan for 2014. However, they requested that Jochens revise the FY2014 budget into categories more appropriate to the planned expenditure of the monies. In particular, the Board wishes a category for Program Development, a re-titling of Data Management to Data Services and Products, and that all Outreach and Education activities be under that category.

Report from the Associate Executive Director

Landry Bernard, Associate Executive Director, presented the accomplishments of his Stennis Office for the period October 2013 until the Board meeting in March 2014. He listed eight categories in which he has been engaged, including notably: informing RESTORE related entities and Stennis-based agencies regarding GCOOS and its plans/capabilities, attending conferences and workshops and helping to plan meetings, liaison to the BOEM/LSU Study on the Economic Benefit of a Gulf Observing System, and assisting with the revision of the Build-out Plan. He also outlined activities planned for the near term.

Long-range Plans and Strategies

Draft Long-range DMAC Plan

A draft of a Long-range DMAC Plan for GCOOS had been circulated to the staff for comments and to the Board for information. Such a plan is needed to facilitate the orderly development of the data and product component of the GCOOS-RA enterprise. W. Nowlin presented on behalf of Matt Howard, the GCOOS Data Manager, a brief describing the draft plan. This plan first states general goals for the DMAC element of the GCOOS-RA. Included are examples of issues underlying the need for improvement. The remainder of the plan consists of milestones or actions needed to reach these goals. It is expected that the DMAC element will successfully complete these actions within the year indicated for each milestone. These goals and milestones were reviewed briefly. The Board stated its wish for interested Directors to review and comment on the draft.

Draft Long-range Plan for GCOOS Outreach and Education (O/E)

A draft of the Long-range O/E plan had been circulated to the staff for comment and to the Board for information. Chris Simoniello prepared a brief describing the Long-range O/E Plan. The contents follow the same organization as for the Long-range DMAC Plan. The Board stated its wish for interested Directors to review and comment on the draft.

A GCOOS Resource Development Plan

The Board stated its wish to receive in the near future a draft GCOOS Resource Development Plan. Landry Bernard will draft the plan and submit to the Executive Director for initial consideration. The Director will then submit a draft plan for Board consideration.

A Long-range Communications Plan

The Board considered the Communications Strategy presented by Stephanie Watson and agreed that it described a fine approach to improving communications and remedying related short-term problems. However, they are seeking a longer-term plan. The Board asked Stephanie Watson to draft a Long-term Communications Plan along the lines of the Long-term DMAC and O/E Plans That draft should be submitted to the Executive Director who will submit a plan to the Board for approval.

Publicity for the Tenth Anniversary of the GCOOS-RA

It was agreed that this anniversary should be celebrated with a story in GCOOS Newsletter and a banner on the web site.

Brief Summary of Board Decisions made during Last Closed Session

The approved changes to the Corporate Bylaws are given in Appendix D.

The Board agreed to approve the GCOOS Business Model annually at its fall meeting. To prepare for the September 2014 review, staff members are requested to review selected sections and send their suggestions for changes in Track Changes to the appropriate board member. The Board members would then revise their assigned sections and send to the entire Board for comment by the end of July 2014.

The Board voted to eliminate the GCOOS Observing System Committee and the GCOOS DMAC Committee and to change the name of the Public Health Task Team to the Public Health and Safety Task Team. The staff structure proposed by the Executive Director was approved. However, the suggestion by the Executive Director that the Board form several internal committees was rejected; the Board felt that, until such time at which the Corporation is managing the finances for the GCOOS, they can and should oversee corporate matters as a whole or with the Executive Committee.

The Board liaisons to GOMA Priority Issue Teams and to the IOOS Association were approved for the period March 2013 to March 2014; they may be found on the GCOOS web site.

It was decided that the next meeting of the GCOOS-RA will be September 11-12, 2014 at the International Airport Houston.

The last item of business for the Board meeting was a review of action items from this meeting. These are documented in Appendix C.

The Board meeting was adjourned and followed by a brief meeting of the Executive Committee.



Appendix A: Attendees at March 2014 GCOOS-RA Meeting

Attendee Affiliation
Rachel Procaccini U.S. Senator Marco Rubin
Lynn T. Bannister U.S. Senator Bill Nelson
Bill Lingsch Qinetiq-NA
Dave Driver BP
Pat Hogan NRL
Stephan Howden USM (Attended by Webex)
Barbara Kirkpatrick Mote Marine Lab
Gary Kirkpatrick Mote Marine Lab
Terry McPherson The Baldwin Group
Worth Nowlin GCOOS-RA
Nancy Rabalais LUMCON
Michal Spranger Univ. Florida
Jan van Smirren FugroGEOS
Jennifer Wozencraft USACOE
Landry Bernard USM/GCOOS-RA
Matthew Howard TAMU/GCOOS-RA
Chris Simoniello IMMS/GCOOS-RA
Stephanie Watson GCOOS-RA
Chris Verlinde Univ. Florida
Eric Chassignet COAPS
Steve Morey COAPS
Charlene Bonahon Galveston Bay Foundation
Monty Graham USM
Gary Jeffress Blucher Institute/TAMUCC
Chunyan Li LSU
Joe Swaykos NOAA/NDBC
Zdenka Willis NOAA/IOOS Office
Matt Love The Ocean Conservancy
Kris Suchdeve COAPS
Vembu Subramanian SECOORA
Sean Smith COAPS
Richard Butgereit Florida Department of Emergency Management
Kellie Dixon Mote Marine Lab
Steve Wolfe Gulf of Mexico Alliance
Russ Beard NOAA NCDDC and NOAA RESTORE Science Program
?? Wright Florida Department of Public Health



Appendix B: Agenda

March 2014 GCOOS-RA Meeting
March 17-19, 2014
COAPS Facility, FSU

Day 1: March 17
7:30 Check in and coffee
8:00-8:10 Welcome to COAPS (Eric Chassignet)
8:10-8:20 Opening Remarks (Worth Nowlin)
8:20-8:40 Introductions
8:40-8:45 Consideration of agenda
8:45-9:05 What is GCOOS-RA? (Worth Nowlin) Brief history, purpose, structure, stakeholder priorities, etc.
9:05-9:35 Status of the IOOS, including interactions with other agencies (Zdenka Willis)
9:35-10:05 Overview of the GCOOS Build-Out Plan (Stephanie Watson)
10:05-10:20 BREAK
10:20-10:40 GCOOS Data and Products (collection, integration, and delivery) (Matthew Howard)
10:40-10:55 GCOOS Education and Outreach – status and plans (Chris Simoniello)
10:55-11:20 Examples of notable successes, showcasing the Eco Hero game (Chris Simoniello & Stephanie Watson)
11:20-11:50 Information management resources within the Florida State Emergency Response Team (Richard Butgereit)
11:50 Members’ questions and discussion session (Landry Bernard, moderator)
12:15-1:15 LUNCH [Catered, Visitors will have the opportunity to make comments]
1:15-2:00 Reports from regional subcontractors (10 minutes each)
        Summary of September 2013 reports (Worth Nowlin for Ann Jochens)
        Report from Mark Luther, USF
        Report from Barbara Kirkpatrick, Mote Marine Lab
        Report from Kellie Dixon, Mote Marine Lab
        Report from Eric Milbrandt, SCCF (Worth Nowlin for Eric Milbrandt)
Reports from GCOOS Groups
2:00-2:35 Modeling Task Team Report Out (Steve Morey)
2:35-2:45 DMAC Committee (Matthew Howard)
2:45-2:50 Membership Committee (Stephanie Watson for Alyssa Dausman) Report on election of Directors and recruitment information
2:50-3:00 Report from Government Relations Task Team (Michael Spranger)
3:00-3:10 Gulf Glider Task Team (Stephan Howden)
3:10-3:15 Observing System Committee (Stephan Howden)
3:15-3:35 BREAK
Collaborations toward a Gulf Observing System: RESTORE and other Post-DWH Activities
3:35-3:50         Update on GOMURC and MS RESTORE Center of Excellence (Monty Graham)
3:50-4:15         RESTORE Activities – NOAA Activities (Russ Beard)
4:15-4:20         Discussion and agreements
4:20-4:40 Report on November 2013 meeting to discuss Gulf Observing System (Landry Bernard)
4:45-4:55 Report on GCOOS Communications Strategy (Stephanie Watson)
Day 2: March 18
Closed meeting for Board and Staff
8:00 Coffee
8:30-9:30 Review of Action Items from March and September 2013 GCOOS meetings (Jan van Smirren, moderator)
9:30-10:00 Next steps in Build-Out Plan development (Stephanie Watson, Worth Nowlin, Landry Bernard)
10:00-10:15 BREAK
10:15-12:15 Tour of Florida Emergency Operations Center
12:15-1:30 LUNCH [Catered; optional tour of COAPS with Eric Chassignet]
1:30-2:00 Report from the Executive Director, including budgetary issues (Worth Nowlin for Ann Jochens)
2:00-2:30 Report from the Associate Executive Director (Landry Bernard)
2:30-3:30 Discussion of Long-Range planning needs
        Draft long-rang plan for DMAC element
        Draft long-range plan for Education and Outreach element
        Need for resource development plan – Decision on preparers
3:30-4:00 BREAK
4:00-4:10 Approval of a Communication Strategy
4:10-4:20 Consideration of publicity for 10thanniversary of GCOOS-RA
4:20-adjourn Priorities for the Board of Directors–an open discussion
Day 3: March 19
Closed meeting for Board
8:00 Coffee
  Business items for discussion:
        Consider needed changes to the Business Model
        Consider needed changes to the Bylaws
        Discussion of the current and proposed structure of the GCOOS-RA Staff
        Discussion of the efficacy of GCOOS-RA specific groups–approval of needed modifications to groups
        Approve changes to Board liaisons to other groups
        Discussion of possible committees for the Board
        Dates and venues of future meetings
        New Business
        Review action Items from this meeting
Adjourn Board Meeting
Executive Committee Meeting



Appendix C: Action Items from March 2014 GCOOS-RA Meeting
and Remaining Actions from 2013 Meetings


  • Post proposal from GCOOS MTT regarding use of Deep-C viewer on GCOOS web site
  • Howard to evaluate the need for the Deep-C viewer and the cost of maintenance. If deemed worthwhile, Howard should request funding needed.
  • Howard to arrange placement on the GCOOS web site of a notice highlighting the existence of an App for use on small screens (iPads or smart phones) to provide information for recreational boaters/fishers.
  • To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the GCOOS-RA, Simoniello with input from Watson will ensure that a piece is prepared for the GCOOS Newsletter and a banner is added to the web site.
  • Pat Hogan’s modeling work will be showcased on GCOOS web or in Newsletter, focusing on his hindcast successes in 2010 and 2013. After May 5th, may also add information on effective predictions of loop current eddy shedding. Part of RPSEA. Simoniello is working with Hogan on this piece.
  • Howden would like his work highlighted in GCOOS newsletter/banner. Watson is working with him on this activity.
  • Li would like his story and work highlighted in GCOOS newsletter/website (publicize use of data for Grand Isle work). Watson is working on this piece.
  • Watson, working with other GCOOS staff, to develop a brochure articulating the relationship between different Gulf organizations, if possible.
  • Watson to prepare a story on Mexican Associate Members; work with Nancy Rabalais, who commented she would like this to be done.
  • Watson to remind Board members that they should complete an online story submission form with material on themselves or their organizations. Include the link to the site. Board members to complete the story submission.

Build-Out Plan and Follow up

  • Nowlin to ask Al Hart to review the Ecosystem Monitoring section of the BOP.
  • Landry Bernard to contact the Director of the NDBC to discuss suggested parts of the BOP that NDBC might be able to implement.
  • The Board approved in concept a special glider event as described by Howden. Howden to provide the Board with a plan and budget for the event.
  • The following Board members and others agreed to revise detailed sections of the BOP:
    • Howden – Surface Waves and Currents and Aircraft Observations and Unmanned Aerial Systems
    • Howard – DMAC
    • Simoniello – Outreach and Education
    • Howard – Monitoring River Discharge to the Gulf
    • Modeling Task Team – Circulation Modeling
    • Modeling Task Team (Montagna) – Ecosystem Modeling
    • Kirkpatrick – HABIOS
    • Jeffress – Enhanced PORTS and Enhanced Water Level Network
  • Prepare a glossy, high-level summary of the GCOOS BOP to distribute to many entities (IOOS Office, entities dealing with Gulf restoration, federal agencies, via the Government Relations Task Team, etc.). Graham suggested this document emphasize the “sustainable use of the Gulf’s resources.” Watson and Simoniello to assist Nowlin and Kirkpatrick with development of the brochure from the BOP Executive Summary.

New Members

  • Stephanie Watson and Nowlin to select from the rather long list of potential Members a short list of less than a dozen, recommend them to the Executive Director for approval, and (if approved) submit them to the Membership Committee to invite them to join the RA.
  • Rabalais will contact Mexican representatives from LME and Maritime Education and Training Center (CIMAR) to determine their interest in an association with GCOOS-RA.
  • Board members and others should consider using, and circulating to others for use, the 10-minute PowerPoint and membership brochure to recruit new members.


  • Andy Reich was replaced as chair of the Public Health Task Team by interim chair Barbara Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick and Carol Dorsey will initiate Public Health and Safety Task Team activities with new foci, including suggestions for observing system activities that help ensure public health. Nowlin will draft a letter for Ann Jochens to send to Reich thanking him for his service.
  • Nowlin to draft for Jochens to send to members of the DMAC Committee and Observing System Committee a letter stating that those Committees have been dissolved and thanking the members for their service.
  • The PSAC and OEC will be asked to submit annually a list of at least five products useful to stakeholders that can be produced from extant data sets. Nowlin will send the councils guidelines and a list of current products. Feedback regarding products from stakeholder viewpoint will be requested from the councils.
  • Jochens will suggest to the chairs of the OEC and PSAC that they may wish to hold a joint meeting to begin consideration of products needed by stakeholders.
  • Chairs of GCOOS-RA Councils, Committees and Task Teams are requested to submit brief written reports prior to the spring and fall meetings of the Board of Directors. They are requested to attend the fall meetings to deliver the reports in person. Howden will suggest a template for these reports.
  • Membership Committee to develop a procedure to have two people identified to confirm results of elections of Directors—the chair and one other person.

Long-range Plans

  • Stephanie Watson is asked to reorganize the draft “Communication Strategy” along the organizational lines of the draft DMAC Long-range Plan.
  • Board members will review the draft DMAC and Outreach and Education Long-range Plans and send comments by April 15 to Chris Simoniello and Matt Howard with copy to Nowlin. Plans will be revised and submitted for Board approval.
  • Landry Bernard will draft a Long-range development plan and submit to the Executive Director for initial consideration. The Director will then submit a draft plan for Board consideration.

Business Model

  • The Business Model will be approved annually at the fall Board meeting. To prepare for the September 2014 review, staff members are requested to review selected sections and send their suggestions for changes in Track Changes to the appropriate board member. Staff and Board members for each section follow:
    • Section 2–Jochens–van Smirren
    • Section 3–Jochens–Wozencraft
    • Section 4–Jochens–Howden
    • Section 5–Simoniello–Swaykos
    • Section 6–Watson–Rabalais
    • Section 7–Bernard–Driver and McPherson

    The staff suggestions are due by the end of June 2014. The Board responses should be sent to all Board members by the end of July 2014.

Integrated Water Quality Network

  • Simoniello and Watson will create informational products (e.g., brochure, PowerPoint, pilot activities) that highlight the IWQN project.
  • Simoniello will work via the OEC and with Kobara to make linkages with the developing Citizen Scientist portion of the GCOOS website.
  • Howard and others to develop prototypes for sporadically-sampled and historical WQ data. These will be showcased in informational products.


  • Nowlin will send to all Board members the list of 2013-2014 Board liaisons for approval or objection.
  • Nowlin will revise the Process for Selecting new Members of the RA and send to the Board for approval.
  • Based on the activities suggested for Committees of the Board, Nowlin will prepare a list of activities expected to be carried out by the Executive Committee when the Board is not in session. That list will be vetted by the entire Board.
  • Nowlin to send to the Board draft position descriptions for the Data Manager and the Outreach and Education Coordinator.
  • Nowlin to ask Jochens to revise 2014 Budget arrangement:
    • Add a line for Program Development
    • All Outreach and Education activities should be under that category
    • Re-title Data Management to Data Services and Products
  • Jochens will include in subcontracts language that states GCOOS logo/credit will be made visible on their sites.
  • Bernard and/or Rabalais with Howard will schedule to attend a meeting each of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission.
  • To enhance cooperation and collaboration with Centers of Excellence (COEs), at the appropriate time Nowlin will
    • Prepare a new letter to directors of CEOs when their selection is more certain, and
    • Prepare a letter to Russ Beard’s replacement encouraging cooperative effort so no duplication of observing systems in Gulf.
  • The GCOOS-RA fall meeting is set for September 11-12, 2014 in Houston, TX.
  • Nowlin to thank representatives from U.S. Senators Nelson and Rubio for attending the RA meeting on Monday, March 17.



Appendix D: Resolutions Passed at March 2014 Board Meeting
or between September 2013 and March 2014 Board Meetings

  • The name “Education and Outreach” as used in Education and Outreach Coordinator, Education and Outreach Coordinator, or otherwise in GCOOS-RA documents is hereby changed to “Outreach and Education.” Passed by email prior to the March 2014 Board meeting.
  • The Executive Director has the authority of the Board to approve new Members of the Corporation. Passed without exception at the Board meeting.
  • The name of the GCOOS Public Health Task Team is changed to GCOOS Public Health and Safety Task Team. Passed without exception at the Board meeting.
  • The DMAC Committee and the Observing System Committee are dissolved. Passed without exception at the Board meeting.