Integrating real-time and near-real-time data streams collected from scientific partners throughout the Gulf of Mexico and providing it in a single, easy-to-navigate website is at the heart of the GCOOS mission. But since its beginning days, GCOOS organizers knew that collecting information was only one piece of developing a robust and interactive coastal ocean observing system. GCOOS has an overarching objective of helping to build resilient ocean literate, climate-literate and energy-literate Gulf communities that truly make use of the data and products developed through a comprehensive and sustained observing system.

GCOOS has been the only regional observing system to provide continuous funding for outreach and education activities since its inception. GCOOS has a staff position dedicated to these activities and has also created an Outreach & Education Council (OEC) comprised of representatives from entities across the Gulf that are involved in ocean-focused educational activities. The Council provides essential guidance for the development of programs and materials designed to address regional needs for education, outreach and public awareness of coastal, ocean, climate and energy issues and helps to foster the understanding of such programs and materials by various user communities. More recently, GCOOS has also committed to supporting public relations and marketing activities to further spread the word about GCOOS, its mission and its public service activities through the media, social media and to targeted audiences.

If you would like to learn more about our Outreach & Education council or become a member of the Council, please contact Dr. Chris Simonello, O&E Manager, at

Goal 1

Expand knowledge of GCOOS and use of its products and tools to new audiences.

Goal 2

Engage new partners and members in GCOOS programs, especially in industry and underserved communities.

Goal 3

Increase knowledge of GCOOS activities, services and benefits to the media, the public,
decision-makers and other targeted audiences throughout the Gulf.

Goal 4

Facilitate and engage citizen science groups throughout the Gulf to enhance data collection, storage and dissemination.

Goal 5

Support the measurement and evaluation of GCOOS activities — from products offered to the success of educational and outreach activities.

Goal 6

Increase knowledge of STEM careers related to ocean observing among K-16 students and provide training opportunities and materials for informal and formal educators.