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In the early days of ocean observing in the Gulf, many organizations were using instruments to gather data with little ability to share real-time and near real-time information quickly and easily with others. But visionaries recognized the need to develop systems that would allow datasets to be shared quickly and easily — often in automated, machine-to-machine interfaces. They also recognized the need for a centralized organization to house, archive and disseminate the data.

Today, GCOOS coordinates information gathered by partners running nearly 2,000 sensors in the Gulf’s coastal waters to the deep ocean, ensuring that it is timely, reliable, accurate and available to all who need it for no cost.

GCOOS is the only certified, comprehensive data collection and dissemination center for coastal and ocean data in the Gulf and is the regional component of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System.

GCOOS provides numerous benefits to its members and can help you:

  • Disseminate and leverage your monitoring or observing data through the GCOOS data portal;
  • Increase public and professional awareness of your activities and programs and gain broader impacts by sharing your data more widely through targeted outreach and communications support;
  • Network with key experts, decision-makers and other stakeholders;
  • By providing letters of support for proposals.

As a GCOOS Member, you can help guide development of the Gulf’s observing system by:

  • Providing input on the development of needed data products;
  • Voting in the Board of Directors elections;
  • Participating in GCOOS councils, committees and task teams.

Who can join?

Institutions or individuals actively engaged in some aspect of coastal ocean observing in the Gulf of Mexico or using data, products or services from observing system elements in the Gulf.

How much does membership cost?

Organizations: There is no financial obligation for an organization to join GCOOS. The organization is classified as a voting member and appoints an individual to represent its interests.

Individuals: Individuals who provide an annual $200 in-cash or in-kind contribution, or greater, to GCOOS may vote in board elections. (In-kind contributions are classified as meeting or materials support and the like.)

How do I join?

Email Executive Director Dr. Barbara Kirkpatrick, barb.kirkpatrick@gcoos.org. Include a brief statement showing your involvement in the Gulf and providing information on your institution or, for individual members, yourself.