Resources for Ocean Communities

Two of our main committees — the Outreach & Education Council and the Products & Services Advisory Council — are focused on reaching out to stakeholder communities throughout the Gulf and developing the tools they need.

Outreach & Education Council (OEC)

This committee provides guidance and assistance to GCOOS 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 GCOOS and ensures that the Plan is consistent with the current GCOOS Build-out Plan, Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Development Plan and the GCOOS Strategic Plan. 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 includes representatives from formal, non-formal and informal education communities that reside in the Gulf of Mexico region and members are appointed by the GCOOS Board of Directors. At least one member of the Board of Directors serves as a member of the OEC Council and the Chair of the OEC is selected by the Council.

OEC Council Members

Staff Liaison: Dr. Chris Simoniello

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

Products & Services Advisory Council (PSC)

This council ensures that the products and services developed and shared by GCOOS are driven by the needs of end-users. Council members are appointed by the GCOOS Board of Directors and reflect the broad spectrum of users and stakeholders interested in the data and products of ocean observing systems. The council:

  • Identifies potential new audiences for data, products and services;
  • Identifies new products and services, and provide input to improve existing GCOOS data, products and services, necessary to meet the requirements of the GCOOS user community;
  • Assesses the usefulness of products and services to users and the effectiveness of information dissemination and delivery practices to decision makers (this should include advice on needed metrics for evaluation);
  • Makes recommendations to the Board on research or pilot projects that are needed to sustain and enhance the products and services and on projects to transition to operational status;
  • Provides advice as may be requested by the GCOOS Board or other bodies.

The chairperson and other officers, as may be determined to be necessary by the Council members or the Board of Directors, are elected by the Council members. At least one member of the Board of Directors and one member of the Outreach & Education Council shall be appointed by the Board to serve on the Products & Services Advisory Council. The chair and other officers will work with the chairs of the Outreach and Education Council (OEC), Data Management & Communications Committee and Observing Systems Committee (DMAC) to closely link the work of the committees and councils.

PSC Council Members

Staff Liaison: Dr. Shin Kobara

Name Affiliation Sector State
LG Adams Weeks Bay NERR NGO AL
Ken Barbor, Chair University of Southern Mississippi Academic MS
Jorge Brenner The Nature Conservancy NGO TX
Andy Brown CSA International Private FL
Dave Donaldson Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission Regional MS
John Froeschke Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Council Regional FL
Jim Gibeaut, Vice-Chair Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies Academic TX
John Jacob Texas Sea Grant Academic TX
Dean Klevan Guy Harvey Foundation, Board Member Private FL
Jerry Madden Shreveport Sail and Power Squadron Private LA
Herb Malone Gulf Shores-Orange Beach Tourism Private AL
Andrew Reich Florida Department of Health State FL
Greg Steyer USGS Federal LA
Steve Sempier Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium Academic MS
Patrick Wilson Mobile Bay Bar Pilots Association Private AL