Last updated: 21 August 2014

January 11, 2006
University of South Alabama
Mobile, Alabama

1. Welcome

The meeting was called to order at 1300 CST by Ann Jochens, GCOOS Regional Coordinator. She welcomed all the parties and attendees to the first annual meeting of the GCOOS-RA Parties. The Board of Directors, Parties, and others in attendance introduced themselves and gave their affiliations and their relationship with the GCOOS-RA. Attendees are given in Appendix 1. The Agenda is given in Appendix 2.

2. Introduction and Purpose of Meeting

Don Roman, Chair of the GCOOS-RA Board of Directors, added his welcome and outlined the purposes of the meeting. The major purposes were to give the Parties an annual review of the status of the GCOOS Regional Association, present an overview of the plans for 2006, and provide the opportunity for discussion of plans and actions to date.

3. Introduction to the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS)

Worth Nowlin presented an overview of the Global Ocean Observing System and the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System to provide all the Parties with a common background on these international and national programs into which the GCOOS-RA fits as a regional program.

The presentations stimulated discussion of the plans GCOOS has for obtaining feedback from users on the end-to-end system, including workshops and inputs from the Stakeholders Council, and on the difficulties that the tight federal budget situation is putting on development of IOOS and associated regional coastal ocean observing systems.

4. Overview of GCOOS Activities to Date

Don Roman presented an overview of the activities of the GCOOS-RA. He reviewed the existing elements, both data and products, that make up the initial building blocks of GCOOS and that are supported by local, state and federal governments, private industry, NGOs, and academia. Activities to date to develop the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System include (1) a series of stakeholder workshops, (2) maintenance of an inventory of existing observing system elements with costs and users, (3) establishment of the Regional Association under a Memorandum of Agreement in January 2005, and (4) the first Board of Directors meeting in August 2005.

5. Overview of GCOOS Plans for 2006

Ann Jochens presented an overview of planned activities for 2006. Actions are planned to strengthen the GCOOS-RA through (1) improvements in the governance structure and business plan, (2) integration of the existing components including establishment of working committees and commencement of contacts with Mexican and Caribbean counterparts, (3) identification of priorities for data and products through focused stakeholder sector workshops, (4) generation of enhancements through identification and implementation of priority pilot projects, (5) initiation of education and outreach activities through the establishment of the Education and Outreach Council, and (6) monitoring the progress of activities and programs through a pilot operations center.

The Parties suggested several ideas for focused stakeholder workshops that were not identified in the presentations. These included workshops focused on sectors associated with beach recreation and tourism. Discussion focused on pilot projects, such as

  1. improving hurricane severity forecasts by including meteorological measurements at additional locations and measuring temperature through the warm surface water and
  2. use of high-frequency radar to monitor surface currents and perhaps the detection of vessels for homeland security and drug interdiction. In consideration of the education and outreach activities, it was suggested that a carefully structured, interactive web page on the Gulf of Mexico could provide a lot of information to the K-12 students in an interesting format. This activity should be considered by the Education and Outreach Council.

6. Other Business Matters

Don Roman announced that the Parties had re-elected the 1-year term Board Members. The newly elected members will begin their new 3-year terms in August 2006. They are:

Private sector representative: Raymond Toll
Governmental representative: Don Roman
Academic representative: Worth Nowlin
Education and Outreach representative: Mike Spranger

There being no other business, Don Roman adjourned the Parties meeting at approximately 1630 CST.

APPENDIX 1: GCOOS Parties Meeting Attendees With Affiliations

(BoD = GCOOS Board of Directors)

Attendee Affiliation GCOOS Relationship
Stephan Howden The University of Southern Mississippi Individual Party; Chair of GCOOS Business Plan Working Group
Gary Jeffress Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Representing Harvey Knull, Party for TAMU-CC
Ann Jochens Texas A&M University Individual Party; GCOOS Regional Coordinator
Steve Lohrenz The University of Southern Mississippi Party for USM
Mark Luther University of South Florida Party for Tampa Bay PORTS; BoD Member
Robert (Buzz) Martin Texas General Land Office (TGLO) Party for TGLO; BoD Member
Steve Morey Florida State University Interested Individual
Worth Nowlin Texas A&M University Invididual Party; BoD Member
Jim O’Brien Florida State University Party for COAPS of FSU
Alfredo Prelat Par Government BoD Member
Don Roman The University of Southern Mississippi Individual Party; Chair of BoD
Mike Spranger Florida Sea Grant Program Party for Florida Sea Grant Program; BoD Member
Sharon Walker The University of Southern Mississippi Party for J. L. Scott Marine Education Center & Aquarium; BoD Member

APPENDIX 2: Annual Meeting of GCOOS Parties Agenda

1300 Welcome, Introduction of Board Members Present (Ann Jochens, GCOOS Regional Coordinator)
1310 Introduction and Purpose of Meeting (Don Roman, Chair, GCOOS Board of Directors)
1330 Introduction to the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) (Worth Nowlin)
Questions and Discussion
1430 Overview of GCOOS Activities to date (Don Roman)
1500 Refreshment Break
1530 Overview of GCOOS Plans for 2006 (Ann Jochens)
Questions and Discussion
1630 Other Business Matters
Announcement of newly elected Board Members (Don Roman)
Status of federal legislature and support (Ray Toll)
Other Business
1700 Adjourn Parties Meeting