Last updated: 21 August 2014

26-30 June 2006
Mexico City and Villahermosa, Mexico

On June 26, 2006, Worth Nowlin, Alfredo Prelat, Raymond Toll, and Jan van Smirren traveled to Mexico City for a meeting with Mexican counterparts interested in developing GOOS.

Visit at Center for Atmospheric Sciences, UNAM

We met on June 27 at the Center for Atmospheric Sciences, Mexican National University (UNAM with 100,000 students) with the director of that Center (Dr. Carlos Gay), the directors of the Institute of Marine Sciences and Limnology (Dr. Adolfo Gracia) and the Institute for Geophysics (Dr. Jose F. Valdez), and four other researchers from UNAM. Participants with affiliations are given in Appendix 1. All have interests in developing a consortium called GOOS Mexico (GOOSMX). GOOSMX was initiated in May 2004 with the purpose of developing operational measurements and products needed by Mexican stakeholders. To date GOOSMX includes approximately a dozen research/academic institutions, but intentions are to broaden the group to include private and government institutions. The agenda for our meeting is given in Appendix 2. Worth Nowlin presented the status and plans for GCOOS. A presentation on GOOS Mexico was given by Amparo Martinez and Jorge Zavala.

The ensuing discussion was open and wide-ranging. We encouraged GOOSMX participants to join the GCOOS-RA as Associates by signing the GCOOS Memorandum of Agreement and to attend GCOOS meetings. We strongly suggested that GOOSMX subsystems producing real-time observations offer their data for integration and distribution (by the NOAA National Data Buoy Center) thereby joining GCOOS colleagues and providing evidence of participation in the larger intergovernmental GOOS.

We noted that the U.S. IOOS desires to work with GOOS in Canada and Mexico to form a North American GOOS Regional Alliance to represent our continent at intergovernmental GOOS meetings. It is expected that contacts to effect this Alliance will be made by U.S. federal agencies with governmental counterparts in Mexico and Canada.


On June 27, 2006, Worth Nowlin, Alfredo Prelat, Raymond Toll, and Jan van Smirren traveled to Villahermosa, capital of the State of Tabasco, to participate in meetings with Mexican counterparts interested in becoming Associate members of GCOOS and to participate in and give presentations on GCOOS at a workshop on coastal ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. The University Autonoma Juarez de Tabasco covered the local expenses for Nowlin and Prelat.

Participation in Second Workshop/Symposium on Coastal Ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea

On June 28-30 we participated in most of the activities of this symposium held at the Biological Sciences Division of the Juarez University of Tabasco at the invitation of Dr. Wilfrido Contreras Sanchez, Director of the Division. The agenda for the Symposium is given in Appendix 3. The main symposium goals were to:

  • Define multidisciplinary and inter-institutional research groups based on the identification of research priorities for coastal ecosystems using the research framework developed during the first workshop.
  • Discuss and agree on methodology and technology requirements to consolidate research groups.
  • Integrate and strengthen research and teaching links that derive from inter-institutional and multidisciplinary strategic projects
  • Integration of the Network on Coastal Ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea

We began this participation at a meeting in Dr. Contreras’ office with him, Lic. Manuel D’argence García (Subsecretario de Protección Ambiental y Desarrollo Sustentable, representing Governor Lic. Manuel Andrade Díaz), M.D. Ulises Chávez Vélez (Abogado General de la UJAT, representing the Rector of the University, M.A. Candita V. Gil Jiménez), and Lic. Lilly Gama (a researcher on the Director’s staff). This presented the opportunity to explain more fully our reasons for attending the Symposium and our invitation to the university to join the GCOOS-RA. We scheduled a meeting later in the day to discuss this with the Director.

As seen in the agenda, we gave a major invited presentation on the U.S. IOOS and GCOOS during the morning session on June 29. During the afternoon session on June 29, Alfredo Prelat lead a discussion group, including about eight Mexico participants, with the objective of answering questions regarding GCOOS and our Regional Association. He began with a summary presentation. The ensuing discussion demonstrated real interests in GCOOS and answered many questions. It was agreed that advantages for participants in the GCOOS included:

  • Availability of non-proprietary data and products provided by others
  • Provision of a mechanism for sharing data and products with others
  • Participation in planning new GCOOS observations and products
  • Association with expertise via participation in GCOOS groups

From this workshop a Spanish presentation was prepared for presentation at the conclusion of the Symposium. It is included as Appendix 4. One of the main action items of the discussion group was to recommend that the University became a GCOOS Associate Member.

Meeting with Director of Biological Sciences Division, Juarez University of Tabasco

On the afternoon of June 28, the GCOOS group met with Dr. Wilfrido Miguel Contreras Sanchez, Director of the Division of Biological Sciences, Juarez University of Tabasco, and Lic. Lilly Gama in the Director’s Office to discuss the possibility that the University become an Associate member of the GCOOS-RA. A letter formally offering membership had been sent much earlier. Ms. Gama, who had been asked by the Director to review the Memorandum of Agreement, questioned what it meant to be an Associate member and whether membership dues were required. We explained the former to their satisfaction and informed them that dues would not be necessary. Dr. Contreras indicated that he will recommend that the university join and believed that they will do so. He pointed out that the university president would need to sign the MoA and that it first needed to be reviewed by their attorney. To that end, Contreras plans to have the MoA translated into Spanish. We asked for a copy of the Spanish version and he agreed to provide one. We agreed to add Lilly Gama to the GCOOS list serve so that they will be informed of GCOOS news items. We were then hosted to an excellent lunch at a seafood restaurant.

Visit at Pemex Exploration and Production

On the morning of June 30, 2006, the GCOOS group visited at Pemex Exploration and Production in Villahermosa at the invitation of Dr. Guillermo Perez Cruz, Director of their Deepwater Program. Those present included representatives of the Instituto Mexicano del Petroleo as well as Pemex. A list of attendees with affiliations is given as Appendix 5. The agenda for the meeting is given in Appendix 6. Worth Nowlin gave a presentation on status and plans for GCOOS; Jan van Smirren gave a presentation on the roles of the petroleum industry in GCOOS and reasons for them to join the GCOOS-RA.

Pemex representatives indicated that they are now more interested in becoming an Associate in the GCOOS-RA than they were when GCOOS last visited with them in Mexico City during January 2005. They will review the revised Memorandum of Agreement. We reviewed together advantages to becoming a GCOOS-RA member, and we encouraged Pemex to release real-time physical data via the NOAA National Data Buoy Center. Pemex indicated their intention to initiate measurements to assess deepwater currents in areas where they plan to begin production by 2012. They asked for our suggestions on such measurements, and, after an interesting discussion, they invited GCOOS representatives to attend a deepwater measurement planning meeting to be held in Veracruz in July 2006. We plan to have some experts present.

The meeting served as an excellent introduction to the Pemex deepwater team plans. Hopefully, we were able to explain key activities undertaken and planned by the GCOOS Regional Association. Alfredo Prelat provided to Dr. Guillermo Perez Cruz the contact information for Director Wilfrido Miguel Contreras Sanchez and Director Carlos Gay from UNAM.


Appendix 1. Participants at UNAM meeting (27 June 2006)

Participant Affiliation
Carlos Gay CCA/UNAM
Adolfo Gracia ICML/UNAM
Amparo Martinez CC Atmosfera
Adela Monreal ICML/UNAM
Worth Nowlin Texas A&M University
Alfredo E. Prelat PAR Government
Raulo Salles I. Ingeniería
Ray Toll SAIC
Jose F. Valdes I. Geofisica
Jan van Smirren Fugro GEOS
Jorge Zavala CC Atmosfera


Appendix 2. Agenda

Centro de Ciencias de la Atmósfera
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

9:00–9:15 Introduction (Dr. Gay)
9:15–10:00 Review GOOS Mexico Activities (Jorge Zavala)
10:00–10:15 Introduction GCOOS (Ray Toll, Chair of GCOOS Board of Directors)
10:15–11:00 Review GCOOS Activities (Worth Nowlin)
11:00–11:45 Joint Initiatives, Q&A (All)


Appendix 3. Workshop Symposium Agenda

Workshop Agenda (PDF)


Appendix 4. Mesa de Planeación y Observación

Interés: Estudios regionales incluyendo aspectos transfronterizos, Evaluación de Impacto Ambiental, Ordenamientos Territoriales y Marinos, Monitoreo, Planeación Urbana, Política Ambiental, monitoreo de procesos, instrumentación costera,

Seguimiento por: Luz Borabe


  • Escuchamos la propuesta de Ordenamiento Marino y Costero presentado por SEMARNAT.
  • Se estableció el hecho de que nuestra RED Académica podría servir como una parte principal del Órgano Técnico
    del Ordenamiento del Golfo de México
  •  Escuchamos la propuesta del GCOOS (Gulf of Mexico Ocean Observing System) presentado por Dr. Prelat
  • Consideramos que esta estructura puede ser de utilidad para instrumentar la contraparte mexicana dado que Mexico ya forma parte del GOOS llamado GOOS-MEX.
  • Ventajas de esta asociación

  • Disponibilidad a datos y productos de acceso abierto
  • Acceder a un mecanismo para compartir los datos y productos
  • Participación en la planeación de nuevos datos y productos
  • Asociación con expertos de la red de GCOOS a través de mesas de trabajo y reuniones.

Acciones Futuras

  • Recomendar a la mesa directiva de la red la designación de un interlocutor oficial ante el Órgano Técnico del OGM de la SEMARNAT
  • La UJAT firmará el convenio con GCOOS como miembro asociado
  • Dar seguimiento al desarrollo del GOOS-MEX para fortalecer nuestro vínculo con GCOOS y estimular la participación de nuestros miembros en GCOOS.
  • Difundir y fortalecer la interacción de los miembros de la red
  • Incrementar la membresía de la red
  • Identificar y recomendar a la mesa directiva la participación de expositores magistrales.


Luz Borabe
Carolina Zequeira
John Jacob
Porfirio Álvarez
Dulce M. Infante
Jorge Euan
Ezequiel Cruz B.
Alfredo Prelat
Lilly Gama
Alejandro Ortega
Worth Nowlin
Jan van Smirren
Ray Toll
John Adams

Appendix 5. Participants at Pemex Meeting


Participant Affiliation
Faustino A. Fuentes Pemex
Gerardo Jiménez Pemex
Worth Nowlin Texas A&M University
A. Ortega Osorio Pemex
Guillermo Perez Cruz Pemex
Jorge Pérez Tepir Pemex
Alfredo Prelat PAR Governments
Edgar Salazar Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo
Antonio Sanchez Perez Pemex
Ray Toll SAIC
Jaime Toral Pemex
Oscar Valle Instituto Mexicano del Petróleo
Jan van Smirren Fugro GEOS

Appendix 6. Agenda for Pemex Meeting


Friday, June 30, 2006
Pemex – Villahermosa
9:00–9:15 Introduction to the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (Ray Toll)
9:15–10:00 Review of Current GCOOS Activities (Worth Nowlin – Alfredo Prelat)
10:00–10:35 Industry’s Role in GCOOS: GCOOS and the oil and gas industry,
the outcome of the oil and gas workshop (Jan van Smirren)
10:35–11:00 Q&A
11:00–11:30 Review of Documents (GCOOS Associate Membership)