Last updated: 18 August 2014

28-29 April 2010, Austin, TX

The Joint Meeting of the GCOOS-RA Data Management and Communications Committee (DMACC) and Product and Services Committee (PSC) was held at the Hampton Inn and Suites Austin-Downtown in Austin, Texas. The attendees and their GCOOS-RA roles are listed in Appendix A. The provisional agenda is given in Appendix B. Sections 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7 provide the report of the joint part of the meeting; Sections 4 and 5 provide the reports on the separate DMACC and PSC Business Sessions, respectively.

Morning, Wednesday, 28 April 2010 – Joint Session of the DMACC and PSC

1.0 Opening of the Meeting

Joe Stinus, Chair of the GCOOS-RA Products and Services Committee (PSC) and Vembu Subramanian, Chair of the GCOOS-RA Data Management and Communication Committee (DMACC), welcomed everyone to the meeting. Stinus noted that it is very valuable to have member representation from the GCOOS-RA DMACC, PSC, Education and Outreach Council, and Board of Directors, as well as the Gulf of Mexico Alliance and the neighboring Regional Association, SECOORA, attend this meeting. It provides a great opportunity to discuss Gulf-wide collaboration projects. The attendees introduced themselves. To begin the meeting, Stinus and Subramanian reviewed the meeting objectives:

  • To provide input and direction on the development of GCOOS-RA data products;
  • To carryout DMACC and PSC business (review members activities related to GCOOS, composition and membership of the committees, and create action plan); and
  • To identify collaborative projects with GCOOS-RA committees/councils, neighboring RAs or other organizations.

The meeting agenda was approved. Stinus and Subramanian expressed their sincere thanks to the GCOOS-RA for financial/travel support and to Susan Martin for logistical support.

2.0 Invited Talks

The following sub-sections provide brief syntheses of the invited talks. The presentation topics and speakers were chosen to provide an overview of each committee’s activities and to improve alignment of DMACC and PSC activities to move GCOOS-RA forward.

2.1 Expected Roles of the Products and Services and the DMAC Committees in advancing the GCOOS-RA

Worth Nowlin, Chair of the GCOOS Board of Directors and Board liaison to the GCOOS PSC, outlined the expected roles of the DMACC and PSC committees in advancing the GCOOS-RA. He mentioned the importance of DMACC and PSC working closely together to foster the development and delivery of good quality products for stakeholders of the GCOOS-RA. He also announced that the GCOOS-RA is reconstituting the Stakeholder Council with emphasis on products and services. Finally, he requested all committee members contribute to developing their respective committee strategic plans, which will become a part of the GCOOS-RA business plan.

2.2 Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System (ICOOS) Act of 2009 (What it means for GCOOS-RA?) and Future Funding Opportunities (FFO)

Sam Walker, IOOS DMAC Steering Team Chair-Elect, joined the meeting via telephone and gave a presentation on the implementation of the ICOOS Act and the upcoming FY11 Federal Funding Opportunity (FFO). The key points of the ICOOS Act that are relevant to the GCOOS-RA are: the implementation of a sound DMAC sub-system, guidelines to certify non-federal assets, and merit-based competitive funding process to support the non-federal partners. The certification process is a shared duty of NOAA and the Interagency Working Group on Ocean Observations (IWGOO), which is comprised of representatives from sixteen federal agencies. Its task is to develop the vision for the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). The certification process targeted to be developed in late spring 2010, but the IWGOO has not yet addressed the topic. IOOS funding for FY10 is expected to be $35M and a sharp decline is anticipated in FY11. The next IOOS proposals from the RAs will be integrated RA-RCOOS proposals that will include support for all the RA sub-systems: RA governance, observations, DMAC, modeling and analysis, and education and outreach. Future proposals will include a set of performance metrics that will be required for reporting projected accomplishments to IOOS and to Congress. Gaps in ocean observing assets will be identified using inventories of existing resources and the priorities of the stakeholder communities.

Certification: Mitch Roffer asked whether there is an existing process to bring in certified non-federal assets. Answer: There is no draft certification process yet. NOAA personnel are currently sorting through legal aspects of the issue. Dwayne Porter noted that certified, non-federal assets should be integrated within an RA and asked what exactly it means to be integrated. Answer: No formal definition is available at present. From the DMAC perspective, "integrated" would be where all information produced is interoperable.

Fiscal: Joe Stinus asked whether there will be funding opportunities for products and services. Answer: The RAs will have flexibility in defining what is proposed and proposals should reflect regional needs. Stinus then asked whether a proposal would be ranked higher if it had a request for assets for development of products and services. Answer: I do not know.

Interagency Development: Worth Nowlin asked if the anticipated financial inputs from other (non-NOAA) federal agencies might mean that the NOAA IOOS office is moving towards shared responsibility with other agencies. Answer: Discussions at the IWGOO level include consideration of whether there should be a national program office or only a NOAA IOOS office. No decision has yet been made.

2.3 Ecowatch Portal and update on activities within NCDDC: Product Generation and Access to Coastal data

Julie Bosch, IOOS Program Manager at the NOAA National Coastal Data Development Center (NCDDC) and a GCOOS DMACC member, gave an overview of the NCDDC’s Ecowatch Portal. She stressed that the Ecowatch is not just a front end portal but a full end-to-end system that provides a central point of access for coastal and oceanographic data and information. Ecowatch is comprised of several services that provide data management functions. The Ecowatch portal and event planning services are designed to support scientists and decision makers by providing different ways to search for, access, and visualize data. Bosch highlighted selected NCDDC products, including workflow processes for end-to-end data management for NOAA’s R/V Okeanos Explore (NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration); OceanNOMADS (ocean modeling data and distribution); data management tools (e.g. MERMAid, metadata transformation service); Phytoplankton Monitoring Network online data submissions by sampling groups and associated validation and display processes; and the interactive mapping, data display and data access for the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.

2.4 SECOORA Data Management and Product Connections and Collaborations

Jeremy Cothran, University of South Carolina and a lead software expert of the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA) Data Management Coordinating Committee, gave an overview of SECOORA’s DMAC activities. He also outlined collaboration opportunities with GCOOS-RA. He described the DMAC capabilities that exist within the SECOORA region and showed the various technologies, data access and data products available through SECOORA.

2.5 Education and Outreach Council update to GCOOS DMACC and PSC

Chris Simoniello, GCOOS-RA Education and Outreach Coordinator, reviewed the activities of the GCOOS-RA Education and Outreach Council (EOC). She highlighted: (1) activities in support of the Gulf of Mexico Large Marine Ecosystem Project, a GEF-funded, UNIDO-led project between the U.S. and Mexico; (2) the joint effort of Ann Jochens, the GCOOS Regional Coordinator, and Simoniello to develop informational flyers in support of informational visits by GCOOS members to Capitol Hill to raise Congressional awareness about IOOS and the GCOOS-RA; and (3) a summary of the joint GCOOS/EPA project to develop five exhibits at Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center-designated facilities. Each exhibit will focus on one of the GOMA Priority Issues: Florida Aquarium (Water Quality), Texas State Aquarium (Ecosystem Integration and Assessment), Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, LA (Habitat Conservation and Restoration), J.L. Scott Marine Education Center, MS (Coastal Community Resilience), and Dauphin Island Estuarium, AL (Nutrients and Nutrient Impacts).

Simoniello also reviewed the new GCOOS process for proposal endorsements, the plans for advance preparation of proposals to facilitate the ability of the RA to be ready to respond to opportunities as they arise, and plans to identify potential non-NOAA sources of funding. A multi-RA proposal was submitted in response to the NOAA RFP for Environmental Literacy for Informal/Nonformal Science Education. Proposed was a project to couple forecast model output with visualizations that could be used by all RAs. If awarded, the grant will go to the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, the recipient of the GCOOS E/O sub-award. Simoniello announced that the next EOC meeting would be held 24-25 June 2010 in Gulfport, MS, and the meeting priority is to develop the content for the GCOOS web pages targeting recreational boaters and fishermen.

2.6 Current Status of Data Portal and Product Development

Matt Howard, GCOOS-RA DMAC Coordinator, gave a talk on the status of the GCOOS awards as related to DMAC activities. The Data Portal project focus has shifted from interoperability issues to incorporating new data sets and producing general and targeted product pages. Howard, Jochens, Kobara and Simoniello surveyed the other RA’s pages and decided to adopt the 3-column look of the CeNCOOS RA for our product pages. This was well received, and the meeting attendees asked that the product pages be promoted to main page status. Future activities include: (1) unify the three segments of the GCOOS web presence (business, portal, and products); (2) work with the EOC on the boating and fishermen product pages; (3) work with modelers for the model resource product pages; and (4) write the GCOOS Data Management Plan. Howard discussed the NOAA IOOS white paper on data management, which will guide our response to the upcoming IOOS FY11 FFO. He also discussed the recent GCOOS participation in two product developer’s workshops, one held by the IOOS DIF and the other by NFRA. He described two community modeling efforts–the RPSEA model competition and the SURA Model Testbed–in which GCOOS is providing model resources.

2.7 Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) Data Management Advisory Committee (DMAC) Activities and Connections with GCOOS DMACC

Melanie Morris, MS Department of Environmental Quality and GOMA DMAC Co-Chair, gave an overviewof the GOMA DMAC activities and the relationship of the GOMA DMAC with the GCOOS-RA DMACC and other committees and councils of the GCOOS-RA. The co-chairs of the GOMA DMAC are Melanie Morris and Jim Gibeaut; other members include one programmatic and one technical person from each of the six PITs, a Federal Facilitator (Julie Bosch), and two special members: Vembu Subramanian (GCOOS DMACC Chair) and Stephen Sempier (MS-AL Sea Grant Consortium). Matt Howard is the technical person for the Water Quality PIT. The mission of the GOMA DMAC is to facilitate the efficient preservation and use of data for promoting the ecological, economic, and public health of the Gulf of Mexico. Morris explained that the GOMA DMAC is charged to coordinate mapping, consolidation, organization and interoperability within the GOMA Priority Issue Teams. She identified the key issues for the GOMA DMAC as being: timely development; resources for development (i.e., funding); how to share data (e.g., tools, databases); where to host data and applications in both the long and short terms; and how to leverage the work of other communities. She also described the National Environmental Information Exchange Network, which is a partnership among States, Territories, Tribes, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the exchange of environmental information (

3.0 Round Table Discussion on Selected Topics

Entraining new data into GCOOS-RA: This was a wide-ranging discussion that began with the topic of the CODAR and HF Radar data products that are being generated for various audiences. There are three HFR data hubs: Rutgers, Scripps and NDBC. The IOOS HFR program is supervised by Jack Harlan of the NOAA IOOS Office. The USM CODAR might be coming back online soon in response to the oil spill. The GCOOS data portal is serving HFR surface current data visually, but has no numbers behind the vectors. Suggestions on how to get the speed and direction data for each vector were discussed.

Dharhas Pothina of the Texas Water Development Board outlined TCOON activities and expressed an interest in collaborating with the GCOOS-RA on data exchange. He mentioned that TWDB was trying to pull in water level and meteorological data using web services from TCOON and TABS. The recommendation was made to pull into the GCOOS the data sets they ingest and make them available through the GCOOS web site. Subramanian brought into the discussion the Water Mark-up Language (Water ML) web services language technology (see that is being used in Texas to facilitate the sharing of water information, including data of groups without resources or money to serve up data. Operational websites are at the Center for Water Resources at the University of Texas ( and the Texas Water Development Board ( The goal behind the Water ML service is to access multiple data interfaces and water data services for Texas. The current activity only enables data download and discovery. Texas has waited for a national standard for serving unstructured grid model data, which Rich Signall of the USGS is working on for NOAA and others, but it has decided to wait no more and to create its own standard in netCDF. Howard recommended that GCOOS link to the bay models.

Julie Bosch (NCDDC/GCOOS DMACC) recommended that considering how to reach out to the huge pool of stakeholders associated with the U.S. Minerals Management Service that might be interested in what GCOOS could offer. These stakeholders might be engaged as data providers or as consumers of data products. A possible activity for the GCOOS DMAC would be to develop the web services and SOS feeds that would make it easy for potential data contributors to participate.

GCOOS-RA Potential Role with NOAA Climate Services Center: The NOAA Climate Services Center is under development. The goal of the Climate Service is to provide a reliable, authoritative, and easily accessible source for NOAA’s climate data, products, and decision support services and to more effectively coordinate with other agencies and partners. The development of this service presents opportunities for GCOOS to link to data and information in new ways. Products and services related to addressing climate change and climate adaptation issues could be developed specifically for the Gulf of Mexico.

IOOS-RA Product Developers Workshop: A NFRA Product Developers Workshop is being held in May 2010. Howard and Subramanian will represent the GCOOS-RA and present the GCOOS-RA data products at that meeting. They will participate in the important discussions on what the RAs are willing to share (e.g., code, tools and products) and how this sharing should be accomplished. The NFRA workshop overlaps in many respects with the IOOS DIF activities. On the DMAC side, the GCOOS-RA capabilities with SOS implementation and SOS parsers, for example, are important to make data available for use in developing products. As do other RAs, the GCOOS-RA fosters the exchange of "under the hood" codes for data discovery, access, and processing. Other RAs are developing interesting web widgets, apps, and capabilities that might be available to be incorporated by GCOOS. On the PSC side, the "eyes on the screen" sharing of visual products is important. There are a number of activities within the Gulf stakeholder communities for which linkages might be of interest. These include a 4-way model comparison for Corpus Christi Bay being done by the Texas Water Development Board and a test bed partnership of FSU with NAVO. It was suggested that a list of GCOOS products that are ready to be shared be prepared and disseminated.

GCOOS-RA Linkages with GOMA: Members of the GCOOS DMACC members (Subramanian and Bosch), GCOOS DMAC Coordinator (Howard), GCOOS Education and Outreach Coordinator (Simoniello), GCOOS Regional Coordinator (Jochens), GCOOS PSC Chair (Stinus) and several GCOOS Board members (e.g., Worth Nowlin) are serving on GOMA Priority Issue Teams, Committees, and Working Groups. This is fostering a cross exchange of common activities and an identification of how resources can be better leveraged.

Afternoon, Wednesday, 28 April 2010 – Separate DMACC and PSC Business Sessions

4.0 DMACC Business Session

Vembu Subramanian (GCOOS DMACC Chair) provided an overview of his report on the DMACC activities at the GCOOS Board of Directors meeting held in March 2010. The report included the composition (membership) of the DMACC; active engagement of members in other, related organizations and meetings; summaries of various projects relevant to the GCOOS-RA including funded projects through the RAs; and the list of committee members who act as liaisons and their associated activities.

The committee review of the member composition of DMACC indicated a need for a satellite expert. Additionally, the private sector representation on the committee should be increased by two to bring the committee into a balance of sectors. The energy sector should be one. However, the DMACC should not have more than 20 members to remain dynamic and productive. There was discussion about having liaisons to the other RAs. The Committee agreed that Subramanian should continue as DMACC Chair for the foreseeable future. Discussion of the need for 24/7 GCOOS operations resulted in the conclusion that this would require more dedicated personnel than can presently be afforded to maintain and monitor the services offered and to respond to events and problems.

4.1 Highlights of Member Activities

  • Jennifer Colee (USACE): Activities are focused on development of a navigation and coastal data bank for bathymetry, LiDAR, and other data useful for coastal navigation. A universal viewer is being developed in conjunction with GOMA; it uses Geoportal (formally GeoPortal toolkit), which is an extension to ArcGIS Server. NCDDC has just purchased it for use as a viewer with EcoWatch.
  • Erik Stabenau (Everglades National Park Service): The NPS has more marine monitoring information in FL Bay that both SFWMD and GCOOS know little about it. NPS also has good information in the Tortugas as well. In addition to adding this information to the GCOOS portal, it also may be good information for SECOORA and Florida’s Coastal and Marine Resources Assessment (CAMRA).
  • Robert Raye (Shell): Shell’s offshore assets and data management tool demo is ADAM (operational web service that integrates disparate data though the use of cloud computing). Uses conversion algorithms for disparate data in order to stack and view. Cothran suggested trying Opendap. The RAs need to continue to create and offer conversion/interoperability tools.
  • Virgil Zetterlind (EarthNC): Activities are focused on Google maps and OpenLayers using OGC tile format. Interested in building an SOS-to-KML capability.
  • Kathleen O’Keife (FWC/FWRI): Discussed the CAMRA and Biological Habitat GIS sites and the need to be able to access WMS and other local feeds. Both GCOOS-RA and SECOORA will provide access to local feeds.
  • James Davis (TCOON) and Lei Hu (Dauphin Island Sea Lab) gave updates on their respective monitoring networks and their activities in ocean observing-related projects.

4.2 IOOS DMAC Update

Samuel Walker, Chair Elect, IOOS DMAC Steering Team, provided an update on the IOOS DMAC activity. The IOOS Regional Data Management Workshop was held 23-24 March 2010. The goals of the workshop were to: (1) Update and inform regional agency partners; (2) Identify challenges to implementation; and (3) Identify and establish realistic expectations. The desired outcomes (in order of priority) are:

  • Registry/catalog viewer
  • Model output data issues
  • Product and tool development
  • Data certification
  • Service type status and evaluations (additional formats or parameters)
  • Data archive implementation
  • External issues of interest
  • DIF project assessment

The IOOS Regional DMAC responsibilities are: implementation (operations and feedback); discovery, access, transfer, and archive; quality control and metadata; help with product and service development; and system design. The roles of the IOOS National DMAC are: guidance and certification; themes of national relevance; national DMAC Steering Team; IOOS Portal (Registry/Viewer); improve discovery, access, transfer, and archive; expose data (via services and information). The primary components of the national DMAC are the registry; harvester; data catalog; viewer; system monitor; National Asset Inventory (will inform asset gaps); and system design. The DMAC Steering Team has been developed to strengthen interagency engagement and integration with other subsystems. The Steering Team will provide technical guidance to the IWGOO, identify projects to undertake, identify potential agency contributions, revisit design issues as necessary, and evaluate the DMAC certification process.

4.3 Prioritization of Activities of the GCOOS DMACC

Summary of the Regional Priorities: There are five priority activities for the GCOOS DMAC effort at present. A brief summary of the discussion of each is given. The regional priorities are:

Data Management Plan (DMP) Highest Priority (HH)
Metadata and Vocabularies High Priority (H)
On-Line Browse Medium Priority (M)
GCOOS Data Portal System Documentation including "How To" and "Why" documentation Medium Priority (M)
Data Archive Medium Priority (M)

Data Archive: Development of a strategy for the archival of GCOOS Regional Data was discussed. NDBC was identified as an organization that can help with near real-time data archive for 45 days. One of the data providers (CORMP program) within SECOORA is sending their near real-time monitoring station data to the NOAA National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC) for archival. Also archived are the USF/IMaRS data at the SECOORA purchased data servers located at the University of South Carolina. Archival of delayed mode data (both the data and associated metadata) is an important RA priority to support product development and provide and deliver products to stakeholders such as GOMA. Howard agreed to contact the local data nodes to identify their archival strategy. It was recommended that a survey form be created and sent to the data nodes to determine parameters, such as data volume, for use in creating a GCOOS strategy for the archiving process. The committee ranked ARCHIVE as Medium (M) priority for the region.

Vocabularies and Metadata: A high priority for the committee was for the GCOOS Data Portal to provide access to vocabularies and metadata at both the data and sensor levels, as well as to the data themselves. The ocean observing community as a whole has discussed vocabularies (standards and conventions used for variable names) and the creation of metadata for the data that are served. If the metadata are already created and available through the data providers, the GCOOS DMAC plan should include provisions to expose those metadata as well as a strategy to create the metadata records using NCDDC help (e.g., MerMAID) if metadata from the data provider are inadequate. Howard, under an NSF project, is working with Sara Haines to update the SECOORA Vocabularies and get them registered at MMI to be used by the ocean observing community. Julie Bosch of NCDDC can be contacted anytime to help with the creation of metadata. The MerMAID tool is in the final stages of completion and will be made available soon. The Committee recommended Metadata and Vocabularies as High Priority (H) for the region.

On-Line Browse: Lei Hu, Dauphin Island Lab and member of GCOOS DMACC, recommended that an on-line browsing capability be available on the GCOOS Data Portal. This tool should let the users know the spatial and temporal coverage of the data being integrated and served via the portal. Howard said this task doable because of the GCOOS Data Portal system architecture. The committee identified this topic as a Medium Priority (M) for the region.

GCOOS Data Portal System Documentation and "How To & Why" documentation: The GCOOS DMACC recommended the preparation of system documentation, as well as "how to" documents. The system documentation for the data portal infrastructure, both hardware and software, is essential. Guidance documents for data providers to contribute data to the GCOOS data portal also are important for the reliable functioning of the data system. The committee ranked this as a Medium Priority (M).

Data Management Plan (DMP): In 2009, the GCOOS-RA Board of Directors requested that the DMACC assist them in the preparation of the GCOOS strategic Data Management Plan over the short and long-terms. This document will be incorporated by reference into the GCOOS-RA business plan. Worth Nowlin, then Chair of the Board of Directors, provided the DMACC with an outline on the sections for the plan and requested comment and input. The committee discussed the strategy to help GCOOS-RA with the creation of the DMP. Most DMACC members are voluntary, with that in mind, the committee has come with a plan to execute this task. For the short-term, the current status of the GCOOS Data Portal can be harvested and assembled with the help of Howard and the portal team. For the long-term aspects of the plan, further, careful thought is needed. Several committee members may be able to help with completion of specific sections for which they have the knowledge. Subramanian will circulate the draft to the committee members by the second week of June. Each member will be requested to identify which, if any, of the sections s/he can help prepare and provide an indication of the possible time commitment they can contribute. The committee has targeted the end of summer 2010 for completion of the DMP. The committee identified this task as the Highest Priority (HH).

5.0 PSC Business Session

5.1 Discussion and committee business

Joe Stinus, Chair GCOOS PSC, made opening remarks and provided an update on the GCOOS-RA Board of Directors March 2010 Meeting. The committee then brainstormed ideas for products and services that are being called for by stakeholders. Public health and safety was a major topic, with discussions on coastal hazards and infrastructure risks, seafood safety, and beach conditions (e.g., consolidate beach cams around the Gulf; but issues of maintenance and complaints when go down). The use of satellite imagery products to demonstrate unusual or interesting phenomena in the Gulf of Mexico (e.g., Loop Current and relation to fish movement; oil spill trajectories; HABSOS website) or an image of the week on GCOOS website were considered useful for outreach and education activities. The committee considered the questions of whether GCOOS is trying to consolidate what’s out there or create brand new things (Steve Morey; use what is available) and where the decision-makers and the general public should go to find tools that will be easy to learn how to use (Mitch Roffer; a website tutorial with an entry level based on the users level of experience and comfort). Stinus suggested that the NOAA Internship program should be pursued as a resource for generating GCOOS products and services.

5.2 One-Pagers and Other Outreach Products

The PSC has undertaken the task of preparing brief, one-page write-ups on topics of interest to the Gulf stakeholder communities. The initial set of four one-pagers covered: Beach Quality, Hurricanes and Observing Systems, Hypoxia in the Northern Gulf of Mexico, and Ocean Models. The committee considered topics for the next four one-pagers to be developed. The following outreach products were identified for development over the coming year.

  1. Aquaculture and/or Seafood Safety (Mitch Roffer suggestion; Andy Reich, Chair of the GCOOS Public Health Task Team, might be a good resource person)
  2. Coastal Hazards (coastal inundation; inundation maps; flood inundation maps; risk assessment; link to CSC risks by county; merge different products; a possible approach is to show how surge can drastically effect infrastructure, making mitigation and recovery very hard)
  3. Sea Level Rise (Jim Gibeaut involved is a SLR model for Galveston Bay; infrastructure tool; platform and applications; tiered system; work with Karl Havens and LaDonn Swann)
  4. Loop Current and fisheries (example from Roffer showing an application of SST satellite data related to fisheries for use on E/O web pages)
  5. Image of the week feature (possibly in Google Earth format)

5.3 PSC Action Items and Action Plan

The Action Plan for the next year consists of five components. These are:

  1. The committee discussed the actions necessary to prepare the Products and Services Strategic Plan, which will be incorporated into the GCOOS-RA Business Plan. First is to generate an outline of the plan and then obtain comments on that outline from stakeholders, the DMACC, and the Board. The committee will look at the DMAC strategic plan outline for possible use as a template. The long-term plan should be relatively stable for 5-10 years. Included will be ideas for the Letter of Intent process that will reflect the GCOOS priorities documents.
  2. The committee discussed the substantial resources and lessons learned within the RA community. These should be drawn upon for the development of GCOOS products and services. A first actions is to determine what, if any, Products and Services documents other RAs have developed. Check with NFRA. Although GCOOS is a rather unique RA because its unique mix of players includes a substantial participation by industry partners, the general philosophy is similar and so there should be an effort to integrate or learn from existing data and product experiences before making our own.
  3. The committee considered the connections between the GCOOS and observing systems to the north (SECOORA) and south (CaRA) and GOMA and Mexico within the Gulf itself. The committee recommends formalizing one or more joint product or service activities with SECOORA, CaRA, GOMA, and/or the GoM-LME Project. This might include rip currents, beach closures, harmful algal blooms, hypoxia, or ecosystem-based management products. The information on the joint meetings that have been held (e.g., GCOOS/SECOORA/GOMA ecosystem modeling workshop, GCOOS/SECOORA/CSC storm surge and inundation workshop, Sea Grant-hosted Florida workshop on rip currents) and the documents that have been prepared (e.g., GCOOS paper on joint projects) should be revisited. A teleconference to discuss specific projects should be held. One major possibility is to have the group consider the best way to store and serve model output. Possibly prepare and offer a primer on how to access archived model output from other sites rather than try to determine what and how to archive. Steve Morey is going to send his HYCOM output to GCOOS to serve. The GCOOS-RA should strive to be at the top of any Google search, e.g., for Gulf currents.
  4. The committee considered conducting research on social marketing tools and how best to use them within the GCOOS products and services activities. These are definite possibilities for applications for boaters and fishermen on mobile devices and smartphones.
  5. The committee recommends the GCOOS Data Portal team and DMAC Committee develop a plan for performance metrics. A way needs to be found to automatically update information on the portal (e.g., for forecast winds) and this should be in the strategic plan to guide development of any products the PSC undertakes.

Morning, Thursday, 29 April 2010 – Joint Session of the DMACC and PSC

6.0 Opening Remarks and Discussion Oil Spill Response

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill event began on 20 April 2010, about a week before this meeting. So, Joe Stinus kicked off the day with a discussion of how GCOOS can help. Matt Howard worked diligently with the developers and quickly spun up a new products page. Non-federal data providers’ real-time data were already being provided in formats immediately useable by the emergency responders. Mitch Roffer, President of Roffer’s Ocean Fishing Forecasting Service, Inc. (ROFFS), also worked to set up his ROFFS Oil Analysis Update, which was then circulated to the IOOS community ( Howard had the ROFFS links placed on the GCOOS web page for oil spill information.

The committee chairs each updated the committees on the committee business and presented the Action Plans. They both emphasized the need for the DMACC and PSC to continue to work together as good quality data are required to make good quality products. Stakeholders should be kept engaged in product development.

The Committees jointly recommended to the GCOOS Board of Directors that all the councils and committees should meet together once every two years in addition to their separate annual meetings.

7.0 Meeting Conclusions

7.1 Invited Speakers

The speakers did an excellent job of informing the committee members and providing program updates. Some of the highlights included:

  • Sam Walker: A National Ocean Policy will be released soon. 70% of the IOOS budget will go toward non-federal activities. The FY11 IOOS FFO will be announced on 1 July.
  • Julie Bosch: New versions of the Ecowatch portal and Mermaid metadata tool are now operational and serving a broader community. NOHARM, a satellite imagery mapping tool used for ecosystem monitoring, was recently released.
  • Jeremy Cothran: SECOORA’s new interactive mapping tool is available at
  • Chris Simoniello: For engaging and effective education and outreach you have to tell a story, such as "Ray in the Bay". Interactive kiosks provide successful opportunities to inform and invest the public.
  • Matt Howard: The new Products page at is a timely product as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill is underway.
  • Melanie Morris: GOMA has selected representitives from each of the Priority Issue Teams (PITs) for the new Data Management Advisory Committee (DMAC). The GOMA DMAC is designed to identify and build enterprise software and management tools in support of the Alliance. Many of the tools could be adopted by or linked to the GCOOS portal.

7.2 Results on the Meeting Objectives

Provide input and direction on the development of GCOOS Data Products: See the results of the P&S breakout session; section 5.0.

Review and update each committee’s business and action plans: See the results of the DMAC (section 4.0) and PSC (section 5.0) business sessions.

Identify collaborative projects with other RAs and agencies: Several options with SECOORA were discussed and will require follow-up to nail down. There was wide agreement that satellite-derived products should be a focus area and expertise within federal agencies (NRL, NESDIS, USGS) and universities (NGI, HRI) should be pursued.

7.3 New Product and Services

See the PSC Action Plan (section 5.0) for a list and description of the new products and services planned.

7.4 Crisis Action Team

Members of the committees had a rare opportunity to brainstorm. They formed a Crisis Action Team to build support capabilities to be hosted on the new GCOOS Products web site in support of the response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Satellite imagery, new displays of modeled currents, and geospatial tracking tools were developed and posted. These efforts expanded the coverage and increased the resolution of the existing products and services.

7.5 Next Meeting

The next meeting is targeted for the 2nd quarter of 2011 to be held, tentatively, at Florida State University.



Appendix A: Attendees of the GCOOS-RA Joint Meeting of the Data Management and Communications and Products and Services Committees
28-29 April 2010, Austin, TX

Attendee Affiliation GCOOS Role 28th 29th
Brenda Babin LSU DMACC √*  
Jennifer Colee USACE, Mobile District DMACC
Jeremy Cothran University of South Carolina SECOORA Rep  
James Davis TAMU – Corpus Christi DMACC  
Felimon Gayanilo RSMAS, University of Miami GCOOS Data Portal √*  
Seneca Holland Harte Research Institute/GOMA EIA PCS Gibeaut Rep  
Matthew Howard TAMU DMACC
Lei Hu Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory DMACC
Buzz Martin TX General Land Office GCOOS Board  
Steve Morey Florida State University PSC
Melanie Morris MS DEQ/GOMA DMAC Invited Speaker
Worth Nowlin TAMU. Retired GCOOS Board
Kathleen O’Keife FL Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission DMACC  
Dwayne Porter NERRS CDMO Office DMACC  
Dharhas Pothina TX Water Development Board Invitee  
Jay Ratcliff New Orleans District, USACE DMACC √*  
Robert Raye Shell DMACC
Mitch Roffer Roffer’s Fishing Service PSC
Chris Simoniello Institute for Marine Mammal Studies E/O Coordinator  
Erik Stabenau Everglades National Park DMACC  
Joe Stinus NOAA NCDDC Chair PSC
Vembu Subramanian USF/COMPS Chair DMACC
Jan van Smirren FUGRO/Geos GCOOS Board
Sam Walker NOAA IOOS Office U.S. IOOS √*  
Virgil Zetterlind EarthNC, Inc. DMACC
* Participated by Telephone



Appendix B: Joint Meeting of the GCOOS DMACC and PSC

Dates/Location: 28-29 April 2010 / Austin, TX
Venue: Hampton Inn and Suites Austin-Downtown, 200 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX 78701
Meeting Rooms: San Jacinto Room and Executive Board Room

Tentative Objectives and Agenda


  • To provide input and direction on the development of GCOOS-RA Data Products
  • To carryout GCOOS DMACC and PSC Committees Business
  • To identify collaborative projects with GCOOS-RA committees/councils and neighboring RAs and other agencies.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010 Joint Committees Morning Session
San Jacinto Room

8:15 Check-in, Coffee, water, and soda
8:30 Welcome, Introductions, Logistics and Adoption of agenda – Joe Stinus, Chair, GCOOS PSC and Vembu Subramanian, Chair, GCOOS DMACC
8:50 Status of the GCOOS-RA and Expectations on the committees function, roles, and responsibilities in moving RA forward – Worth Nowlin, Chair, GCOOS Board of Directors
9:00 Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System Act of 2009 (What it means for GCOOS-RA?) and Future Funding Opportunities (FFO) – Samuel Walker, IOOS DMAC Steering Team Chair-Elect (via telephone)
9:20 Ecowatch Portal and update on activities within NCDDC (Product Generation and Access to Coastal data) – Julie Bosch, IOOS Program Manager, NCDDC
9:40 SECOORA Data Management and Product Connections and Collaborations – Jeremy Cothran – University of South Carolina and SECOORA DMAC
10:00 Education and Outreach Council update to GCOOS DMACC and PSC – Chris Simoniello, GCOOS-RA E&O Coordinator
10:15 BREAK
10:30 Current Status as to Data Portal and Product Development – Matthew Howard, GCOOS-RA DMACC coordinator
10:50 GOMA DMAC activities and Connections with GCOOS DMACC – Melanie Morris, Chair, Data Management Advisory Committee, Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA)
11:10 Discussion Topics: 15 minutes each
¤ Entraining additional Gulf Coastal data (NPS, NERRS, SCCF and others), including remotely Sensed (Satellite and shore based HF Radar) and modeling data types – Guidance Document
¤ GCOOS-RA Potential Role with the proposed NOAA Climate Services Center
¤ RA Product Developers Workshop – GCOOS-RA’s input
¤ GOMA linkages
Note: We will continue any parking lot issues or any other topics on Day 2 Morning (8:30 AM to 10:15 AM)
12:10 LUNCH (Catered)

Wednesday, 28 April 2010 Afternoon Session: DMACC and PSC Committees Business

GCOOS DMACC Session (Room name will be announced at the lunch break)

13:00 Welcome and Opening Remarks (Vembu Subramanian) and BOD meeting Update
13:10 Committee Membership and any other committee issues
13:30 Update (GCOOS DMACC relevant) from DMACC Committee Members
14:00 IOOS DMAC Update (Summary on the recently concluded IOOS-DMAC Workshop) – Samuel Walker, IOOS DMAC Steering Team Chair-Elect (Via Telephone)
14:20 DMAC Discussion Topics
¤ Guidance for Implementation of IOOS DMAC subsystem
¤ Preparation of Data Management Plan (Roles and Responsibilities)
¤ DMACC Action Plan
15:15 BREAK
15:30 Continuation of DMAC Discussion Topics
18:30 Meet for Dinner at the Hotel Lobby

GCOOS PSC Session (Room name will be announced at the lunch break)

13:00 Welcome and Opening Remarks (Joe Stinus) and BOD meeting update
13:30 Brief updates (5 minutes each) of Products & Services activities from committee members
14:00 Committee Membership & admin issues; recent new member applications
14:20 Feedback on Portal "1-Pagers", next steps
15:15 BREAK
15:30 P&S Discussion Topics
¤ Hypoxia Task Force and P&S opportunities.
¤ Sea Level Rise recent conferences; how to engage P&S.
¤ Next 4 "1 Pagers".
¤ NOAA Interns to populate GCOOS Portal; Candidates?
¤ Work with Mexico & Cuba?
¤ Collaborative Projects with other RAs?
18:30 Meet for Dinner at the Hotel Lobby

Thursday, 29 April 2010 Joint Committees Session
San Jacinto Room

8:00 Coffee, Juice
8:30 Review of Day 1 and Committee Chairs Update and Discussion Topics
10:00 BREAK
10:15 Discussion:Action Items, Next Joint Meeting other business items