Last updated: 21 August 2014

Annual Meeting of the Parties (2 March 2011)
and 12th Meeting of the Board of Directors (2-3 March 2011)
Houston, TX

The 6th Annual Meeting of the Parties and the 12th Meeting of the Board of Directors (BoD) of the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) Regional Association (GCOOS-RA) was held on 2-3 March 2011 in Houston, TX. The attendees and their GCOOS-RA roles are listed in Appendix A. The provisional agenda is given in Appendix B.

March 2: Annual Meeting of the Parties and Board of Directors

Terry McPherson, Chair, GCOOS-RA BoD, welcomed everyone to the meeting. He summarized the keys to GCOOS success: constituent support and demonstrated return on investment. The GCOOS-RA has strong stakeholder engagement, but insufficient funding to build the GCOOS itself.

Worth Nowlin, Past Chair, gave a brief overview of the status of funding for the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), lead by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). To date, the only funding for the GCOOS from IOOS has been for planning and data portal activities, not for filling measurement gaps or even sustaining the existing system. There ensued a discussion about how the success and the value of the IOOS enterprise are measured.

The NOAA IOOS Office is working to develop specific performance metrics to measure success. For example, a pilot project in the mid-Atlantic showed High Frequency Radar (HFR) operations can reduce the U.S. Coast Guard’s search radius by 2/3. With this metric received positively in the federal budgetary process, the IOOS Office is now working to expand the surface radar network nationally. The value of the IOOS enterprise in dollars has been based on the economic studies by Kite-Powell, Colgan, and others; these need updating.

Election for Board of Directors
Worth Nowlin gave the report on the election on behalf of Landry Bernard, Chair, Membership Committee. A new, electronic voting system was used. It developed problems, so the election was postponed. After the problem is fixed, the vote will be held.

Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Research and Restoration
Michael Carron, Executive Director of the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GRI), gave an overview of the GRI and the status of the BP research funding. BP committed $500M, level loaded over a period of ten years, for independent scientific research at academic institutions primarily in the US Gulf Coast states. The purpose is for sampling, modeling, and studies, not acquisition of infrastructure. All data sets, except BP proprietary information, will be made public and included in national data base. The GCOOS-RA likely will be involved with data management.

U.S. IOOS: Certification Process, Gap Analysis, Independent Cost Analysis
Dave Easter, NOAA IOOS Office, provided an update on the status of U.S. IOOS. He focused on the major activities of the NOAA IOOS Office pertaining to requirements on the Integrated Coastal Ocean Observing System (ICOOS) Act of 2009: certification of the Regional Information Coordination Entities (RICEs), independent cost estimate, and gap analysis.

Integration of Federal Measurements into the GCOOS
Ann Jochens, GCOOS Regional Coordinator, stated that data from federal agencies needed to be integrated into the GCOOS data portal. Although this effort is proceeding most noticeably with NOAA National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) data, the GCOOS-RA needs a focused interaction with our federal agency partners to ensure that integration occurs. This will be the topic of a future board meeting.

GOMA Coastal Pathogens Risk Assessment Workshop Results
Andy Reich, FL Department of Health and Chair of the GCOOS Public Health Task Team, reported on the results of the GOMA Coastal Pathogens Risk Assessment Workshop held on 13-15 October 2010 at the Keating Center, Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, FL. He attended the workshop on behalf of the GCOOS-RA.

Update on Mexico
Porfirio Alvarez Torres, Director of the Mexico-U.S. Gulf of Mexico Large Marine Ecosystem Project, provided an update on the advances of the project components: Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis, Strategic Action Programme, Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation, and Pilot Projects. The project has a new website with many of the completed reports and other information. The URL is He reviewed the activities of the project as related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and an effort to establish a joint plan and observing system associated monitoring impacts of that spill.

Discussion on Issues of the Parties
Jochens reported that no issues were raised by the Parties prior to the meeting. She then called for any questions or discussion. It was suggested that the Board should consider whether the GCOOS-RA should develop a public support website.

Reports of the Council and Committee Chairs
Jochens reported that the Stakeholder Council and the Products and Services Committee currently are not active. The Membership Committee is focused on the election of new members of the Board of Directors. John O’Connell reported that the Education and Outreach Council has pursued a number of activities, including planning of a video, which highlights the benefits of GCOOS for the Gulf of Mexico region, for use in the Smithsonian’s Sant Ocean Hall, Ocean Today Kiosk. The Kiosk displays 2-3 minute videos focused on various aspects of ocean science. One idea is to show what is lost in weather and ocean forecasts if our observing capacity diminishes. Vembu Subramanian, Chair, summarized issues addressed in his extensive written report on the activities of the DMAC Committee. Stephan Howden, Chair, reported that the Observing System Committee has been relatively inactive because of the lack of funding for an observing system in the Gulf of Mexico. Andy Reich, Chair of the Public Health Task Team, reported that it is still difficult to engage the public health community in GCOOS because of two issues caused by the lack of funding. First, faced with funding cuts, people are going back to the core issues of traditional public health work, so there is not much innovative opportunity. Second, the GCOOS-RA has not yet developed anything specific to offer. See Appendix C for additional information.

Introduction to the GCOOS Plan
Jochens provided the background on the development of the plans for a sustained, operational system for the Gulf of Mexico. A summary of the process to develop the plan is given in Appendix D. Each of the 19 plan elements was discussed. A brief summary of the discussion and any presentation are given in the table below.

GCOOS Plan Element Reporter Status and Discussion
Surface Currents and Waves Network Stephan Howden The HFR plan is based on the spatial-temporal requirements put forth in the IOOS National Surface Current Plan (5 km spatially and 1 h temporally with an accuracy of 10 cm/s). A major issue, not adequately addressed in the plan, is that there is substantially more low-lying coast when compared to other regions, making site selection more difficult and installation more costly.
Harmful Algal Bloom Integrated Observing System Barb Kirkpatrick The HABs plan still needs information on the costs of existing programs, ship time, and information processing. The synergies of this plan with other elements (e.g., multi-purpose moorings and AUV tracks) will need to be identified and incorporated.
Hypoxia Monitoring Element Nancy Rabalais The plan is based on the draft Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Monitoring Implementation Plan (HMIP) associated with the NOAA-sponsored research on the Dead Zone. The only other program to make measurements useful for monitoring hypoxia is the SEAMAP program, and it samples are taken over 4-6 weeks during which time the conditions can change substantially. It was suggested that the full research plan (HMIP) be scaled back to just operational needs in the GCOOS plan.
The GCOOS Mooring Plan Jan van Smirren The plan is based on monitoring the various depth regimes in the Gulf (deepwater, shelf edge, inner & outer shelf, estuaries, waterways. The need for long-term time series at specific locations (e.g., for climate issues) means that the moored system cannot be replaced by a fleet of AUVs.
Physical Modeling Element Cort Cooper The focus of this element is on an operational modeling system for the Gulf-wide circulation. Other, nested models can use the output from this model as boundary conditions.
Data Management Element Worth Nowlin The draft plan is written and has been reviewed by the DMACC Chair (Subramanian) and the DMAC Coordinator (Howard). The plan addresses the components of the report Guidance for Implementation of the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) Data Management and Communications (DMAC) Subsystem by the NOAA IOOS Office. Lacking are the costs to identify and develop the legacy data sets. We have a good handle on the physical data sets, but not on other types, especially the ecosystem data.
Ecosystem Modeling Element Ann Jochens Progress is slow. The results of the Ecosystem Modeling Workshop are being reviewed to determine priorities.
Glider Element Stephan Howden The plan is drafted. Three parts are contemplated: routine coastal tracks, Loop Current monitoring tracks, and special monitoring events, such as HABs, hypoxia, or pollutant spills.
Beach Quality Monitoring Element Barb Kirkpatrick This element is based on the concept of using trained, voluntary human sentinels to provide routine information on beaches.
Ecosystem Parameter Monitoring Element Ann Jochens for
Alexis Lugo-Fernandez
This element is extremely broad. The plan is highly dependent on specific goals to be achieved. A monitoring plan is designed to address one or more of following purposes:
1) describe the status and trends of ambient conditions;
2) detect and characterize existing and emerging issues;
3) design environmental management actions;
4) assess effectiveness of regulatory and remedial actions; and
5) evaluate the status and threats during emergency situations.
A single plan cannot respond/address all the above purposes, so guidance is needed on which purposes the GCOOS plan will address.
Satellite Observations and Products Alfredo Prelat The draft document is well along. It covers a suite of satellite-based parameters that address science issues and applications in: ocean coastal water quality; ocean physics; meteorology; coastal air quality; coastal land use; and episodic events and hazards. It includes information on products currently being produced and served to GCOOS by various stakeholders (academia, NOAA, private entities); products that can be developed and served to GCOOS with some effort; Products that are possible, but would require substantial effort to develop; and products that do not need to be updated frequently.
Bathymetry-Topography Jennifer Wozencraft The plan is based on the Gulf of Mexico Master Mapping Plan being developed by the Gulf of Mexico Alliance in coordination with the Interagency Working Group on Ocean and Coastal Mapping.
Autonomous Meteorological Measurement Element Jan van Smirren The plan for this element would add turn-key, self-contained, autonomous, accurate real-time weather monitoring systems to 6-10 carefully selected offshore platforms.
River Discharge to the Gulf Ann Jochens The original element was monitoring the effects of the Mississippi-Atchafalaya River System on the Gulf of Mexico. It was determined that this was too narrow (there are other rivers that impact the Gulf) and too broad (monitoring effects). The Board agreed to change this element to monitoring river discharge to the Gulf, including loading of nutrients, pollutants, and other parameters of interest.
Water Level Element Worth Nowlin Experts in measuring water level in the Gulf were involved in the design of this element. Two reports were considered in the development of this plan: 2010 Most Wanted Hydrographic Services Improvement by the Hydrographic Services Review Panel and A Network gaps Analysis For the National Water Level Observation Network by the National Ocean Service.
Aircraft Surveys & LIDAR Observations Element Alfredo Prelat This element is being addressed as a part of the satellite element plan.
Enhanced PORTS Worth Nowlin Experts on the PORTS in the Gulf were involved with the design of this element. The plan has three parts: maintaining existing PORTS, upgrading PORTS (e.g., add visibility observations), and establishing 1-7 new PORTS.
Adaptive Emergency Observations Element Sharon Walker The Board decided to no longer consider this to be a separate element because the other elements include the concept of replacement needs.
Advanced, deep-ocean sentinel station John Dindo The Board decided to no longer consider this to be a separate element because this station would be a site to test equipment and is not really a part of the GCOOS; possible test bed for ACT.


Begin Executive Committee Meeting

March 3: Meeting of the Board of Directors

Discussion of the GCOOS Plan Elements
The individual plan elements need to be combined, synthesized and streamlined to create a reasonable plan that might actually get funded. The component level plan, which is what we have at present, will not be optimal or fundable. It was agreed that the first step is to complete the individual element plans within the next 2-3 weeks. After that, the common threads and synergies should be identified, redundancy eliminated, and a coherent synthesis prepared.

If well synthesized, the HFR and glider elements were considered to be the most likely candidates for earliest funding opportunities. However, a plan in its entirety is necessary to demonstrate where the GCOOS is headed. So the first priority is to complete the plan. Then the parts of the plan that NOAA might be interested in supporting (e.g, HFR, gliders) should be identified and discussed with NOAA. Next is to meet with upper level, IOOS agency personnel to provide the information on what is needed for an integrated observing system for the Gulf. A continuing action is to match the GCOOS plan components to specific RFPs or other funding opportunities as these are announced.

The number of offshore platforms in the Gulf provides an opportunity for observing platforms. The industry is not strongly interested in supporting an observing system effort. However, if observations are to be included on platforms, then that is best to be planned in the design phase.Wind, waves, and currents are the only observations of interest to the industry.

ACTION: Complete individual element plans and provide to Jochens by March 18; Jochens will distribute all plans to the Board members and schedule a teleconference. On 7-8 April, a writing team for the GCOOS plan will meet in Houston, TX, to synthesize the plan. At the next Board meeting, the plan will be considered and revised as appropriate.

Interactions with Mexico
Because of the substantial data sets being collected by PEMEX, the Board continues to be interested in engaging PEMEX with the GCOOS-RA. Personnel from SEMARNAT are working with the GCOOS-RA on developing this interaction. Tentatively, a meeting between GCOOS-RA, PEMEX, and possibly SEMARNAT might be held the week of April 22. Before then decisions need to be made on areas of collaboration and what type of data or product exchanges might be offered. The GCOOS-RA might be able to serve data for PEMEX, but has nothing proprietary to offer since all GCOOS-RA information is already publicly available. ACTION:Alfredo Prelat will obtain information from Porfirio Alvarez Torres about the types of projects in which PEMEX might be interested. SEMARNAT is meeting with PEMEX later in March and may have more information as well.

Councils and Committees
DMACC: The Board decided that Lei Hu of DISL should be named the Interim Chair. McPherson will send a message to the DMAC Committee announcing that Subramanian is stepping down as Chair and Hu will be Interim. The next meeting, possibly jointly with the Products and Services Committee, might be held in summer 2011, preferably after the FY11 federal budget and funding of IOOS and GCOOS are known. The Board voted to invite Melanie Morris, MS DEQ, to join the GCOOS DMACC; Jochens will send the invitation.

Products and Services Committee (PSC): The Board recommended that Steve Sempier, MS-AL Sea Grant, be asked to serve as Interim Chair until a vote of the committee can be arranged. Simoniello will contact him on behalf of McPherson. Depending on the Board election results, the Board would like to invite Joe Swaykos to join the PSC.

Stakeholder Council: The Board discussed possible interim chairs. It also discussed adding the Gulf of Mexico Foundation; Nowlin will explore.

Matters Related to Oil Spill
The Board discussed various aspects of the oil spill and the BP restoration research funding. Through the Harte Research Institute, GRI will be setting up a data repository for the BP restoration research project data sets. The GCOOS-RA will assist through the involvement of DMAC Coordinator, Matt Howard. GCOOS-RA has the historical data sets that will be needed. The BP restoration research funding is for research, not infrastructure building. However, such research contains a monitoring component, so there may be opportunities to transition research to operations. Worth Nowlin contacted known consortia, which will be seeking BP funding, with information on the GCOOS-RA and the GCOOS Data Portal. The Board discussed the idea of preparing a letter to national leader on the need to support a comprehensive ocean observing program that includes federal infrastructure of which IOOS is a part.

Next BOD Meeting
15-16 September 2011 at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, FL.




Appendix A: Attendee List, 2-3 March 2011

Name Affiliation Role 2 3
Porfirio Alvarez-Torres GOM LME-UNIDO GRF Invited Speaker  
Michael Carron Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Invited Speaker  
Helen Conover U. of Alabama-Huntsville Party
Cortis Cooper Chevron BoD Member
John Dindo Dauphin Island Sea Lab BoD Member
Dave Easter NOAA U.S. IOOS Office U.S. IOOS
Ryan Fikes Gulf of Mexico Foundation Party  
Debra Hernandez SECOORA RA Coordination  
Matt Howard GCOOS-RA Office DMAC Coordinator
Stephan Howden U. of Southern Mississippi BoD Member
Stephanie Ingle Lighthouse R&D Party  
Ann Jochens GCOOS-RA Office Regional Coordinator
Barb Kirkpatrick Mote Marine Lab BoD Member
Robert Martin TGLO BoD Member
Susan Martin GCOOS-RA Office GCOOS-RA staff
Terry McPherson STG BoD Chair
Worth Nowlin GCOOS Office BoD Member
John O’Connell Texas Sea Grant GCOOS-EOC Chair
Rich Pentimonti Raytheon Party  
Frank Pezold Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi Party  
Dwayne Porter U. of South Carolina NERRS CDMO  
Alfredo Prelat NEOSGeosolutions BoD Member
Nancy Rabalais LUMCON BoD Member
Andrew Reich Florida Department of Health GCOOS PHTT Chair
Chris Simoniello GCOOS-RA Office E/O Coordinator
Vembu Subramanian University of South Florida GCOOS-DMACC Chair
Ray Toll SAIC BoD Member
Neil Trenaman Liquid Robotics, Inc. Party  
Jan van Smirren Fugro-GEOS BoD Member
Michael Vogel Shell Exploration & Production Inc. Party  
Sharon Walker Inst. for Marine Mammal Studies BoDMember
Jennifer Wozencraft USACE BoD Member


Appendix B: Provisional Agenda

March 2: Annual Meeting of the Parties and Board of Directors

7:30 am Coffee
8:00 Welcome (McPherson)
8:15 Announcement of Election Results for Board of Director (Landry Bernard)
8:30 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Research and Restoration (Michael Carron, Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative)
9:30 U.S. IOOS: Certification Process, Gap Analysis, Independent Cost Analysis (Dave Easter, NOAA IOOS Office)
10:00 BREAK
10:15 Integration of Federal Measurements into the GCOOS (Ann Jochens)
10:20 GOMA Coastal Pathogens Risk Assessment Workshop Results (Andy Reich, FL Department of Health)
10:30 Update on Meixico (Porfirios Alvarez Torres, GOM Large Marine Ecosystem Project)
11:00 Discussion on Issues of the Parties (Ann Jochens)
11:30 Written Reports of the Council and Committee Chairs (person available for questions shown)
Stakeholder Council & Products and Services Committee (Ann Jochens)
Education and Outreach Council (John O’Connell)
Membership Committee (Landry Bernard)
DMAC Committee (Vembu Subramanian)
Observing System Committee (Stephan Howden)
Public Health Task Team (Andy Reich)
12:00 LUNCH
1:00 Introduction to the GCOOS Plan (Ann Jochens)
1:30 Introduction to the Plan Elements
Surface Currents and Waves Network (HFR) (Stephan Howden)
Harmful Algal Bloom Integrated Observing System (Barb Kirkpatrick)
Hypoxia Monitoring Element (Nancy Rabalais)
The GCOOS Mooring Plan (Jan van Smirren)
Physical Modeling Element (Cort Cooper)
Data Management Element (Worth Nowlin)
3:00 BREAK
3:15 Introduction to the Plan Elements (continued)
Ecosystem Modeling Element (Ann Jochens)
Glider Element (Stephan Howden)
Beach Quality Monitoring Element (Barb Kirkpatrick)
Ecosystem Parameter Monitoring Element (Ann Jochens for Alexis Lugo-Fernandez)
Satellite Observations and Products (Alfredo Prelat)
Bathymetry-Topography (Jennifer Wozencraft)
Autonomous Meteorological Measurement Element (Jan van Smirren)
River Discharge to the Gulf (Ann Jochens)
Water Level Element (Worth Nowlin)
Aircraft Surveys & LIDAR Observations Element (Alfredo Prelat)
Enhanced PORTS (Worth Nowlin)
Adaptive Emergency Observations Element (Sharon Walker)
Advanced, deep-ocean sentinel station (John Dindo)
5:30 Executive Committee Meeting
6:00 Adjourn Executive Committee Meeting
7:00 Dinner for Board members and GCOOS Office Staff

March 3: Meeting of the Board of Directors

7:30 Coffee
8:00 Discussion of the GCOOS Plan Elements
9:40 BREAK
10:00 Open Discussion of the GCOOS Plan
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Schedule Next Meetings
1:15 Continue Open Discussion of the GCOOS Plan
3:00 Break
3:15 Discussion on Potential Funding Sources for the Plan
4:30 Next Steps & Assignments
5:00 Adjourn



Appendix C: Reports of the Council and Committee Chairs

Stakeholder Council & Products and Services Committee (Ann Jochens)
No activity. No chair for either committee.

Education and Outreach Council (John O’Connell)
Little activity.

Membership Committee (Landry Bernard)
BOD election process.

Observing System Committee (Stephan Howden)
Howden sent emails with issues for the committee to address, but has had little response. The Observing Plan that the BOD is working on would have been one of the major tasks, so the committee is ready to review and comment.

Public Health Task Team (Andy Reich)
Reich gave a verbal report on GOMA Coastal Pathogens Workshop. Resulting report is available.

DMAC Committee (Vembu Subramanian)
Subramanian provided the extensive written report given below.

GCOOS-RA Data Management and Communications Committee (DMACC)
Work Report to the GCOOS-RA Annual Parties and BOD Meeting, March 2-3, 2010, Houston, Texas
Vembu Subramanian, Chair GCOOS DMACC

DMACC Membership

  1. GCOOS DMACC – Current Members and Composition
    • Bosch, Julie – NCDDC, NOAA
    • Burnett, Bill – NDBC,NOAA
    • Davis, James – TAMU, Corpus-Christi
    • Raye, Robert – Shell
    • Hu, Lei – Dauphin Island Sea lab
    • Babin, Brenda – LSU, LA
    • Howard, Matthew – TAMU (GCOOS DMAC Coordinator)
    • Ratcliff, Jay – USACE
    • Darrell Duncan – SAIC
    • Subramanian, Vembu – USF, FL (GCOOS DMACC Chair)
    • Colee, Jennifer – USACE
    • O’keife, Kathleen – FWRI, FL
    • Conover, Helen – UAH, AL
    • Porter, Dwayne – NERRS, CDMO Office, USC, SC
    • Stabenau, Erik – NPS
    • Virgil Zetterlind – EarthNC, Inc.
    • Peter Brickley – Horizon Marine

    Total 17 members: 6 Government (Federal/State); 7 Academic; and 4 Private

  2. GCOOS DMACC Liaisons to other GCOOS Committees and Council
    • Bill Burnett – Observing Systems Committee
    • Lei Hu – Education & Outreach Council
    • Jay Ratcliff – Products and Services Committee
    • Virgil Zetterlind – Stakeholders Council
  3. Liaisons from other committees and councils to GCOOS DMACC
    • Simoniello, Chris- Education and Outreach Council
    • Awaiting appointments from other committees to DMACC
  4. GCOOS BOD Liaisons to GCOOS DMACC
    • Alferdo, Prelat- Terralliance
    • Jan Van Smirren – Fugro GEOS
  5. GCOOS DMACC Membership Review, Recommendations and Members Contributions.
    • Chair contacted the members to confirm their continued participation in the GCOOS DMACC committee for the year 2011– Darrell Duncan, member of the GCOOS DMACC mentioned that he has been nominated to serve on the GCOOS BOD. He expressed interest to serve in the GCOOS DMACC, if he is elected to serve in the BOD. Suggested to him to nominate a new person in his place for the GCOOS DMACC, if elected to GCOOS BOD. Mentioned that he could get elected to serve as a BOD liaison to DMACC, if BOD approves the same. Bill Burnett, NDBC expressed that he is probable to continue to serve in the committee. Yet to receive response from Peter Brickley, Horizon Marine.
    • Two more members (Satellite expert and energy sector) could be added, keeping the membership total within 20.
    • Vembu Subramanian, the current GCOOS DMACC Chair will be stepping down Chair as of April 14, 2011, and have informed Ann Jochens, GCOOS Regional Coordinator as to the same to facilitate the election of the new GCOOS DMACC Chair.
    • The committee has a Chair-Elect Brenda Babin, LSU and a member of the GCOOS RA. Ann Jochens and the GCOOS BOD will provide recommendations as to appointing the new Chair.
    • Melanie Morris, Chief, Data Integration Division, Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality and Co-Chair of the Gulf of Mexico Alliance Data Management Advisory Committee (DMAC) has been serving as a special member on GCOOS DMACC since April 2010 to better foster the activities between GCOOS DMACC and GOMA DMAC. We need to continue to have her or a member from GOMA DMAC to engage with GCOOS DMACC.
    • Matthew Howard, GCOOS DMAC Coordinator serves on the GOMA water quality PIT. Julie Bosch, NCDDC, GCOOS DMACC and Vembu Subramanian, Chair, GCOOS DMACC are serving on the GOMA DMAC. The new GCOOS Chair is recommended to assume the position once Vembu Subramanian, the current chair, steps down in April 2011.
    • Need to have the GCOOS DMACC and PSC meeting in 2011. Also, need to elect a member to attend the SECOORA DMCC meeting to be held in Jacksonville, May 18, 2011.
    • Lei Hu as liaison to GCOOS E&O – Continue to serve and contribute whenever called for. Jay Ratcliff, Bill Burnett and Virgil for continue to serve as liaisons to Product and Services and Observations committees, and Stake holders council.
    • Matthew Howard, GCOOS DMAC Coordinator has been actively engaged in IOOS DMAC related meetings and conference calls. He keeps the GCOOS DMACC informed as to IOOS DMAC activities and initiatives.
    • QARTOD and QARTOD-to-OGC (Q2O) – Defining QA/QC requirements and Sensor Web Enablement (SWE) – Julie Bosch, Lei Hu, Brenda Babin, Felimon Gayalino, Bill Burnett and Vembu Subramanian from GCOOS-RA are actively engaged.
    • GCOOS DMACC Members (Academic, Government and Private) within the Gulf of Mexico Region made their data and services available for the DWH oil spill response.
    • Matthew Howard, GCOOS DMAC Coordinator and DMACC members Lei Hu and Vembu Subramanian were involved in contributing to GCOOS RA NOPP IOOS Proposal submitted for funding.

Members Input relevant to GCOOS DMACC and RA

Lei Hu (Dauphin Island Sea Lab)

  • Setting up two new observing stations in Mississippi Sound:  The Cider Point Station, and the Katrina Cut Station.  Testing of data transmission from the stations and working on the formats of data streams are in progress.  Real Time data from both stations will be on DISL monitoring website ( soon. When data transmission is stable the data will be made available to GCOOS RA.
  • Testing of QA/QC procedures of monitoring our stations data is in progress.

Erik Stabenau (National Park Service)

  • Five new stations have been added to the existing Everglades Marine Monitoring Network maintained by National Park Service. Work is progress to send the additional data to NDBC. Will have to work with Matthew Howard, GCOOS DMAC Coordinator to facilitate the posting of Marine Monitoring Network data on GCOOS Data Portal.
  • We still don’t have a climate research grade monitoring station in the Dry Tortugas and I’d like to push for that again.The goal would be to do multiple depth temperature readings, surface level readings, and if possible salinity or more complex parameters such as pCO2. I spoke with a few people here at NOAA AOML about doing this but the costs were astronomical (in NPS terms) and then the oil spill hit and we were all distracted. I’d like to fix that and get this in place this year.

Virgil Zetterlind (EarthNC)

  • EarthNC has had a busy year with a focus on Mobile apps and the continuing enhancement of our backend ‘chart’ server. We’re now maintaining a full NOAA Raster tileset updated weekly as well as real-time services for NDBC buoys, TidesOnline, Marine Forecast, National Digital Forecast, and more. We’ve also integrated a number of the CoastWatch WMS services and are working on doing more of those.
  • On mobile, we now have a family of iPhone, iPad, and Android marine charting and weather apps. We’re also licensing our mobile tech to 3rd parties who have specific market niches but need the chart/weather baseline.
  • Internationally, we also now have chart service for Brazil, Bahamas, and New Zealand.
  • One pending thing that is probably of interest – we are partnering with UNH (Kurt Schwehr) and the International Wildlife Assistance Fun (IWAF) to release a ‘Whale Alert’ iPad app for the Boston ship Channel that will show areas of active right whale detections. IWAF will be outfitting commercial ships with iPads and our app to help prevent whale strikes. We’re hoping to launch this in a month or so.

Jennifer Colee (USACE)

  • Mobile District to provide Water Level Data via Sensor Observation Service (SOS): The goal for this project is to create and deploy the capability for the USACE to disseminate water level data to NOAA and USACE customers through the same standardized geospatial web services used by the IOOS Program. Specifically, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) Sensor Observation Service (SOS) will be implemented at the USACE Mobile District.The SOS will provide data in one or more IOOS-standard formats, and will provide metadata descriptions of water-level gauges in OGC Sensor Model Language (SensorML).

Julie Bosch (NOAA NCDDC)

NCDDC support to Deepwater Horizon Incident, Unified Area Command, Subsurface Monitoring Unit

  • Processing management and archive of CTD, Florescence, and DO data
  • Joint Analysis Group – data analysis reports related to tracking subsurface oil
  • Ongoing data management Office of Response and Restoration for Subsurface Monitoring Unit Response data collections includes:
    • data archive at NODC, NGDC, and NCL
    • access to data via several portals

    NCDDC – National Coastal Data Development Center
    NODC – National Oceanographic Data Center
    NGDC – National Geophysical Data Center
    NCL – NOAA Central Library

Helen Conover (UAH)

  • UAH provided information technology tools to the NASA Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes (GRIP) hurricane field campaign. We developed the GRIP project web site and collaboration portal (, and contributed to the Waypoint Planning Tool and Real Time Mission Monitor, which were used to plan and track aircraft flights. RTMM was also used to track flights for monitoring the DWH spill.Data collected during GRIP will be archived and distributed from the Global Hydrology Resource Center (GHRC), the NASA data center in Huntsville that UAH manages.
  • In support of these hurricane studies, UAH maintains a database of tropical cyclone tracks provided by the National Hurricane Center for the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific basins. Information from this database is publicly available via several web service interfaces. We also have compiled a set of satellite images of tropical storms, with KML descriptions. These are not yet publicly available, but might be interesting to GCOOS in the future.
  • UAH is working with Geological Survey of Alabama on a project called Sediment Analysis Network for Decision Support (SANDS; The project has produced enhanced imagery that depict suspended sediments. The analysis has also revealed that oil floating on the surface can be extracted using the same technique. SANDS products will be made available from our data center as GeoTIFF images with KML. We would like to register these products with the GCOOS data system as well.

Who do we need to work with on making our datasets available through GCOOS – Matt Howard? – RequestMatt Howard and Felimon to contact Helen Conover

Vembu Subramanian (USF)

  • Spent the Fall semester 2010 (August – December 2010) working with Helmholtz Zentrum Geesthacht ( Coastal Oceanographic Measurements Group maintained Coastal Observing System for Northern and Arctic Sea (COSYNA) and Institute for Coastal Research Data Management group.
  • Attended the OI im Meer (Oil in the Sea) Symposium held in Hamburg, Germany (November 17-19) and presented a talk on "Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Incident: A Coastal Ocean Observing System Researcher’s Personal Perspective". In the talk highlighted the University of South Florida’s efforts as well as GCOOS Data Portal and GCOOS RA and its members engagement in DWH Oil spill response.
  • Submitted a paper titled "Synergies and Differences in Data Management technology approaches between an American and a European Coastal Ocean Observing System", Co-authoring with G. Breitbach, Jeff Donovan (USF) and H. Krasemann to Ocean Sciences Journal. Highlighted USF COMPS and its engagement with GCOOS-RA in the paper.
  • Installed THREDDS server at USF to serve model data and products. The URLs:
    Model Data Visualization:
    Model Metadata and Various Data Access methods (IOOS Model Interoperability Standards):
    Work is in progress to make the data available in a routine manner. The above are examples
  • Accepted the job offer of SECOORA RCOOS Program Manager and will be moving to USC, Columbia, SC. The position also involves responsibilities to maintaining the NOAA NERRS data telemtery system and computers located in USC, Columbia, SC.

Felimon Gayanilo (GCOOS Data Portal) and Matthew Howard (GCOOS DMAC Coordinator)

Matthew Howard and Felimon Gayanilo GCOOS-RA did an incredible work to make the GCOOS Data Portal and GCOOS Products web site active and available for user communities that were engaged in DWH Oil Spill Response. Big Thank you to Matt and Felimon on their tireless efforts related to GCOOS Data Portal work.

Major accomplishments for second half of 2010:


(1) The on-network alternate server (on CentOS + Apache) was established/installed to ensure continuing service as the current server is beginning to show signs of system problems.

(2) The GCOOS RA LDNs have all installed Sensor Observing Services and are operational. Although there are some features that still needs to be activated (e.g. retrieval of historical data) and some requires some changes to be in compliance with new standards (e.g. URNs), these SOS installations are all fully functional (kudos to GCOOS).

(3) ADCP data are now read directly onto GCOOS repository via a DIF SOS GetObservation request. The interruption of data archived caused by the change of URN has been corrected and data gaps corrected.

(4) The new DISL station BSCA is now remitting included. The current statistics is 144 platforms/stations for a new total of 643 sensors on record.

(5) The GCOOS Data Portal is now using the latest version of the DIF SOS. The DIF SOS page in the portal was updated to reflect the change. Other than the GML return to request, users may now request returns in CSV (Comma Separated Values), TSV (Tab Separated Values) or KML (Keyhole Markup Language) data formats.


(1) Updated some pages and notable is the change in the LDN SOS indicating a change in all their status and added examples on how to use their services.

(2) New OOSTethys SOS parser was developed to access records for specific sensor and available for download for others to use. This new parser is appropriate for networks reporting huge amount of data. The original parser remains and was updated to account for changes in the schema.

(3) Although the GCOOS Data Portal allows users to view the resources in 3D, the resource indicators are all located in the surface (above sea surface and above ground). We have started to work on 3D representation of the stations and sensors and a sample product was presented during the last AGU Meeting as it gives a better view of where the actual readings are located in 3D perspective.

(4) The GCOOS Data Portal and Products page have implemented the header and footer features as recommended to harmonize RA sites.


(1) The GCOOS Vocabulary in the Ontology Registry and Repository ( was updated and is now fully functional and now being referenced by the regional SOS implementations (and perhaps others as well)

(2) Nonong participated in the last Q2O workshop (Sep. 14-16, 2010, Memphis, TN) to discuss, among others, how best to incorporate QA/QC flags and procedures to SOS implementations and other forms of sensor metadata using SensorML schema. The workshop participants included: Mike Botts (Botts IR), Eric Bridger (GMRI), Janet Fredericks (WHOI), Tony Cook (UAH), Darryl Symonds (RDI), Patricia White (WHOI), and Carlos Rueda (MBARI).

(3) Site Analytics for GCOOS DP for period: 01 July 2010 to 31 Dec. 2010: Over 35% increase of new visitors from previous period. The most visited site remains to be the pages that allows data download or provide instructions to data access in the region (Direct Data Access, DIF SOS, and LDN SOS), accounting for 70% of all visits. Google and Bing remains to be the search engines that leads to GCOOS DP site but huge increase in referrals from the GCOOS Products page.

James Davis (TCOON-TAMU)

  • We are working on developing a mobile application that will eventually be able to display data from any provider running SOS.

Jay Ratcliff (USACE)

  • The USACE continues to participate in the larger scale IOOS effort establishing new wave stations according to the plan published a year or so ago.I believe there a couple in GoMex but will have to find out more specifics.Also, we’re continuing remote sensing data efforts along eastern US coast and Great Lakes.This includes LIDAR, imagery, and bathy collection as part of the Joint Airborne Lidar Bathymetry Center of Expertise (JALBTCX) effort.

Robert Raye (Shell)

  • Shell’s ADAM Data Management system update – Currently running Version 3.0 which applies many of the DMAC processes – web service and RESTful services etc. Find attached are some screen grab of ADAM capabilities.



Appendix D: Elements of the GCOOS
Toward a foundation for a sustained, integrated
operational ocean observing system

Process Steps:

1. Determine user requirements
Hold Focused Stakeholder Workshops
Participate in Meetings/Conferences of Stakeholders
Review Written Documents of Stakeholders
Review of National Plans
Verbal discussion with members of Stakeholder Communities
Input from GCOOS Councils and Committees

2. Identify the priority elements of the system projected for 20 years
Using info from #1 above, hold a facilitated BOD meeting to achieve the goal of #2
19 priority elements are on page 2

3. Develop plans for each system element
One team for each element lead by a board member prepares information
Each element has a worksheet containing the notes from the facilitated meeting
(chairs, rankings, suggested team members, roles of gov’t., acad., private)
Each team prepares materials using the template adapted for the element
(Template is available here)
Board review of templates (2-3 March 2011 meeting)
Refinements & Community Comments – TBD

4. Identify existing resources for each element
In process with Data Portal Activities

5. Compare the element plans to existing resources to identify gaps
Yet to be addressed (except for HFR and similar)

6. Prepare plan for filling gaps, including priorities and funding sources to work on
Yet to be addressed

GCOOS Priority Elements
December 2010

Element Lead
Surface Currents and Waves Network (HFR) Howden
Harmful Algal Bloom Integrated Observing System Kirkpatrick
Hypoxia Monitoring Element Rabalais
The GCOOS Mooring Plan Van Smirren
Physical Modeling Element Cooper
Data Management Element Nowlin
Ecosystem Modeling Element Jochens
Glider Element Howden
Beach Quality Monitoring Element Kirkpatrick
Ecosystem Parameter Monitoring Element Lugo-Fernandez
Satellite Observations and Products Prelat
Bathymetry-Topography Wozencraft
Autonomous Meteorological Measurement Element Van Smirren
Monitoring Effects of River Discharge Jochens
Water Level Element Nowlin
Aircraft Observations Element Prelat
*Adaptive Emergency Observations Element Walker
Enhanced PORTS Nowlin
*Advanced, deep-ocean sentinel station Dindo
Other GCOOS Subsystems  
RA Governance and Management Jochens
Outreach and Education Simoniello & E/O BOD
* The Board decided to delete these elements.