Last updated: 21 August 2014

GCOOS Regional Association
Annual Meeting of the Parties (14 March 2012) and
Fourteenth Meeting of the Board of Directors
14-15 March 2012

Institute for Marine Mammal Studies
Gulfport, MS

The 7th Annual Meeting of the Parties and the 14th Meeting of the Board of Directors (BoD) of the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) Regional Association (GCOOS-RA) was held on 14-15 March 2012 in Gulfport, MS. The attendees and their GCOOS-RA roles are listed in Appendix A. The provisional agenda is given in Appendix B.

14 March 2012

Ms. Samia Ahmad, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies (IMMS), and Dr. Sharon Walker, Director of IMMS Education and Outreach, welcomed the GCOOS-RA Parties and Board of Directors to Gulfport, MS, and the IMMS facilities on behalf of Dr. Moby Solangi, President and Executive Director. Terry McPherson, Chair of the BoD, also welcomed everyone. Introductions were made and the agenda was adopted. A brief overview of the days’ activities was made. General suggestions were made that emphasized (1) the pressing need for sustained funding and (2) the need for stakeholders to vocalize, particularly to their Congressional representatives, why the data and products are important. Discussion included ideas on how to address these issues to make progress.

Results of the GCOOS Board of Directors Election
Jerry Boatman, Chair of the GCOOS-RA Membership Committee, announced the results of the BoD election. Elected to a 3-year term beginning in Summer 2012 and ending in Summer 2015 were: Terry McPherson and Barbara Kirkpatrick (Private Sector), Jennifer Wozencraft (Government Sector), Worth Nowlin (Academic Sector), and Mike Spranger (Education and Outreach Sector).

Update on GCOOS Activities
Ann Jochens, GCOOS-RA Executive Director, presented an update on GCOOS 2011 activities, an overview of aspects of GCOOS 2012 work and funding, new developments from the IOOS Program Office, the National Synthesis of RA Build-Out Plans, and the GCOOS Build-Out Plan. She first summarized the progress made and successes achieved in 2011. The two major successes were completion of Version 1 of the GCOOS Build-out Plan and launching of the web page for recreational boaters and fishermen. Good progress was made on the Southwest Florida Integrated Water Quality Network (IWQN) pilot project and the interactive kiosk exhibits for five Gulf Coast aquariums, one in each state. She also reported on the substantial engagement with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA), the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI), and the Mexico-U.S. Gulf of Mexico Large Marine Ecosystem Project. Discussion covered a range of topics: the U.S. IOOS Office project on animal-borne sensors; a separate U.S. IOOS Office project to provide access to existing biological data sets from the Gulf States Fisheries Management Council with GCOOS involvement; the level of federal agency involvement in providing resources identified in the GCOOS build out plan; and the involvement of Chris Simoniello, GCOOS Education and Outreach Coordinator, as one of three IOOS RA representatives serving on an ad hoc IOOS committee to storyboard a video demonstrating the societal impact of RA data. It was suggested that the GCOOS-RA investigate the Infinity Center at Stennis Space Center as another forum for installation of one of the GCOOS interactive kiosks.

Update from the U.S. IOOS Office
Jochens extended the regards of the U.S. IOOS Office since no one from the office was able to attend. She presented a message from Dave Easter that the U.S. IOOS Office personnel are working to improve communications with the regions. To that end, points of contact have been designated for each region. Dave Easter is the point of contact for both the GCOOS-RA and SECOORA. The IOOS Office has prepared a document that outlines the DMAC activities for 2012. They have initiated regional participation in discussions on how to approach the RA certification guidelines. The IOOS Office has issued a document and hierarchy chart that gives descriptions of the roles and responsibilities of the U.S. IOOS Office personnel. Jochens reported that the efforts to improve communication seem to be working as the U.S. IOOS Office staff is developing an improved understanding of the work of the RAs and vice versa. Ray Toll reported he has a new role as liaison between NOAA NDBC and IOOS–both the IOOS Office and the RAs; in this role he will attend RA meetings and provide briefs to the points of contact. Toll volunteered to be a conduit for information from the RAs to the U.S. IOOS Office.

The issue of the RA certification process was discussed. The Integrated Coastal Ocean Observing Act of 2009 requires certification for the RAs. The Interagency Ocean Observing Committee (IOOC) is overseeing the promulgation of the requirements, with two working groups and the U.S. IOOS Office providing the major work effort on the task. The National Federation of Regional Associations (NFRA) provided information on the RA structures and activities to the working groups. The draft certification requirements were issued for public comment. The GCOOS-RA submitted comments on the criteria and also provided input to NFRA for the NFRA comments. The comments were under review. Guidelines for implementation will be drafted with input from the RAs, issued for public comment, and revised as well. Jochens is part of the NFRA team providing information to the U.S. IOOS Office. Once an RA is certified, it falls under the federal protection for data use and sharing; finalization is expected by June and RAs can, but are not required, to submit documentation immediately after.

Update on the National RA Synthesis Build-Out Plan
Jochens summarized the activity of NFRA and the U.S. IOOS Office on the development of the national synthesis of RA build-out plans. The ICOOS Act requires the U.S. IOOS Office to have an independent cost estimate (ICE) and a gap analysis completed and provided to Congress. The RAs were asked to provide their 10-year build-out plans, which they did in early fall 2011. The build-out plans from each RA went to the consultant for the ICE, as well as a consultant hired to synthesize the 11 plans into a first draft national plan. At the November 2011 IOOS Regional Collaboration Conference, the RAs and U.S. IOOS Office staff reviewed the synthesis and discussed next steps; see for more information. Stephan Howden participated for GCOOS.

Jochens showed a presentation by Josie Quintrell, NFRA Executive Director, that summarizes the synthesis of RA plans, main themes, data sets to be taken, and products planned. Current plans are that there will be a high level Executive Summary as part of the National Synthesis of Build-Out Plans that will be provided to interested entities, federal agency leadership, and Congress for information. The body of the document will be for use by the RAs, IOOC, and U.S. IOOS Office. The question was raised whether any RAs had proposed to use a subsurface, cabled network. None had, although GCOOS mentioned it as a possibility for the future. The GCOOS-RA emphasis on leveraging components from many sources, partnerships, and engagement with other agencies was discussed, particularly as to budgetary ramifications for the leveraged assets.

Update on the GCOOS Build-Out Plan
Jochens next reviewed the status of the GCOOS Strategic Build-out Plan and the GCOOS-RA funding award. In response to a question about whether outreach and education were included in the plans for each of the 17 elements, Jochens replied that the elements focused on data, models, and data management, and that the outreach/education and governance sub-systems were not considered in the elements, but are included in the Build-out Plan as separate sections of the plan. Sharon Walker suggested that outreach and education be included in the discussion of each of the elements and as a major component in the Build-out Plan when presenting information on the plan. Jochens added that GCOOS is working with the GOMA Nutrient Reduction and Water Quality Teams to improve the current plans.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engagement
Board member Jennifer Wozencraft introduced Dr. Susan Rees, Program Manager, Mobile District Mississippi Coastal Improvements Program, who provided an overview of the USACE activities of the Jacksonville, Mobile, New Orleans, and Galveston Districts. The USACE has substantial data available including analyses of bar sites in coastal Gulf and sediment cores, shoreline data, hydrographic data (water level, water temperature, salinity, wind speed, and wind direction), streamflow data, LIDAR data, water quality data, and even sturgeon monitoring data. Data collected by the Mobile District are available in the USACE GIS database at The organization is currently working to finalize a long term monitoring plan that will include easy access to data and the addition of monitoring stations. Dr. Rees added that they would like to work with other invested/interested groups in disseminating these resources and developing partnerships to maintain the resources beyond the end of specific USACE projects. For example, the USACE partners with the USGS to maintain locations and share streamflow data and is moving to do the same with the tide stations. USACE data needs are for coastal modeling and design (meteorological, tidal/water level, water quality, and wave direction) and coastal construction (tide/water level data). Additionally, the USACE needs more long-term stations in project areas to support construction, restoration, and navigation. The biggest USACE data gap is waves, which are needed in the simulations for navigation. Dr. Rees suggested Tim Axtman with the New Orleans District as a point of contact. She and Justin McDonald would be points of contact for the Mobile District. Dr. Rees offered to arrange a call for District leaders to discuss how they might contribute data to the GCOOS.

Issues of the Parties
A change in the agenda was proposed and accepted to not conduct the break-out groups and move to the Issues of the Parties. Jochens reported no issues had been raised in advance from an email solicitation and then called for issues to be raised. There being none, the meeting moved to the implementation of the GCOOS Build-Out Plan.

GCOOS Build-Out Plan: Next Steps
On behalf of Worth Nowlin, who was not able to attend the meeting, Jochens introduced the topics of prioritizing the elements for the implementation plan and determining a viable GCOOS Build-Out financing strategy. A lengthy Board discussion ensued. It was suggested that the GCOOS-RA evaluate the satellite observations and products provided by the academic research community currently being funded together with the products of the NOAA CoastWatch ( and determine an efficient approach that maximizes the products for the stakeholders, while maintaining the innovation opportunities provided by the academic research community. The Board and staff agreed that the priorities would not be static and could be changed as regional conditions and needs changed. No new insights into financing were provided.

One aspect for consideration for prioritization is how the GCOOS-RA can promote the activities to accomplish the priorities. GCOOS has a plan, and the next step is how to get the plan implemented. Discussion continued about Congress’ role. More documentation of the need and role of GCOOS and why it is important are needed to engage federal providers agency-by-agency. It was suggested that GCOOS should look at the elements, priorities, and their relation to marine spatial planning. This lead to discussion that IOOS is supportive of spatial planning and GCOOS can provide the necessary data, but the problem is that, at higher levels of the agencies, new programs develop without consideration of merging with currently existing programs. One concern was whether agency heads have forgotten that IOOS is a ‘system of systems’ and how they could be reminded of this part of the IOOS vision. It was also suggested that GCOOS should have its partners improve the Congressional interactions on behalf of GCOOS. GCOOS is weak in this area compared to the Atlantic and Pacific regions. Jerry Boatman had earlier mentioned that GCOOS might talk with the Marine Technology Society’s Congressional liaison about how to start to search for sustained funding. It was pointed out that the GCOOS-RA itself and its members acting on GCOOS-RA’s behalf are not allowed to lobby or advocate to Congress; however, they can provide background information.

The priorities discussion was tabled, and discussion moved to a GCOOS build-out financial strategy. With a current annual budget of approximately $1.4M and a small staff, the Board needs to determine priority actions for the next few years. One Board member suggested we have not adequately leveraged ocean observing efforts related to the oil spill. This is a unique role for the GCOOS-RA and we should leverage better to help secure funding to build an ocean observing system for the Gulf of Mexico. It was suggested that GCOOS talk with GoMRI about ideas. Much of the activity regarding the oil spill and its funding opportunities is in the realm of political leveraging, which is an area in which the GCOOS-RA can act to only a limited, non-lobbying, extent. The issue of the people needed to take a political leveraging route versus the relatively small GCOOS staff available was mentioned as a challenge. In another area, the Board encouraged the continued engagement with Mexico to build the international connections between the two nations’ observing systems.

Lunch Speaker
Chris Simoniello provided a demonstration on the GCOOS interactive kiosk exhibit at the lunch break.

GCOOS Committees and Staff Responsibilities
The discussion of Committees and GCOOS staff responsibilities commenced with a summary of the staff responsibilities. An overview of the status of the committees was then given. Two other topics also were discussed: the value and goal of setting up task teams, such as the Task Team on Modeling, and identification of why people should invest in GCOOS.

The Board decided that, rather than break out into groups, it would address each committee in plenary session. The Board liaisons were to have conferred with each committee regarding the current state of activity of their committee, determined if the Terms of Reference were appropriate, reviewed whether the membership was right, and prepared recommendations for any needed revisions. It was recommended that the Stakeholder Council (Terry McPherson, Ray Toll) and Products and Services Committee (Joe Swaykos, Jennifer Wozencraft) be merged into a single group. Toll had circulated information on this merger prior to the Board meeting (see Appendix C). The Education and Outreach Council (Mike Spranger, Sharon Walker) is functioning well, and the membership will be revisited. Stephan Howden gave an overview on the Observing Systems Committee (Dave Driver, Stephan Howden) and recommendations were made. The merger of the Products and Services Committee (Joe Swaykos, Jennifer Wozencraft) is to be discussed by the Board liaisons and a recommendation made. Jan van Smirren gave the overview for the DMAC Committee (Alfredo Prelat, Jan van Smirren). This is an active committee that is seeking a new charge from the Board. The DMAC Committee membership is fine, but it was suggested that representatives of all local data nodes should be invited to participate in meetings and discussions. It was suggested that GCOOS should be more involved in the Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaborative (GOMURC) policy-legislative footprint. The five current GOMURC state leaders are: Larry McKinney (TX); Chris D’Elia (LA); Denis Wiesenburg (MS); John Valentine (AL), and Bill Hogarth (FL).

Jochens gave the presentation for Nowlin on the Membership Committee. Discussion focused on two areas for inquiry: to determine why over half the voting members did not vote in the recent election and to poll members about their vision for the GCOOS. A task to improve recruitment to the GCOOS-RA Party membership should focus on businesses and industry. An action for the GCOOS Staff is to identify businesses the GCOOS-RA membership might be missing and provide this information to Boatman for use by the Membership Committee. It is important to be able to justify why the identified parties should join the GCOOS-RA and to be able to communicate to the identified parties the benefits of signing the MOA. Simoniello will prepare a draft recruiting brochure and will disseminate that to the Board for comments. A suggestion was to add logos for different groups on recruiting material to stimulate membership. There was no report on the Public Health Task Team (Nancy Rabalais). Jan van Smirren is the lead on the Congressional Outreach working group, which has met through teleconference call and identified action items. Due to other higher priority commitments, the Staff has not had the time to follow-up. Jochens reminded everyone that, because GCOOS funding is 100% federal, the staff cannot lobby and there is a fine line between visiting Congress in an outreach capacity and lobbying.

Instead of break-out groups, the Board requested that Jochens show the task spreadsheet of GCOOS staff responsibilities (Appendix D). These were discussed until the meeting was adjourned.

Dinner at IMMS
Dinner was graciously provided by IMMS in the IMMS Learning Center (Sharon Walker hosting), and the participants had the opportunity to meet and talk with several of the IMMS personnel, including veterinary staff.

15 March 2012

Board Business Session

Terry McPherson started the morning session by asking the Board members to think about the GCOOS priorities for the staff to possibly help redirect or realign activities.

Pat Roscigno of BOEM gave a short review on the Environmental Studies Program under the restructuring, new functions, and roles of BOEM. In the discussion on the BOEM Education and Outreach Program, Chris Simoniello offered to follow-up with Roscigno to determine where there might be overlap or collaborations between GCOOS and BOEM, particularly in developing student and teacher resources.

Jochens gave Nowlin’s presentation on the GCOOS-RA & Non-profit Corporation. The Bylaws were passed around for the Board members to sign. Jochens discussed the steps needed to transition to the non-profit organization. Currently TAMRF does all the paperwork related to a NOAA award to GCOOS. When the Corporation is declared non-profit by the IRS and the decision is made to have NOAA award directly to the Corporation, GCOOS must be prepared to handle all financial paperwork. Howden suggested finding a way to hire a part-time, experienced, business person to help with the non-profit transition.

Alfredo Prelat reported on activities related to Mexico and Cuba. He is working with SEMARNAT on a number of issues, including a possible meeting between SEMARNANT, PEMEX, and GCOOS to discuss improving communications, data contribution and distribution, and joint projects. He also is working with several Gulf coast universities on possible associate Party membership in the GCOOS-RA as a step toward increasing collaborations and cooperation. The Board decided that a trip to meet with SEMARNAT, PEMEX, and universities would be appropriate and suggested that the same people should go that attended last time (Jan van Smirren, Alfredo Prelat, and Ray Toll).

Prelat then reported on Cuban oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico. The current activity is located approximately 30 miles northwest of Havana and is in ~1700 m water depth. The US Coast Guard and FL Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission met to discuss contingency planning in case there was a need for an oil spill response in U.S. waters if there were to be a blow-out and oil spill from the Cuban project. This demonstrates the need in the planning for the GCOOS build-out for consideration of possible water-borne pollutants, invasive species, HABs, and similar environmental factors that might impact U.S. waters from activities in Cuba or other Caribbean nations through the normal circulation patterns in the Gulf of Mexico.

The next BOD meeting is set for September 26‐27, 2012 in Corpus Christi, Texas, at the Harte Research Institute. It was suggested the March 2013 meeting be held at an easily accessible, central location. The meeting will be 5-6 March 2013, tentatively in New Orleans. Jochens asked if the Board members wanted to keep bimonthly telecoms, since the routine calls have not been held. Toll emphasized that it would be good to have follow-up calls to talk about progress made on priorities and action items for Committees.

Jochens gave a brief report on the GCOOS Office Review, most of which had been covered in earlier discussions. McPherson then started a discussion on priorities and how better to improve time commitments to different tasks, including milestones and also IOOS work contributions. Board members agreed that they would help to prioritize the GCOOS staff work list. McPherson asked Jochens to send the Board the proposed milestones and priorities with an estimate of the staff percent effort for each so the BOD can help to prioritize the list and see what GCOOS staff has to deal with from the Board, GCOOS, and IOOS work tasks. The conversation shifted to addressing different staff elements, such as the E/O activities and steps to determining the next ‘big idea’ to focus on once the kiosks are completed.

The discussion turned to the GCOOS committees. A discussion with Steve Sempier, interim chair of the Products and Services Committee lead to the decision that the Stakeholder Council and Products and Services Committee be considered for merger. Sempier suggested defining the stakeholders and end-users to retain and entrain when restructuring the committee design and tasks. Swaykos, Sempier, Simoniello, and Toll offered to examine the issue and make a recommendation. McPherson reiterated that we should not lose focus on the main goal of getting data out to the main end-users, and suggested first Board telecom should be in late April/early May and should focus on end-user considerations and membership reexamination. Howden suggested that Jochens assign each Committee tasks currently undertaken by GCOOS staff to assist in accomplishing priority items.

The Board discussed how GCOOS needs and tasks could be related to any funds that might come into the Gulf as a result of the Clean Water Act oil spill penalty fund. All agreed that for GCOOS to receive funds to develop an observing system, we must be poised with a build-out plan, and also plans for how to approach the issue and engage GCOOS supporters at the highest levels. Jochens requested help with the quasi-political aspects. There was discussion about whether or not the IOOS Office would be an advocate to put assets in the Gulf to build the GCOOS.

Discussion then shifted to the issue of establishing a Glider Subcommittee. The idea is for the Board and selected others to engage with glider operations in the GOM. Potential members include Toll (SAIC), Driver (BP), Roscigno (BOEM), Howden (USM), Chris Szczechowski (NAVOCEAN), Nick Shay (UM), Chad Lembke (COT-USF), Nancy Rabalais (LUMCON), and Steve DiMarco (TAMU).

Jochens presented the GCOOS budget, projections, and pending amounts. Roscigno suggested the idea of applying for small-business set asides to help diversify the office during the transition to non-profit status. Additional efforts include a GCOOS collaboration with BOEM to work on economic studies by key sectors with Jan van Smirren as the GCOOS point of contact. Information from this study will include return on investment of an observing system in the Gulf of Mexico.

Board Motions:

  1. McPherson called for a motion to vote to disband the Stakeholder Council (motion by Swaykos and second by Wozencraft). Discussion ensued about how the GCOOS-RA would address disbanding members serving on the Council and that a letter should be sent to members thanking them for their service. It was clarified that it is important to keep active Stakeholder Council members on the Products and Services Committee because they are the identified, important end-users. McPherson summarized that we need to look at the overlap between the two areas and decide what the roles are in the new consolidated group. The motion was amended (Swaykos and second by Wozencraft) to reconstitute (rather than disband) both the Stakeholder Council and Products and Services Committee. After review and evaluation of the Council and Committee by a working group, recommendations will be made to the Board on the structure, goals, and name of the reconstituted committee. Official decision: A working group will evaluate and recommend to the BOD the composition and functions of the consolidated Stakeholder Council and P&SC. A new committee or council name will be considered to reflect that the goal is to still engage stakeholders and develop end-user driven products and services.
  2. Howden made a motion to defer making decisions about changing the Terms of Reference for the Ocean Observing Committee that he had recommended on Day 1. Swaykos seconded. The vote was unanimous in favor.

Jochens suggested that the Council and Committee Chairs send proposed wording changes to her and Susan Martin so they can disseminate the proposed changes and vet with the Board. The Board agreed.

The meeting was adjourned.


Appendix A: Meeting Attendees

Name Affiliation Party, Board Member, Invited Guest, etc. 3/14/12 3/15/12
Landry Bernard USM/NDBC Guest  
Jerry Boatman QinetiQ North America Chair, Membership Committee  
Steven Buschang TGLO Board Member
John Dindo DISL Board Member
David Driver BP Board Member
Monty Graham USM Party Representative  
Stephan Howden USM Board Member
Ann Jochens GCOOS/TAMU GCOOS Executive Director
Chunyan Li WAVCIS, LSU Guest  
Justin McDonald USACE Guest  
Terry McPherson The Baldwin Group Board Member
Ruth Mullins Perry GCOOS/TAMU Assistant to the Executive Director
Alfredo Prelat NEOSGeosolutions Board Member
Susan Ivestev Rees USACE Guest  
Pat Roscigno BOEM Board Member
Steve Sempier MS-AL Sea Grant GCOOS Products & Services Committee  
Chris Simoniello GCOOS GCOOS Staff
Tom Soniat UNO/Oyster Sentinal Party Representative  
Joe Swaykos USM/Center of Higher Learning Board Member
Ray Toll SAIC/NDBC Board Member
Jan van Smirren Fugro Board Member
Sharon Walker IMMS Board Member
Jennifer Wozencraft USACE Board Member  


Appendix B: Provisional Agenda

14 March 2012

0730   Coffee
0800   Opening of Meeting
    Welcome from Institute for Marine Mammal Studies (Sharon Walker)
Welcome, Introductions, and Adoption of Agenda (Terry McPherson, Chair)
0820   Results of the GCOOS Board of Directors Election (Jerry Boatman, Chair, Membership Committee)
0830   GCOOS Build-Out Plan: Next Steps
    Background Updates(Ann Jochens)
National Synthesis of RA Build-Out Plans
National and International Collaborations
GCOOS Strategic Build-Out Plan and FY12 Funding
0845   U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engagement(Jennifer Wozencraft, Moderator)
Speakers (TBD) from the USACE Districts with Gulf of Mexico responsibilities (Jacksonville, Mobile, New Orleans, Galveston)
Discussion with Board
1000   BREAK
1015   Implementing the GCOOS Build-Out Plan(Worth Nowlin)
Prioritizing the Elements for Implementation Planning
Determining a Viable GCOOS Build-Out Financing Strategy
1030   GCOOS Build-Out: Next Steps
Breakout Group 1 (Lead, Worth Nowlin): Financing Strategy
Breakout Group 2 (Lead, Terry McPherson): Implementation of GCOOS
Breakout Group 3 (Lead, Joe Swaykos): Expanding Engagement with Federal and State Agencies

1. Activities: What are the steps to be taken to improve the GCOOS position relative to the topic?
2. Priorities: What are the highest priority activities under the topic?
3. Work Plan: How much time is estimated for each priority? Who should do the work? What resources are needed?

1145   Issues of the Parties
1215   Lunch (provided) with a Demostration on the GCOOS Interactive Kiosk Exhibits(Chris Simoniello)
1315   View from NOAA IOOS(Dave Easter)
1345   Building an Effective GCOOS-RA
    Enhancing Councils, Committees, and Task Forces
Status of the GCOOS Groups (Ann Jochens)
Enhancing Effectiveness (Worth Nowlin)
1400   Board Liaison Work
Each team of Board liaisons was to confer about the current state of activity of their committee, determine if the Terms of Reference are appropriate, review whether the membership is right, and prepare recommendations for any needed revisions. The target is to assess in detail the functions and membership of the GCOOS counciles and committees and find ways to improve their contributions. Information will be provided by the teams in advance of the meeting for Board consideration. Board Member Liaisons for GCOOS Councils, Committees, Task Teams are:
    Stakeholder Council:Terry McPherson, Ray Toll
Education & Outreach Council:Mike Spranger, Sharon Walker
Observing Systems Committee: Dave Driver, Stephan Howden
Products & Services Comittee: Joe Swaykos, Jennifer Wozencraft
DMAC Committee: Alfredo Prelat, Jan van Smirren
Membership Committee: Worth Nowlin
Public Health Task Team: Nancy Rabalais
Congressional Outreach Task Team: Jan van Smirren
Mexico Relations: John Dindo, Alfredo Prelat, Nancy Rabalais
Breakout Group 1 (Lead, Worth Nowlin): Stakeholder Council, Products & Services Committee, Membership Committee

Breakout Group 2 (Lead, Terry McPherson): Observing Systems Committee, Public Health Task Team, DMAC Committee, Mexico Relations, Modeling Task Team, HFR Task Team
Breakout Group 3 (Lead, Joe Swaykos): Education & Outreach Council, Congressional Outreach Task Team, Mexico Relations

1. Functions: Are the functions clearly defined for each group? What changes are needed? What overlap is there with other groups? How should the overlap be handled?
2. Membership: What changes should be made to improve the participation and activity of the members? What changes should be made in the membership?
3. Improving Contributions: How can each group be motivated to improve their contributions to the building of the GCOOS?

1530   BREAK
1600   Breakout Groups Report on Recommendations(15 minutes for each lead)
1645   Board Discussion (Terry McPherson, moderator)
1730   Tour of IMMS(Sharon Walker)
1830   Adjourn for the day
DINNER   On your own

15 March 2012

0730   Coffee
0800   Board Business Session
    GCOOS-RA & Non-profit Corporation (Worth Nowlin)
0830   Update on Mexico and Cuba (Alfredo Prelat)
0900   Next Meetings
Selection of Data and Location of Next Telecoms
Next Meeting is scheduled for September 26-27, 2012 at the Harte Research Institute in Corpus Christi, TX.
0915   GCOOS Office Review(Ann Jochens)
Budget detail
Summary of activities accomplished
Summary of activities planned
1015   BREAK
1030   Decisions on Councils, Committees, and Task Forces
1145   Discussion and Assignments for Next Steps
{Possible topics: Fund Raising, Improving Collaborations to Unify GOM COOS Efforts, Engagement of federal agencies, Recruit New Parties to the GCOOS-RA MoA, Informing Congress)
1215   Discussion of New or Outstanding Business
1230   Adjourn Board Meeting
1300   Begin Executive Committee Meeting
Topic: Results of This Meeting; Goals of Next Meeting, The Future
1400   Adjourn Executive Committee Meeting



Appendix C

A Review of the Stakeholder Council
Ray Toll
Terry McPherson
Joe Swaykos
Jennifer Wozencraft

Stakeholder Council€”Terms of Reference

  • Established to ensure that GCOOS is developed with user benefits in mind.
  • Provide advice on policies, identify potential new audiences for data and products,
  • Provide input to improve data and products,
  • Assist or advise on ways to support the activities and enhance the national resources of the National Federation of Regional Associations, and
  • Suggest improvements in disseminating data and products to users and decision makers.

Stakeholder council held two meetings; last time was March 2007

GCOOS Stakeholders TOR:

  • confer about the current state of activity of their group
    • Last time they met was 2007, minutes on the GCOOS web site
  • determine if the Terms of Reference are appropriate
    • they focus on end user benefit, on policy, new audiences for data and products, etc.
  • review whether the membership is right
    • membership structure is fine if council were active
  • prepare recommendations for any needed revisions
  • Council unneeded, considering how small the IOOS funding profile is.
    • Not all RAs have a stakeholders council
    • Believe these functions can be divided up between the BOD and Products and Services Committee
    • We would benefit by streamlining the committees and this is one that could be disbanded.


  • GCOOS Stakeholders Council is sunsetted
  • Streamline GCOOS governance structure by shifting responsibilities to the Board of Directors.

Ideas on GCOOS Products and Services Committee
Ray Toll
Terry McPherson
Joe Swaykos
Jennifer Wozencraft

Products and Services Definition
(ref NFRA)

  • Data management and integration that support the development of regional data integration centers for seamless access to existing and new regional data
  • Regional-scale models that can be nested within basin and global models to provide users with higher resolution forecasts
  • Product development that uses technical expertise to translate raw data into useful and meaningful information products.

Thought process

  • Renewed focus on the end user
  • User needs
    • drive requirements
    • drive future investments
  • Look harder at the 5 states’ needs
    • What’s out there ‐ gap analysis
  • Start with prioritized list from all the GCOOS workshops held since 2004 and Education and Outreach Committee successes


  • Given the apparent overlap between Products and Services and Education and Outreach, consider two options;
    • Absorb the two
    • Keep separate but link the two per the proposed org chart (see below)


  • Board ‐ develop prioritized sector list
  • Products and Services committee ‐ stand up and assign subcommittees; assess requirements, conduct gap analysis
  • Education and Outreach committee must be a part of this mix
    • Subcommittees ‐ create and implement products and services


  • Products and Services Committee ‐ one board member from each prioritized sector
  • Subcommittees representing selected, prioritized sectors ‐ one DMAC rep, one board member, GCOOS office rep, selected users from states, sectors, MTS, GOMA, etc.

Suggested GCOOS Org Chart Revision


Appendix D

Governance and Management Subsystem

What Priority Who (Lead) Who (Support) When
Interactions with NOAA IOOS M Ann, Matt, Chris   as needed
RA certification documentation H Ann Staff, BOD TBD
Progress Reports to NOAA (semi-annual) H Ann Staff & PIs 2012-15
GCOOS non-profit corporation H Worth Ann, Att.  
Completion/Revision of Business Documents M Ann Staff & Board as needed
Funding Strategy H Board Staff  
Prepare and initiate improvements in functioning of GCOOS groups H Board Staff
Board of Directors (corp. vs active Bd)  
Combine Stakeholder & Products-Services Recommendation H Board Staff 03/2012
Establish New Task Team on Modeling H Worth, Ann Board 03/2012
Membership Committee Activities H Worth Ann
Review & Improve Protocol for Nominations and Holding Board Elections H Worth Board & Ann 03/2012
Improve line up of available candidates M Board Member Comm next election
Manage the FY11 Grant H Ann Staff 2012
Descope & Manage the FY12 Grant H Ann Board 2012
Plan & Hold Upcoming meetings M Ann Susan
Increase membership in GCOOS-RA H Ann Staff & Board ongoing

Observing Subsystem

What Priority Who (Lead) Who (Support) When
GCOOS Build-out Strategic Plan H 1 Ann Staff 2012
GCOOS Build-out Implementation Plans H     2012-14
New Financing Strategy to Build-Out GCOOS H 2 Worth – GOMA   2012
SW FL Water Quality Data Integration Pilot H 3 Worth, Ann Ruth, Chris, Others TBD 2012
Beach Quality Reporting Network H 4 Ann and B. Kirkpatrick Howard and Gayanilo 12/12
Establish Gulf Glider Group H Ann   06/2012
Discuss GCOOS Build-out Plan with federal agencies ($$) H 5 Staff + Selected Board Members    

Data Management and Communications (DMAC) Subsystem

What Priority Who (Lead) Who (Support) When
     Plan and provide for sustained regular automated backup of disks; Matt to order backup disks for all who need them 1 Matt Shin 02/2012
     Document Data Portal and Products Portal workflow and process software 2 Matt Shin, Nonong 07/2012; update
     Data Sharing agreements with all providers
Disclaimers for data and products, etc.
3 Ann Matt; LDN 03-06 2012
     1a) Verify completeness of current data streams 1 Nonong helper June 2012
2a) Initiate dialog with data providers on upcoming QARTOD & IOOS Criterion; Ask them to describe their current QA/QC efforts 2 Matt LDN April 2012
     1) Highlight (increase web presence & impact of) available model (on products & business (stories) pages 1 Matt   June 2012 (Initial); Ongoing
     Web metric measuring system 2 Matt Shin 03/2012
     1) Online browse tool modules; visual representations of the inventory (may include plot) ‐ temporal & spatial 1 Nonong, Matt, Shin Students 06/2012 (Initial);
12/2012 (Final)
     2a) Create 1 Product tied to stakeholder group – beach quality (+ rip current forecasts?) (FL mash with TX) (All) 2     01/2013
     2b) Create 1 Product tied to E/O needs – Lessons for educators using data from the portal with visualizations 2 Chris Shin December 2012
     FSU Air Force Tower N7 H Matt-contact Kevin Speer Nonong-incorporate 03/12
     Florida water quality people H Ann, Worth Nonong  
IOOS DMAC MANDATES: (These are tasks flowing from NOAA IOOS Office)   Matt DMAC Team as needed

Modeling and Analysis Subsystem

What Priority Who (Lead) Who (Support) When
Publicize Phase 2 of the GOMEX-PPP H      
2012 BOEM Ecosystem Modeling Workshop H      
Establish a GCOOS Modeling Task Team to help guide GCOOS modeling activities H      
Hold potential second ecosystem modeling workshop focused on estuarine and shelf waters M      

* GCOOS Modeling Task Team Members should represent various modeling types: hypoxia, storm surge, nutrient loading, surge/slosh, rip currents, bays & estuaries hydrodynamic models (states), river discharge, PORTS models, any physical or ecosystem models not mandated by feds (not general circulation) – look at NSF EarthCube (Nonong has place holder for GCOOS on this).

Outreach and Eduction Subsystem

What Priority Who (Lead) Who (Support) When
Website Resources        
     Data visualization tool (one data set; show trends, avg. value) 2 Shin, Chris, Ruth   see DMAC
Awareness and Use of P&S        
     Targeted outreach to boaters, marina operators, water-related tourism 3 Chris Shin as funds allow
     Complete and Promote kiosks across Gulf 1 Chris MindClay 04/2012
     Develop materials for Congressional outreach H Chris Staff, Board ongoing
     Develop exhibit materials, fact sheets, flyers H Chris Staff, Board As needed
     Expand boater survey-at boater venues – in process H Chris, O’Connell   2012-2013
     Performance metrics for kiosks – in process H Chris EOC, Aquarium Staff 2012-2014
Support GCOOS Councils & Committees        
     Annual EOC meeting H Chris EOC 2012-2014

Communications, Collaborations, Engagement

What Priority Who (Lead) Who (Support) When
Make New Business Website Operational H Matt Staff 02/12
GCOOS News (2 times a month) H Laura Chris, Ruth ongoing
Stakeholder Sector Engagement
Stakeholder Workshops  
     HABIOS Workshop #3 (March 2012) H Kirkpatrick Ann 03/12
     SW FL Water Quality Data Integration Workshop H Worth, Ann Ruth, Chris, SCCF, GOMA 2012
Fisheries Communities Engagements – Plan H Worth Ann 02/12
Gulf of Mexico Alliance H Staff & BOD   ongoing
     Water Quality PIT H Ann, Matt    
          HABs Working Group   Ann    
          Monitoring Working Group   Ann    
     Nutrient Reduction PIT H Ann    
          Nutrient-Hypoxia Portal & Tools   pending    
          Hypoxia   Ann    
     Ecosystem Integration and Assesment PIT M Worth    
          Gulf of Mexico Report Card   Ann    
          Gulf of Mexico Master Mapping Plan   Jennifer Shin  
     Data Management Advisory Comittee H      
          WQ PIT – Technical Rep – Matt   Matt    
          EEN Rep – Chris   Chris    
GoMRI Interactions H Matt ongoing  
NOAA GoM Regional Collaboration Team M Ann, Chris   ongoing
NOAA NCDDC Digital Atlas M Matt, Shin   ongoing
NOAA (CMSP)Mary Boatman L Matt   ongoing
NOAA Engagement Working Group – H Chris   ongoing
Northern Gulf Institute M Ann   ongoing
Gulf of Mexico Foundation M Chris   ongoing
Harte Research Institute M Worth   ongoing
Coordination of FL stakeholder activiies with SECOORA H Ann Staff ongoing
Legislative Information Projects   Staff-BoD   ongoing
     Legislative Policy Working Group of Board H BoD    
Outreach Materials H Staff   ongoing
Online GCOOS documents M Ann Susan 03/12
Sea Grant Interaction Plan M Ann Worth 02/12
Other IOOS RAs (CaRA, Peru, Venezuela, etc.) L Various as needed  
GoMRI Consortia M Various as needed  
National & International Collaborations
Activities related to Oil Spill H      
Interactions with NFRA H      
Interactions: Interagency Ocean Observing Committee M Ann Board  
Interactions with Mexico H Prelat, Rabalais, Dindo Ann, Staff  
Interactions with Cuban Scientists (when allowed) L     TBD
Interactions with GEOSS – Data Exchange Standards L      
Interactions with JCOMM L      
HRI Gulf of Mexico Summit (2013) M