Last updated: 27 August 2014

Meeting Notes

Action Items from Meeting

  • PSAC Members
    • Identify PSAC members to nominate to be chair and vice chair (self-nomination is acceptable)
    • Review products available on the GCOOS website
    • Review the "Summary report of IOOS Data Portal Reviews" by Stephanie Watson (was shared by Matt on February 18)
    • Review stakeholder priorities accessible on the GCOOS website
      • Identify if additional stakeholder workshops are needed and if so, what sectors
      • Identify additional priorities
    • Identify agenda items for the first face-to-face PSAC meeting
  • Interim Chair
    • Conduct the nomination and election process for Chair and Vice Chair
  • Executive Director
    • Share stakeholder priorities accessible on the GCOOS website
    • Share GCOOS meeting information for the March 2013 meeting to which PSAC members are invited


Summary from Conference Call

PSAC Members and Others on Call

LG Adams Weeks Bay NERR
Ken Barbor USM
Jorge Brenner The Nature Conservancy
Andy Brown CSA International
Dave Donaldson Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission
John Froeschke Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Council
Jim Gibeaut Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies
John Jacob Texas Sea Grant
Dean Klevan Guy Harvey Foundation, board member
Herb Malone Gulf Shores-Orange Beach Tourism
Greg Steyer USGS
Patrick Wilson Mobile Bay Bar Pilots Association
Steve Sempier Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium
Worth Nowlin GCOOS-RA Board of Directors
Matt Howard GCOOS Data Management and Communications
Shin Kobara GCOOS Data Management and Communications
Ann Jochens GCOOS Executive Director


Overview of GCOOS

Worth Nowlin, member Board of Directors and Treasurer
  • On behalf of the Board, Worth thanked the members for joining the PSAC
  • Participants were asked to please review the Powerpoint that was sent by Worth on February 17
  • GCOOS is one of 11 Regional Associations (RA) of U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System, which was authorized in 2009 and is financed through NOAA
  • The idea is to provide products and services freely to any group needing such from the Gulf of Mexico and its U.S. estuaries
  • The GCOOS-RA is progressing to be a non-profit in the state of Texas and then will request permission to operate in other Gulf states
  • There is a 15 member board comprised of representatives from academia, private sector, education/outreach and government
    • GCOOS-RA and Board meetings are two times per year and one RA meeting is open to all Members of the Regional Association
  • Direction for the RA is given by the Board to the Executive Director (Ann Jochens) and GCOOS staff
    • Matt Howard serves as regional coordinator for data management
    • Chris Simoniello serves as regional coordinator for outreach and education
  • This RA is different from most of the other ten RAs in that it tries to provide 10% of its money for outreach and education and is rather evenly balanced in membership between industry, government, academia and outreach/education
  • Matt Howard sent a word document with priority ratings from stakeholders, which is based on input from more than 20 stakeholder workshops that were conducted by GCOOS
    • It may be helpful if we principally rely on PSAC to offer suggestions on new priorities and changing priorities to identify needs to be filled.


Brief highlight of some of the products and services produced by GCOOS to date

Matt Howard, Data Management and Communications Committee
  • A meeting of all eleven RA’s revealed that people do not just want data but they would like products associated with the data
  • We are trying to spin up more products but we have limited staff and don’t want to replicate private sector activities
  • Provided a brief overview of some of the products that have been developed and available on the web
    • Bathymetry–using existing bathymetry data and giving ready access to the public
    • Boater Resource page–led by Shin Kobara and has many layers including access to real time datasets
    • Resources for modelers–includes historic data and current meter data, temperature and salinity profiles and other data
    • Deepwater Horizion–we uploaded several items and kept track of all glider data
  • Encouraged PSAC members to spend time reviewing the website
  • Development of products is ad hoc and sometimes reacting to needs
  • We commisioned a third party (Stephanie Watson) to draft a report as to how our data portal could be improved, how our delivery of data and products could be improved, how the guidance for use of our data portal could be improved, and what additional data and products should be included, based on an examination of what other RA’s are doing. Priorities for GCOOS are included in the report.
  • We need the PSAC to help guide us on direction to go based on the stakeholder priority list I sent to you and on Stephanie Watson’s report.
  • Outside input is needed


Charge to the PSAC and roles and responsibilities

Ann Jochens, Executive Director
  • There is a strong need to identify stakeholder sector needs
  • Each of you represent a stakeholder group
  • We are not interested in competing with the for-profit industry
  • We have a recreational boater page
    • Based on input from recreational boaters (2 workshops), which informed the development of the product
    • You may have other thoughts and ideas about this and other products, please share them
  • PSAC can help us identify what is a priority now versus 1-2 years from now
  • Tasks for the PSAC
    • Identify potential audiences for freely shared products
    • Identify new products and services that would be helpful for your sector
    • Identify how to improve existing products
    • Assess the usefulness of products and give feedback on what is working well
    • Identify pilot projects that can be used to assess the usefulness of a product before it goes Gulf-wide or has more data added to it
  • Worth added that he would hope that the PSAC could look at past stakeholder workshop priorities and identify if additional stakeholder workshops are needed (e.g. public health, marinas)
  • Herb Malone expressed a need for an authoritative source of information regarding where oil is going. The incorrect model results had a huge economic impact on tourism. We need someone like the National Hurricane Center for oil spills that pulls together data from NOAA, academia, and others.
    • Ann described how GCOOS pulled data from many academic sources and provided that information to NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration, which released forecasts but that some academic groups did not think their information was being used and released their own models, which had different forecasts and caused confusion.
    • Worth indicated that GCOOS would like to be the "go to" organization for data that NOAA pulls for their models and that the best forecasts came from Mitch Roffer. He also cautioned that the discussion at a recent modeler meeting revealed that the models that are being used are not yet well tested and validated
    • Herb followed up and asked that there be a 3-5 day oil forecast that is comparable to the NHC forecasts.
    • Worth stated that there is a project funded by the oil industry that is developing 60 day forecasts and is being finalized. Naval Research Lab is working on it and NOAA will use it too.
    • Ann indicated that the comments such as Herb’s are exactly what GCOOS is looking for from the PSAC.


Method of Interaction

Steve Sempier, Interim PSAC Chair
  • Steve proposed quarterly meetings with three of them being conference call/webex and the fourth being a face-to-face meeting.
  • LG suggested that we time the face-to-face meetings for about a month before a BOD meetings so that the our results can be shared with the Board at their meetings.
  • Jim indicated that a face-to-face meeting soon would be helpful and would facilitate the interactions on the phone.


PSAC Chair and Vice Chair nominations and election

Steve Sempier, Interim PSAC Chair
  • The PSAC has freedom to structure the leadership of the council in any way they would like.
  • Ann provided a summary of how other GCOOS bodies have their leadership structured
    • Some have voted for a chair and they remain in place until they choose to step down or members request a change
    • Education and Outreach Council has a past chair, chair, and chair-elect. The term limit is one year.
    • The BOD has a chair that serves for two years.
  • There was an open discussion regarding how the PSAC leadership could be formed
    • John Froscke indicated that it would be helpful to simplify things and have a Chair and Vice Chair with the vice chair assuming the chair role after the term limit.
    • Ken Barbor suggested that the PSAC is a diverse group and the Chair and Vice Chair should be geographically and sector diverse with at least a one year term limit
    • LG Adams stated that Weeks Bay NERR Advisory group has a Chair and Vice Chair that serve two year terms and Vice Chair become the Chair after the two years.
  • Nominations were open but it was stated that full nominations would be distributed through email correspondence since not all PSAC members were on the call.
    • Ken Barbor was nominated to be Chair by Worth Nowlin
    • Jim Gibeaut offered to run for Vice Chair
  • The suggestion was made to have a two year term
  • The nomination/election process would be led by Steve as follows:
    • Nominations will be solicited via email and open for approximately one week
    • Elections will be held following nominations and will be open for approximately two weeks.
  • Next actions
    • Worth suggested that PSAC members identify specific agenda items for the first face-to-face meeting, which will be set up by the elected Chair and Vice Chair.