Last updated: 23 September 2014

GCOOS Regional Association Board of Directors meeting
25-26 September 2013
Huntsville, AL

The 17th meeting of the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System Regional Association (GCOOS-RA) and the Board of Directors (BoD) was held on 25-26 September 2013 in Huntsville, AL. The attendees and their GCOOS-RA roles are listed in Appendix A. The agenda, as adopted, is given in Appendix B. A summary of action items from the meeting is given in Appendix C.

25 September 2013: Meeting of the GCOOS-RA


Dr. Sara Graves, Director of the University of Alabama-Huntsville Information Technology and Systems Center, welcomed the GCOOS-RA Board of Directors to Huntsville, AL, and the University of Alabama-Huntsville. Jan van Smirren, Chair of the BoD, also welcomed everyone. Introductions were made, including those joining the meeting using Webex capabilities. The agenda was adopted with changes by a quorum of the Board of Directors. A brief overview of the days’ activities was made.

Presentations on Local Data Nodes

Shawn Smith, Florida State University, provided a presentation on behalf of Dr. Kevin Speer. He discussed observations from weather and ocean instruments on Air Force Tower N7, a project initially funded by the Northern Gulf Institute, but now primarily supported by GCOOS. Data are collected for multiple parameters and at multiple depths and telemetered to shore. However, when instruments fail, they go offline because there are no funds to repair or replace them. Currently, a failed radiation sensor remains offline. A $50,000 infusion of capital is badly needed. Lack of funds for much-needed instrument calibrations is also an issue; the system has about 6-12 more months of operation before recalibration or replacement will be needed. The data are used by many, including fisheries scientists studying larval transport, the National Weather Service Tallahassee to validate offshore forecasts, and numerical modelers to validate ocean circulation models. Smith stated the two biggest challenges are funding to continue operations beyond a year and the likely deterioration of the tower platform since the Air Force decommissioned it and so is no longer maintaining the tower. There is a possibility of relocating to Tower N4 or transferring ownership of the tower to another (e.g., NDBC or a university) who will maintain it. Smith inquired whether GCOOS can help facilitate communications between the Air Force and NOAA to determine if transfer of tower ownership is an option.

Lei Hu, Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL), provided a handout on the Mobile Bay Environmental Monitoring Program and presented information on how GCOOS funds are supporting the data management and server administration training associated with operating DISL’s seven meteorological and hydrographic stations. The system includes several stations that have been monitoring for approximately 10 years. Hu estimated GCOOS funds approximately 12% of the annual operational cost of $215,000/year. Other sources of funding enabled the addition of four new stations and upgrades over the past three years, but these grants end in 2014. Hu also presented examples of how the GCOOS partnership enabled DISL to leverage resources and get Letters of Support to obtain other funding. The DISL system is stable with current funding for one year. Beyond that, it is unknown how the system will be supported.

Holly Herbert, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON), provided a presentation on behalf of Dr. Nancy Rabalais. LUMCON information has been collected in near-real-time since 2004 and is mainly for the purposes of water quality and hypoxia assessments. Numerous groups use the information, including the public, commercial fishing industry, law enforcement, researchers studying nutrient dynamics, the National Hurricane Center, and the federal Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force (for information on this Task Force). Approximately 15% of LUMCON’s system is supported by GCOOS, mainly in support of data management activities. Herbert stated that LUMCON has scaled back from six stations to two because it was not cost effective to maintain the outdated instruments in difficult-to-access areas. The challenges being faced include a decrease in state funding, a reduction in available IT personnel, aging equipment, losing technicians, and interruptions in real-time communications with stations. The solutions applied were to scale back to 2 stations (Terrebonne Bay and LUMCON) and upgrade the instrumentation as well as outsource the data storage. The outsourcing has caused a hiatus in the delivery of real-time data to GCOOS as the contractor must be taught how to do ftp pushes to others.

Dr. Stephan Howden, University of Southern Mississippi (USM), provided information on the status of USM’s three CODAR stations (in FL, AL, and MS) and one buoy located south of Horn Island, MS. GCOOS currently supports 87% of the operations and maintenance costs of this system, the remainder is derived from NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program, NASA’s Carbon System Monitoring and Evaluation Project, Mississippi Department of Marine Resources Coastal Impact Assistance Program, and the NOAA National Data Buoy Center. Funds are currently adequate for regular operations, but there is no recapitalization funding, so there is no way to keep going when aging equipment needs repairs or replacement. When equipment fails, it is offline for extended periods, numbering in the months for the CODARs during repairs. Howden would like to relocate the AL and FL CODAR systems to piers where he could acquire indoor space, but he needs funding for this space and cannot engage park personnel until he has it. The HFR data are served to the national server, which provides only one calendar year of HFR data online. The Globalstar modem on the buoy has failed and needs to be replaced with an Iridium modem. The MAPCO2 system is reporting data in near-real time. However, information is flowing through the PMEL site which has its own modem. Howden requested that GCOOS create a link from the PMEL site to the GCOOS Data Portal.

Dr. Peter Luo on behalf of Dr. Chunyan Li, Louisiana State University, reported on the WAVCIS system. The system, which was started in 1998 and has the only offshore station off LA, had 6 stations, but lack of funding resulted in the decommissioning of 3 stations in 2012. The funds currently available from all sources are adequate to support three sites for about a year. If funding continues to decrease, an additional 1 or 2 stations will be decommissioned. Luo emphasized how much more effort it takes to bring back a decommissioned station than to maintain existing infrastructure and upgrade as funds become available. While there are plans for technical upgrades, there are no funds. GCOOS funding is currently adequate to support one station, but not to replace aging equipment.

Board discussion: Worth Nowlin pointed out that in addition to the original ten Local Data Nodes, the GCOOS Data Portal has added many other sources of data from all over the Gulf. The reason the BOD is doing these reviews of the subcontractors is so the Board can better understand what the GCOOS funds are supporting and what the challenges are to the System of Systems. It was apparent after the Local Data Node presentations that GCOOS is making more than Data Management contributions to its partners. In the current fiscal year, 15-80% of operations and maintenance costs of the local data nodes was supported by GCOOS. But all systems are facing problems associated with inadequate O&M funding for the future and for necessary recapitalization to replace aging equipment and sensors.


Worth Nowlin, Treasurer of the GCOOS-RA, moderated the discussion on RESTORE Act activities. He reported that William Hogarth, representative for the Florida Center of Excellence, and Charles Groat, representative for the Louisiana Center of Excellence had to cancel and so were not able to participate in the discussion, and he thanked the guest speakers for coming to the meeting.

As a preamble to the discussion, Nowlin stated that, as a member of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System, the GCOOS-RA supports the development of a Gulf of Mexico observing system. However we have no illusion that this RA alone can develop this system, though we do have a build-out plan for the system. We accept and acknowledge contributions made by all participants in the development of this system. Our major focus is on the delivery of aggregated, integrated ocean and meteorological data and products. Another key focus is on education and outreach.

NOAA Activities: Russ Beard, Director/Division Chief, NOAA National Coastal Data Development Center, provided a summary of NOAA-related RESTORE activities and coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He stated that it is anticipated there will be protracted settlements. Currently, only about $2M will be available the first year, with ~$1.4M put in trust in Treasury Bonds. Beard emphasized that NOAA is receiving a relatively small portion of the BP settlement funds for ocean monitoring and that for a comprehensive system to be developed, the big picture of funding must be considered, one that includes the Gulf Ecosystem Restoration Council, National Academy of Science, NRDA, and others. GCOOS is particularly well-positioned to guide application of state funds if we can make the link to technology-oriented economic development and jobs. He encouraged participants to nominate themselves and others to serve on the NOAA Science Advisory Board, clarifying that, if selected, there is no conflict of interest if proposing for funding. Because GCOOS has strength in the areas of engagement and coordination activities, it can help create a tiered, iterative approach to coordinate different science initiatives focused on the Gulf of Mexico. Three short term priorities that require input for the Science Plan Framework are 1) synthesis of current scientific understanding; 2) development of conceptual models; and 3) an assessment of observing system needs. Beard encouraged GCOOS to comment on the framework.

GOMURC Activities: Larry McKinney, Executive Director, Harte Research Institute, Corpus Christi, TX, provided a summary of RESTORE activities on behalf of the Gulf of Mexico Universities Research Collaborative (GoMURC). McKinney is the current Chair, with Monty Graham becoming the next Chair in October 2013. GoMURC started with the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and currently includes 78 universities. McKinney described the concept that GOMURC is developing for a Gulf Observing System. He stated the organization is not interested in observing system management and is focused on gaining broad, multi-organizational support of an expanded Gulf observing system and advocating for an endowment for long-term support.

Nowlin commented that immediate action is needed to build a mechanism of official cooperation and coordination between the different groups (i.e. GCOOS, GOMA, GoMURC, SURA, NOAA Regional Collaboration Team, GOMRI) to create a management structure with identified roles and responsibilities. All agreed a team needs to be assembled to coordinate and sort out high level management before we can approach funding leaders. Van Smirren agreed to arrange a meeting before the end of the year for the purpose of signing and committing players to a common plan. A solid plan will have the added benefit of helping to gain the support of business and industry.

Center of Excellence for Alabama (John Dindo for J. Valentine): John Dindo, Associate Director, DISL updated participants regarding the challenges AL has faced in selecting a lead for its Center of Excellence (COE)-dealing more with politics than science. The Alabama Marine Environmental Research Consortium, led by the Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL) and consisting of 22 colleges and universities that have been working together for more than 40 years, is the designated COE. The AL RESTORE Council, currently consisting of 10 members, including the mayors of the cities of the two coastal counties and their commissioners, has been chastised for not having a Citizen Advisory Group. Dindo stated that other groups with long-term citizen advisory groups (e.g., National Estuary Program) might serve as a vehicle for citizens and NGOs. GCOOS is considering hosting stakeholder workshops targeting the ocean information needs of NGOs in the Gulf. Chris Simoniello, GCOOS Education and Outreach Coordinator, is following up with Spitfire Strategies, a non-profit coordinating RESTORE Act activities for NGOs.

Center of Excellence for Mississippi (Monty Graham): Monty Graham, Chair, Department of Marine Sciences, USM, presented information on The Center for Gulf Studies (CGS), the designated COE for MS. Groups involved include the Mississippi State University, the University of Mississippi, Jackson State University, and USM. Graham stated that GCOOS needs to build on the Build-out Plan, be adaptive to new opportunities, and identify big synthesis activities-demonstrating how people will come together, use data, and provide broad applications and success stories. He reiterated the need to look at the big picture and not just the NOAA portion of funds for ocean observations, which entails aligning the GCOOS mission better with RESTORE priorities. Graham summarized the five RESTORE disciplines for the COEs and the Center’s science approach. The CGS has governance and business plans, a Director (Percy Donaghay), and a steering committee of academic leads and ex officio members that meets bi-weekly.

Center of Excellence for Texas (Larry McKinney): While Texas does not yet have a designated lead for its Center of Excellence, McKinney envisioned the focus will be on biological measurements, particularly those that build on the Gulf Report Card.

Board Discussion:

Beard commented that communicating the economic value of ocean monitoring in the Gulf will open numerous opportunities to partner with the various funding entities. Van Smirren reminded the group that GCOOS is working with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on their economic valuation study and that Landry Bernard is going to engage in the study on behalf of GCOOS.

In response to a question about coordinating COE activities, Graham stated there is no mandate for the states to coordinate their work. McKinney stated that neither TX nor LA have designated COEs, but that GoMURC can play a role coordinating once they are established. He also stated that there are significant roles for GCOOS in all of the COEs.

Reports from GCOOS-RA Groups

Prior to the Board meeting, Council, Committee, and Task Team Chairs and leaders provided summaries of their activities and Nowlin shared those with the Board prior to the meeting. Below are summaries from the groups selected to present at the meeting.

Gulf Glider Task Team: Stephan Howden summarized activities, including consideration by the team of a glider symposium and mini-glider Palooza, similar to what NERACOOS, MARACOOS and SECOORA have conducted. He informed the group that there is now a draft National Glider Plan that includes two to four glider transects that would run continuously along transect lines for use in mapping-type surveys. He inquired whether GCOOS should modify its glider plan to mesh with the national plan. Barb Kirkpatrick, Mote Marine Lab, said the team needs to think about a comprehensive plan to balance the need for both the spatial view and local needs of the Gulf community. Nowlin inquired when the team might suggest changes to GCOOS BOP. Howden stated they are currently working on the Hypoxia Plan and once complete, will have new information relevant to the BOP. He estimated comments on the BOP could be achieved in three months.

Modeling Task Team: Pat Hogan summarized the group’s first meeting, which was held February 15, 2013, in Houston, TX. A subcommittee was formed to assist with planning for the GCOOS Ecosystem Modeling Workshop and another to update the physical modeling element of the GCOOS BOP. Hogan summarized the status of the GOMEX-PPP work: Phase 1 was completed Fall 2012, and while model errors remain stubbornly high, preliminary model ensembles show promise. Phase 2 will have the Naval Research Lab (NRL) accelerate efforts to develop ensemble models. If successful, NRL will hand the model off to NAVO or NOAA if approved for operational status. The project will continue until Spring 2014. Hogan raised the question of how best to distribute models to the public-NRL develops models but does not serve products. He recommends that GCOOS embrace the modeling aspect of monitoring work going forward. Hogan is one of the RA representatives on the National IOOS Modeling Steering Committee.

Data Management and Communications Committee (DMACC): Lei Hu provided a summary of DMAC activities and said the committee would benefit from a focused activity such as creating a data product useful to both IOOS and GCOOS. Examples of potential products included working with modelers to integrate HFR circulation and ADCP data to show surface to bottom volumetric display of circulation on the shelf; creating a product to highlight progress on the Integrated Water Quality Network; or developing graphical regional plots for simple environmental features expanded into coastal zones (e.g., Gulf of Mexico sea surface salinity contours integrated into major bays). There was consensus that the DMACC should work with the Products and Services Advisory Council to identify a project and that an audience should be identified before proceeding.

Products and Services Advisory Council (PSAC): Ken Barbor, PSAC Chair, informed the group that the PSAC held a teleconference and had good participation. The call primarily served as a meet and greet and to introduce participants to the fundamentals of GCOOS. The Council agreed to meet quarterly via teleconference and face-to-face once per year. There will be a Chair and a Vice Chair, each with 2-year terms.

Following the updates, Nowlin summarized requests from other Councils, Committees and Task Teams.

New members to the Education and Outreach Council include Tricia LeBlanc, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, and Barbara Kirkpatrick, Mote Marine Laboratory. Gwen Emick rotated off the EOC. The EOC requested that Board members and participants submit stories so that GCOOS can showcase their work in the GCOOS newsletter and on the website.

There was discussion about the status of the Observing System Committee and a request by Nowlin to have the members review the draft Table of Contents for the BOP, identify areas that require revisions, and possibly add subjects that might be missing. It was suggested that specific sections be assigned to qualified individuals and that an early 2014 deadline to complete the task be given. Nowlin proposed that Howden poll the group to see who wants to continue, identify a new chair, and possibly add new members.

The Public Health Task Team requested a meeting in December 2013 or early 2014. Ann Jochens, GCOOS Executive Director, and the Board approved the request and Barb Kirkpatrick will discuss with Andy Reich, Chair.

The Membership Committee sent the Board recruitment literature and a PowerPoint presentation to approve for use in recruiting new members. The brochure has been approved for use, pending revision of one photo, and suggested changes are being made to the PowerPoint presentation. A list of potential new members is being revised and will be submitted for Board approval this fall.

Follow-up to September 2012 Strategy Session

Expanding Engagement with Federal and State Agencies: (Mike Spranger, Chair of the Government Relations Task Team, moderator) Sara Graves commented that the GCOOS literature and public relations information on the website have been helpful regarding her visits to the Hill. She also stated that it is often confusing to understand how the various groups related to Gulf observing (e.g., GCOOS, GOMA, GOMURC) fit together. Terry McPherson reminded participants that the 2009 ICOOS Act states that all federal entities must cooperate under IOOS and perhaps a reminder of this to educate our federal colleagues is in order.

Expanding Engagement with Industry: (Dave Driver moderator) Driver provided an update on his activities engaging members of the oil and gas industry. He sent the GCOOS MOA to approximately 20 deep-water operators in the Gulf, but only six companies responded. Driver explained that the issue is not lack of interest, rather a lack of science experts at the majority of companies. Only five or six of the major companies have science experts that would understand GCOOS activities. Driver and Al Hart will create a list of potential private/industry members and Simoniello and Stephanie Watson will work to identify points of contact in each.

Board of Directors Meeting – Open

Motions put forward:

  1. The first motion was to modify the agenda for 26 September by removing the Need for a Development Officer item and adding Review of Outstanding Action Items from the previous Board meeting. Sharon Walker moved for a vote, McPherson and Kirkpatrick seconded, all voted in favor.
  2. Nowlin passed out the slate of nominees for Board liaisons to various GCOOS and GOMA groups. He called for additional nominees. Jan van Smirren was added as a nominee for the Modeling Task Team. The motion was made by Walker to accept the Board liaisons to the various groups as given in Appendix D. Van Smirren seconded, all voted in favor.
  3. Approval was sought for Jochens and Dindo to be representatives to the IOOS Association Board, with Spranger as an alternate. Nowlin moved for a vote, van Smirren seconded, all voted in favor.
  4. Nominations for the Executive Committee were van Smirren as President, McPherson as first Vice President, Kirkpatrick as second Vice President, Joe Swaykos as Secretary, and Worth Nowlin as Treasurer. An email ballot was sent to Board members from Ann Jochens on September 23, 2013. All voted in favor of election of each of the nominees. Jochens reported on the results.

Report on IOOS Association Board

Jochens provided a report on IOOS Association Board activities. The IOOS Association Board developed comments on the Draft IOOS Certification Regulations. The draft limits the application of federal tort liability protection to three employees of each RA. The Board worked with the IOOS Program Office to establish a Joint Planning Initiative for data management, modeling, subsurface observations, and improving communication and collaboration. The Executive Committee met numerous times with the NOS and IOOS administrations. The GCOOS Board was concerned that the IOOS Association Executive Committee currently has eight RAs represented. GCOOS, CARA and CenCOOS are excluded. The ICOOS Act expires 30 September 2013. The House wants to reauthorize with appropriations of $29 M ($7 M less than the current budget). A Senate lead has yet to be identified. It is possible that Senator Maria Cantwell, WA, will sponsor the bill.

Consideration of numbers of Directors from the four sectors represented

Because of a noticeable absence of a representative from the state government sector on the GCOOS Board, there was discussion about changing either the composition (i.e., relative numbers of representatives in each category-Government, Education and Outreach, Academic, and Private Sector) or increasing the size of the Board. Discussion ensued and the suggestions to increase the Board by two and specify that the government category must include both federal and non-federal (state, local, tribal) representatives were made. The vote was deferred until tomorrow while Nowlin drafted a resolution.

IOOS Certification Process

Jochens provided an update on the NOAA IOOS certification process and stated that it adds burden, but not much in the way of benefits. All of the RAs have concerns about the Liability issues because NOAA IOOS only wants to cover two to three people in each RA (Executive Director, Data Manager, and Observing System Manager). In the past, GCOOS has obtained insurance for the Board and staff and will continue to do so. In addition to the insurance issue, significant burdens of certification include having to meet QA/QC requirements and all data served have to provide calibration information and shipping logs, regardless of how much of the project is funded by IOOS dollars. These are burdensome and not advantageous to the RAs, and have the added threat that under new IOOS leadership, could become prohibitively limiting to regional data providers. Clarification on liability for model output has not been resolved.

Miscellaneous Reports and Business

Nowlin reported on the status of several activities. First, the status of the non-profit tax-exempt status for the RA is that the GCOOS attorney called the IRS, which stated that they are far behind in processing applications-now dealing with applications submitted in January 2012. Both GOMA and GOMURC have signed the MOA and so are members of the GCOOS-RA. GCOOS and GOMURC have also signed an MOU to collaborate. An MOU has been prepared for GOMA and GCOOS, and Jochens will send it to GOMA for consideration. The revision of the Build-Out Plan is in progress, but slowly.

Integrated Water Quality Network (IWQN): Nowlin expressed the desire to have more of a presence and better public relations with regard to the IWQN. As they did for the Membership Committee, Simoniello and Watson will create informational products (e.g., brochure, PowerPoint, pilot activities) that highlight the project. Simoniello will also work via the EOC to make linkages with the developing Citizen Scientist portion of the GCOOS website. Matt Howard has agreed to develop prototypes for handling IWQN data sampled sporadically and legacy data.

Matt Howard suggested that GCOOS host a stakeholder workshop to determine the ocean information needs of NGO stakeholders for input into RESTORE activities. Simoniello suggested asking Alyssa Dausman if the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council has a list of participants attending their Public Listening Sessions. The exercise could also lead to new contributors to the Data Portal. Dindo stated we have to always be looking to demonstrate how the information is benefitting users. Simoniello will contact Ben Gass, leader of the Spitfire Strategies team coordinating NGO RESTORE-related activities and create a short survey to assess if a workshop with this group is warranted. Barbor and the PSAC will be engaged in the effort.

Engaging the Fisheries Community: It has been difficult to engage the GOM Fisheries Council and Fisheries Management Commission without a dedicated Board or staff member to keep in regular contact. Howard has compiled fisheries independent data for GCOOS that might make a good selling point to engage. Although in the past neither group has expressed interest in GCOOS data, at that time we had no data of likely interest to them. There was consensus that GCOOS should take advantage of fisheries specialist Dave Donaldson’s expertise. As a PSAC member, he would be ideal as a candidate for a new Board position and also to assist writing of the BOP related to Living Marine Resources. Because the GOM Fisheries Council is based in Tampa and Simoniello’s colleague Emily Muhlstein is their Fisheries Outreach Specialist, she is able to assist locally.

Adjourn Board Meeting for the Day

September 26, 2013

Board of Directors Business Meeting – Open only to Directors and Executive Director

Review of outstanding actions from last meeting (accountability)

Van Smirren called for a review of pending Board action items. The list of actions items resulting from the March 2013 meeting were reviewed (see Appendix E). Remaining actions will be added to the list of actions developed from this meeting (see Appendix C).

Discussion and approved of revised Business Model

Nowlin sent the revised Business Model to all Board members. The remaining deficiency is a summary on the Build-out Plan when revised needs to be included. The Business Model is a living document to be revised annually so these types of changes can be made at a future, appropriate time. Nowlin moved that the revised Business Model be accepted as the GCOOS-RA Business Model. Walker seconded; all voted for it. The Board members will provide minor edits to Nowlin by Friday, Oct 4. Nowlin will make those edits and provide the document to the GCOOS Office (Martin and Jochens) for posting with the Corporation’s papers.

GCOOS Office Review

A Semi-Annual Progress Report on the 5-year IOOS award was sent to the IOOS Office in June 2013. It is available on the GCOOS website. A Final Report on the Data Portal Project was submitted to the IOOS Office in July 2013. It is available on the GCOOS website. Jochens will arrange for the opportunity for Board comment on future reports with a short (days) turn around time.

Jochens reviewed the GCOOS budget for year 3 of the 5-year IOOS award. Board discussion focused on the need to have list of nuggets (e.g., IFCB; Mobile Bay leveraging) that can be turned into stories to show the successes of the project. Hart suggested considering Eco Magazine or Ocean News & Technology for publication of stories. He offered to work with his people in these sister companies to help get these stories published.

Jochens presented summaries of activities accomplished and planned. The Board asked if the Eco Hero game story had been picked up by the IOOS Office; it was. The GCOOS News and website will include an introduction to Landry Bernard as the Associate Executive Director.

Composition of the Board of Directors: Resolution

Nowlin presented the resolution to change the by-laws regarding the composition of the GCOOS-RA Board of Directors. The Board members present voted unanimously to increase the number of Directors from 15 to 17 by increasing the number of government representatives from 3 to 5, with at least two being in the federal and two in the non-federal government sectors. The resolution is given in Appendix F.

Schedule next meetings

Nowlin had talked with Steve Morey (COAPS) of FSU who is willing to host the next meeting in early March 2014 in Tallahassee, FL. Nowlin proposed the structure of the meeting might devote Day 1 to the Members meeting. The first half day would be a review of the RA, showcasing the Eco Hero game and other interesting activities. The afternoon would focus on RESTORE. Invitees might include local political representatives, and representatives of RESTORE NAS, Restoration Council, COEs, NOAA and the IOOS Program Office. Monday evening might include a reception with posters. Day 2 would be a Board meeting with content similar to this meeting. Walker moved the meeting be held in Tallahassee, FL, in March 2014; Nowlin seconded; all voted in favor. The dates selected were March 17-18 and half of the 19th if needed.

Telecons will be held by the EXEC COMM every 6-8 weeks and by the full Board in early January with updates to be given on the BOP, the corporate status, and Bernard’s activities.

Other business

Nowlin reported that van Smirren, Jochens and he had reviewed the MOA and by-laws. The results are that the Board will need to approve the salaries for Jochens and Bernard. A job description also is needed for the Executive Director position. Jochens will provide the first draft to the Executive Committee that will revised and then provide the second draft to the Board for consideration and approval. It was agreed that position descriptions are needed for all GCOOS-RA staff.

Walker moved to adjourn the meeting; Kirkpatrick seconded; all voted in favor to adjourn.

Executive Committee Meeting was then held.

Resolutions passed by the Board of Directors between Board meetings.

During the period between the March 2013 Board meeting and this meeting, several resolutions were passed by the Board. Those appear in Appendix G.




GCOOS-RA Board Meeting
25-26 September 2013, Huntsville, AL

Name Institution GCOOS Role 9/25 9/26
Ken Barbor University of Southern Mississippi Chair, Products & Services Advisory Council  
Russ Beard NOAA – National Coastal Data Development Center Invited Speaker; Acting Director, NOAA RESTORE Science Program  
Landry Bernard University of Southern Mississippi Invited Guest; Associate Executive Director-to-be
John Dindo Dauphin Island Sea Lab Member, GCOOS Board of Directors
David Driver British Petroleum Member, GCOOS Board of Directors
Dave Easter ** NOAA – Integrated Ocean Observing System U.S. IOOS Program Office  
Monty Graham University of Southern Mississippi Invited Speaker; Chair, Marine Science, USM  
Sara Graves University of Alabama at Huntsville Host  
Al Hart Continental Shelf Associates Member, GCOOS Board of Directors
Holly Hebert Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium Invited Speaker; LUMCON Environmental Monitoring  
Pat Hogan Naval Research Laboratory Member, GCOOS Board of Directors
Matt Howard Texas A&M University GCOOS Data Coordinator  
Stephan Howden University of Southern Mississippi Member, GCOOS Board of Directors; Chair, Observing System Committee
Lei Hu Dauphin Island Sea Lab Invited Speaker; Chair, Data Management & Communications Committee  
Ann JochensTexas A&M University GCOOS Executive Director
Barb Kirkpatrick Mote Marine Laboratory Second Vice President, GCOOS Board of Directors
Yixin (Peter) Luo Louisiana State University Invited Speaker, WAVCIS  
Susan Martin Texas A&M University GCOOS Administrative Assistant  
Larry McKinney Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi Invited Speaker; Chair, GOMURC  
Terry McPherson The Baldwin Group First Vice President, GCOOS Board of Directors
Worth Nowlin Texas A&M University, Retired Treasurer, GCOOS Board of Directors
Angela Sallis NOAA – National Coastal Data Development Center Guest; GCOOS EOC Member  
Chris Simoniello Institute for Marine Mammal Studies GCOOS E/O Coordinator  
Shawn Smith Florida State University Invited Speaker; Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies (COAPS)  
Mike Spranger University of Florida Member, GCOOS Board of Directors
Joe Swaykos ** NOAA Secretary, GCOOS Board of Directors
Jan van Smirren FUGRO President, GCOOS Board of Directors
Sharon Walker Institute for Marine Mammal Studies Member, GCOOS Board of Directors
Stephanie Watson Independent GCOOS Consultant  
Jennifer Wozencraft U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Member, GCOOS Board of Directors

** Attended the meeting via WebEx




Agenda, as Amended, for GCOOS-RA meeting on 25-26 September 2013
Huntsville, Alabama

September 25, 2013

Fall 2013 GCOOS-RA Meeting

0800   Assemble for coffee and juices
0830   Opening of the Meeting (Jan van Smirren)
Welcome from UAH (Sara Graves)
Remarks from the Chair (Jan van Smirren)
Adoption of Agenda
0850   Presentations on Local Data Nodes (10 minutes each)
     FSU (Shawn Smith for Kevin Speer)
     DISL (Lei Hu)
     USM (Stephan Howden)
     LUMCON (Holly Herbert)
     LSU-WAVCIS (Peter Luo)
     Board discussion
0950   BREAK
1000   Update on RESTORE Act Responses
     NOAA Activities (Russ Beard)
     GOMURC Activities, including the Gulf Observing System Proposal (Larry McKinney)
     Center of Excellence for Alabama (John Dindo for John Valentine)
     Center of Excellence for Mississippi (Monty Graham)
     Center of Excellence for Texas (Larry McKinney)
     Board Discussion
1130   Reports from GCOOS-RA Groups
[Chairs not planning to attend were asked to prepare reports in advance of the meeting highlighting key activities undertaken, proposed membership changes, priority tasks for 2014, actions needed by the Board of Directors, etc.]
Review of reports, approving membership changes and providing guidance to group chairs. The following groups will be highlighted:
     Glider Task Team (Stephan Howden)
     Modeling Task Team (Pat Hogan, representing Cort Cooper, chair)
     DMAC Committee (Lei Hu)
     Products & Services Advisory Council (Ken Barbor)
1200   LUNCH
1300   Continue Reports from GCOOS-RA Groups
1430   Follow-up to strategy sessions held at September 2012 RA meeting. Planning for:
     Expanding Engagement with Federal and State Agencies (Mike Spranger, discussion leader)
     Expanding Engagement with Industry, with emphasis on oil and gas industry (Dave Driver, discussion leader)
1500   BREAK
Begin Board of Directors Meeting – Open
1520   Approval of Board liaisons to various groups [Selection of 2013-2014 Board Liaisons for Councils, Committees, Working Groups and of 2013-2014 Liaisons for GOMA Priority Issue Teams to be carried out by email prior to the meeting.]
1535   Election for Executive Committee & Corporate officers
1550   Report from GCOOS Reps to IOOS Association (formerly NFRA) Board (Ann Jochens & John Dindo)
1555   Election of GCOOS Reps to IOOS Association Board
1600   Consideration of numbers of Directors from the four sectors represented
1620   Brief opinion regarding status of the Certification Process for IOOS RAs (Ann Jochens)
1635   Brief miscellaneous reports and new business to be considered on September 26
[Might include status of tax-exempt status for the RA; status of MOA with GOMA; status of revised Build-Out Plan; update on Integrated Water Quality Network.]
1730   Adjourn for the day
September 26, 2013
Board of Directors Business Meeting
– Open only to Directors & Executive Director
0830   Review of Outstanding Action Items from March 2013 Meeting
Discussion and approval of revised Business Model
0900   GCOOS Office Review – brief written summaries to be provided in advance
Progress Report to IOOS Office
Budget detail
Summary of activities accomplished
Summary of activities planned
Discussion with Board
1030   BREAK
1045   Need for Development Officer and approach (Worth Nowlin)
1100   Schedule next meetings (face-to-face and telecom)
1115   Other business
1145   Adjourn Board meeting
1200   Executive Committee Meeting




Updated: 11/05/13

Actions remaining from meetings:
          13-14 March 2013, New Orleans, LA
          25-26 September 2013, Huntsville, AL

  • Subcontractors & Local Data Nodes
    • Jochens will arrange for preparation of a statement based on the Local Data Node presentations giving:
      • The percentage of the O & M funds supplied by GCOOS,
      • Examples of leveraging of GCOOS support to obtain additional funding, and
      • Nodes seeking recognition.
    • BOD suggested Jochens include in subcontracts language that states GCOOS logo/credit will be made visible on their sites. Jochens to follow-up.
    • FSU: Shawn Smith reported on the FSU COAPS monitoring station. He requested GCOOS help in facilitating the transfer of the FSU Tower between the Air Force and NOAA.
    • DISL: Lei Hu reports on the DISL monitoring stations. She seeks GCOOS help in obtaining additional funding needed in one year when her leveraged funds run out.
    • USM: Stephan Howden reported on the USM HFR system and buoy.
      • The buoy has a MAPCO2 system, which has its own modem but is reporting data in near real time through the PMELs site. He suggests GCOOS get a link from the PMEL site to the GCOOS Data Portal. Matt Howard to follow up.
      • Howden does not know if there are any IOOS HFR data standards on the website. Matt Howard will assist Howden in determining if there are any or any near-term plans for such. Matt Howard to follow-up.
      • Pat Hogan asked Howden if CODAR data are available. Howden said they are on the national server but are only available on the web for one calendar year. Howard says previous calendar years can be obtained by making a request, so the data are being stored somewhere. Russ Beard offered to talk to Howden offline to help resolve because he says this is unacceptable. Stephan Howden to follow-up.
    • LUMCON: Holly Hebert reported on the LUMCON monitoring stations.
      • LUMCON requests GCOOS assistance to gain additional financial support to resurrect its monitoring stations.
    • LSU: Peter Luo reported on the LSU WAVCIS system.
      • WAVCIS personnel would like GCOOS input on when IOOS DMAC QA/QC standards will be required, what these are, and whether it should be done automatically. Howard to follow-up.
    • SUMMARY: All Local Data Nodes expressed the need for additional support to replace aging and/or damaged equipment and to operate existing assets or there will be diminished ability to operate in 6-18 months. All requested GCOOS assistance in identifying funds. Nowlin and the GCOOS Staff decided to prepare a letter saying what GCOOS can and cannot do to assist with this funding issue. Nowlin to draft. DONE Jochens to send.
  • DWH & RESTORE Act Matters
    • Cooperation and Collaboration with Centers of Excellence (COEs) Nowlin to follow-up at the appropriate time
      • prepare a new letter when have more info on the finalization of the COEs;
      • prepare a letter to Russ Beard’s replacement (cooperative effort so no duplication of observing systems in Gulf)
    • Nowlin/Martin to send letter via email from van Smirren to Beard asking him to identify the role of IOOS in NOAA’s preparation for the implementation of Section 1604 of the RESTORE Act. Letter sent. DONE
    • Easter suggests a similar letter go to Willis. Jochens to follow-up. Letter sent. DONE
    • Nowlin to encourage Board members to nominate subject matter experts to the Advisory Board of NOAA Ecosystem Restoration, Science, Observations, Monitoring and Technology. Jochens sent email on this to the Board. DONE
    • Jochens to arrange for review and comments on the NOAA RESTORE Science Plan.
    • Jochens, Nowlin, van Smirren and Bernard (GCOOS) to work with Graham (GOMURC) to have the GCOOS-RA Office at Stennis host a meeting in late October or November for key representatives of GOMA, GOMURC, and GCOOS-RA (and as appropriate, NOAA RESTORE) to discuss cooperation, integration and management of a Gulf of Mexico Observing System.
    • Simoniello suggests we need a glossy, high-level summary of the GCOOS BOP to distribute to many entities in the RESTORE Act and other venues (such as the Government Relations Task Team). Graham suggests this document emphasize the “sustainable use of the Gulf’s resources.” Nowlin with assistance from Simoniello to prepare a document with a nice cover, and the table of contents, and the executive summary of the revised build-out plan for distribution.
    • NAS is meeting in the Gulf on October 30-31 in Tallahassee, FL; November 12-13 Long Beach, MS; and November 21-22 in Austin, TX. Virtual attendance might be possible:] . GCOOS should attend and make a strong case for contributions to technology oriented economic development (particularly as relates to health and the environment).
      • Landry, Watson to attend Mississippi Meeting
      • Howard to attend Texas meeting
    • Engaging NGOs:
      • Dindo to write letters to AL NGOs to engage and potentially become GCOOS members;
      • Simoniello to ask Alyssa Dausman if she has access to a list of NGOs that participated in the GCERC public meetings; and
      • Simoniello to follow up with Spitfire Strategies-the NGO that received a Walton Family Foundation grant to coordinate NGO RESTORE collaboration activities. Chris contacted Ben Gass ( and has started working with him and the NGO science leaders to assess ocean observing needs of this community. She will contact Ken Barbor, Chair of the GCOOS PSAC, to determine next steps once survey results are received.
    • Jochens to follow up in late October or early November with Russ Beard regarding whether the white paper that Becky Allee worked on that outlines NOAA’s monitoring needs (includes information on the parameters that they think should be measured and O&M needs) is ready to be shared. The information would strengthen the GCOOS BOP.
    • Jochens to arrange for preparations of flow charts of what funding is available, e.g., RESTORE and NRDA, with points-of-contact for each.
    • Develop a one pager on what GCOOS is, what it’s done, impacts, and the build-out plan to help the state Restoration Council members be made aware of the plan and GCOOS.
  • Build-Out Plan
    • Revise the BOP by the end of 2013. Nowlin to lead with assistance of Stephanie Watson.
    • Nowlin will send Hart current BOP and new table of contents. DONE
    • Nowlin will send the revised TOC to Howden. DONE
    • Kirkpatrick and Nowlin to prepare a revised Executive Summary for the BOP by end of December.
    • Howden to engage the Observing System Committee and Glider Task Team (see below).
    • Add acoustic monitoring to the BOP
    • Add fisheries monitoring to the BOP
      • Dindo to be GCOOS liaison(s) to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission.
      • John Dindo to accompany Matt Howard to future meeting of the Council where Matt will give a scheduled talk on fishery data available from the GCOOS Portal.
      • Kirkpatrick, Simoniello, Watson, and Spranger to identify documents on fisheries, Living Marine Resources, and HAB science that would be helpful in showing what needs to be monitored for ecosystem health.
      • Jochens and Kirkpatrick to assemble material and develop a framework for the living marine resources chapter.
      • Possible others to assist:
        • Simoniello: Ernst Peebles, Behzod Mahmoudi
        • Kirkpatrick: reach out to folks she knows
        • Spranger: MS or Ph.D. student
        • Jochens: Ecosystem modeling – Paul Montagna
        • Wozencraft: materials on habitat mapping
        • Walker: IMMS marine mammals & sea turtles
        • Dindo: tags on turtles and shark resources
        • Wozencraft: master mapping plan; habitat mapping
        • Hart: marine mammals
    • Fisheries/LMR/HAB elements have to be incorporated into the high level summary to funders (RESTORE, NRDA) – Jochens, BOD complete prior to high level meetings with RESTORE, NRDA, National Academies leaders
    • Jochens to send Al Hart the BOP DONE
    • Hart to review BOP from environmental perspective
    • TBD to align BOP with adaptive management to address various science issues
  • Business Model
    • Nowlin to incorporate revisions from BOD
    • Nowlin to provide final to Martin for posting on the GCOOS website
  • Integrated Water Quality Network
    • Simoniello and Watson will create informational products (e.g., brochure, PowerPoint, pilot activities) that highlight the IWQN project.
    • Simoniello will work via the EOC to make linkages with the developing Citizen Scientist portion of the GCOOS website.
    • Howard and others to develop prototypes for sporadic WQ sampling and legacy WQ data. These will be showcased in informational products.
  • Data Portal
    • Howard to work with Howden to develop a link from PMEL to GCOOS for the MAPCO2 data of the CenGOOS buoy
    • Howard will investigate developing easy access to past HFR data sets with Howden.
    • Howard to arrange for a disclaimer to be placed on every page of the Data Portal and the Products pages.
  • Observing System Subsystem
    • GCOOS to identify necessary observations and provide to NDBC so NDBC has regional input to assist them in identifying regional priorities.
  • Expanding engagement with federal and non-federal agencies
    • Spranger is the lead; see Governmental Relations Task Team
  • Expanding engagement with industry
    • Driver has a listing of some 74 organizations with metocean personnel. Hart suggests that the Health-Safety-Environment (HSE) personnel of the companies be considered in addition to Metocean personnel.
      • Driver and Hart to create a list of potential private/industry members that should be asked to join GCOOS, with their recommendations for priority invitations.
      • Dausman to provide Nowlin an updated potential members list
      • Nowlin to provide the updated potential members list to Driver and Hart
      • Driver and Hart to will review this list as compared to the list they develop.
      • Simoniello and Watson will help Driver and Hart identify people with contact information within each organization who would be best to contact
      • The list should be pre-approved by the Board for possible membership. Jochens or Nowlin can help with this process if the list is provided.
      • Driver and/or Hart will initiate the invitations to join GCOOS with their recommended companies.
  • Non-governmental potential funding
    • Nowlin will send to Board members a document on Foundations that might offer GCOOS funding opportunities. Nowlin sent the document on funding sources & area to the BOD & Jochens. DONE
    • Follow-up TBD
  • Education and Outreach Council
    • Martin to make approved membership changes to the GCOOS web: DONE
    • Barbara Kirkpatrick was added as a member of the EOC.
    • Gwen Emick was replaced by Tricia Le Blanc on the EOC.
  • Products & Services Advisory Council
    • Jochens to assist Barbour with PSAC meeting
    • Board suggested the PSAC meet with the DMACC
    • PSAC is tasked to review the GCOOS Build-Out Plan with the RESTORE Act in mind.
  • Observing System Committee
    • Howden to contact the members of the OSC to:
      • Ask each member if they wish to continue as a member or can they suggest another possible member.
      • Suggest a new chair.
      • Ask the committee to review the TOC for BOP II.
      • Request specific members to review specific sections of the BOP.
    • Nowlin and Jochens to help Howden move the OSC forward.
    • OSC is tasked to review the GCOOS Build-Out Plan with the RESTORE Act in mind.
  • Data Management and Communications Committee
    • The Board suggested the DMACC meet with the PSAC.
  • Membership Committee
    • Nowlin to provide updated materials, including suggested membership list and completed flyer and powerpoint, for BOD approval (in progress with assist from Watson, Simoniello, & Jochens)
    • Alyssa Dausman, Chair of the Membership Committee, will update the list of potential members and pass through Nowlin to the Board for consideration.
    • Membership Committee, Jochens or others will invite people once approved.
    • Simoniello to determine if Mitch Roffer serves on GCOOS groups. No. DONE
    • Develop a procedure to have two people identified to confirm the Board election voting, the Chair and one other.
  • Gulf Glider Task Team
    • By 20 December 2013, Howden will have recommendations from the Gulf Glide Task Team regarding revision of the AUV section of the BOP.
    • Howden will send to the Board for approval a plan for a Gulf glider demonstration with a budget for possible costs.
    • Larry said that wave gliders could be set to transmit by phone rather than satellite and that this is a cost-effective option. He asked if GCOOS is considering setting up a phone system to coordinate. (NDBC is using to handle transmissions for Dart buoys when communications are down). Is follow-up required? If so, who?
    • Matt will talk to Becky B to determine if GCOOS wants to make glider recommendations to IOOS. (Navy has end-to-end glider operations center-different gliders with different characteristics and packages and extensive QA and packaging for different applications; could be model for good solutions for national plan/hypoxia glider team)
  • Modeling Task Team
    • Jochens to recommend to the Executive Committee how Pat Hogan should represent GCOOS on the U.S. Modeling Steering Team. Jochens has iterated on this with IOOS Association and the IOOS Office when we put Hogan’s name forward.
    • The Modeling Task Team will be asked to review the BOP modeling sections with a focus on NRDA and RESTORE. They have been asked to revise.
  • Public Health Task Team
    • Barbara Kirkpatrick to work with Andy Reich to hold a meeting of the Public Health Task Team later this year or next.
  • Governmental Relations Task Team
    • Congressional Outreach
      • Chris to add names of partners, those funded by GCOOS even at low levels, to outreach materials targeting political leaders. Immediately-for inclusion in next round of Hill visits/decision-maker engagement. DONE
      • Watson to help Spranger with LA contacts and linkages
    • BOEM/LSU Economic Study of Ocean Observing Systems:
      • Jochens to notify Roscigno that Bernard will be the GCOOS POC. DONE
      • Bernard to sign the COI that van Smirren will send him. DONE
      • Bernard to talk with Roscigno or the project’s BOEM contact.
      • Simoniello work with Bernard and BOEM contact to get updates on reports and press releases so she can write articles and banner stories for GCOOS news.
  • GCOOS Office
    • Jochens to send MOU for GOMA to Laura Bowie.
    • Jochens to arrange for staff to address the question of how might the GCOOS Office better facilitate the activities of its various groups?
    • Jochens will draft a position description and key performance measures for the GCOOS-RA Executive Director.
    • The Executive Committee will oversee the preparation of position descriptions and key performance indicators for the GCOOS DMAC Coordinator and Education and Outreach Coordinator. Nowlin to coordinate. In progress.
    • Jochens will prepare position descriptions for other corporate positions.
    • Howard/Martin will prepare an area on the GCOOS web site or an ftp site that is password protected for distribution of corporate information.
    • Jochens to arrange for a protocol to be written and distributed to the BOD.
  • Relations with Mexico
    • Invite Mexican colleagues to attend the GCOOS Meetings including staff from PEMEX production in Villahermosa, PEMEX headquarters and SEMERNAT in Mexico City, and the GCOOS Mexican affiliates.
    • Jochens to ask from Bonnie Ponwith who should be invited from the LME.
    • Write news stories on Mexican affiliates activities.
  • Meetings
    • Susan Martin should begin arrangements for the next GCOOS meeting in Tallahassee, FL on March 17-18, and possibly morning of 19 March 2014.
    • Martin to finalize arrangements for the EOC meeting. DONE
  • Presentations, Publications, and Reporting
    • Ann will copy BOD members when NOAA reports are submitted. No action by the BOD is needed.
    • Next report is due in December; Jochens is to send a draft to BOD for an opportunity to review & comment (a la paper authors).
  • Communications Materials
    • Watson, Simoniello, and Mullins-Perry to encourage BOD members and those of the committees, councils and task teams to contribute information or topical suggestions for news articles and banner stories to Chris Simoniello.
    • Chris Simoniello will prepare a news release on the success of Cytobot monitoring off Corpus Christi.
    • Alan Hart offered to pass press releases to ECO Magazine. Another potential journal for GCOOS news is the Marine Technology Reporter. Chris should be informed. DONE
    • Sara Grave’s requested literature that shows how all the various regional parts fit together (GCOOS, GOMURC, GOMA, etc.); to show what they are individually and collectively.
      • Nowlin to provide Simoniello with the MOUs between GCOOS & GOMURC and GCOOS & GOMA. DONE
      • Simoniello to develop a draft showing how all the regional parts fit together.
      • Board Executive Committee and Executive Director to review then issue when appropriate.
    • GCOOS stories for newsletter/website (Simoniello/Watson/Mullins)
      • Howden would like his work highlighted in GCOOS newsletter/banner. (Simoniello/Watson/Mullins activity)
      • Li would like his story and work highlighted in GCOOS newsletter/website (publicize use of data for Grand Isle work) (Simoniello/Watson/Mullins).
      • Showcase Pat Hogan work with model ensemble–series of model output data that forecasted Loop Current Eddy shedding 2 months prior to event.




Board Liaisons for September 2013 – September 2014
Slate of Nominees

Board Liaisons to the GCOOS Councils, Committees, and Task Teams

  • Education & Outreach Council: Mike Spranger, Sharon Walker
  • Products & Services Advisory Council: Worth Nowlin, Board Liaison; Joe Swaykos, Alternate Board Liaison; John Dindo, Education & Outreach Council Liaison
  • Data Management and Communications Committee: Jennifer Wozencraft
  • Observing Systems Committee: Dave Driver, (Stephan Howden, chair)
  • Membership Committee: Worth Nowlin
  • Government Relations Task Team: Pasquale Roscigno, Terry McPherson, (Mike Spranger, chair)
  • Modeling Task Team: Worth Nowlin, Jan van Smirren
  • Public Health Task Team: Barbara Kirkpatrick, Nancy Rabalais
  • Gulf Glider Task Team: Dave Driver, Pasquale Roscigno, (Stephan Howden, chair)
  • Relations with Mexico: Nancy Rabalais, Mike Spranger

Board liaisons to the GOMA Priority Issue Teams

  • Environmental Education – Walker
  • Ecosystem Integration and Assessment – Hart, Wozencraft
  • Habitat Conservation and Restoration – Open
  • Water Quality – Rabalais
  • Community Resilience – Spranger
  • Nutrient Reduction – Rabalais, with Howden and Dindo as back-ups
  • Alliance Management Team – Nowlin




Review of
GCOOS BOD and Parties Meeting Action Items
13-14 March 2013, New Orleans, LA

  • Integrated Water Quality Network: Kate N (Mote) and Larry L (Conrad Blucher) to follow up with IWQN workshop participants’ and scour websites/farm data, ID information of interest to GCOOS. (Also possibly ID legacy data that will help Chuanmin Hu-USF generate virtual buoy products for the GOM.) DONE
  • Ad hoc RESTORE/NRDA team; Monty potential leader, John D coordinate Dropped
    • Dindo says pots of money are linked to politics and most lack knowledge of science and technology–GCOOS emphasis needs to be on long history with stakeholder–make this part of ad hoc team’s activities. Ad Hoc Team Dropped
    • Mike put forward Government Task Force to engage NRDA Trustees, but no stated action, leader or time frame. DONE
  • Glider Task Team membership–BOD vote DONE
    • Stephan to send Chris list of potential members (ASAP); Chris to send to BOD (same day), tally votes by end of March, and send results to Ann or Stephan. Who will formally invite members–Stephan, Ann, or other?
  • Next BOD meeting: 25-27 September 2013, AL (maybe Huntsville). Next meeting of the parties would be in March again–need to decide date and location (EXCOMM-before September BOD meeting) DONE
  • Business Model
    • EXCOMM to review business model; Jan and Worth to deliver straw man to BOD for review by June 26; Nancy also agreed to review first draft SEND TO BOD DONE
    • Ann to send most recent version of Business Model to all BOD members by March 20th (Business Model = BOD strategy; Business Plan = Exec director-spending plan for funds and how these support plans of Business Model) DONE
  • Each BOD member will offer the name/contact information for one non-governmental potential funding source (Alfredo and John already contributed. DONE
    • WN document on funding sources & area – send to BOD & ED Staff
    • Follow-up TBD
  • Formal letter stating GCOOS wants to be at the table for Center of Excellence discussions:
    • Ann draft letter by March 25th
    • Jan sign and share with BOD by April 1st before sending to Paul Sandifer; DONE to COE; PS letter dropped; new letter when have more info on COE; letter to Russ Beard’s replacement (coop effort so no duplication of observing sys in gulf)
  • BOP actions revised by EOY
    • Ann review BOP plan with help from Stephan;
      • In progress
      • SH – email to OSC
      • WN & BK Executive Summary end of year or before
      • WN send new TOC to SH
    • Nancy work with Chris to get team to review BOP in terms of fisheries/Living Marine Resource/HAB science (already sent invites to review to Ernst Peebles, Water Institute of the Gulf, and Behzod Mahmoudi (FWC); both engaged with GCOOS in past); Nancy will also entrain LUMCON colleague. What about fisheries council rep–Chris will contact colleague Emily at GOM Fisheries Council; Team to complete review by end of May.
      • Find documents that would be help – BK
      • What needs to be monitored for ecosystem health
      • AJ & BK – framework of chapter
      • AJ & BK work with CS, SW, RM-P to assemble material
      • BK reach out to folks she knows
      • MS Ph.D. student
      • Ecosystem modeling – Paul Montagna
      • JW – materials on habitat mapping
      • SW – IMMS marine mammals & sea turtles
      • JD – tags on turtles & sharks
      • JW – master mapping plan; habitat mapping
      • AH – marine mammals
      • AJ – send Al the BOP; Al to review from environmental perspective
    • Fisheries/LMR/HAB elements have to be incorporated into high level summary to funders (RESTORE, NRDA)–Ann, BOD complete prior to high level meetings with RESTORE, NRDA, National Academies leaders
    • Align BOP with adaptive management to address various science issues–SPELL IT OUT TO FUNDERS/POLITICAL LEADERS–Ann, BOD
  • Replace Bill Walker quote with one from Jerome Zeringue. Chris to send Nancy a reminder and attached current flyer (done) and Nancy to make request to Z (done). DONE
  • GCOOS Subcontractors
    • Ann to create a reporting template for those funded by GCOOS. She will share with the BOD for approval and incorporate into the subcontractor RFP stronger language as to the reporting requirement for continued funding, and need for timely submission of invoices. Increasingly important to have in case non-profit gets audited. DONE
    • BOD also suggested she include language that states GCOOS logo/credit will be made visible on their sites. AJ Follow-up
  • Chris S and Mike to present GCOOS at FL Outdoor Writers Association meeting in Aug. Report to BOD at Sept. meeting. Could not get on the agenda, so cancelled action
  • GCOOS Membership Membership Committee + Watson + Simoniello + Jochens doing this in progress
    • Ann to follow up with Worth regarding list of names/companies awaiting BOD approval for GCOOS membership
    • Ann will send via email to BOD for approval
    • Ann/BOD will invite people once approved. No time frame specified.
  • GCOOS BOD Drop Box Issue: Matt/Susan needs to address drop box issue. Jan, others can’t access anything in the Cloud. Time: immediately if expect BOD to review documents not sent via email. FTP Site set up instead; AJ to arrange for a protocol to be written and distributed to BOD
  • Congressional Outreach: Chris to add names of partners, those funded by GCOOS even at low levels, to outreach materials targeting political leaders. Immediately-for inclusion in next round of Hill visits/decision-maker engagement. DONE
  • Ann will copy BOD members when NOAA reports are submitted. No action by the BOD is needed. Next report due in December; send draft to BOD for an opportunity to review & comment (a la paper authors)
  • BOEM/LSU Economic Study of Ocean Observing Systems: Pat will work with Chris to get updates on reports and press releases so she can write articles and banner stories for GCOOS news. This will be a three-year study. PR gave CS a name; CS contacted and continues to work with PR & contact person.
    • AJ to notify PR that LB will be the GCOOS POC
    • LB to sign the COI that JvS will send him
    • LB to talk with PR





The GCOOS-RA corporate bylaws are changed to specify 17 rather than 15 Directors on the Board by increasing the number of Directors form the government sector from three to five. At least two of these Directors must be from non-federal government.




Resolutions passed by the Board between the March 2013 and September 2013 Board meetings

Appendix G.1: A Resolution to
Establish a GCOOS-RA Office at Stennis Space Center and
Appoint Landry Bernard as GCOOS-RA Associate Executive Director for that Office
September 12, 2013

The following resolution was sent via email to the GCOOS-RA Board of Directors for approval at 7:43am on Wednesday, 11 September 2013.
“I approve of the establishment of a GCOOS-RA Office at Stennis Space Center, MS, and of the appointment of Landry Bernard as the first Director of that Office with the title of Associate Executive Director of the GCOOS-RA with initial responsibilities and key performance indicators as given in the attached document.” (Here given below.)

As of September 12, 2013 the resolution had been approved by fourteen of the fifteen directors with one abstention (Stephan Howden). Thus, the resolution is passed.

The GCOOS-RA Office at Stennis Space Center

Background and Overview

The GCOOS-RA Board of Directors believes that the presence of a GCOOS Office at Stennis Space Center is a very good idea and agrees to establish such an office with assistance from the University of Southern Mississippi. The Office will be directed by the Associate Executive Director of the GCOOS-RA.

Working with individuals at Stennis was key to initiating the GCOOS-RA. There are many federal agencies and private sector groups with activities there and the RA should be better connected with them. The Associate Executive Director should seek to have them join the RA as Members. The Office should be supplied with information useful to persons seeking to understand the vision and mission of the GCOOS-RA, including brochures giving an overview of the RA and more specialized flyers, such as the GCOOS Frequently Asked Questions and the description of the RA and Board activities prepared for recruiting new Members and nominees for the Board.

The key responsibility of the Associate Executive Director will be to serve in a development capacity for the GCOOS-RA. Very much needed is someone who can accurately inform the GCOOS-RA leadership regarding stakeholder engagement and funding opportunities, beginning with opportunities resulting from the RESTORE Act. This should translate into maintaining an awareness of what the major players in the Gulf region are planning and suggesting actions that the RA should take to ensure the development of a sustained integrated observing system and, as appropriate, our inclusion in proposals of our partners and stakeholders.

One of the Associate Executive Director’s initial tasks will be the preparation of a GCOOS Development Plan. In addition to proposal opportunities, activities for other potential GCOOS-RA involvement are to be sought. Stennis provides a good location for obtaining information.

The Associate Executive Director should assist in arranging discussions between GCOOS-RA personnel and federal legislators and staff, federal agency personnel, and state agency personnel. These activities should better inform such individuals of the potential and needs of the GCOOS-RA.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) of the Department of the Interior, together with Louisiana State University (LSU), is supporting a three-year study of the economic impacts of a Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System. Faculty of the LSU will lead this study with participation by employees of the BOEM and input from the GCOOS-RA. The Associate Executive Director will be introduced to that study and will serve as the RA’s liaison to its principals.

The Office may also arrange periodic seminars at Stennis describing GCOOS activities and plans. They need not be frequent or at regularly spaced intervals. Board members and other GCOOS supporters will be asked to participate. The Office will assist with room arrangements and announcements.

To assist in ease of reporting, the Associate Executive Director should develop, in concert with the GCOOS-RA Executive Director, templates for brief monthly summaries of activities and for quarterly reports.

Responsibilities of the Associate Executive Director of the GCOOS-RA

  1. Development Activities
    • Develop potential stakeholder engagement and proposal opportunities (e.g., with organizations established under the RESTORE Act, National Academy of Science Gulf of Mexico Program, and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation-Gulf of Mexico)
    • Identify additional sources for funding needed observations and operational models, such as resources related to establishing an Integrated Ocean Observing System for the Gulf of Mexico.
    • Serve as the GCOOS-RA liaison to RESTORE Centers of Excellence.
    • Serve as the GCOOS-RA liaison to the Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaborative (GOMURC).
    • Serve as the GCOOS-RA liaison to the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI).
  2. Political Educational Activities (Work closely with Chair of GCOOS Government Relations Task Team)
    • Work with GCOOS-RA Directors and staff to assist them in expressing their views to their Members in Congress and staff
    • Express the potential and needs of the GCOOS-RA to Members of Congress and their staff using educational opportunities
    • Engage in no lobbying or advocacy activities.
  3. Building Rapport to determine needs for and use of GCOOS data/products/services
    • Build rapport with government agencies and private industry at Stennis and local area
    • Build rapport with Emergency Managers (as well as other state and local representatives).
  4. Reporting
    • Submit brief monthly summaries of activities and quarterly reports to GCOOS-RA Executive Director and Chair of Board

Key Performance Indicators

The performance of the Associate Executive Director should be judged by the following measures:

  1. Number and requested amounts of proposals submitted on the basis of the Associate Executive Director’s contacts and assistance in development; success rate of proposals submitted (proposals awarded to third parties which were strongly influenced by the Director’s activities may count);
  2. Number of educational or informational contacts related to GCOOS made by the Associate Executive Director with Members of Congress or staff and number of emergency managers, or other state and local managers, providing information regarding needs for and use of GCOOS data/products/services;
  3. Number of agencies and private firms becoming Members of the GCOOS-RA as a result of Associate Executive Director’s contacts; and
  4. Number of monthly meetings with liaison groups in which Associate Executive Director participated.

Appendix G.2: Resolution to change the address of the principal office
of the GCOOS-RA Corporation
Approved by the Board of Directors on September 16, 2013

On September 12, 2013, Worth Nowlin, at the request of the Executive Director of the GCOOS-RA, sent via email the following message to the Directors of the Corporation:

“Our Bylaws state that the principal office of the Corporation is located at
205 Emberglow Circle, College Station, TX 77840.
That was the former residence of Ann Jochens, our Executive Director.

Ann Jochens has moved to: 1016 Lyceum Court, College Station, TX 77840.

I ask for your approval of a change of address for the principal office of the Corporation to the Lyceum Court location.”

As of September 16, 2013, fourteen of the fifteen Directors had voted to approve the address change. Therefore, the address of the principal office of the Corporation is now
1016 Lyceum Court, College Station, TX 77840.

Voting to approve were: Driver, Nowlin, Spranger, McPherson, Roscigno, Kirkpatrick, van Smirren, Rabalais, Swaykos, Howden, Hart, Dindo, Walker, and Hogan. Not voting was Wozencraft.