26-27 April 2006
Ocean Springs, MS

The first annual meeting of the GCOOS Products and Services Committee was held at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs, MS, on 26-27 April 2006. Dr. Sharon Walker, Director of the J.L. Scott Marine Education Center and Aquarium, hosted the meeting. Attendees, their affiliations, and their GCOOS roles are given in Appendix A. The agenda for the meeting is given in Appendix B.

1.0   Opening of Meeting

1.1   Welcome, introductions, and logistics

The Products and Services Committee met in plenary session with the Observing Systems Committee and the Data Management and Communication Committee during the morning of 26 April 2006. Ann Jochens, GCOOS Regional Coordinator, welcomed the participants, introduced the Board members present, and explained logistics for the meeting. Participants then introduced themselves to the group.

1.2   Objectives of the meetings

Ray Toll, Chair of the GCOOS Board of Directors, gave a brief introduction and an overview of the purpose of the meeting. One major purpose of the meeting was to provide committee members with an overview of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS), the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) that constitutes the U.S. implementation of GOOS, and the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) and the GCOOS Regional Association (GCOOS-RA). The second major purpose was to organize each Committee, including election of the Committee Chair, development of its action plan for the coming year, and set up of its methods for conducting its work and its interactions with the other GCOOS-RA Committees and Councils and Board.

2.0   Overviewsof the Observing Systems

2.1   Overview of GOOS and the U.S. IOOS

Worth Nowlin gave a presentation reviewing the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), with a focus on the National Backbone. Questions and discussion followed. In the discussion, Nowlin mentioned that the global component of GOOS was working well, but that the coastal component of IOOS needed sharper planning before it would be likely to receive substantial funding.

2.2   Overview of GCOOS

Jan van Smirren, GCOOS Board member, presented an overview of GCOOS. It was suggested that a list of acronyms should be developed. Discussion centered on the relationship of GCOOS with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance. As a coordinated effort by the Governors of the five Gulf states, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) plays a prominent role in the broad community of stakeholders in the GCOOS. Within the range of activities that will help realize the seven societal goals of the  IOOS, the GOMA has identified five priority topics for the Gulf of Mexico. Ties are being developed between GOMA and GCOOS to ensure that these topics are being adequately addressed.

2.3   Synopsis of GCOOS workshops

Ann Jochens then gave a synopsis of the eight past GCOOS workshops and plans for future targeted sector workshops. Some of the past workshops and these future workshops are intended to develop prioritized measurements and products thought to be needed by specific private sector stakeholders, to provide estimates of economic benefits of such measurements or products to the sector, and to provide suggestions of pilot projects that might lead to new priority measurements and products.

2.4   The roles of the private sector in GCOOS—a personal perspective

Finally, Nowlin gave a presentation on his views of the roles of the private sector in GCOOS.

3.0   Products and Services Committee Working Session

The plenary session was followed by break-out sessions for each committee. This document constitutes the minutes of the Product and Services Committee (PSC). There are separate minutes for the Observing Systems Committee (OSC) and the Data Management and Communications Committee (DMAC). Interactions are planned with the Education and Outreach Council (EOC), which had met 24-25 April 2006.

During the working session, the Committee discussed the background materials and possible activities of the Committee. It reviewed its Terms of Reference and made recommendations. The Committee agreed on a tentative action plan with subcommittee members and decided on membership issues.

3.1   PSC Terms of Reference

The Terms of Reference for the Products and Services Committee are given in Appendix C. It was suggested that the first sentence be changed as follows: "The Products and Services Committee will be responsible for examining and recommending identifying the products and services necessary to meet the requirements of the GCOOS user community."

It was agreed that "services" in the Terms of Reference means forecasts, warnings, etc., but not tools such as midddleware. This is a different approach from that of SECOORA.

3.2   PSC plan of action and Committee structure

The Committee agreed on a tentative Plan of Action for the year May 2006 through April 2007 and on required committee structure. That plan with associated subcommittees and memberships follows:

  1. Recommend revisions to GCOOS Business Plan regarding products and services.

    Subcommittee: Dick Crout (Chair), Alexis Lugo-Fernández, Frank Müller-Karger, Dave Driver

  2. Produce a prioritized list of products and services recommended to date and those that will be recommended in future.

    Subcommittee: Russ Beard (Chair, who will receive assistance from his co-workers), Frank Müller-Karger, Mitch Roffer, an NGO representative (preferably the Ocean Conservancy) to be determined

  3. Develop a strategy to build an inventory of existing products that meet the prioritized list above and permit a gap analysis to be performed.

    Kathleen O’Keife takes lead; follows action 2; include someone from the Observing Systems Committee.

  4. Advise the GCOOS Board of Directors regarding the productions and dissemination of recommended products and services as part of pilot projects.

    Full committee review by email as prospecti are posted to GCOOS web site; start with current prospectus for a pilot GCOOS operations center.

  5. Suggest methods to obtain initial user requirements (inputs on products and services) and user feedback on products and services (existing and new), to analyze that input and feedback, and to identify a process for refining the products and services.

    Frank Müller-Karger (Chair), Kathleen O’Keife, and Russ Beard

  6. Suggest approaches to obtaining economic benefit information for products and services (both existing and new).

    Chair to begin by consulting with Charlie Colgan, University of Southern Maine

  7. Develop a process for determining costs of products and services.

    Chair to begin by consulting with Charlie Colgan, University of Southern Maine

  8. Recommend/implement mechanisms for good communications between GCOOS committees and councils. For each council and committee:
    • Action Plans shared among committees and councils via GCOOS Office
    • Monthly reports from chairs to Office—shared via electronic newsletter
    • Email/telephone exchanges as required/requested
    • Possible concurrent sessions at annual meeting

3.3   PSC membership and chairmanship

Chair and Co-Chair: The Committee will have a Chair and a Co-Chair. The chair will be elected for two-year terms. The first co-chair will be elected for one year and following co-chairs will be elected for two-year terms. Russ Beard will be the initial chair. Mitch Roffer will be the initial co-chair.

Membership: One-third of the original membership should be replaced each year for three years. Thereafter, members who have served three years should be replaced.

Recommendations to the Board regarding membership changes: The number of private sector members should be increased; shipping and tourism sectors should be considered. Certain federal agencies are clearly absent, including EPA (Gulf Breeze Laboratory) and USGS (stream gauge). Representatives of NGOs should be considered, particularly the Ocean Conservancy. A representative from the Hurricane Research Program at RSMAS/AOML might be considered. There may be too many members from Navy now. Members who do not attend meetings might be slated for early rotation off.

3.4   Miscellaneous Issues

  • Need an acronym list.
  • The draft outline of the Observing Systems Plan, prepared by the Observing Systems Committee, is Appendix D of that committee’s meeting minutes.
  • Regular teleconferences are recommended between the chairs of the PSC, OSC, and DMAC. Initially these will be monthly to begin. Russ Beard will arrange.
  • Share Action Plans with CaRA and SECOORA.

Appendix A: GCOOS Products and Services Committee (PSC) Meeting Attendees

26-27 April 2006
Ocean Springs, MS

Attendee Affiliation GCOOS Role Day 1 Day 2
Russell Beard NOAA NCDDC PSC Chair X X
Richard Crout NOAA NDBC Member X  
Alexis Lugo-Fernández Minerals Management Service Member X X
Frank Müller-Karger University of South Florida Member X X
Kathleen O’Keife Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Member X X
Mitch Roffer Roffer’s Ocean Fishing Forecasting Service, Inc. PSC Co-Chair X X
Worth Nowlin Texas A&M University Reporter; Board Member X X
Ken Dropco NOAA NESDIS Interested Observer X X
Ray Toll Science Applications International Corporation Chair of GCOOS Board   X
Attendees to the Plenary Session Only
Landry Bernard National Data Buoy Center, NOAA GCOOS Membership Committee X  
Terry McPherson NASA GCOOS Membership Committee X  

Appendix B: Provisional Agenda for GCOOS Products and Services Committee Meeting

26-27 April 2006
Ocean Springs, MS

26 April 2006

0830 Coffee and Juice
Plenary Session with other GCOOS Committees
0900 Welcome, Introductions, Logistics (Ann Jochens, GCOOS Regional Coordinator)
0915 Introduction and Purpose of the Meetings (Ray Toll, Chair of GCOOS-RA Board)
0930 Introduction to the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS)—with a focus on the National Backbone (Worth Nowlin, GCOOS-RA Board)
Questions and discussion
1000 Refreshment Break
1015 Overview of GCOOS (Jan van Smirren, GCOOS-RA Board)
Questions and discussion
1100 Synopsis of GCOOS workshops, results, and actions (Ann Jochens)
1130 Roles of Private Sector in GCOOS (Worth Nowlin)
1200 Catered Lunch
Products and Services Committee Sessions (Reporter: Worth Nowlin)
Interim chair, Russ Beard, presiding
1300 Presentation of Terms of Reference and Charges to Committee—This includes suggested tasks to be worked on by the Committee (Nowlin)
Following discussion of the terms of reference given in the GCOOS-RA MoA, the following principal committee tasks will be suggested:

  • Advise the Board and other GCOOS bodies regarding the development and dissemination of GCOOS products and services recommended by the Board or by specific sector workshops.
  • Suggest methods for obtaining user input and feedback on GCOOS products and services.
  • Advise the Board regarding approaches to meeting recommended production of products and services via pilot projects. (Likely to be principally intersessional activities.)
  • Suggest products and services of potential or known value to stakeholders; identification of users is critical. (This may be a secondary role in view of our use of specific sector workshops to identify priority observations and products.)
  • Suggest mechanisms for close communications between the Committee and the other two Committees and two Councils.
  • Develop plan for close communications within the Committee itself.
  • Recommend additions to or changes in membership to provide coverage of stakeholder sectors.
  • Review and provide comments on pertinent portions of the GCOOS Business Plan.
1345 Introduction and discussion of background materials
  • Priorities for enhancements of the national backbone and for regional enhancements and additions, or other observing system priorities, as given in the first Business Plan—needs revision
  • Priorities for products from HABSOS, Oil and Gas Industry, and IOOS Human Health workshops
  • Pilot projects now under investigation by the Board
1415 Election of Chair
1430 Discussion of and decisions regarding Committee’s foci and approach
1530 Refreshment break
1545 Continue meeting
1730 Adjourn for day 1
1800 Icebreaker at Sharon Walker’s house

27 April 2006

0700 Breakfast of committee chairs and reporters to compare notes
0830 Coffee and juice
0900 Committee meeting continues
1030 Refreshment Break
1045 Conclusions from the meeting
  • Summary of recommendations to Board
  • Final agreement on method of operation
  • Suggestions of membership changes
  • Other
1230 Adjourn Meeting

Appendix C: Terms of Reference Products and Services Committee

GCOOS Memorandum of Agreement Section VI.b.10

The Products and Services Committee will be responsible for identifying the products and services necessary to meet the requirements of the GCOOS user community. The Committee will define the initial user input and feedback processes and develop the products and distribution mechanisms. The Committee also will make recommendations to the Board on research or pilot projects that are needed to sustain and enhance the products and services provided under the coastal ocean observing system. Members will be appointed by the Board of Directors. The Products and Services Committee also is responsible for recommending to the Board updates to the business plan for user services and products. The chair will be elected by the members of the Committee and will work with the chairs of the DMAC and Observing Systems Committees, the Stakeholder Council, and the Education and Outreach Council to closely link the work of the committees and councils.