19 August 2008
Omni Bayfront Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi, TX

1.0   Opening of Meeting

Dr. Gary Jeffress, Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi, welcomed everyone to Corpus Christi, the fifth largest city in Texas. Worth Nowlin, Chair of the Board of Directors, welcomed everyone to the meeting of the GCOOS-RA Board of Directors. The attendees (Appendix A) introduced themselves. Ann Jochens, GCOOS Regional Coordinator, provided logistical information. Nowlin then briefly reviewed the agenda, suggesting addition of website review and board expansion. He called for other comments on the provisional agenda, which was accepted with minor changes; the agenda is given in Appendix B.

2.0   Reports on U.S. IOOS and GCOOS

2.1   Report on April 2008 RA Assessment with NOAA IOOS Program

Ann Jochens reported on the meeting between NOAA IOOS personnel and GCOOS-RA, CaRA, and SECOORA personnel held in Houston, TX, on 23 April 2008. Zdenka Willis, Director of the NOAA IOOS Program provided information on their plans for RCOOS development, including use of cooperative agreements for NOAA funding of RAs. She pointed out that the business case for IOOS needs to be made more strongly and that transitioning RA elements to the national backbone is unlikely to occur. The regional associations each provided an overview of their regional ocean observing systems, including governance, stakeholders, observing assets, and funding. The NOAA IOOS Program is preparing an assessment of the regional associations that will be made available. However, at the request of Jochens, Willis provided a letter with a summary of major points from their assessment of the GCOOS-RA. A major recommendation was to enhance engagement of the NOAA Gulf of Mexico Regional Team.


  • Nowlin will initiate contact with Buck Sutter, NOAA’s Gulf of Mexico Regional Collaboration Coordinator, and discuss issues of joint interest.
  • Nowlin will issue a call, in January 2009 or later as appropriate, for ideas regarding FY2010 proposals.
  • Board will consider how a concept of operations can be developed for the GCOOS-RA.

2.2   Report on CaRA Plans

Jorge Capella gave a report on the activities and plans of the U.S. Caribbean Regional Association (CaRA) and the Caribbean Coastal Ocean Observing System (CariCOOS). CaRA is the governing and administering arm of the U.S. Caribbean regional coastal observing system, CariCOOS. The region covered includes Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Capella described the organizational structure and the personnel involved with building the CariCOOS. The highest priorities for the region are coastal winds, waves, currents, and coastal inundation. Capella then described the observing elements that are installed or under development and the modeling assets for nowcasts and forecasts. Climate changes that may result in sea level rise or increased impacts from hurricanes are of increasing concern for CaRA, both for their effects on humans and on coastal ecosystems such as reefs.

2.3   Report on SECOORA Plans

Rick DeVoe presented a report on the plans for the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA) that covers the region from the north border of North Carolina to the Florida panhandle (the latter area of which is also part of the GCOOS-RA). He began with an overview of the history of the regional association. SECOORA is in the difficult process of downsizing the coastal ocean observing system that had been built through the SEACOOS project funded by ONR. SECOORA had $25M to build its coastal ocean observing system, but SECOORA has $3M to continue those systems. DeVoe then described the structure and governance of the regional association and reviewed the activities that have been undertaken by SECOORA. Because of the highly limited IOOS funding available from NOAA and other federal agencies, SECOORA is working to identify and acquire funding from sources other than NOAA. SEACOOS had built a strong data management system, which SECOORA is maintaining and seeking to improve. SECOORA also is focusing on the existing HF Radar system and maintaining as many other regional assets as the limited funding allows. SECOORA is tracking what is happening with the downsizing and the resulting impacts to the many stakeholders.

2.4   Report on the new GOOS Sub-panel of the ORRAP (Ray Toll)

Ray Toll reported on the newly established Ocean Observing Sub-panel that will advise the Ocean Research and Resource Advisory Panel (ORRAP), a Navy FACA panel, on the development of the federal ocean observing system. Molly McCammon, NFRA Board Chair, and VADM Paul Gaffney are serving as Co-Chairs of the Sub-panel, which held its first meeting on 17 June 2008. The terms of reference of the Sub-panel are given in Appendix C. The recommendations of the Sub-panel and information on its planned assessments were provided to the ORRAP in August 2008 (Appendix D). With the pending closure of the Ocean.US Office, the Sub-panel considered that office’s major functions: interagency planning and coordination, U.S. participations in the international development of ocean observing, and staff support to the IWGOO. The Sub-panel understanding is that the U.S. participation in the international development will be conducted under the umbrella of the NOAA IOOS Program and the staff support function was being arranged through the Consortium of Ocean Leadership. The Sub-panel recommended that the Ocean.US Office’s interagency planning and coordination function be given to the NOAA IOOS Program, as the lead agency for IOOS, with employees of the other IOOS agencies being detailed to the NOAA IOOS Program to work on interagency coordination activities. The GCOOS Board expressed its grave concern about whether interagency planning actually and effectively will occur within the NOAA IOOS Program, which is not a Program Office.

3.0   Data Management

3.1   Report on the NOAA IOOS Data Integration Framework

Richard Crout, NDBC, gave an overview of the NOAA IOOS Data Integration Framework (DIF). DIF is the IOOS data management activity guided by the NOAA IOOS Program. The goal is to increase data interoperability and to expedite access to data to improve decision-making. Initially DIF will be limited in scope of implementation to (1) demonstrate the data-to-decision tools process within NOAA and (2) gather lessons learned to use in further development of the IOOS. Five types of data have been selected to go into four decision-making tools over 12 months. The data types are temperature, salinity, sea level, currents, and color; winds and waves will also be included. The decision-making tools are hurricane intensity model, coastal inundation model, harmful algal bloom model, and integrated ecosystem assessment. The DIF results will be evaluated in 2010. The software and protocols for DIF implementation are being provided to the regional partners who will begin to implement them in 2009.

3.2   Report on Data Management and Communications Committee

Matthew Howard, GCOOS Data Coordinator, provided the report for the DMACC, as the chair has stepped down due to job reassignment. He gave the status of the committee membership and provided an update on progress on the DMACC Action Plan. Individuals have made some progress on action plan elements, although the full committee itself has not been active. Progress includes adoption of the SECOORA dictionary and establishment of a GCOOS Forums page for DMAC. Recommendations are to elect a new chair, who will be active, and to improve participation of all members in committee activities.

3.3   Status of projects dealing with Data Portal, Nodes, and Operational Center

Howard also reported on the status of the GCOOS data projects. The Data Portal project was funded for one year. A follow-on proposal was submitted to provide for an additional 3 years to enhance the data portal and develop the regional operation center. Funding for year 1 of the follow-on was awarded at 54% of the request. Progress on the portal consists of completion of scoping and planning, hiring of Felimon Gayanilo to code the portal, construction of the portal to receive routine data uploads, and identification of additional tasks. The associated web site is under development. The 3-year project to standardize the local data nodes was awarded approximately 75% of the requested funding for year 2. Progress includes near-complete participation of the GCOOS nodes in the NOAA IOOS Regional Observation Registry, uploading of data to the GCOOS Data Portal, adoption of the SECOORA data dictionary, setting attendance for node staff participation at an OOS Interoperability Workshop, and development of plans to adopt the NDBC DIF implementations.


  • GCOOS Office will arrange to request information for a revised inventory of GCOOS operating systems. The request will be coordinated with Matt Howard to ensure that information is useful for data portal development.

4.0   Observations

4.1   Report on new NOAA initiatives on the Gulf Coast (PORTS®, etc.)

Dr. Gary Jeffress, Professor of Geographic Information Science at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, is the Director of the Division of Nearshore Research and Principal Investigator of the Texas Coastal Ocean Observation Network (TCOON). The Division of Nearshore Research at TAMU-CC provides data at no cost from the TCOON, PORTS® (Houston/Galveston, Mobile Bay, Pascagoula, Sabine-Neches, and Gulfport) and Real-Time Navigation System (RTNS is a PORTS-like system for Corpus Christi) instruments through the internet. There is a full back-up of this information at the Texas Water Development Board in Austin, Texas.

Jeffress is a newly-appointed member of the Hydrographic Services Review Panel (HSRP). He provided information on the HSRP’s report, "HSRP Most Wanted Hydrographic Services Improvements." Jeffress reported that the new technology of multi-beam sidescan sonar is replacing the echosounder as the tool used to determine depth to the sea floor for nautical charts. The HSRP views the updating of nautical charts, particularly of the ship channels, as a high priority. Another priority is to modernize the measurement systems for the Physical Oceanographic Real-Time Systems (PORTS®) throughout the U.S. ports.

Jeffress provided a summary of the TCOON activities that he oversees. TCOON consists of stations that measure water level, current, water quality, and/or meteorological data. It was started with four stations funded by the City of Corpus Christi in 1989. There presently are 34 active stations and 80 historical and/or active sites. TCOON is sponsored primarily by the Texas General Land Office, Texas Water Development Board, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and U.S. National Ocean Service. The system has been operational for more than 19 years. The network is upgraded as funds become available. Jeffress gave an overview of the upgrades planned for the water level gage stations in the Gulf; costs range from an original cost of $500 to the new TCOON platform cost of $10,000 to the cost for NOAA’s hurricane resistant Sentinal station of $500,000. The USACE has developed a temporary tide gauge designed for fast deployment, such as when stations are knocked out by hurricanes and a temporary replacement is needed until the operational station can be repaired. Other new developments include new technologies for determining total relative sea level rise that is occurring along the Gulf coast. Jeffress explained that total relative sea level rise consists of the eustatic sea level rise (change in ocean volume) plus regional subsidence and shallow (local) subsidence. Texas data indicate that sea level is rising at about 2 feet per century at Galveston and 1.5 feet per century at Brownsville.

The ocean measurements for ports are maintained by several different groups. The Port of Corpus Christi is maintaining the Real-Time Navigation System (RTNS) at Corpus Christi. The Port of Houston maintains the Houston/Galveston PORTS®. There is no funding for maintenance for the newly installed PORTS® at Pascagoula, Gulfport, Mobile Bay, and Sabine-Neches. With marine transportation activities increasing in these and other ports in the Gulf, maintenance of the PORTS® is crucial for safe ship operations. Maintenance and operation costs for a PORTS® are approximately $350K per year. A 2007 analysis of the economic value of the Houston/Galveston PORTS® estimates benefits, such as decreased ship collisions and decreased spillage of products, at approximately $15M per year.

4.2   MMS Plans for Gulf of Mexico Activities

Alexis Lugo-Fernandez presented the plans of the Minerals Management Service (MMS) on behalf of Lars Herbst, MMS Regional Director, Gulf of Mexico OCS Region. The Gulf of Mexico OCS Region received 41% of the national MMS Environmental Studies Program (ESP) funding. In response to the national interest in possibly opening areas of the outer continental shelf that presently are under the moratoria, MMS has started a 5-Year Program to include those areas. The ESP has as priorities environmental issues associated with deepwater exploration and development, use of alternative energy sources, collaboration with Mexican oceanographers, climate change, and stakeholder issues. Lugo-Fernandez reviewed the new studies for FY2008, including one-time studies associated with hurricanes at ~$3M and a study of the dynamics of the Loop Current. MMS had a notice to lessees (NTL) that required platforms and rigs to monitor the currents using ADCPs and transmit the data in near-real-time to NDBC; MMS was in the process of evaluating whether or not to continue this NTL. Other activities include deepwater coral reefs, chemosynthetic communities, ultra-deepwater (> 2000 m), archaeological studies (shipwrecks), and studies of the impacts of air pollutant emissions under the Gulfwide Offshore Activities Data System (GOADS). He then summarized the proposed studies for FY2009, including a reanalysis of MMS databases for new insights. Information on MMS plans, study reports, and updates of ongoing studies is available at the MMS website.

5.0   Education and Outreach

5.1   Report on Education and Outreach Council (Joe Swaykos, Chair)

Joe Swaykos, Chair of the Education and Outreach Council (EOC), reported on the 5-6 June 2008 meeting of the EOC. The first goal of the EOC was the hire of the Education and Outreach (E/O) Coordinator; this was accomplished with the hiring of Dr. Chris Simoniello. She will work to keep the EOC members coordinated and engaged in GCOOS E/O activities. The EOC had undertaken a project to look at water temperature, water level, currents, and ocean color data available through the GCOOS web prior to the meeting and then to provide an evaluation of what they found. The evaluation has been provided to Jochens and Howard to aid them in the development of the GCOOS Data Portal. The EOC elected John O’Connell as the Chair-elect. Nowlin asked if the EOC members would be available to look at the new GCOOS web when it is done; Swaykos said the EOC would be able to provide feedback.

5.2   Report from Education and Outreach Coordinator

Chris Simoniello reported on her activities. She has undertaken a number of activities, one of which was an evaluation by the EOC of the GCOOS web site. Additionally she arranged for a GCOOS display banner and table covers, prepared articles on coastal ocean observing systems for the Marine Technology Society Journal and Southwinds Sailing magazine, and provided information on GCOOS at a NOAA-Indonesia Ocean Observing Capacity Building Workshop. She also was involved with development of a public service announcement by the Florida Coastal Ocean Observing System (FLCOOS), part of which she showed to the Board with the suggestion that GCOOS might prepare a similar message.

6.0   Planning

6.1   Report on the New GCOOS Web Site

Worth Nowlin and Susan Martin reported on the redesign of the GCOOS website. Martin demonstrated the new site. The temporary test site address was provided to enable attendees to critique the website if they wish. Simoniello will pool together pictures, graphics, videos, and similar material that might be used on the web or in presentations.


  • Martin will update the website calendar with the HABIOS Workshop in December 2008, Recreational Boating Workshop in November 2008, and change to dates of ACT workshop on HABs detection instruments.
  • Martin will update the News Board to contain statements on the HABIOS Plan development and the Recreational Boating Workshop.

6.2   Plans for further development of the GCOOS-RA including identification of user requirements

Worth Nowlin reviewed the activities to develop the GCOOS. Several workshops will be held over the next 6 months. The OOS Interoperability Workshop includes the assembly of the GCOOS local data nodes personnel, which will help prepare for the operational Data Portal. Two Recreational Boating Workshops are planned: one for the western Gulf, tentatively in November 2008 in Galveston*, Texas, and the other for the eastern Gulf, tentatively in February 2009 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (*Note: due to the impacts of Hurricane Ike on Galveston, the western Gulf workshop has been postponed.) The steering committee is formed and is working on what will be done at the workshops. An Ecosystem Modeling Workshop is in planning; it will include CaRA, SECOORA, and GOMA interests, as well as GCOOS-RA. Steering committees have been formed for a Marine Transportation Workshop and an Urban Development Workshop, but the meetings are on hold until completion of the Recreational Boating Workshops and HABs Workshops (see 6.2 below).


  • Nowlin will form a Steering Committee for the Ecosystem Modeling Workshop with input from CaRA, SECOORA, and GOMA. Steering Committee then to begin active planning.
  • Roman and Spranger, co-chairs for the Recreational Boating Steering Committee, will complete the planning for the two Recreational Boating Workshops.

6.3   Report on development of HABIOS Plan

Nancy Rabalais has agreed to take over the GCOOS leadership for the two HABs workshops, to be sponsored jointly with GOMA. She reported that the November 2007 HABs workshop developed the strategic plan, but now the implementation plan needs to be developed. One workshop will identify the gaps and needs, and the second will develop the steps to fill them. The GCOOS/GOMA steering committee will meet 16 September to define the goals of the two workshops and to identify steering committee members for each. The first workshop will be held in December 2008 in St. Petersburg. ACT is conducting a HABs sensor workshop in October 2008; Rabalais will attend. Alan Lewitus was attending a NOAA meeting to discuss a national HABs plan.


  • Lewitus will provide information on the NOAA HABs plan meeting to Rabalais.

6.4   NOAA Hypoxia Monitoring Implementation Plan

Alan Lewitus reported on the status of the NOAA Hypoxia Monitoring Implementation Plan. He reviewed the history of the development of Gulf hypoxia action plans. The main goal of the current action plan is to reduce the areal extent of the hypoxic zone to < 5000 km2 by 2015 by reducing the annual discharge of nitrogen and phosphorus into the Gulf. To meet this goal, measurements are needed to adequately monitor the hypoxic zone, assess the variability of hypoxia in time and space, and provide data for predictive models. Lewitus then reviewed the steps that have been taken to develop a hypoxia monitoring implementation plan and gave an overview of the elements and costs of the developing plan.

6.5   Report on GOMA & Nutrient Fate and Transport Workshop

Ann Jochens attended the GOMA First Annual Monitoring Forum held in St. Petersburg, Florida, on 3-5 June 2008. She gave an invited talk on GCOOS. The workshop consisted of two parts: a monitoring forum for coastal and estuarine water quality monitoring, HABs, and microbial source tracking and a workshop to further development of the GOMA nutrient study design. Other GOMA activities include the development of the Governors’ Action Plan II that will cover a five-year time horizon. The six Priority Issue Teams (PITs) are focused on: Managing Nutrient Inputs & Reducing Impacts, Water Quality, Ecosystem Integration and Assessment (replaces Habitat Identification and Characterization PIT), Habitat Conservation & Restoration, Environmental Education, and Coastal Community Resilience (new). Jochens reviewed the draft issues for each team.


  • GCOOS Office and Board will determine GCOOS’s connection to GOMA’s Habitat Conservation and Restoration efforts.

6.6   HF Radar Gap Analysis

Jochens reported on the GCOOS HF Radar Gap Analysis that was undertaken in response to a request from NOAA. Goals are to maintain the existing operational systems, determine if systems once operational could become part of the GCOOS network, analyze how to integrate data from different systems, and identify and fill gaps. Two types of gaps were identified: long-range HFR (for observing long distances) and short- and medium-range HFR (suitable for situations when high resolution over a small area is important, such as PORTS®). The plan is to cover the U.S. Gulf Coast with long-distance (>75 km), overlapping HFRs and to nest higher frequency radar systems in selected regions with substantial ship and boat traffic. Because waves are critical to many GCOOS stakeholders, it is hoped that, in addition to CODAR stations that can give significant wave height, a number of the HFRs will be of the type from which directional waves can be derived (e.g., WERA: Wellen Radar). There is a draft National Wave Plan, but it has not yet been finalized. An additional priority is to conduct a pilot project to determine how to combine data from different HF radars with different frequencies into a Gulf-wide coastal surface current map. NDBC will take HFR data and disseminate gridded speed and direction. A five-year plan was developed. The plan was provided to NOAA and was used in a workshop to develop a national HFR plan. Stephan Howden and Nick Shay attended that workshop on behalf of the GCOOS-RA. Cort Cooper has experience with CODAR on platforms. He identified that the platform shadow prevents 360° data sets. Dick Crout mentioned that if there is only one antenna, it will need to be near land. Jorge Capella said that the radials from the HFR can be used in data assimilation models.

6.7    Inter-RA Pilot Projects and Joint Workshops

Worth Nowlin discussed possible pilot projects that could be undertaken jointly with SECOORA and CaRA. He presented the suggestions from the GCOOS-RA. Both CaRA and SECOORA expressed interest in a joint pilot Regional Operations Center. Both are interested in identifying how ocean observing systems could help get accurate data on beach health to the public. Rick DeVoe said that Madeline Fletcher and Dwayne Porter of the University of South Carolina are exploring beach quality pilot projects for specific states of SECOORA. Capella will provide a contact name for CaRA.

SECOORA, with its legacy data from SEACOOS, agreed that the archival of legacy data and model output is a concern. With all the focus presently on real-time data, there is a need to put some effort into identifying what should be done with model output and data after they are no longer real-time and what standards and protocols should be used. The MMS FY2009 funding opportunity associated with reanalysis of the MMS database may provide an opportunity to address the legacy data issue.

SECOORA and CaRA agree that a rip current pilot project is needed. Rip current predictions are critical to beach safety. Several groups, such as Sea Grant and NOAA, have some projects on rip currents. The discussion centered on possible education/outreach activities that might be undertaken jointly to build a program around public awareness. Such a program may eventually lead to identification of ocean observations and modeling that would be helpful.

Harvey Seim and Nick Shay are working on identifying the comparative advantages of different HF radar systems for SECOORA. Shay is involved with the GCOOS-RA on this issue. DeVoe passed along a suggestion from Nick Shay for a pilot to conduct surveys before, during, and after hurricanes. Ray Toll suggested development of hurricane intensity decision support tools. Nowlin mentioned a possible joint proposal with SURA on inundation.


  • Nowlin will work with CaRA and SECOORA on setting up planning teams for several Inter-RA Pilot projects. Among those suggested are:
    • Regional data nodes/portal/ops center development underway between GCOOS-RA and SECOORA. Capella will arrange for CaRA to provide a name of who should be involved.
    • Creating rip current awareness—this should precede efforts to predict. This might reasonably begin with education and outreach effort. Nowlin will contact Stickney at Sea Grant to see what efforts presently exist.
    • Consider requirements/methods for handling of legacy data sets and model output.
    • Pilot on beach health. DeVoe suggested contacting Madelyn Fletcher and Dwyne Porter. Capella will arrange for CaRA to provide name.
    • Comparison of HF Radar types. Already ongoing at some level by Nick Shay and Harvey Seim.

6.8   Report from June 2008 U.S.-Mexico meeting and next actions in engaging Mexico

Alfredo Prelat summarized the meeting held between the GCOOS-RA, NOAA NDBC, and the Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT) on 19 June 2008 in Mexico City, Mexico. Presentations were given on GCOOS (Worth Nowlin and Alfredo Prelat), NDBC activities in the Gulf of Mexico (Paul Moersdorf), and Mexico’s ocean activities (Antonio Díaz de León Corral and Porfirío Álvarez Torres of SEMARNAT, Dr. Sergio Cerdeira of CONABIO). GCOOS and NDBC learned that the permits for red tide sensors are issued by SEMARNAT. Key issues in Mexico for which ocean observations will be implemented over a long time frame: fishing, oil and gas, pollution, and storms. Remote sensing data are used to monitor the ocean and coastal waters of Mexico for coastal and ocean management. Next steps will be to invite SEMARNAT participation in the HABs Workshops and the February 2009 GCOOS Board of Directors meeting and to facilitate introductions between Mexican and US scientists and mangers relative to common ocean observing system interests. Discussion on the possibility of SEMARNAT becoming a signatory to the GCOOS Memorandum of Agreement concluded with SEMARNAT interested in signing.

7.0   Closed Session of Board Meeting

7.1   Discussion of Draft Business Plan

Jochens and Nowlin introduced the topic of what level of a business plan GCOOS needs at the present time given the lack of funds to build an observing system and the changes in the structure of the federal IOOS interagency program. The Board decided that a comprehensive revision of the business plan was not a productive use of time. Instead, a brief overview giving the GCOOS-RA strategic direction and listing the strategic documents should be prepared. It and the various pieces (e.g., conceptual design, E/O strategic plan, portions of the draft business plan) should then be kept up-to-date. A white paper should be prepared that prioritizes the needs. At the next Board meeting 2-4 hours will be dedicated to determining new strategies to follow.


  • Board to discuss at its next face-to-face meeting the "GCOOS-RA Strategic Documents" that will be a Business Model consisting of a series of documents, many of which are in place.

7.2   Review of RA Budget

The GCOOS 2005-2007 support grant has been extended for one year. This will enable full use of the available funds.

7.3   Changes to committee/council memberships and chairs

The Board reviewed the membership of each council and committee. It approved Angela Sallis of the NCDDC in Mississippi for the Education and Outreach Council, Lei Hu of Dauphin Island Sea Lab for the Data Management and Communication Committee, Matthew Schrader of the USACE Jacksonville District and John Walrod of SAIC for the Observing System Committee (OSC), Steve Sempier of Sea Grant and Joe Stinus for NCDDS for the Products and Services Committee. The DMACC Chair has stepped down, so efforts will be undertaken by the GCOOS Office to hold an election with the committee. The Interim Chair of the PSC, Rost Parsons, has become an observer member, with Joe Stinus replacing him as the NCDDC representative. An election will be held for the PSC Chair.


  • Jochens will invite Sallis, Hu, Schrader, and Walrod to join the committees/councils on behalf on the Board.
  • GCOOS Office will arrange to obtain nominations for DMACC chair and then hold an election by the members.
  • GCOOS Office to arrange to obtain nominations for PSC chair and then hold the election by the members.
  • Board to identify a possible Alabama representative for the OSC.

7.4   Election of GCOOS representatives to NFRA

Ray Toll continued as one of the two GCOOS representatives to NFRA. Nancy Rabalais was elected to replace Buzz Martin, who stepped down. NFRA has established two new committees: Industry Partnership Committee and Public Policy Committee. The NFRA Executive Committee serves as the Public Policy Committee. The GCOOS Board recommended Jan van Smirren, who is with Fugro-GEOS, for the Industry Partnership Committee.


  • Jochens will transmit these contacts to Josie Quintrell, NFRA Executive Director.

7.5   Date of Next Board Meetings–telephone and in person

The next Board of Directors meetings will be by teleconference on 15 October and 17 December 2008 at 3:00 pm Central time and by meeting 25-26 February 2009 in Florida.

7.6   New Business

Nowlin recommended that the membership of the Board be expanded from 12 to 15, as allowed by the MOA, with the new members being from the E/O, Government, and Private sectors. This will bring new viewpoints and perspectives to the Board, while retaining the knowledge of members who have served since the inception of the GCOOS-RA. The Board agreed to pursue this. The member rotation will be considered.

Lugo-Fernandez announced that the next MMS Information Transfer Meeting will be held 6-8 January 2009 in New Orleans, LA.


  • GCOOS Office will consider sending GCOOS representation to the 6-8 January 2009 MMS ITM meeting in New Orleans.

There was no further business, so the Board meeting was adjourned.


Appendix A:

Attendees to the Meeting of the GCOOS-RA Board of Directors


Name Affiliation Comments
Board Members
Cortis Cooper Chevron Texaco Private Sector: August 2011
Alexis Lugo-Fernandez for Lars Herbst Minerals Management Service Government Sector: August 2011
Robert (Buzz) Martin Texas General Land Office Government Sector: August 2010
Worth Nowlin (Chair) Texas A&M University Academic Sector: August 2009
Alfredo Prelat Terralliance Private Sector: August 2010
Nancy Rabalais Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium Academic Sector: August 2011
Don Roman University of Southern Mississippi Academic Sector: August 2009
Raymond Toll Science Applications International Corporation Private Sector: August 2009
Jan van Smirren Fugro GEOS Private Sector: August 2010
Sharon Walker J.L. Scott Marine Education Center E/O Sector: August 2010
Jorge Capella University of Puerto Rico CaRA Representative
Chris Simoniello GCOOS; University of Southern Mississippi E/O Coordinator
Ann Jochens GCOOS; Texas A&M University Regional Coordinator
Susan Martin GCOOS; Texas A&M University Webmistress
Joe Swaykos Center of Higher Learning, Mississippi Chair, EOC
Gary Jeffress Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Member, OSC
Rick DeVoe South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium SECOORA Representative
Alan Lewitus Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research NOAA; Hypoxia
Richard Crout National Data Buoy Center Member, OSC
Matthew Howard GCOOS; Texas A&M University Data Coordinator


Appendix B:

GCOOS Board of Directors Meeting
19 August 2008
Corpus Christi, TX

Revised Agenda

Opening of Meeting
  Welcome from TAMU-CC
Notes from the Chair
Adoption of Agenda
Reports on U.S. IOOS and GCOOS
  Report on April 2008 RA Assessment with NOAA IOOS Program (Ann Jochens)
Report on CaRA Plans (Jorge Capella)
Report on SECOORA Plans (Rick DeVoe)
Report on the new GOOS Sub-panel of the ORRAP (Ray Toll)
Data Management
  Report on DIF, the IOOS data management activity guided by the NOAA IOOS Program Office (Richard Crout, NDBC)
Report on Data Management and Communications Committee (Matthew Howard)
Status of projects dealing with Data Portal, Nodes, and Operational Center (Howard)
  Report on new NOAA initiatives of the Gulf Coast (PORTS, etc.) (Gary Jeffress)
MMS Plans for Gulf of Mexico Activities (Alexis Lugo-Fernandez)
Education and Outreach
  Report on Education and Outreach Council (Joe Swaykos, Chair)
Report from Education and Outreach Coordinator (Chris Simoniello)
  Demonstration of the new GCOOS web site (Susan Martin)
Plans for further development of the GCOOS-RA including identification of user requirements (Worth Nowlin)
Report on development of HABIOS Plan (Nancy Rabalais)
NOAA Hypoxia Monitoring Implementation Plan (Alan Lewitus)
Report on GOMA & Nutrient Fate and Transport Workshop (Ann Jochens)
HF Radar Gap Analysis (Ann Jochens)
Inter-RA Pilot Projects and Joint Workshops (Worth Nowlin)
Report from June 2008 U.S.-Mexico meeting and next action in engaging Mexico (Alfredo Prelat)
Closed Session of Board Meeting
  Discussion of Draft Business Plan
Review of RA Budget
Changes to committee/council memberships and chairs
Election of GCOOS representatives to NFRA
Date of Next Board Meetings–telephone and in person
New business
Adjourn Board Meeting
Evening Dinner


Appendix C:

ORRAP Ocean Observing Sub-panel
Terms of Reference

The Ocean Observing Sub-panel is convened to provide a forum for expert input to ORRAP on issues relating to interagency federal ocean observing initiatives. These include, but are not limited to: (1) the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), both global and U.S. coastal components, as addressed through cooperative and collaborative international, national and regional programs and initiatives; (2) the U.S. Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and its relationship as the U.S. contribution to the Global Earth Observing System of Systems (GEOSS); (3) the National Science Foundation’s Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) and the Arctic Observing Network (AON); (4) the nation’s satellite ocean observation initiatives; and (5) education activities and programs related to ocean observing.


Appendix D:

ORRAP Ocean Observing Sub-panel
Recommendations to ORRAP, August 2008