The Latest from SECOORA
February 15, 2011
Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association

In this issue:  SECOORA RCOOS Manager| NFRA Meeting/Hill Visit Update | SECOORA Annual Meeting | Budget News | Oil Spill News | Job Announcement | Conference and Workshop Updates | Coming Events


A New RCOOS Manager for SECOORA

SECOORA welcomes Vembu Subramanian, who will take on the role of SECOORA's RCOOS manager at the end of April.  Vembu is well known to the SECOORA family, comes from University of South Florida, and brings extensive expertise in data management, observing systems, and remote sensing.  This position represents a partnership between SECOORA and the NOAA NERRS Centralized Data Management Office (CDMO). Vembu's primary responsibilities will be with SECOORA to coordinate and facilitate Principle Investigators and other stakeholders to implement a cohesive regional observing system. For the CDMO, Vembu will manage the NERRS real-time delivery of IOOS-compliant water quality and meteorological data.  


NFRA Meeting and Congressional Visits Update

Last week, the National Federation of Regional Associations (NFRA) Board met in Silver Spring, MD to discuss NFRA administrative issues and strategize about appropriations.  Following the Board meeting, NFRA met with the IOOS Program staff.  The majority of the time was spent on the issue of linking regional (RA) gaps analysis with IOOS Office efforts including the ongoing Blueprint Assessments, independent cost analysis, asset inventory and gaps analysis. NFRA established a working group to develop a template for the regional gaps analyses.  A meeting summary and links to key materials will be made available soon.


Following the NFRA meeting, Harvey Seim (UNC-CH), Miles Lackey (UNC-CH), Dick Dodge (NSU), Carlos Bacerra (FIU), Russell Cartwright (NSU), Rick DeVoe (SCSG), Debra Hernandez and Megan Treml visited a combined total of 24 Congressional offices providing information on IOOS, SECOORA, and our needs for the upcoming Congressional session.  Additionally, information packets were left in nearly every Congressional office in our region.  More follow up will be necessary, but this was an important outreach activity that introduced our issues to new Congressional staff and renewed relationships with returning Congressional offices.  Many thanks to all those that contributed!


SECOORA Annual Meeting Details

SECOORA's 2011 Annual Meeting will be held May 16-17, 2011 in Jacksonville, FL. 

A detailed draft agenda will be available on the SECOORA web site ( shortly.


May 16: The Board meeting is from 11-2:30 pm. The Members business meeting begins at 3 pm.


May 17: The Members meeting is from 8 am - 5 pm.  


A meeting of the SECOORA DMCC will be held May 18th. 



The meetings will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn-Jacksonville Airport, 13503 Ranch Road, Jacksonville, FL  32218.   Everyone is responsible for making their own hotel reservations.  The reservation group code is SEC; and the cutoff date to receive the group rate is April 25, 2011. You can make reservations by calling the hotel at 904-421-2700. Check-in is at 4 pm and check-out at 11 am.  Guests arriving before the scheduled check-in time will be accommodated as rooms are available.  Cancellation of your reservation less than 48 hours prior to the day of arrival will result in a charge equal to the first night's stay. The airport servicing the area is the Jacksonville International Airport.  A complimentary shuttle is available between the airport and hotel, and to the River City Marketplace.  Note:  It is the SECOORA policy to provide travel support for Board members only.

Budget News

President FY12 Budget Supports IOOSŪ
February 15, 2011 

On February 14th, President Obama released his budget for Fiscal Year 2012. The request for NOAA is $5.5 billion, which represents an increase of 16% over FY10 levels (there is no FY11 budget yet). Much of this supports NOAA's environmental satellite system.

The Budget includes a $16.5M increase for Regional IOOSŪ Observations. This budget request recognizes the value the regional systems bring to the nation. The total IOOS budget request is $37.5m: $6.5m for the National IOOSŪ Office; $14.5m for competitive regional grants and $16.5M for IOOS observing infrastructure, science, technology and innovation that includes: 

$3.0M for Regional Coastal Ocean Observing Systems "to be used to support the

Ocean Research Priorities Plan's near-term priority to develop ocean sensors."


$5.0M for IOOSŪ Surface Current Mapping - High Frequency Radar;


"The requested resources will support Regional IOOSŪ HF Radar stations with an emphasis on those stations currently operating and delivering data to the national network in regions of offshore oil production and in the vicinity of major ports and harbors." From the Congressional Justification Narrative


$8.5M Research and Development funding for marine sensor technology innovations.


"U.S. IOOSŪ will develop and apply a variety of biological, chemical, and physical marine sensing technologies to allow rapid, accurate, and cost effective detection, identification, characterization, and quantification of disease-causing microbes, toxins, and contaminants in marine waters, and seafood which may indicate health risks to humans. The goal will be to incorporate the successful marine sensor technologies into Regional IOOS and other monitoring and prediction programs to meet region-specific stakeholder needs as mandated by the Integrated Coastal and Ocean Observation System (ICOOS) Act (2009) and directed by the National Ocean Policy." From Congressional Justification Narrative


Further details are available in the Congressional Justification Narrative on the NOAA Budget Web page in the National Ocean Service Section.  



House Debates Continuing Resolution for FY 11

On Friday, the House released their language for the FY11 Continuing Resolution (CR).   It includes a cut of about $430 m from the NOAA ORF (Operations, Research and Facilities), which is where the IOOS budget is.  This is about a 14% cut from FY10 levels.  The House is debating H.R. 1 today, would proposes a 22% cut to all of NOAA.  Once the House takes action, the next step is for the CR to go the Senate and then to Committee.  We still have our work cut out for us to make sure that IOOS is in good position in the FY11 CR, and that the FY12 President's numbers hold.    







Oil Spill News

Expert Opinion Final Report to The Gulf Coast Claims Facility

On January 31, 2011, the Gulf Coast Claims Facility released An expert opinion of when the Gulf of Mexico will return to pre-spill harvest status following the BP Deepwater Horizon MC 252 oil spill by Dr. Wes Tunnell, a marine biologist at the Harte Institute at Texas A&M University. 

Job Announcement

Research Planning has a position open for a biologist/ecologist for the Columbia, SC office. The candidate should have an M.S. degree in biology or related field and have strong field experience. This position will involve coastal resource mapping, oil and chemical spill response, and assistance with various natural resource projects (literature syntheses, natural resource damage assessments, etc.). Excellent scientific writing and communication skills are essential, as well as experience in using Geographic Information Systems. Candidate must be willing to travel nationally and internationally. Typical travel is up to two weeks several times a year, and may be at short notice. Destinations vary widely and include some exciting, rare opportunities. Please visit our website to learn more about the types of projects and clients:

Knowledge in the following areas would be beneficial, but not absolutely necessary: salt marsh ecology, life histories of coastal and marine fauna, and habitat functions and services. Many potential projects, particularly coastal resource mapping, require the candidate to have strong skills in compilation and organization of large numbers of digital data sets, meeting facilitation, an understanding of coastal ecology (e.g., recognition of common marine and estuarine birds, fish, inverts, reptiles, mammals, benthic marine and intertidal habitats), and the ability to feel comfortable corresponding with a wide range of state, federal, and academic partners at various levels. Candidates should be able to work independently and make decisions. Oil and chemical spill response involves travel, long hours, a desire to work in the field under a variety of conditions (including riding in trucks, boats, helicopters, airplanes, etc.) and the ability to use basic field and office equipment (e.g., GPS, camera, laptop computers, basic software, etc.). The candidate should have an interest in learning new skills on-the-job in a fast-paced, emergency response environment. The candidate should have a strong desire to market existing and new clients, write proposals, present at scientific meetings, and publish papers.  

Please send your resume and representative publications to: 

Jacqueline Michel, Ph.D
Research Planning, Inc.
P. O. Box 328
Columbia, SC 29202

Conference and Workshop Updates

SC Living Marine Resources and Habitats Workshop Meeting Materials

Click on the link below to find the final meeting minutes and presentations from the SC Living Marine Resources & Habitats Workshop held on Dec. 2, 2010.


Coming Events 

February 13-18, 2011 ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting, San Juan, Puerto Rico


February 28-March 3, 2011 Coastal Program Managers' Meeting, Washington, D.C.


March 15-17, 2011 National Beach Conference, Miami, FL  


March 21-24, 2011 GeoTools Conference, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina


March 22, 2011  Florida Oceans Day, Tallahassee, FL


May 3-5, 2011 Applying Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning as a Tool to Site Offshore Renewable Energy & other Future Uses Workshop, Narragansett, Rhode Island 


May 16-18, 2011 SECOORA Annual Meeting and DMCC Meeting

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Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association
Are you interested in ocean observations, ecosystem management, marine operations, or coastal hazards? Then you should know about SECOORA, the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association. SECOORA is the regional solution to integrating coastal and ocean observing in the Southeast United States. Commitment to ocean observing technologies in our region is critical. Your input, guidance, support, and membership will insure that SECOORA continues to develop the products and services that you need. Join SECOORA and be a part of the Southeast's future. Contact Executive Director Debra Hernandez ( for more information.
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