The Latest from SECOORA
May 23, 2011
Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association

In this issue:  SECOORA Annual Meeting Summary | PBS Documentary | Gulf News | Job Announcements |Coming Events

SECOORA Annual Meeting Summary

The SECOORA Annual Meeting held last week was a successful and productive event.  Over 60 attendees including SECOORA members, federal and state stakeholders, and data managers attended the event held in Jacksonville, Florida.  A couple of key outcomes from the meetings follow.

  • Election results:  Congratulations to new and returning SECOORA Board members:  Peter Hamilton, Lynn Leonard, Peter Sheng, Georges Weatherly,  Jyotika Virmani, Bob Weisberg and George Maul.
  • Updating SECOORA's Conceptual Plan:  A working group led by Bob Weisberg has been established to draft an initial straw man.  The needs of the IOOS Program for cost information and regional gaps analyses, and NFRA's efforts to coordinate RA input are driving the schedule for SECOORA to update its plan this summer.  Stay tuned to our bi-weekly emails to stay abreast of progress.

Presentations from the meeting are now online:


The SECOORA meeting was also highlighted in the IOOS Z-gram.  Below are the Zdenka Willis's comments about the meeting excerpted from the Z-gram. 


Outreach:  SECOORA has put together a number of new outreach and legislative materials to support both a regional and state-by-state perspective.  SECOORA is working closely with GCOOS to ensure in Florida that both RCOOS are seen as complementary and that Florida works well with both RCOOS. 


Observations: SECOORA partners were the first to "see" the DWH oil spill from remote sensed capabilities.  Satellites became a very important part of the United States government response but because remote sensing infrastructure was already in place the first imagery came from SECOORA partners.  SECOORA continues to support 13 HFR which have been used by a number of Federal Agencies: NWS for marine forecasting, USACE for dredging, and local agencies such as the Police departments to help them solve cases.  Lynn Leonard's talk focused on how buoys really open doors to the communities.  She also reminded us that it takes constant communication to keep these observations going.  Some of the SECOORA instruments are on privately owned piers. It takes continual communications to keep these going, particularly when piers are sold to new owners.

DMAC:  SECOORA's core capacity includes the  "data commons" (1,000 platforms, 5,000 observations/hr, plus data from federal backbone (NOAA NDBC, NOS, NERRS, NWS, USGS); subregional programs (Carolinas RCOOS, FL COOS); state agencies (SCDNR, SCDHEC); and data content and technical support for specific applications. Madilyn Fletcher characterized DMAC as the "middle ground" for most SECOORA activities - its products and progress depend on observations, modeling, and outreach.  Two featured success stories are the South East Marine Portal being adopted by the National Weather Service and the Biological and Habitat GIS being lead by SECOORA partner Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.  


Modeling and Analysis:  Both the regional model and testbed efforts were featured during the discussions. The South Atlantic Bight and Gulf of Mexico (SABGOM) Circulation Nowcast/Forecast Modeling System provides sea surface, temperature, salinity and currents to support both coastal managers and scientists.  SECOORA is wrapping up a successful testbed and have developed a prototype Modeling System for Waves, Currents, Inundation and Hydrologic Flooding for Eastern North Carolina under the FY07 IOOS funding.  A look forward includes continued support for the SABGOM system, providing real-time forecasting of inundation and storm surge; developing data products derived from satellite and in situ observations for fisheries stock assessment and providing a decision support tool for beach/shellfish water quality advisories.


In addition to having the subsystem leads provide briefings, there was also a Federal panel that featured NOAA (Regional Team and the National Data Buoy Center); EPA; USGS and USACE.  Each panel member talked about efforts that they were part of that can work with/be part of SECOORA.  This panel was than followed by breakout groups to foster continued partnership.  A number of good ideas were recorded and we look forward to these partnerships to continue to blossom.  We also appreciate the close relationship that SECOORA has with the South Atlantic Governors Alliance (SAA), and the fall Board meeting will feature a joint session between SECOORA and the SAA.



The SECOORA DMAC/DMCC meeting was held on May 18, 2011, just after the Annual members meeting. The meeting was attended by SECOORA DMCC/DMAC members, GCOOS and MARCOOS DMAC coordinators, state, federal and private industry stakeholders. Discussions focused on SECOORA RCOOS PI, data provider, user and stakeholder needs; potential data management collaborative areas with other RAs; and DMAC/DMCC operational structure for FY12. Meeting notes will be made available on the SECOORA web site soon.


A huge thank you goes to everyone who had a part in planning, presenting, or facilitating the meeting.  Special thanks to Quint White and Jacksonville University for hosting a wonderful dinner at the Marine Science Research Institute.




Other News of Interest

Atlantic Crossing: A Robot's Daring Mission on PBS
This feature-length documentary is about RU27, the first autonomous underwater robot to cross the Atlantic Ocean, and the passionate scientists behind the mission. The documentary was made by
award-winning filmmaker Dena Seidel, Director of Digital Storytelling, Writers House, Rutgers English Department.  Check out the schedule of showings on PBS stations.


Get Involved in Restoring the Gulf

The recent agreement between the natural resource trustees and BP to make available $1 billion for the implementation of restoration projects is an opportunity for the public to get engaged in the restoration process. The trustees will continue to make available a Suggest a Restoration Project page, where the public can submit specific project proposals for consideration. Project ideas previously submitted to the co-trustees will also be considered. All projects approved by the trustees will be included in a Restoration Plan that will be subject to public review and comment. Projects included in the final restoration plan will be implemented using the $1 billion from the BP settlement.


Report:  Gulf Spill Recreational Fishing Response Group: Recommendations for Resource Recovery

A report released by the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership outlines recommendations for restoration of the Gulf of Mexico's fisheries, fish and wildlife habitat, and economy following last year's Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  Read the full press release

Job Announcements

Coastal Carolina Environmental Laboratory and Field Technician

Coastal Carolina University is accepting applications for an Environmental Laboratory and Field Technician.  This position is a full-time annual appointment with benefits, working within the Center for Marine and Wetland Studies' Environmental Quality Laboratory.  This facility conducts research and monitoring in the coastal and inland waters of northeastern South Carolina.  Duties include field sampling, sample processing and analysis, quality control procedures, instrument calibration and data management. The following parameters are routinely measured: bacteria including PCR methods, chlorophyll, nutrients, BOD5, organic carbon, turbidity, TSS, VSS, color, pH and alkalinity. Field measurements are made with in-situ meters. Complete an on-line application at:, which includes submission of a cover letter, resume and the names and contact information for three professional references.


Coastal Carolina Full Time Lecturer 

Coastal Carolina University invites applications for a full time Lecturer position in the Department of Marine Science beginning in August 2011. The position is an annually renewable appointment with benefits. The Department of Marine Science is committed to collaborative, interdisciplinary education and research and seeks a highly motivated individual with a commitment to undergraduate teaching.  Applicants must have a M.S. or Ph.D. in Marine Science or a related marine field.  The lecturer position will be expected to teach and coordinate introductory laboratory sections within the department.  Further information about Coastal Carolina University and Marine Science can be found at Candidates should submit a letter of application, a current CV, and a statement of teaching philosophy electronically at: Review of applications will begin June 10, 2011 and continue until the position is filled.


NOAA Fisheries Technical Writer Position

The Policy Branch within the Sustainable Fisheries Division, Southeast Regional Office, NOAA Fisheries Service is recruiting a Technical Writer (Fisheries Regulations) at the GS-9 level, with promotion potential to a GS-11 and a GS-12.  The vacancy will be open through Thursday, May 26, 2011. The vacancy announcements are posted on under announcement numbers: NMFS-SER-2011-0054 (DE) and NMFS-SER-2011-0055 (MAP).  Individuals with Federal employment status should apply under the MAP announcement (click on "ALL Jobs (Public and Status)" under the "Current Search" tab), all others under the DE announcement (click on "Only Public Jobs Open to ALL U.S. Citizens" under the "Current Search" tab).  Technical writers review and comment on FMP amendments, other fishery actions, and policies regarding regulatory implications and approaches; draft proposed and final regulations as necessary to implement fishery management actions in the South Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean; distribute new regulations and explanatory material to agency personnel and affected constituents; and coordinate the broadcasts of time-sensitive regulatory action via NOAA Weather Radio.

Coming Events 

May 23-25, 2011 Applying Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning as a Tool to Site Offshore Renewable Energy & other Future Uses Workshop, Narragansett, Rhode Island 


June 8-9, 2011 Northeast Coastal and Ocean Data Partnership Annual Meeting and Metadata Workshop, Rye, NH


June 14, 2011 The Forum On Earth Observations, Washington, DC


June 21, 2011 Public and Stakeholder Session of the National Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning Workshop, Washington, DC

July 13-14, 2011 National Business Forum On Marine Spatial Planning, Washington D.C.


July 17-21, 2011 Coastal Zone 2011, Chicago, IL


September 19-22, 2011 OCEANS '11 MTS/IEEE,  Kona, Hawai'i 


October 19-21, 2011 American Shore & Beach Preservation Association conference, New Orleans, LA 


November 7-9, 2011 Using Modeling to Solve Engineering and Environmental Assessment Problems, St. Augustine, Florida


November 14-17, 2011 NFRA/IOOS Regional Coordination Workshop, New England


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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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