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July 2008 SECOORA Newsletter

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Search on for New Executive Director ::: ...In the Interim ::: Elections for Vacant Board Seat ::: New SECOORA Member ::: HF Radar Plan ::: New Data and Mapping Tools ::: Website Upgrades ::: SECOORA Planning/Management Grant ::: SECOORA RCOOS Grant ::: Ocean Data Partnership ::: FLCOOS Updates ::: Carolinas RCOOS Updates

Search on for New Executive Director – Capt. Parker Lumpkin, USN (ret.), SECOORA’s inaugural Executive Director, has decided to move on to a new assignment. Thank you, Parker, for all of your efforts on behalf of SECOORA! A formal search committee was formed by the SECOORA Board to launch a nationwide search to fill the position and is seeking qualified applicants. The position description for the SECOORA Executive Director can be found here. Please distribute the announcement to anyone you know who might be interested.

...In the Interim - the duties of the SECOORA Executive Director will be covered by 3 members of SECOORA – vice-chairman Prof. Harvey Seim (acting point of contact), chair Mr. M. Richard DeVoe, and member Prof. Lynn Leonard. These three have agreed to serve in this capacity for the next 3 months; a term that may be extended for a subsequent 3 months if needed.

Elections for Vacant Board Seat – the vacated Public Agencies/Non-Profit/Other Sector seat on the Board was filled by special election by the Board on July 14. Our new Board member is Roger Pugliese, Senior Fishery Biologist with the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. Congratulations on the new Board appointment, Roger!

New SECOORA Member – SECOORA proudly welcomes the USGS as a new Affiliate Member. The USGS will be represented by Eric Strom, Director of the USGS South Carolina Water Science Center. Welcome aboard! Other nominations for Sustaining, Institutional, Individual, or Affiliate Members can be directed to the SECOORA Program Coordinator, Susannah Sheldon or any member of the Board of Directors.

HF Radar Plan – in response to a request from the NOAA-IOOS Program Office, each regional association in the US has submitted a draft HF radar plan that conducts an analysis of existing gaps in radar coverage and proposes a 5-year build-out plan. The SECOORA community is invited to review the current draft HF Radar plan; please email comments to Harvey Seim.

New Data and Mapping Tools – the SECOORA Data Management Coordinating Council (DMCC), which has over 20 regional participants, has been working hard to develop some new on-line mapping and data access applications. These tools allow direct access to regional data sets, and dynamic and static map products, including the regional asset inventory.

Website Upgrades – a slow but steady set of upgrades to the SECOORA website is underway. While the full revamping of the site may not be complete until the end of the calendar year, expect there to be changes along the way. This month we’ll highlight the classroom section, a series of educational pages developed in the past and now collected under the SECOORA banner. SECOORA staff and members are using new analytical tools to assist in web site redesign and content modifications. Thanks to Susanna King, SECOORA also has a new logo!

SECOORA Planning/Management Grant – SECOORA, through its fiscal agent the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium, submitted a three-year proposal to NOAA in September 2007 to continue SECOORA planning and management activities, which was approved for funding. Formal notification of the funding award was announced by NOAA on May 28, 2008. The SECOORA web site hosts a copy of the 2008 planning and management proposal submitted to NOAA.

SECOORA RCOOS Grant – SECOORA also submitted a multi-million dollar, three-year proposal to NOAA for development of the region’s RCOOS (view the original proposal here). After being initially informed by NOAA that it would not be funded, SECOORA was informed earlier this year that $400,000 is to be awarded to our region for Year 1. A subsequent, revised and re-scoped 2008 RCOOS proposal that included support for regional HF radar systems and data management operations was successfully submitted to NOAA. Prospects for increased funding for Years 2 and 3 depend on the federal budget for IOOS in 2009 and 2010. We anticipate a formal Year 1 award announcement in the coming weeks.

Ocean Data Partnership (ODP) – The SECOORA ODP has been very active in the past month with multiple meetings in St. Petersburg, Dania Beach, Miami, Gainesville, and Jacksonville. The ODP has engaged some existing and new partners with the objective of improving access to the numerous archived ocean observing data sets in the region. Furthermore, the ODP has been active in partnering with GCOOS to address common data challenges and participated in other extra-regional events including the Gulf of Maine-hosted Web Services Workshop in Portland, ME and the US/EU-Baltic International Symposium in Tallinn, Estonia (where the theme was Ocean Observations, Ecosystem-Based Management, and Forecasting). Upcoming efforts will focus on working closely with the DMCC to effectively communicate the technical requirements of the Ocean Data Partners that have been engaged over the past month. For questions about the Ocean Data Partnership please contact the Information Management Coordinator, Sam Walker.

Subregional News:

FLCOOS Updates: The Florida COOS Consortium held its 13th caucus on May 30th which was hosted by NOAA's Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary at their Eco-Discovery Center in Key West. The theme was "A Unified Approach to Marine Management: Developing a Concept for Florida and Beyond." The PowerPoint presentations will soon be loaded onto the new FLCOOS website.

The FLCOOS Consortium just wrapped up a 5.5-month contract with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (and made possible by the Florida Oceans and Coastal Council) that included the addition of four in situ observing sites in data-sparse regions off east Florida, the addition of a nitrate sensor at a site off NW Florida, the production of Florida-wide high-resolution satellite images, a Florida-wide modeling component and a NE Florida modeling component, the development of the database that feeds the website, the production of the FLCOOS video and an associated end-user survey, an Ocean Tracking Network workshop and video, a second workshop to assess the funding scenarios, and the continued development of the Florida COOS Strategic Implementation Plan. An estimated two hundred people were involved with this effort which was accomplished in a remarkably short time-frame, including people from groups who assisted at no-cost such as the US Coast Guard. 12 of the 18 member institutions were directly involved, and all were indirectly involved.

New FLCOOS Website - Jyotika Virmani, the FLCOOS Executive Director, says “the entire site has been redesigned and populated with new information and very little remains from the original page. There are a number of new features that you can discover for yourselves. If you find something missing or have any other comments or suggestions, I would very much like to hear from you ( This was a large undertaking and I'm sure there are things that will get adjusted over the next few weeks. Enjoy the 'virtual surfing' in this particular coastal ocean realm, and please share with your colleagues.’’

The Florida COOS Consortium has just released its new video to highlight what a COOS is and how it affects the people in Florida. This is an overview video, about 7 minutes in length, and can be accessed from the FLCOOS website or going directly to YouTube and entering the keyword 'FLCOOS'. There is a link under the video to see it in high resolution, and you can watch it in full-screen by clicking the icon on the lower right corner of the YouTube video box. This DVD was made possible by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Oceans and Coastal Council.

Carolinas RCOOS Updates: The Carolinas RCOOS project was officially launched in November 2007. The primary goal of the project is to integrate assets and observations specific to the development of wave and water quality products in the North and South Carolina coastal region. SECOORA members contributing to this project currently include: University of North Carolina Wilmington, University of South Carolina, South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control, DownEast Instrumentation, and University of North Carolina Coastal Studies Institute. Recent activities include transitioning of CORMP and Caro-COOPS assets to the Carolinas RCOOS, development of a web-based data portal to support USACE wave applications, and assisting NERRs stations in NC and SC telemeter SWMP data in real-time. For more information contact Lynn Leonard.

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