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June 2009 SECOORA Newsletter

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A Message from the Executive Director * SECOORA * National

2009 Membership Meeting ::: New SECOORA Members ::: SECOORA DMAC and DMCC Meetings ::: Meetings and Conferences ::: New Coastal Monitoring Stations ::: Additional WERA Sites ::: National Surface Currents Plan ::: News To Contribute?


 A Message from the Executive Director

The 2009 SECOORA Annual Members meeting took place on May 13 and was very successful thanks to the contributions of all who attended.  Meeting materials and presentations are available here.  Highlights of the meeting included panel discussions on offshore energy, innovations in utilizing ocean observing data, and modeling.  Zdenka Willis, Director NOAA IOOS Program Office, and Josie Quintrell, NFRA Executive Director, provided insightful commentary on national-level and other regional efforts.  The membership also elected 7 Board members and unanimously approved revised By-laws and a 2009 Annual Budget.  In summary, the meeting included efficient voting and decision-making, productive discussions, interesting presentations and a great opportunity to re-acquaint with colleagues from around the region.  I greatly appreciate all those that spent the time and resources necessary to make the meeting a successful event, but special thanks go to Susannah Sheldon and Sam Walker.

I would also like to recognize Jennifer Dorton for her contributions to SECOORA over the last four years.  Her energy, resourcefulness and efficiency were critical to SECOORA's operations and her participation on the staff will be greatly missed.  We are all hopeful, of course, that she will continue to interact with us as she works on other related projects in the region.  Best wishes, Jennifer!

The next SECOORA meeting is a Board conference call scheduled for July 1, 2009, at 10:00AM.  The primary business of this call is to elect officers.  Another business item during this meeting will be appointment of Policy Committee Chairs and members, and announcement of Program Committee Chairs and members. 

We will be sending out email inquiries soon to all members asking them to confirm their interest in participating on the committees.  Please take the time to respond to these emails by agreeing to actively participate in SECOORA via the committees. 

We are also in the process of soliciting proposals for contractors to provide 1) communication and outreach services, 2) website maintenance services, and 3) upgrades to the SECOORA website.   If you know individuals that can provide these services, please forward their contact information to me. 

I continue to work with Sam and Susannah to improve communication within the SECOORA community.  Please contact any of us with your suggestions and comments on how we can continue to effectively network and leverage the expertise and interests in our region.  Enjoy June and look to hear from us  July 1 with the announcement of our new officers.  



 2009 Board and Membership Meetings - On May 12th and 13th, SECOORA hosted joint Board and membership Meetings in Jacksonville, FL.  The organization is making progress on moving towards independence as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, including a move to subawardee status for FY10 under SC Sea Grant Consortium which currently administers the RA Planning and RCOOS grants.  In addition, FY11 will mark the first year in which SECOORA will apply for NOAA IOOS grants as an independent organization.

Another major step forward for the organization came in the form of a detailed review of the By-Laws that were approved by the Board in 2007.  The Governance Committee led this effort, providing an initial review to the full Board of Directors, who then completed a second review and put forth their recommendations to the memberhship.  The recommended amendments were approved, leading to more a streamlined set of By-Laws.

Board elections were held for seven vacancies.  Results are below. Welcome to new Board members Madilyn Fletcher and Steve Woll, and congratulations to those re-elected.

  • Industry/Private Sector category: Tom Kuba with Lockheed Martin, Mitch Roffer with Roffer's Ocean Fishing Forecasting Service, Inc., and Steve Woll with WeatherFlow, Inc.
  • Academic/Research/Education: Dick Dodge with Nova Southeastern University
  • Public Agencies/Nonprofit/Other: Rick DeVoe with SC Sea Grant Consortium
  • South Carolina At-Large: Madilyn Fletcher with University of South Carolina
  • North Carolina At-Large: Harvey Seim with University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

 New SECOORA Members - SECOORA welcomes the following new members:

  • Tom Gustafson, Individual Member
  • Dwayne Porter, Individual Member
  • NOAA Southeast and Caribbean Regional Team (SECART), Affiliate Member, represented by Geno Olmi


  • Subsequent to SECOORA’s recent Board and Members’ Meetings, the DMAC-ODP Program Committee and DMCC held meetings in Jacksonville, FL. Special thanks to Jack Harlan and Dick Crout from NOAA who joined us for an informative session between the technical working group (DMCC) and of some the key HFR data users and operators in the region. A summary of the meeting outcomes will be posted this week.
  • SECOORA's Data Management Coordinating Council (DMCC) and Ocean Data Partnership (ODP) have teamed up with the Institute for Marine Remote Sensing (IMaRS) at the University of South Florida and the University of South Carolina to establish a regional backup to the invaluable image archive that IMaRS has compiled since 1993.  This will help ensure that regional data users will have access to this important imagery, processed by IMaRS. Special thanks to Brock Murch (IMaRS) and Jeff Jefferson (USC) for helping to execute this archival procedure.
  • WELCOME to new DMCC members Justin Davis (UF) and Robert Weaver (UNC).  Both of them bring valuable modeling experience to the this technical working group.
  • We continue to contribute to the NOAA-IOOS Regional DIF Implementation (RDI) process. Recently, SECOORA data management partners helped develop a matrix that will enable Regional Associations and other IOOS Partners to more effectively track and manage their IOOS-related web services. In addition, we have been contributing to the testing and evaluation of these important data transport mechanisms. Ongoing efforts will help establish an interoperability test in the Fall of 2009. For additional information, please contact Sam Walker.
  • SECOORA's Ocean Data Partnership has also begun working with the COAPS program at Florida State University, and Long Bay (SC) researchers at Coastal Carolina University to increase our data portal products. These new partners will be providing mobile platform data feeds and key biological data sets within the region. In addition, SECOORA continues to work with existing Ocean Data Partners, like NOAA-AOML and FWRI, to enhance access to long-term coastal and ocean observing data sets in the region. Please check for forthcoming updates to the SECOORA data portal online this week.


  • Sam Walker attended the Regional Model Testbed Workshop, hosted by Dr. Peter Sheng and colleagues at the University of Florida (5-6 May 2009)
  • Susannah Sheldon attended the South Carolina Association of Nonprofit Organizations annual conference in Spartanburg, SC from April 29-May 1 2009
  • SECOORA sponsored a user workshop in Port St. Lucie, Florida to determine observing needs for local stakeholders.  Staff facilitated the discussion on May 5, and attendees include representatives of several stakeholder sectors, including: recreational and commercial fishing, recreational boating, maritime industry associations, surfing, and local government.  The participants were interested in data at two locations, approximately 12-18 miles offshore at 100 ft depth, and near the inlet.  Desired information included wave height, period, and direction as well as water temperature and currents.  Participants were briefed in options for collecting the desired data and information and, as a result, were presented with the funding requirements for these options, both initially and for maintenance.  They were encouraged to contact their local decision-makers to stress the importance of this information for their community.
COMPS Monitoring Station

COMPS Monitoring Station

 New Coastal Monitoring Stations - University of South Florida, College of Marine Science Coastal Ocean Monitoring and Prediction System (COMPS) program has added two new coastal stations to their existing monitoring network. One of the station is located in Hillsborough River, at University of Tampa's floating dock (27° 56.934' N and 82° 27.840' W), and the other at the University of South Florida College of Marine Science Clam Bayou Environmental and Marine Education Center facility (27° 44.165' N and 82° 41.504' W). The Hillsborough coastal station is outfitted with a rain gauge and a Satlantic ISUS sensor to monitor the concentration of nitrate. The Clam Bayou station is outfitted with meteorological and water quality sensors, and the parameters collected include: Wind Speed and Direction, Air Temperature, Relative Humidity, Barometric Pressure, Water Temperature, Salinity, Dissoloved Oxygen, pH, Chlorophyll and Turbidity. The data from these sites are made available on COMPS web site (, and work is underway to make them available to the SECOORA web site.



 Additional WERA Sites on National Network - The University of Miami/Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences is operating two new WERA High Frequency Radars in Virginia Key (VIR) and Dania Beach (STF).  Information for the two sites is available at:

 National Surface Currents Plan - The SECOORA staff is currently compiling regional comments on the revised National Surface Currents Plan. These comments are due back to NOAA-IOOS Program Office by 8 June 2009. Please see the home page of the SECOORA web site for more details.


 News to Contribute? - The SECOORA newsletter is published at the beginning of each month and focuses on regional, subregional, and national ocean observation topics, events, and success stories. Please email your comments or suggested new items to SECOORA's Program Coordinator, Susannah Sheldon.

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