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March 2009 SECOORA Newsletter

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A Message from the Executive Director * SECOORA * National

BOB Workshop ::: May Board and Members Meeting ::: Marine Weather Portal ::: SECOORA PI Meeting ::: IOOS Industry Workshop ::: IOOS Offshore Wind Energy Meeting ::: News To Contribute?


 A Message from the Executive Director

Hello once again! The past few months have been busy for the staff. One of the priorities I am focusing on with them is getting the committees active once more. It is critically important for members to remain engaged. To that end, we have contacted the various chairs and asked them to begin thinking about priorities they envision for their committees. In addition, time has been set aside for the committees to meet at the May meeting in Jacksonville. Look to hear from your Chair soon!

The May Board and Members meetings are scheduled to be held in Jacksonville from May 12-14. We are working hard to finalize agendas for these meetings. Briefly, we anticipate committee meeting time on the morning of May 12th, the Board meeting on the afternoon of May 12th, and the Members meeting all day on May 13th. There may also be time set aside for committees to meet on the morning of May 14th. As always, I welcome input and look forward to working with as many of you as possible during the coming year. I can be reached at or 843.906.8686.



A Basic Observation Buoy (BOB)

A Basic Observation Buoy (BOB)

 Building a Basic Observation Buoy (BOB) Collaborative Workshop - On January 29th and 30th, COSEE SouthEast sponsored a workshop at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography (SkIO), with cooperation from NOAA, SECOORA, and workshop facilities donated by SkIO. BOB is a bottom-anchored floating buoy platform for a suite of environmental sensors. Another version is the Fixed Local Observation (FLO), a device fixed to a piling or dock structure. These devices are in the design phase, based on concepts developed by Doug Levin, Ph.D., NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office.

The workshop participants came from multiple regional institutions and programs, including: eight universities and a high school representing all four states in the region, three NOAA agencies, SECOORA, COSEE SE, and private industry. A model buoy was presented and twenty BOB kits were provided to the participants for construction. Participants were encouraged to enhance or alter the model, discuss challenges related to the design of the model, and applications across the region. Six sensor sets were distributed regionally for use with the model buoys in outreach demonstrations.

For more information on the workshop (including participant information or the workshop report), please contact Susannah Sheldon at

 May Board and Membership Meetings - These meetings will be held in Jacksonville, FL from May 12-14. The Board meeting will be on May 12 and the Membership Meeting on May 13, with opportunities for SECOORA committees to meet the mornings of the 12th and 14th. The venue will be announced shortly.

 Marine Weather Portal - The Marine Weather Portal has expanded! The site now covers the SECOORA and GCOOS domains; therefore, mariners throughtout the Gulf now have access to forecasts, observations and hazards in a standardized format. The site will soon use Google maps for all mapping functions. Please stay tuned as this successful SECOORA-based initiative continues to improve to meet end user demands.

 SECOORA PI Meeting - The January 19 Proposal Integration meeting held before the Board meeting provided the opportunity to bring together all of the PIs from the six ongoing IOOS-funded projects in the Southeast. The purpose of the meeting was to enable discussion of the opportunities for linking these ongoing projects so that options to leverage and coordinate activities could be maximized. Since the PIs for these projects had never met to discuss their ongoing work, the meeting was a sucess simply in terms of providing a venue for interaction. Once Congress acts on the FY'09 appropriations for NOAA, years 2 and 3 for these ongoing projects, PIs will be submitting information to NOAA regarding which activities will be undertaken with the FY'09 funds. SECOORA is continuing to work to coordinate discussion among PIs via regular conference calls, with the initial goal being to insure the reports to NOAA regarding the FY'09 funding demonstrate regional coordination and leveraging.



 IOOS Industry Workshop - The IWGOO is sponsoring an Industry Workshop on April 14, 2009. The event, to be held in Silver Spring, MD, will include a daytime session held at the NOAA Science Center and an evening reception at the American Film Institute. For more information and to express an interest in attending, please log on to

 IOOS Offshore Wind Energy Meeting - An IOOS Offshore Wind Energy meeting was held at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ on February 2, 2009.

The intent of the workshop was to explore possible collaborations between the wind energy industry, regulatory agencies and IOOS. See the workshop website

The day-long meeting included morning plenary presentations of state plans, IOOS regional associations and the three developers in New Jersey. The afternoon included a panel discussion and breakout sessions. The agenda, presentations and a participant list are available at the website. Breakout session summaries are being drafted.

There were two SECOORA Board members in attendance, Drs. Harvey Seim and Cliff Merz. The meeting was largely one of information exchange but there were several interesting discussions centering on existing regulatory choke points and the vulnerabilities of developers caused by them.

Several intense examples of Operations and Maintenance related issues were presented during the developer’s presentation sessions. Specifics directly relatable to SECOORA RA activities include at-sea installation, operation, and servicing - all very much subject to weather and sea conditions and associated delays and related costs.

The full report from Drs. Merz and Seim is available at


 News to Contribute? - The SECOORA newsletter is published in the middle 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, by the tenth day of each month.

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