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Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaborative News pages report on activities, news items, and issues related to Gulf science and education. Please visit our newsstand (gomurc.fio.usf.edu/phocadownload/gomurc_newsstand-v051816.pdf) for much more news from Gulf partners.

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Posted by on in Gulf Events

The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality invites all to attend the 2nd Annual Mississippi Restoration Summit on November 14, 2017 at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum & Convention Center. The Restoration Summit is an opportunity for any member of the public to learn about current restoration projects in Mississippi and the announcement of new projects for 2017. For more information and registration see the Summit web site. For questions about the Summit, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GoMA) maintains a comprehensive calendar with the Summit and many more relevant Gulf events.

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Posted by on in Gulf Events

Registration for the 2018 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science (GOMOSES) conference has commenced-- register here. As described on the conference site, the title this year is "Response, Restoration, and Resiliency in the Gulf."

Since its inception in 2013, the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference (GoMOSES) has sought to link fundamental research on the Gulf ecosystem to practical application. The 2018 theme, “Response, Restoration, and Resiliency in the Gulf,” continues this trend, exploring how fundamental science can help restore and maintain Gulf ecosystem integrity, inform response strategies, and strengthen resilience. This year’s program will also emphasize cross-cutting discussions among academics, industry, government agencies, and public interest organizations.

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Email from NSF Directorate, September 18, 2017:

"Dear Colleagues:

With the second major hurricane – Hurricane Irma – to strike the United States, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and its staff remain strongly committed to supporting the people and institutions affected by these storms. Now that the consequences of these disasters are upon us, new science and engineering questions are being raised. Through this Dear Colleague Letter, NSF encourages the submission of proposals that seek to address the challenges related to Hurricane Irma. NSF also will support fundamental science and engineering research projects whose results may enable our country to better prepare for, respond to, recover from, or mitigate future catastrophic events. Research proposals relating to a better fundamental understanding of the impacts of the storm (both physical, biological and societal), human aspects of natural disasters (including first responders and the general public), emergency response methods, and approaches that promise to reduce future damage also are welcome.

With NSF support, researchers have a long history of advancing understanding and knowledge about natural and built environments, as well as the relationship between humans and their environments in the context of large-scale disasters. Fundamental science and technological advancements are vital to our continued improvement of disaster preparation and restoration. For example, NSF-funded research has advanced understanding of the mechanisms that cause levee failures, gained new knowledge on the performance of critical infrastructure, and supported efforts to improve flood water decontamination. Researchers also have improved our ability to better predict, with longer lead times, the path of tropical cyclones. NSF support for researchers has led to the deployment of underwater rescue robots in an effort to safeguard emergency workers, developed real-time flood potential models, conducted effectiveness assessments of oil plume dispersants, assessed and advised better hazard-resistant buildings, and developed liquefaction mitigation methods in response to earthquakes. In addition, NSF-funded researchers have made ground-breaking discoveries about the long-term psychological and emotional impacts of national disasters.

Multiple proposal mechanisms are available to conduct new research related to Hurricane Irma.

  • RAPID: Proposals focusing on projects with severe urgency with regard to availability of, or access to, data, facilities or specialized equipment, including quick-response research on natural disasters. RAPID proposal project descriptions are expected to be brief and may not exceed 5 pages, with a maximum request of $200K for one year, although many are much smaller. See the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) Chapter II.E.1 for instructions on preparation of a RAPID proposal. (https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappg17_1/pappg_2.jsp#IIE1).
  • EAGER: Proposals to conduct fundamental research representing exploratory work in its early stages on untested, but potentially transformative, research ideas or approaches. This research may be considered especially "high risk-high payoff" in the sense that it, for example, involves radically different approaches, applies new expertise, or engages novel disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspectives. EAGER proposal project descriptions are expected to be brief, and may not exceed 8 pages. Requests may be up to $300K and with a maximum award duration of two years. See PAPPG Chapter II.E.2 for instructions on preparation of an EAGER proposal (https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappg17_1/pappg_2.jsp#IIE2).
  • Supplements to existing awards: Small amounts of supplemental funding to existing awards may be requested. See PAPPG Chapter VI.E.4 for instructions on preparation of a supplemental funding request (https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappg17_1/pappg_6.jsp#VIE4).

To submit a RAPID, EAGER or supplemental funding request, investigators must contact the NSF Program Officer most closely related to the proposal topic before submitting, to determine if the proposed activities meet NSF's guidelines for these types of submissions or whether the proposed work is more suitable for submission as an unsolicited proposal. The contact people listed below, one from each NSF directorate, can help investigators identify the appropriate Program Officer.

Proposals submitted pursuant to this DCL may request the use of NSF-funded advanced computing resources such as Blue Waters or Stampede2. In these cases, investigators must contact the NSF Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (OAC) prior to submission of the proposal.

Proposals may be submitted at any time.

Investigators with general questions are advised to contact one of the following Directorate liaisons:

BIO: Elizabeth Blood, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (703) 292-4349

CISE: David Corman, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (703) 292-8745

EHR: David Campbell, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (703) 292-5093

ENG: Joy Pauschke, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (703) 292-7024

GEO: Mike Sieracki, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (703) 292-7585

MPS: John Gillaspy, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (703) 292-7173

OAC: Ed Walker, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (703) 292-4863

SBE: Robert (Bob) O'Connor, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (703) 292-7263

Signed by:

James Olds, AD BIO

James Kurose, AD CISE

James Lewis, AD EHR

Dawn Tilbury, AD ENG

William Easterling, AD GEO

James Ulvestad, AD MPS

Fay Cook, AD SBE

Suzanne Iacono, Office Head, OIA"

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Do you need disaster assistance?

GOMURC consortia stand ready to assist marine labs hit by the recent hurricanes by connecting with other universities in the region. Consortia contacts are at http://gomurc.fio.usf.edu/index.php/about-us/organization

Government assistance:

Other resources that may help:

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Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science 2018 conference is ready to receive abstracts and session proposals. The conference will be held in New Orleans on February 5-8, 2018.

Abstracts should promote fundamental Gulf ecosystem science or link scientific results to ecosystem resilience, oil spill response, or restoration and management. Abstract submissions will be accepted for topical tracks; mini-sessions and concurrent sessions will be developed based on the abstracts received. Papers not selected for oral presentations will have the opportunity to participate in the poster session.

Students are encouraged to submit abstracts; the Gulf Research Program, Harte Research Institute, and the Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaborative have generously offered to cover registration fees for student presenters whose abstracts are accepted as oral or poster presentations to the conference program.

The deadline to submit an abstract is September 11, 2017. Applicants will be notified of abstract acceptance/rejection by late-October. You do not need to register for the conference to submit an abstract. Each person may submit up to two (2) abstracts as lead author.

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Posted by on in Gulf Restoration

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) just released its report, "Making the Most of Restoration: Priorities for a Recovering Gulf." This follow-up to its 2014 report provides their recommendations on Gulf coastal ecosystems, with emphasis on estuaries. The report identifies "suites of projects that have the greatest collective impact on priority estuaries." Their approach included: reviewing federal, state and local planning and assessment reports; documenting existing stressors for each system; evaluating potential restoration needs required to tackle each underlying stressor; and prioritizing projects for a given estuary based on the greatest restoration needs.

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The Membership Committee of the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) is seeking nominations for the organization's Board of Directors. GCOOS is the heart of data collection for the ocean and coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico -- collecting thousands of data points from sensors and ensuring the data are reliable, timely, accurate and available to all who need it.

Nominations are due by March 3, 2017. See here for details of the Board responsibilities and how to make nominations.

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The Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference is accepting proposals for Scientific Sessions for the 2016 conference. The deadline to submit a session proposal is June 14, 2015.

They are also accepting requests for Associated Events and Workshops to be help Monday, February 1.

As stated on the event website, “The 2016 conference theme, “One Gulf: healthy ecosystems, healthy communities,” will focus on opportunities to promote and sustain a healthy Gulf environment, communities, and economy, including new discoveries, innovations, technologies, and policies. A strong emphasis this year will be placed on the human dimensions of oil spill in addition to the ecosystem science research that has led past conferences.”

 

The conference will be held Feb 1-4, 2016 at the Marriott Tampa Waterside in Tampa, Florida. More details can be found here

Tomorrow, April 22, 2015 at 9:30 AM ET the House of Representatives’ Committee on Natural Resources will be holding an oversight hearing on “Innovations in Safety Since the 2010 Macondo Incident.” The hearing memo including the witness list can be found here.  The hearing is available for live streaming here.

 

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has released a report, “Assessing the Impacts of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on Tourism in the Gulf of Mexico Region.” As stated in the technical announcement, “To better understand the various impacts of the DWH oil spill on tourism in the Gulf region, the Eastern Research Group (ERG) undertook four methodological approaches… The varied methodologies reveal a complex pattern of impacts and provide important lessons to be learned about the impacts of an oil spill on tourism.” A technical summary of the report is available here.

 

 

 

The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has released a new report, “Charting Restoration” that compares funded projects against Gulf restoration priorities identified in restoration- and conservation-related plans five years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster. As stated on TNC’s website, “One of the main findings of the report is that the majority of funding to date has gone towards restoring the environment, which shows a solid alignment with the identified priorities. The report also shows that clean water, community resilience and healthy marine plants and animals are top priorities across the Gulf yet a limited number of projects have been funded with a primary focus on these issues.” For further information, the report can be found here

The National Academy of Sciences’ Gulf Research Program announced a new funding opportunity in data synthesis. They are looking for “activities that will integrate or synthesize existing data from different sources that may provide additional insights, address important questions, or lead to new approaches to interpreting monitoring data.” The online application will open May 2015. They anticipate funding 10 to 14 awards for a total of $5 million. Awards will most likely be for 24 months disbursed in 2 installments. For more details, please see the grant’s details here.

 

 

The Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) has launched their new Deepwater Horizon Project Tracker. This tracker allows visitors to see where Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill restoration projects are occurring. Each project listed includes a brief description, contact and link to access more technical information. GOMA is working directly with the groups funding projects related to oil spill restoration to ensure accuracy. The tracker’s development team is hosting a demonstration followed by a Q&A opportunity on Thursday, April 23 at 1PM EDT. You can join the webinar here.  

In a new publication, Evidence of climate-driven ecosystem reorganization in the Gulf of Mexico, scientists reviewed over 100 indicators representing physical, biological, and economic aspects of the Gulf of Mexico and found that ecosystem-wide reorganization occurred.  They also analyzed these shifts and their alignment with the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). They “provide an explanation for how the AMO may drive physical changes in the Gulf of Mexico, thus altering higher-level ecosystem dynamics. The hypotheses presented here should provide focus for further targeted studies, particularly in regard to whether and how management should adjust to different climate regimes or states of nature.”

 

The full report can be found here

This week BP released the report, Gulf of Mexico Environmental Recovery Restoration. In a message from Laura Folse, Executive Vice President, she states, “Areas that were affected are recovering and data BP has collected and analyzed to date do not indicate a significant long-term impact to the population of any Gulf species.” Many are saying this report is premature and cherry-picked.

The Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees, who are charged with scientifically establishing the damages caused by the spill, has release an official statement on the report.

“Citing scientific studies conducted by experts from around the Gulf, as well as this council, BP misinterprets and misapplies data while ignoring published literature that doesn’t support its claims and attempts to obscure our role as caretakers of the critical resources damaged by the spill.”

 

You can read full statement from the NRDA Trustees here. Many NGOs are also weighing in on the report such as this blog from National Wildlife Federation. 

GOMURC is co-hosting a free webinar on Climate Change, Community Resilience, and Restoration in the Gulf of Mexico with the Environmental Law Institute and the four Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant programs. The webinar will be Friday, April 10, 2:00-4:00PM ET (1:00-3:00PM CT) and you can register here. For more details, see below:

 

Many restoration planning documents and programs in the Gulf of Mexico highlight the need to address climate change impacts as part of the restoration framework. While precedent exists on how to integrate climate change into restoration decision-making, many post-Deepwater Horizon restoration projects fail to adequately address climate change impacts. At the same time, coastal communities in the Gulf of Mexico region are both on the front line of climate impacts, as well as the ones hit hardest by the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. This webinar will bring together a panel of experts to discuss the complex intersection of climate change, community resilience and Gulf of Mexico restoration, focusing on the challenges of and opportunities for creating restoration projects that both incorporate climate change considerations and are responsive to the needs of coastal communities.

PANELISTS:

Dr. Kathryn Mengerink (Director, Ocean Program, Environmental Law Institute) Overview of Gulf Restoration Programs

Dr. Robert Twilley (Executive Director, Louisiana Sea Grant) Ecosystem Adaptation Climate Change Impacts on the Gulf Coast and Restoration Efforts

Jonathan Porthouse,(Senior Manager, Coastal Habitat Restoration, Gulf Environmental Benefit Fund) Integrating Climate Change Impacts into Restoration Planning and Projects

Colette Pichon Battle, (Executive Director, Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy) Climate Impacts on Communities  and Options for Response

Dr. Tracie Sempier (Coastal Storms Outreach Coordinator, Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant) Climate Change Decision-Making by Coastal Communities

MODERATOR:

Andrew Shepard, Florida Institute of Oceanography, Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaborative

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