GRIIDC Showcases Tools at GOMA Meeting

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Information and Data Cooperative (GRIIDC) presented data management tools and participated in the Data and Monitoring Team break-out sessions at this year’s Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) All Hands Meeting, held June 14-17 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

A new feature at this year’s GOMA meeting was the Tools Café, showcasing 20 different tools from around the Gulf with over 300 participants in attendance. Members of the GRIIDC team presented the data management tools of the GRIIDC system, including: Dataset Information Forms that help researchers to plan before they collect data; the GRIIDC ISO 19115-2 Metadata Editor that creates xml metadata files through simple forms; the Data Discovery portal that allows users to easily search for data; the creation of digital object identifiers (DOIs) for datasets; and the ability to link publications with datasets.

The Tools Café was held concurrent with the GOMA All Hands Meeting reception, allowing for a more casual and entertaining feel. Booths were interactive and presenters were able to spend one-on-one time with participants to answer questions and provide demonstrations of their tools. These tools covered a wide range of topics such as harmful algal blooms, freshwater inflow, sea level rise impacts, and mapping and visualization. Presenters from multiple organizations showcased their tools including groups such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the United States Geological Survey, and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Overall, the Tools Café was well-received and a welcome new addition to the meeting.

Over the course of the four day meeting, multiple break-out sessions were held to present information and brainstorm ideas about the goals and objectives of the five-year Governors’ Action Plan III. This plan, the third in a series approved by the U.S. Gulf Coast state governors, was developed to address six priority issues common to the Gulf States, including: Coastal Resilience, Data and Monitoring, Education and Engagement, Habitat Resources, Water Resources, and Wildlife and Fisheries.

The GRIIDC team was present at the Data and Monitoring team meetings to provide input for future action plans. Three working groups focused their efforts on Data Framework, Monitoring Community of Practice, and the Gulf of Mexico Master Mapping Plan. Participants were busy planning development of a GOMA Data Management plan, identifying data gaps, inventorying GOMA datasets and tools, documenting monitoring activities, and developing a Data Management Tool template.

The GOMA All Hands Meeting was a unique opportunity for participants from a variety of agencies to play an active role in determining future research projects, influencing policy, and learning about current information available about the Gulf of Mexico. The meeting was a success and outcomes will directly contribute to the mission of GOMA to enhance the ecological and economic health of the Gulf of Mexico through increased regional collaboration.

The Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) is a 10-year independent research program established to study the effect, and the potential associated impact, of hydrocarbon releases on the environment and public health, as well as to develop improved spill mitigation, oil detection, characterization, and remediation technologies. An independent and academic 20-member Research Board makes the funding and research direction decisions to ensure the intellectual quality, effectiveness and academic independence of the GoMRI research. All research data, findings and publications will be made publicly available. The program was established through a $500 million financial commitment from BP. For more information, visit