GRIIDC attends the 2019 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference in New Orleans


 Rosalie Rossi, Program Manager and Inia Soto-Ramos, Subject Matter Expert Feb 2019
Lalitha Asirvadam

The 7th Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill and Ecosystem Science Conference (GOMOSES) was held on Feb. 5-8, 2019 in New Orleans. This year Gulf of Mexico researchers presented and attended sessions focusing on the conference theme “Minding the Gaps: Research Priorities for Response, Restoration, and Resilience.” The GRIIDC team was once again an integral part of the conference — offering training workshops, holding and attending meetings, participating in associated events, as well as reviewing the year’s accomplishments and discussing GRIIDC’s future after the GoMRI program ends.

GoMOSES hosted its Tools Café On Tuesday, Feb. 5, where attendees learned about GRIIDC's helpful tools for data management planning and the Data Discovery portal. Some other tools that were highlighted were the Blueways Conservation Decision Support Tool; the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) Tool; the Chemical Aquatic Fate and Effects (CAFE) Database; and the Conservation Prioritization Tool: A Prototype Tool of the Strategic Conservation Assessment of Gulf Coast Landscapes Project. Tools Café booths were interactive and presenters were able to visit one-on-one with participants to answer questions and provide demonstrations of their tools.

The GRIIDC Advisory Committee (AC) met during lunch on Tuesday, Feb. 5. The luncheon provided an opportunity for GRIIDC to give updates on program progress to AC members, including research consortia representatives and members of the Research Board Data Committee. Dr. Jim Gibeaut, GRIIDC Director, reported on the status of archiving data to NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI). Other announcements included new GRIIDC personnel, software improvements, the GRIIDC program’s future, and future users.

The GRIIDC team held seven workshops throughout the conference covering: Submitting Cruise Data to GRIIDC; Organizing Data – Best Practices and GRIIDC Submission; and How to Submit Data to GRIIDC.

The GoMRI All Hands meeting, held on the last afternoon of the GoMOSES conference, offered Dr. Gibeaut an opportunity to provide the entire GoMRI community with updates from the data management program, plans to keep it going after 2020, as well as future partnerships.

The GRIIDC team also attended the closing plenary where the focus was “Synthesis and Legacy” of the GoMRI program. Some of the GoMRI legacy products that were mentioned included: GRIIDC, publications, research capacity, networks created, outreach products, the GoMRI model, GoMOSES conferences, and graduate students. Dr. Steve Murawski, Principal Investigator for the C-IMAGE consortium, mentioned that the important topic areas to focus on for the next conference should include: benthic ecology; water column; phytoplankton, zooplankton and ichthyoplankton; fish and fisheries; deep water fish ecology; marine mammals and other protected resources; and salt marsh and beach ecology. Dr. Chuck Wilson, GoMRI Chief Science Officer, discussed post 2020 activity and mentioned that the Research Board intended to keep GRIIDC funded, with efforts continuing through 2030. GRIIDC had a productive and eventful time and is looking forward to next year’s meeting in Tampa, Florida!