Join SECOORA Give Back

June 4, 2015

2015 Annual Meeting Summary

The SECOORA 2015 Annual Meeting held in Jacksonville Florida was a great success! Entering the last year of the IOOS five-year grant, the two-day meeting held May 19 and 20, 2015 focused on summarizing SECOORA’s past accomplishments and future plans. Click here to access presentations and meeting agendas.

The meeting was live tweeted under the hashtag #SECOORA15AnnualMeeting. Thank you to the US IOOS Program Office and meeting participants who contributed to this feed.

Day 1: May 19 – Board and Members Meeting

Board Meeting

The first day kicked off with the SECOORA Board meeting. The Board listened to a few guest presentations as well as voted to approve funding to hire a contractor for strategic planning.

SECOORA is in the process of transitioning to a new Data Management and Communications (DMAC) contractor. Axiom Data Science, Inc. will be providing DMAC services moving forward. Rob Bochenek, Axiom Data Science, Inc., explained Axiom Data Science is an informatics and software development firm focused on developing scalable solutions which can be leveraged across a variety of users. Rob demonstrated to the Board the planned and potential capabilities Axiom will bring to improve SECOORA DMAC.

Pictured above, left to right, are Rob Bochenek (Information Architect, CEO, Axiom Data Science) and Vembu Subramanian (SECOORA RCOOS Manager) at the SECOORA Board Meeting.

Scott Noakes from the University of Georgia provided a presentation on the Southeast Ocean and Coastal Acidification Network (SOCAN). SECOORA is acting as the supporting framework for the SOCAN website and SOCAN Steering Committee. Scott explained the mission of SOCAN is to advance estuarine, coastal and ocean acidification research, collaboration and communication in the Southeast Region from North Carolina to Florida. SOCAN provides a forum for understanding and addressing coastal and ocean acidification concerns by engaging interdisciplinary scientists, resource managers, business and industry and others, including local, state and federal interests. For more information on SOCAN please visit:

Members Business Meeting

The later half of day 1 included the Member’s Business Meeting. SECOORA Annual Meeting Gold Sponsor (ASL Environmental Sciences, Inc. and Helzel Messtechnik) gave a presentation on their organizations. David Fissel from ASL Environmental Sciences, Inc. spoke on behalf of ASL’s Acoustic Zooplankton & Fish Profilerand Helzel’s Wera High Frequency Radars.

Josie Quintrell, IOOS Association Director, provided a congressional update to SECOORA members. Josie stressed the need to reach out to Senators and Congressional officials to sign the ICOOS Reauthorization Act that will be circulating on the Hill soon.

Pictured above are the Board members rotating off the SECOORA Board on June 30, 2015. Thank you for serving on the SECOORA Board!
From left to right: Rick DeVoe (SC Sea Gant), George Maul (FIT), Mitch Roffer (ROFFS®), and Steve Woll (WeatherFlow)

The new Board members were elected. Mitch Roffer, Rick DeVoe, Dick Dodge, and Steve Woll were recognized and praised for their contributions and time spent serving on the SECOORA Board.

Board Member Election Results

SECOORA would like to extend a warm welcome to the new, and returning, Board members. In July, SECOORA will host a Board orientation and elect new Board officers. Below are the 2015 election results:

  • Bob Weisberg (USF CMS): Academic/Research/Education Sector Seat
  • George Maul (FIT): At Large Seat- Florida
  • Ruoying He (NCSU): At Large Seat- North Carolina
  • George Voulgaris  (USC): At Large Seat- South Carolina
  • Jeff Copeland (WeatherFlow): Industry/Private Sector
  • Marcel Reichert (SCDNR): Public Agencies/ Non-Profit/ Other Sector

Day 1 ended with a social at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront Hotel.

Day 2: May 20 – Stakeholder Meeting

The Stakeholder meeting focused on summarizing SECOORA’s past accomplishments and future plans. George Jungbluth, US IOOS Program Office, provided an update on the IOOS Program Office. George extended kudos to SECOORA for helping and supporting UNCW raise the funds needed for a replacement buoy off Onslow Bay, NC, our data integration within the National Data Buoy Center, and the rip current model validation study SECOORA is funding.

From left to right: Debra Hernandez (SECOORA Executive Director), Barb Kirkpatrick (GCOOS-RA Executive Director), Josie Quintrell (IOOS Association Director), and George Jungbluth (IOOS Program Office- Chief, Regions, Budget and Policy)

Debra Hernandez, SECOORA Executive Director, provided an overview of SECOORA evolution over the last five years. In five years, SECOORA has experienced a 16% growth in funding levels. Debra emphasized SECOORA’s success is contributed to a team effort of our principal investigators, US IOOS, SECOORA partners and members, and more.

Pictured above are meeting particpants viewing the poster Surface current mapping offshore of North Carolina using high-frequency radar” by M. Muglia, S. Haines and H. Seim, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC

Present and past SECOORA Principal investigators (PIs) worked together to create four presentations that summarize their project accomplishments over the last five years. The accomplishment presentations were grouped into four different sections: (1) Broad field remote observations – HF-radar; (2) In situ observations – buoys, shore stations; (3) Regional modeling; and (4) DMAC. After the presentations, SECOORA PIs participated in an interactive poster session exhibit with the meeting participants.

Pictured above is historical data from SECOORA funded USF COMPS C12 mooring. The buoy has been collecting data since 1997, SECOORA’s longest running real-time data set.

The 2015 Annual Meeting lunch guest speaker, Captain Mike Getchell of Jacksonville Marine Transportation Exchange, Inc. gave briefing on the capabilities of the Port of Jacksonville’s Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS®). PORTS® is a network of sensors that integrates real-time environmental observations, forecasts and other geospatial information to help improve the safety and efficiency of maritime commerce and coastal resource management. JAX PORTS® has been operational for a little over a year and is the second largest PORTS® network in the nation. Captain Getchell spoke about the unique conditions of the port and how the addition of the stations will improve our understanding of the St. Johns River.

Pictured above are Linda Taylor (NOAA PPI) and Captain Mike Getchell (Jacksonville Marine Transportation Exchange, Inc.). Thank you for attending and speaking at our Annual Meeting!

The meeting ended with a brainstorming session amongmembers and stakeholders to discuss what steps SECOORA needs to take to enhance organizational and coastal ocean observing capabilities.

Thank You Sponsors

SECOORA would like to thank the sponsors who generously supported the 2015 Annual Meeting. The meeting couldn’t have been successful without them. Below are photos of the booths each sponsor set up.

Gold Sponsor:
Silver Sponsors:

All images are credited to SECOORA