The 2024 SECOORA Annual Meeting: A Huge Success!

The SECOORA Annual Meeting was held in Charleston, South Carolina May 7th - 8th. Thank you to those who attended, we hope to see you again next year!

May 24, 2024

The 2024 SECOORA Annual Meeting was held in Charleston, South Carolina on May 7 – 8. The meeting brought together coastal ocean scientists, community representatives, and students from around the Southeast to:

  • Learn about ongoing coastal observing activities
  • Network with professionals in the field
  • Prepare for new opportunities focused on community engagement and product development

Thank you to Sequoia Scientific, Inc. and Hohonu for sponsoring this meeting, and to Homewood Suites for hosting us. Read the full overview of the Annual Meeting on the meeting page, or read a quick summary below.

2024 Board of Directors Election Results

During the Board of Directors meeting, the winners of the 2024 SECOORA Board Election were announced:

  • Industry/Private Sector: Patrick Barrineau, Coastal Science & Engineering
  • Public Agencies/Non-Profit/Other Sector: Evelien VanderKloet, Ocean Tracking Network
  • North Carolina At Large: Nathan Hall, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
  • South Carolina At Large: Scott Harris, College of Charleston

To learn more about these new and returning Board members, visit the meeting materials section of the meeting page. Thank you to Susan Lovelace with South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium for serving on the SECOORA Board and on the Executive Committee as Treasurer! We are excited to welcome Scott Harris with College of Charleston as our new At Large South Carolina Board representative in her stead. We also would like to thank Gary Mitchum with University of South Florida for serving as our Board Chair for the past two years.


We welcomed three new staff members during the Annual Meeting. Cotie Alsbrooks (SECOORA Water Level Manager), Theo Jass (WebCOOS Manager), and Emily Noakes (Communications and Engagement Specialist) all began their new positions with SECOORA last fall.

During the Members Business Meeting, we unveiled our new 2024 – 2029 SECOORA Strategic Plan. Thank you to our members for providing essential feedback last fall on the old plan. We will use our Strategic Plan and Regional Coastal Ocean Observing System (RCOOS) Plan to set funding priorities for the next five year Cooperative Agreement with US IOOS, which will start in July of 2026.

Thank you to our members and partners for the support shown after the President’s Budget request was released this spring, designating a 76% budget cut for the IOOS program for 2025. We will continue to work with Congress to ensure IOOS and the Regional Associations get the funding we need.

Networking with Members and Partners

After meeting attendees traveled to the International African American museum for an optional field trip, we reconvened for the social where over 80 SECOORA members and partners joined us for this valuable networking opportunity.

We heard from SECOORA Principal Investigators about their projects during the first round of Lightning Talks, which were distributed between both days of the meeting. Abstracts for all SECOORA-supported projects are available on the meeting page.

Stakeholder Meeting

The second day of the 2024 SECOORA Annual Meeting began with updates from Kristen Yarincik (IOOS Association) and Susan Fox (IOOS Program Office). Theo Jass (SECOORA) provided an overview of the demographics of SECOORA’s region to provide context for the panel discussion with Kristen Yarincik and Susan Fox on new IOOS initiatives related to community engagement, moderated by Debra Hernandez.

Our second panel of the day brought together representatives from community-serving organizations to discuss fostering trust between communities and scientists. Panelists included Matthew Gorstein (SC Sea Grant Consortium), Andrew Wunderley (Charleston Waterkeeper), Keisha Long (EJ Strong, DHEC), Namita Koppa (TCTAC), and Najeema Washington (CCRAB). Long-time SECOORA partner Paul Sandifer (College of Charleston) moderated this session.

The final panel of the Stakeholder meeting included scientists that have developed products which rely on various environmental data to inform decision-making. Panelists included Dwayne Porter (USC Arnold School of Public Health), Brian Barnes (USF), Ke’Ziyah Williamson (SC Sea Grant Consortium), and Mary Conley (The Nature Conservancy). SECOORA Board member Patrick Barrineau (Coastal Science and Engineering) moderated this session, which aimed to dive into the product development process.

Click here to read the key takeaways from each session on the meeting page.