John Christy
Professor and Director
Don Behringer
Faculty member, Fisheries/Aquatic Science
Brian McCann
Associate Research Professor
Clayton Dilks
Sharon Walker
Director of Education and Outreach
Central Gulf of Mexico

From the Captain’s Desk

I hope each of you is having a safe and productive 2009 and I am delighted spring has arrived in the Gulf of Mexico! I just wanted to take this opportunity to share the following updates with you:

Retrieving animals from a seine during the 2005 Louisiana Teacher-Scientist Institute
• We are preparing for our COSEE:CGOM Teacher-Scientist Institutes including Face-to-Face and Online Sessions. Information is below, and we hope you will consider joining us for this opportunity.

• A COSEE Business Plan Meeting was conducted last month to revise this 2005-2006 document. This was a productive session; attendees included COSEE Council Past Chairs (Craig Strang, Janice McDonnell, Billy Spitzer, and me), the Chair (Annette deCharon), and Chair-Elect (Lundie Spence), as well as representatives from the COSEE Coordinating Office (CCO) Gail Scowcroft - to include Annette deCharon and Billy Spitzer, representative members of the COSEE Advisory Council (George Matsumoto, Carroll Hood, Dan Whaley, Gordon Kingsley, and Mike Loudin) and NSF Program Manager, Lisa Rom and Associate Manager, Don Elthon. An update of the revised Business Plan will be presented at the May COSEE Network Meeting in Charleston, S.C.

• Gail Scowcroft, Director of the COSEE-CCO, Paula-Keener-Chavis, Ex-Officio NOAA representative for COSEE and Education Director for the NOAA-Office of Exploration and Research, and I presented a “COSEE Network Update” to the Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel (ORRAP) on April 6. My portion of the presentation used the COSEE:CGOM as an example of a successful regional Center; Gail provided COSEE’s history; and Paula provided an update concerning the new, NOAA-Sea Grant, NOAAOER, and SI-SOH collaborative involving funding for the position of a Senior Educator—hired in December with a February 2, 2009 “start” date. This SI-SOH Senior Educator is Ms. Elizabeth Ban, recently featured in the latest issue of NMEA News. This ORRAP presentation may be viewed on the website.

Dr. Sharon Walker holding a stuffed fish with anatomically correct guts suitable for an elementary school ‘dissection’ lab
• The COSEE:CGOM will be hosting a “Communicating Ocean Sciences to Informal Audiences (COSIA)” Professional Development Workshop April 20-21, 2009 in Ocean Springs, MS. Presenters at this Workshop will be Craig Strang and Catherine Halversen of COSEE-CA and Lawrence Hall of Science-Berkeley. Approximately 12 COSEE:CGOM Management Team Members and/or Advisory Board Members will be participating in this Professional Development Program with the goal of implementing a similar course in our respective COSEE:CGOM Institutions of Higher Learning.

• In May, the National COSEE Network meeting will be in Hilton Head, South Carolina. Several of the COSEE:CGOM Management Team will be attending to present on our work in the Gulf of Mexico Region and in collaboration with Network Working Groups. Please look for an article about the Network meeting and Management Team contributions to Working Group Progress in the next newsletter, to be distributed early in July 2009.

• Lastly, even though travel budgets have been significantly reduced, I would like to encourage each of you to register and attend the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA) Conference in Monterey, CA this July 20-23. As you are aware, the NMEA Conference is an exemplary meeting for professional growth and camaraderie.

Visit COSEE-Central Gulf of Mexico!

Contributed by Sharon Walker, Principal Investigator, COSEE-CGOM