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Tuesday, March 05, 2019

NGI Researchers Study ENSO-Induced Co-Variability of Salinity, Plankton Biomass and Coastal Currents in the Northern Gulf of Mexico

The manuscript "ENSO-induced co-variability of Salinity, Plankton Biomass and Coastal Currents in the Northern Gulf of Mexico", by Fabian A. Gomez, Sang-Ki Lee, Frank J. Hernandez Jr., Luciano M. Chiaverano, Frank E. Muller-Karger, Yanyun Liu, and John T. Lamkin, has been recently published in Scientific Reports (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-36655-y). This study is based on a regional ocean-biogeochemical model, complemented with satellite and in situ observations, which shows that El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a main driver of interannual variability in salinity and plankton during winter and spring in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Composite analysis reveals a strong asymmetry between El Nino and La Nina impacts, with much larger disturbances during El Nino. Changes in salinity and surface winds impact significantly on coastal circulation, which in turn determines the spatial extent and distribution of the ENSO-induced plankton biomass variability. The paper findings highlight that ENSO-induced changes in salinity, plankton biomass, and coastal circulation across the northern Gulf of Mexico are closely interlinked and may significantly impact the abundance and distribution of fish and invertebrates.

To view the license and permissions click the following link: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

NGI / NOAA Cooperative Institute Continue to Study Hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico


Nutrient pollution from Mississippi River runoff leads to seasonal formation of hypoxia along the northern Gulf of Mexico continental shelf, impacting valuable living resources and their habitat. Mitigating this ecosystem stressor is one of the greatest water quality restoration challenges in the nation. Recognizing the threat of nutrient pollution to America's coastal ecosystems and economies, Congress authorized the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act (HABHRCA 1998) to support science on understanding of the impacts and solutions to nutrient pollution. HABHRCA also authorized the interagency Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Hypoxia Task Force (HTF) as the principle managing body for mitigating the impacts of gulf hypoxia through watershed nutrient management. As a member of the HTF, NOAA supports hypoxia research, monitoring and model development to ensure the HTF management strategies are scientifically sound, effective, and cost-efficient. Since the creation of NGI and subsequent support of the Cooperative Institute for Gulf Hypoxia, NGI facilitates collaborations across federal, state, academic, and private sector scientists as they advance research and management efforts focused on hypoxia in the Gulf of Mexico.
CHAMP Workgroups around the Gulf

To ensure that the HTF need for hypoxia monitoring in the Gulf of Mexico continued to be satisfied, NGI and NOAA held a series of eight workshops beginning with an international workshop in 2007. These workshops organized scientists around better orchestrating monitoring in the Gulf region and furthering scientific understanding of the dynamics of the hypoxic zone, as well as the zone's impacts on ecosystem health and the economy. This has resulted in a foundational set of stakeholder-developed products that led to the formation of a Cooperative Hypoxia Assessment and Monitoring Program in the Gulf of Mexico (CHAMP).

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

NGI / MSU Education & Outreach Opportunities

The Travelling Trunk Education Outreach Program

Mr. James Comans at Desoto Central Middle School, in Mississippi, has been chosen to be the first recipient of the Atmospheric Sciences Trunk. This trunk provides a Portable Weather Station and state science curriculum targeted projects and classroom lesson plans as well as a literature component. The trunk program is designed to provide students with direct observation and lessons on understanding and interpretation of the atmospheric sciences.

STEAM: Science Through the Arts, Art Competition

STEAM programs add art to STEM curriculum by drawing on design principles and encouraging creative solutions.

In 2013, a joint resolution was introduced in the United States House of Representatives expressing the sense that adding art and design into Federal programs that target the STEM fields encourages innovation and economic growth in the United States.

The Northern Gulf Institute (NGI) at Mississippi State University is proud to announce a STEAM art competition, where original drawings, paintings, photography, or other renderings, depicting the natural environment, marine, avian, or aquatic species, the ocean, or weather, as related to the Mississippi River, The Gulf Coast, or the Gulf of Mexico Basin, are to be submitted for review. The winner of the competition will have their art featured in the "Portal" Newsletter.

Continuing Education Opportunity

The Northern Gulf Institute (NGI) has joined with the Department of Geosciences and the Center for Distance Education at Mississippi State University to provide Continuing Education and/or 4 hours of Graduate College Credit to teachers and professionals wishing to undertake a 7-10 day geosciences field course. The course locations for this year are Bahamas (split undergrad/grad), Western WA, NY, and Great Plains Storm Chase. A science background is helpful to successfully complete these courses and cost $1250 plus tuition (4 hours of in-state grad credit). (approximately $2978 total) Additionally, for most of the trips the students pay for their meals, but the Bahamas trip includes meals. Students are also responsible for getting to the start location on their own (e.g Seattle, Nassau, Oklahoma City, etc.).

Visiting Scientists to your Classroom or Organization

The NGI can also provide assistance in locating a guest speaker for your classroom or organizations meeting to discuss various topics including Coastal Hazards, Geospatial Data Integration and Visualization, Ecosystem Management Climate Change, and use of UAV/AUVs in the environmental and agricultural sciences.

Lesson Plan Database

NGI along with the INSPIRE program is developing a database of approximately 500 Mississippi Science Curriculum based lesson plans and assignments for k-12 classrooms. These will be linked from our website in the near future. Click Here for Lesson Plans

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

NGI / NCEI Visiting Scientists to NASA Infinity Science Center

Our team staffed the NGI-NOAA/NCEI trawling activity tables at the Infinity Science Center Home School Monday event on the 25th of February from 09:00 to 13:00. Well over one hundred children accompanied by their parents and siblings participated in our trawl activity! We also had several interested citizens who stopped by the talk about our science and check out the booth.

The activity idea was borrowed from Chris Simoniellos GCOOS activity and modified for our use. Our activity consisted of having the participants: select a small or large mesh net for the trawl, pull the net through the container filled with animals, sorting the animals into groups, recording the counts on a field sheet, then transferring those counts to a cumulative bar graph representing the total catch for the day.

The idea of having large and small mesh results graphed separately shows how the trends in the types of animals caught changes based on gear selection. This activity tells the story of how NOAA studies fisheries from the planning phase (gear selection) to pulling the trawl by sorting types of organisms, enumerating and recording counts, and bringing those results back to the lab to create visual products for distribution. Staff discusses why we care about fisheries, reasons you may choose a particular gear, and how the data are used to make important decisions.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

DISL - Discovery Hall Program Summer Camps

Discovery Hall Programs opens summer camp registration on Friday, February 1 for all overnight and day camps. The variety of campus range from single-day programs to residential camps and academic courses. Our highly qualified educators will guide campers and students through all activities, and residential students are well-supervised by our exceptional counselors.

Day Camps

Oceans Alive!
Ages 5-8
June 21, July 19 or July 26, 2019
The Gulf of Mexico offers a wealth of material for developing minds and curious senses in "Ocean's Alive." Combining arts and crafts with a beach walk adventure, DHP educators will usher children and adults into a deeper appreciation of the marvelous Alabama coast. Lessons in marine biology, ecology, and zoology are introduced in hands-on activities.

BIO Blitz
For ages 8-10
June 14, July 26 or July 31, 2019
Campers become Barrier Island Observers for the day, setting out on an expedition across many of the diverse habitats of Dauphin Island, including the beach, salt marsh, and maritime forest. Campers will document their findings through various creative media along with their journey. While exploring barrier island ecology, students should be prepared to get wet, sandy, and muddy.

Survivor: Dauphin Island
For ages 10-13
June 7, June 14, July 5 or July 30, 2019
Join us for a "reel" adventure and put your survival skills to the test. Campers will learn about Alabama's fishes and which ones are edible, how to toss a cast net, how to bait a crab trap, how to drag a seine, and how to bring in the catch of the day while pier fishing. Campers will also get up close and personal with their catches as they learn about each different species brought ashore.

Overnight Camps

Barrier Island Explorer
For rising 5th-6th graders
June 2-5, June 9-12 or July 21-24, 2019
Campers will experience many of the wonders of the Gulf Coast region in a fun and unique sleep-away setting. Go trawling aboard the Dauphin Island Sea Lab's research vessel, the Alabama Discovery, get wet at the beaches and marshes of Dauphin Island, learn first-hand what's in the water, build and fly a kite, and more.

Marine DeTECHtives
For rising 6th-8th grade
July 14-16, 2019
Calling all technology sleuths interested in robotics and engineering. Students will uncover marine technology through hands-on activities, including how to build a simple robot, solder components on a circuit board, design and build a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), compete in a friendly competition, and more.


Gulf Island Journey
For rising 7th-9th grades
June 2-7, June 16-21, July 7-12 or July 21-26, 2019
Campers will learn about the ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and Mobile Bay from experience marine science educators while immersing themselves in a variety of hands-on and in-the-field activities. Explore Mobile Bay aboard the R/V Alabama Discovery, seine for fish, dissect a shark, see plankton up close, visit Sand Island, and more.

Bay Voyager
For rising 9th-12th grade
July 14-19, 2019
This week-long residential program is designed to be an active, outdoors, hands-on program. Students will participate in a variety of activities as they learn about Alabamas marine environment, animals and plants. The week is a "must" for students who love the marine environment and are looking for a fun summer activity. Campers will take a trip aboard the Dauphin Island Sea Lab's research vessel, kayak local waters, seine along the beaches, learn about Alabama's coastal habitats, and so much more.

Marine Science Course for High School Students
June 16 - July 12, 2019
Application Deadline: April 2, 2019
The Marine Science Course is a 4-week academic class which introduces high school students to the marine environment. The course gives students a better understanding and appreciation of the various fields in marine science. Students will live on campus and participate in more than 150 hours of supervised academic activities. Students will take part in lectures, individual and group assignments, laboratory investigations, field projects, oral presentations, and written and practical examinations.


Tuesday, March 05, 2019

DISL - Educator Workshop: Exploring the Deep Ocean with NOAA

Event Date: Saturday, March 23
Event Time: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Location: Discovery Hall Programs

An essential component of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) mission is to enhance ocean science literacy and enhance understanding why it is important to explore our little-known ocean world. Educators are invited join NOAA OER staff to learn more about the importance of ocean exploration and the current technologies used to explore the deep ocean. This 7-hour Professional Development will introduce standards-based, hands-on activities and other online resources that guide classroom teaching and learning. Ocean health, unique underwater habitats, underwater mapping and remotely operated vehicles are just a few of the topics to be addressed.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

DISL - Educator Workshops

Discovery Hall Programs (DHP) provides professional development opportunities for teachers and informal educators through single day and multi-day workshops.

Workshops include experiences outside in the field, presentations and discussions with research faculty, and time to explore relevant lesson plans and activities to take back to the classroom.

Workshops are developed with Alabama Course of Study standards, Ocean Literacy Principles, and Climate Literacy Principles in mind, ensuring that they remain relevant to educators teaching needs.

All DHP workshops provide professional development hours for maintaining teacher certification through SARIC. Select workshops offer graduate credit though the University of West Alabama for educators pursuing advanced degrees.
Build-a-Drifter Workshop

Build-a-Drifter Workshop

Join us to explore drifters, their construction, deployment, and applications; and to explore the ability to use drifters to track trash through watersheds.

Read More
Exploring the Deep Ocean with NOAA

Exploring the Deep Ocean with NOAA

Join NOAA OER Facilitators to learn more about the importance of ocean exploration and the technologies currently used to explore the deep ocean.

Read More
Fins, Fishes, and Fisheries

Fins, Fishes, and Fisheries

Join us to learn more about the biology of fish, our Gulf fish species, how scientists study fish, fisheries management, aquaculture and seafood sustainability.

Read More
Technology in Marine Science-ROVs

Technology in Marine Science-ROVs

Join us to learn all about underwater robots or ROVs (remotely operated vehicles), and how ROVs are used to explore, research, and work in ocean waters.

Read More

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

DISL - Estuarium - Discovery Day - April 6, 2019

Related image

Discovery Day is the Dauphin Island Sea Lab's open house for the public. Once a year, the public is given a tour of our research facilities to learn about our coastal environment and the research our team is working on. Visitors will learn about the coastal ecosystem we live in and why it's important to conserve our precious and unique environment. You will also be able to tour the Research Vessel Alabama Discovery.

Normal Admissions Policy

Adult: $11.00
Children (5-18) or Students with ID: $6.00
Seniors: $9.00

For more information, you can always call 251-861-7500.

*Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

Group rates available by reservation with at least 48 hours notice. To schedule, contact Amy Hannah at 251-861-2141 x7070 or fill out the online reservation form.

The Estuarium is closed on the following days:
  • Easter Sunday
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Eve Day
  • Christmas Day
  • New Year's Eve Day
  • New Year's Day

Pet Policy: No pets are allowed in the DISL Estuarium. However, in accordance with the American with Disabilities Act and Alabama law, a service dog that is trained to perform tasks or do work for a person with a disability will be allowed to enter.

For people who enjoy meeting a wide range of visitors, and who love to share their enthusiasm for the environment, the Estuarium provides a wonderful opportunity to get involved. Show eager students and visitors how ticklish horseshoe crabs are, talk to the public about important marine problems, guide school groups around exhibits, and much more. Volunteers will receive extensive training, numerous benefits, and the chance to meet and greet visitors from right down the street to across the country.

To become an Estuarium docent volunteer, contact Jamelle Roy at (251) 861-2141 x7545 or email: volunteer@disl.org.

Download Volunteer Application

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

USM Gulf Coast Research Laboratory - Marine Biology Faculty to your Classroom

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

USM - Marine Education Center - Summer Camps 2019

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

USM - Marine Education Center - Miss Peetsy B. Bayou Tours

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

STEAM Integrated Arts and Sciences Competition

STEAM fields are science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, together with art. STEAM is designed to integrate STEM subjects and the art of design in education.

STEAM programs add art to STEM curriculum by drawing on design principles and encouraging creative solutions.

In 2013, a joint resolution was introduced in the United States House of Representatives expressing the sense that adding art and design into Federal programs that target the STEM fields encourages innovation and economic growth in the United States.

The Northern Gulf Institute (NGI) at Mississippi State University is proud to announce a STEAM art competition, where original drawings, paintings, photography, or other renderings, depicting the natural environment, marine avian, or aquatic species, the ocean, or weather, as related to the Mississippi River, The Gulf Coast, or the Gulf of Mexico Basin, are to be submitted for review. The winner of the competition will have their art featured in the Newsletter. There is an open submission date as the newsletter is published quarterly.

Please forward submissions digitally to EandO@ngi.msstate.edu or submit them by mail to:

Jonathan Harris
Education and Outreach
Northern Gulf Institute
Box 9627
Mississippi State, MS 39762
Innovation depends on the problem solving, risk taking and creativity that are natural to the way artists and designers think.
~ John Madea
August (Quarterly) Submission by Walker Harris of Starkville High School

"Squalls Out on The Gulf Stream"

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Embrace the Gulf - 2020

Like phytoplankton in the ocean, the smallest things can have the biggest impacts. Your charitable gift to the Embrace the Gulf campaign will help the Gulf of Mexico Alliance realize a year of celebration in 2020.

Embrace the Gulf Org

Every amount counts.
Support Embrace the Gulf

The Gulf of Mexico provides food, shelter, protection, security, energy, habitat, recreation, transportation, and navigation playing an important role in our communities, states, region, and nation. To highlight the value and the vitality of the Gulf of Mexico region, the Gulf of Mexico Alliance conceived an awareness campaign Embrace the Gulf for the entire year 2020. The awareness campaign will culminate in a multi-stakeholder, cross-sector celebration of the importance of the Gulf of Mexico throughout the year 2020.

We're just getting started. We hope you'll join us.
Contact the campaign.