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E-Update for January 14, 2014

Looking Ahead: The Gulf Research Program in 2014

Dear Colleagues:

We here at the Gulf Research Program are excited about 2014. For us, 2014 will be a transition year, moving from "learning the landscape" toward articulating and then implementing our program vision. We greatly appreciate the input we've received from many of you over our first six months, and we anticipate creating other opportunities to interact.

What do we have planned so far in 2014? We will have two meetings of the Advisory Group (February 11-12 in Houston and June 11-12 in Tampa) that are critical in the creation of our strategic plan. This document, which will be a high level vision describing program mission, goals, themes, guiding principles, and more, will develop over the spring and be released in the summer. We anticipate announcing some first activities and funding opportunities during the summer. In September, we will see a significant rotation in our advisors, moving from the one-year Advisory Group to a standing Advisory Board with evolving responsibilities (and 3-year terms of office). We envision continued participation of program staff and members in various workshops, conferences, and other communications activities.

One of these opportunities is the 2014 Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill & Ecosystem Science Conference at the end of the month in Mobile, AL. We will be there to learn more about ongoing science in region and talk about our program. You can find us as part of a Town Hall on Tuesday, January 28, plus we will have a table in the resource area. We're a co-organizer of the environmental monitoring session, and an overall co-sponsor of this important community event.

Starting January 21, the Program will welcome our first "Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellow," Jocelyn Oshrin. The Mirzayan Fellowship is a long-standing opportunity here at the National Academy of Sciences, a chance for upper level students to experience the science policy world, and we have carved out a special place for a student with Gulf-related interests. Jocelyn is a Mississippi native who holds a B.S. in geological science from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; a M.S. in geology from the University of Notre Dame; and a M.P.A. and M.S. in environmental science from Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs. She will join us here in Washington, DC, for 12 weeks.

We wish you the best in 2014 and look forward to future opportunities to engage you.