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HARTE CURRENT SPRING 2021

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INSTITUTE NEWS

The 2020 Annual Report Released

STAFF NEWS

New Funding for Matagorda Bay Research

TOP STORY

Great Results From Sportfish Center's Red Snapper Count Study

STUDENT NEWS

Doctoral Student Honored in Ceremony

TOP STORY

New HRI Fellows Chosen FEATURED STORY

Massive 700lb Bluefin Tuna Sampled

More Stories Inside...


Welcome to The Harte Current, HRI's Redesigned End-of-Semester Newsletter! You’ll no doubt notice something new right away about our Spring 2021 HRI newsletter — a redesign! With changes underway at the institute — changes in leadership, personnel, and the celebration of our institute’s 20th anniversary — we thought it was time to freshen up the look and branding of our institutional communications. We will be giving you the same great news with a new look and new name — the Harte Current, so that you can keep up with what’s “current” at HRI. We hope you enjoy our efforts. Our other big story is some springtime news that put HRI on the map — our Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation released the results of their Great

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Red Snapper Count in March and the numbers spelled good news for our Gulf fishery. After extensive surveys performed by teams of scientific partners across the Gulf, our study found 110 million red snapper in the Gulf, more than three times previous estimates. Our results have the science and fishing communities buzzing, and have inspired similar research to be conducted in the Atlantic fishery, so stay tuned. In the meantime, you can read more about the Great Red Snapper Count final report and all our spring news in the stories in this edition.


TOP NEWS

Great Results From Sportfish Center's Red Snapper Count Study The U.S. waters of the Gulf of Mexico are home to 110 million red snapper, about three times more than previously estimated, according to an unprecedented new population assessment led by the Harte Research Institute. Previous estimates put the population at about 36 million red snapper — having an absolute abundance estimate may potentially change the way the Gulf of Mexico fishery is assessed by federal and state officials. CLICK HERE TO READ ON...

HRI FELLOWS

HRI Fellows Chosen Three TAMU-CC researchers were selected for two-year appointments as a part of the Institute's inaugural HRI Fellows program, which aims to promote transdisciplinary research partnerships between HRI and the University. The fellows include an environmental historian, an applied linguist, and a biomedical researcher. Each researcher was nominated for their appointment by a current HRI chair, with whom they will collaborate with on a shared project that combines their expertise. Each fellow will be provided with seed money by HRI to support their collaborative project. CLICK HERE TO READ ON...

Jennifer Brown, Ph.D. HRI Fellow HydroEcology

READ MY BIO

Shannon Fitzsimmons-Doolan, Ph.D. HRI Fellow Coastal Conservation & Restoration

READ MY BIO

Wei Xu, Ph.D. HRI Fellow Ecosystem Science & Modeling

READ MY BIO

CLICK HERE TO READ ON...

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INSTITUTE NEWS Oyster Bagging Events Resume HRI’s Oyster Recycling Program held two private bagging events this spring. Volunteers worked through various stations to learn about oysters and bay ecosystems, to bag recycled oyster shell, and then to place it in the bay to form a reef. CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO

CLICK HERE TO READ ON...

2020 Annual Report Published In our 2020 Annual Report, headline news includes new Senior Executive Director, Dr. David Yoskowitz, announcements of new Chairs Dr. Dale Gawlik and Dr. Xinping Hu, a goodbye to longtime Chair Dr. Richard McLaughlin and new roles for former Director Dr. Larry McKinney and Chair Dr. Paul Montagna. CLICK HERE TO READ ON...

Sea Change 25 th Anniversary Release HRI is proud to announce the 25th anniversary reprinting of the seminal marine science and conservation nonfiction book, Sea Change: A Message of the Oceans by HRI co-founder, marine scientist and explorer Dr. Sylvia Earle. CLICK HERE TO READ ON...

New Funding for Matagorda Bay Research HRI and TAMU-CC researchers have been awarded almost $2 million in funding from the Matagorda Bay Mitigation Trust for bay ecosystem health and restoration projects focused on several middle Texas coast bay systems. CLICK HERE TO READ ON...

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STAFF & STUDENT NEWS Palmer Receives Graduate Award

HRI doctoral student Terry Palmer has been named the 2021 Outstanding Doctoral Student by TAMU-CC’s annual Outstanding Graduate Awards offered by the College of Graduate Studies. CLICK HERE TO READ ON... CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO

Bluefin Tuna Sampling Each year, the handful of bluefin tuna landed in the Gulf of Mexico contribute to much more than just monumental fish tales - they also provide valuable samples for scientists studying the species thanks to cooperation of anglers, captains, and dock staff. Our researchers have to be ready at the drop of a dime to head to the dock to gain this precious data. CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO

CLICK HERE TO READ ON...

Ecosystem Effects Of February Freeze HRI’s Dr. Larry McKinney speaks to the Corpus Christi Caller-Times about how Texas’ fisheries and wildlife were affected by the devastating freeze of February 2021. McKinney recalls how this event compares to past freezes, and discusses what this may mean for coastal ecosystems for many years to come. CLICK HERE TO READ ON...

Osier and Opoola receive CPA Certification

HRI Assistant Director Carmen Osier and Budget Specialist Jamiu (Abbey) Opoola recently completed their Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensures. Carmen has worked for TAMU-CC for seven years receiving her Master’s of Accounting from TAMU-CC in 2015 and joining HRI in 2017. Abbey received his Master’s of Accounting and joined HRI in 2019.

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HIGHLIGHTS The Socio-Economics group has launched the BlueValue Blog which covers coastal, marine, and water issues by looking through a social-behavioral-economics lens.

HRI Project Coordinator Kat Santrock celebrated her retirement in March after 20 years of service to the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi campus

READ THEIR BLOG

Mukesh Subedee received a promotion to Research Data Scientist READ MY BIO

Kara Coffey received a promotion to Project Coordinator II READ MY BIO

GRIIDC is continuing their partnership with the deep sea research consortium DEEPEND

HRI recently joined the American Flood Coalition(AFC) VISIT THE AFC SITE

MORE INFO HERE

HRI doctoral student Terry Palmer received the Spring 2021 Dorothy Yeater Scholarship READ MY BIO

This upcoming summer, HRI Student Research Assistant Abigail Schulz will be working with HRI’s Felimon Gayanilo and NOAA’s Hassan Moustahfid as part of the Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions Internship Program. Her project will be focused on creating and using her own artificial intelligence to identify corals located in the Flower Garden Banks.

Two HRI graduate students, Terry Palmer and Larissa Dias, participated in the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition in April SEE PHOTOS FROM EVENT

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PRESENTATIONS HRI Senior Executive Director Dr. David Yoskowitz participated in a virtual forum on oil and gas programs in March hosted by the U.S. Department of the Interior. EVENT INFO HERE

HRI Chair for Gulf Strategies Dr. Larry McKinney joined local station KEDT on “South Texas Leaders” in February. WATCH HERE

HRI HydroEcology Chair Dr. Paul Montagna presented the project webinar, “Long-Term Benthic Data Adaptive Management of Three Basins” for the Texas Water Development Board on March 18.

Doctoral candidate Coral Lozada was a panelist for the “Fully Serving the Underserved” for the Gulf of Mexico Alliance in January 2021. EVENT INFO HERE

Doctoral candidate Diana Del Angel presented at the Apalachicola NERR Research Symposium on February 19, 2021. Her presentation was titled “Economic Impact Analysis of Storm Flooding under Sea Level Rise”. WATCH HERE

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HRI Conservation and Biodiversity Chair Dr. Dale Gawlik and his lab presented at the Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Conference 2021 in April. His presentations included: “Thermoregulation by Wading Bird Nestings is Compromised by Researcher Disturbance,” R. Kate Shlepr, Sarah L. Milton and Gawlik; and “Modeling Wading Bird Habitat Changes in Response to Rising Seas: Temporal Availability of Habitat as a Special Attribute,” Gawlik, Leonardo Calle, and Marisa T. Martinez.

HRI Conservation and Biodiversity Chair Dr. Dale Gawlik and his lab presented at the 2021 Joint meeting of the Wilson Ornithological Society Association of Field Ornithologists and Northeast Natural History Conference: “Evolution of Small Unmanned Aerial Systems for Monitoring Wading Bird Nest Abundance and Survival,” Rostam Mirzadi and Gawlik.

HRI Endowed Chair Dr. Dale Gawlik was the featured speaker for the May 2021 meeting of the Coastal Bend Audubon Society with a presentation titled “Lessons from the Everglades: What Wading Birds Can Tell Us About Healthy Water”

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PUBLICATIONS How a simple question about freshwater inflow to estuaries shaped a career. Montagna, P.A. 2021. How a simple question about freshwater inflow to estuaries shaped a career. Gulf and Caribbean Research 32: ii-xiv. CLICK HERE TO SEE ARTICLE

Oyster growth across a salinity gradient in a shallow, subtropical Gulf of Mexico estuary. Benoit Lebreton, B., J.B. Pollack, B. Blomberg, T.A. Palmer, and P.A. Montagna. 2021. Oyster growth across a salinity gradient in a shallow, subtropical Gulf of Mexico estuary. Experimental Results 2, e10, 1–12. CLICK HERE TO SEE ARTICLE

Long-term changes in contamination and macrobenthic communities adjacent to McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Palmer, T.A., A.G. Klein, S.T. Sweet, P.A. Montagna, L.J. Hyde, J. Sericano, T.L. Wade, M.C. Kennicutt II, J.B. Pollack. 2021. Long-term changes in contamination and macrobenthic communities adjacent to McMurdo Station, Antarctica. Science of The Total Environment 142798. CLICK HERE TO SEE ARTICLE

Timescales and Magnitude of Water Quality Change in Three Texas Estuaries Induced by Passage of Hurricane Harvey. Walker, L.M. et al. 2020. Timescales and Magnitude of Water Quality Change in Three Texas Estuaries Induced by Passage of Hurricane Harvey. Estuaries and Coasts. DOI: 10.1007/s12237-020-00846-6. CLICK HERE TO SEE ARTICLE

Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance–Improving Conservation Outcomes. Kingsford RT, Bino G, Finlayson CM, Falster D, Fitzsimons JA, Gawlik DE, Murray NJ, Grillas P, Gardner RC, Regan TJ, Roux DJ and Thomas RF (2021) Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance–Improving Conservation Outcomes. Front. Environ. Sci. 9:643367. CLICK HERE TO SEE ARTICLE

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NEW RESEARCH PRESENTATIONS PROJECTS Assessment of the Short- and Long-term Socioeconomic Impacts of Florida’s 2017-2019 Red Tide Event University of Florida (Prime Sponsor - Texas A&M University) PI - Dr. David Yoskowitz $50,575 U.S. Virgin Islands Ecosystem Services Approach to Support Hazard Mitigation and Resiliency Planning University of the Virgin Islands (Prime Sponsor – FEMA) PI - Dr. David Yoskowitz $91,273 A Multi-national Approach for the Standardization of Data and Reporting in Long-term Monitoring Programs Across the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs) NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service PI - Dr. Mark Besonen Co-PI – Dr. Larry McKinney $35,000 Water Quality Status and Trends Assessment in the Coastal Bays Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program (Prime Sponsor – EPA) PI - Dr. Michael Wetz $36,404 Vulnerability Assessment of Coastal Bend Bays Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program PI - Dr. Paul Montagna Co-PIs – Dr. Greg Stunz, Dr. Daniel Coffey $63,500 Benchmarking Community Structure of Estuarine-dependent Nekton near the Aransas Pass Inlet Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program PI - Dr. Judd Curtis Co-PI – Dr. Daniel Coffey $28,582

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Impacts of Freshwater on Ocean Acidification for Three Northwestern Gulf of Mexico Estuaries Texas A&M University (Prime Sponsor – NOAA National Sea Grant) PI - Dr. Xinping Hu $36,000 Coordinated Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease Monitoring in the Greater Caribbean National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (Prime Sponsor – NOAA) PI - Dr. Mark Besonen $25,000 PMAR Research Agreement 1 – Oyster Reef Restoration and Conservation Aquaculture Palacios Marine Agricultural Research, Inc. PI - Dr. Joe Fox Co-PI – Gail Sutton, MS $300,000 Integrated Living Shoreline Tools and Community Outreach Texas General Land Office (Prime Sponsor – NOAA) PI - Dr. James Gibeaut $95,666 Long-term Trends in Lavaca-Colorado and Guadalupe Estuaries Matagorda Bay Mitigation Trust PI - Dr. Paul Montagna $159,055 Enhancing Coastal Resiliency via Shell Recycling, Restoration, and Community Partnerships Texas General Land Office (Prime Sponsor – NOAA) PI - Dr. Jennifer Pollack Co-PI – Gail Sutton, MS $125,000 Scientific Data Management and Repository Services for the Mississippi-based RESTORE Act Center of Excellence (MBRACE) University of Southern Mississippi (Prime Sponsor – US Department of the Treasury) PI - Dr. James Gibeaut $102,245


Seasonal Movement Patterns of Cobia in the Western Gulf of Mexico Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (Prime Sponsor – USFWS) PI - Dr. Matthew Streich Co-PIs – Dr. Judd Curtis, Dr. Greg Stunz $100,000

Colorado River Delta Ecosystem Assessment: Gathering Key Baseline Data to Guide Future Habitat Restoration in Matagorda Bay

Movement Ecology of Shortfin Makos off Texas and the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (Prime Sponsor – USFWS) PI - Dr. Greg Stunz Co-PIs – Dr. Kesley Banks, Dr. Daniel Coffey $99,831

A Research and Monitoring Program to Mitigate the Impact of Harmful Algal Blooms on the Matagorda Bay and San Antonio Bay Ecosystems

Movement Patterns of Wading Birds as a Mechanism Linking Freshwater Wetlands and Coastal Ecosystems in the Greater Everglades Florida Atlantic University (Prime Sponsor – Department of the Interior) PI - Dr. Dale Gawlik $99,170 Assessing Coastal Change in Support of the 2023 Texas Coastal Resiliency Master Plan Texas General Land Office PI - Dr. James Gibeaut $993,513 Freshwater Inflows to Texas Bays and Estuaries: A State-wide Review, Synthesis, and Recommendations Texas General Land Office PI - Dr. Paul Montagna Co-PIs – Dr. Greg Stunz, Dr. James Gibeaut, Dr. Michael Wetz, Dr. Xinping Hu, Dr. Jennifer Pollack $1,325,449 A Comprehensive, Stakeholder-led Ecosystem Health Assessment for the Texas Coast to Prioritize Restoration Efforts

Matagorda Bay Mitigation Trust PI - Dr. Greg Stunz Co-PI – Dr. Matthew Streich $495,991

Matagorda Bay Mitigation Trust PI - Dr. Michael Wetz $478,822 Dry Season Prey Concentrations Florida Atlantic University (Prime Sponsor – USACE) PI - Dr. Dale Gawlik $12,106 CAREER: The Impact of Hydrologic State on CO2 Flux and Acidification in Subtropical Estuaries National Science Foundation PI - Dr. Xinping Hu $45,113 Impact of the 2021 Freeze Event on Baffin Bay Water Quality Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries Program PI - Dr. Michael Wetz $23,265 Influence of an Extreme Cold Air Outbreak on Food Web Dynamics in Baffin Bay: Near Term Sampling Coastal Bend Bays and Estuariues Program PI - Dr. Jennifer Pollack $24,060

Texas General Land Office PI - Dr. Michael Wetz Co-PI – Dr. Jennifer Pollack $453,385

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GRADUATES PRESENTATIONS & NEW FACES Graduates Ph.D. Graduate

Melissa McCutcheon

Ph.D. in Coastal and Marine System Science Ecosystem Science & Modeling Group READ MY BIO

Maxwell McClure B.A. in History Administration READ MY BIO

Jasmine Caillier B.S. Marine Biology HydroEcology Group READ MY BIO

New Faces Linnea Balderson Undergraduate Research Assistant Administration READ MY BIO

Jasmine Caillier Student Research Assistant HydroEcology READ MY BIO

Sandeep Jilla Research Specialist I Geospatial Sciences READ MY BIO

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Dominic Burch Research Technician II Coastal Ecosystem Processes READ MY BIO

Audrey Douglas, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Research Associate HydroEcology READ MY BIO

Rafael Jose Graduate Research Assistant HydroEcology READ MY BIO


Jensen Smith Student Research Assistant Fisheries & Ocean Health READ MY BIO

MacKenzie de los Santos Undergraduate Research Assistant Coastal Conservation & Restoration READ MY BIO

Juan Palacios Student Research Assistant HydroEcology READ MY BIO

Yvonne Sheasby Graduate Research Assistant Institutional Initiatives READ MY BIO

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SPRING 2021 I N S T I T U T E

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@harteresearch Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi 6300 Ocean Drive - Unit 5869 Corpus Christi, TX 78412 Email: hri@tamucc.edu Copyright © 2021 Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies. All Rights Reserved.

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The Harte Current-Spring 2021  

You’ll no doubt notice something new right away about our Spring 2021 HRI newsletter — a redesign! With changes underway at the institute— c...

The Harte Current-Spring 2021  

You’ll no doubt notice something new right away about our Spring 2021 HRI newsletter — a redesign! With changes underway at the institute— c...

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