THE HRI CURRENT-SUMMER 2022

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THE

HRI

SUMMER 2022

A PUBLICATION BY THE H ARTE RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR GULF OF MEXICO STUDIES

TOP STORY HRI Presents Deep in the Heart STAFF NEWS HRI Alumna Invited on Seafloor Expedition

INSTITUTE NEWS CCA Supports Bringing Baffin Back

INSTITUTE NEWS

TOP STORY Sportfish Center Featured on Shark Week and SharkFest

HRI and TAMU-CC Lone Star UAS Host Waterbird Drone Workshop

MORE NEWS INSIDE...


Summer 2022 Friends of HRI, The sun is setting on another great summer. In the last few months, HRI staff and students have been able to take their work abroad for the first time in over two years. In May, the Student Workshop on International Coastal and Marine Management (SWIMM) traveled to Mexico where students from across the United States, Mexico, and Cuba worked together on a report card for the Alacranes Reef. Staff were also able to reunite with our friends and colleagues in Cuba, hosting workshops and meeting with some of our longest standing partners in the country. It wouldn’t officially be summer without Shark Week and this year HRI’s Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation were featured during two episodes of Discovery’s annual celebration of sharks. Our researchers also made their first appearance in National Geographic’s annual SharkFest programming. We’re incredibly thankful for all of our community partners who help us not only develop science-driven solutions™ for the Gulf, but also assist us in sharing our messaging with a variety of audiences. This summer we were excited to restart our Wetland Workshop series with Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve and Learning Center. Additionally, alongside our colleagues at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC), our Conservation and Biodiversity Lab hosted a workshop intended to help other resource managers learn safe and effective techniques for drone surveying of nesting colonial waterbirds. As we look forward to the fall season, I hope that you’re able to join us on September 15 for a special screening of the Texas wildlife and conservation film, Deep in the Heart, at the TAMU-CC Performing Arts Center. HRI was honored to serve as a “Take Action” partner for the film and provide scientific expertise for the film’s segments highlighting the importance of the Gulf of Mexico and its resources.

Dr. David Yoskowitz, Senior Executive Director

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THE

HRI CURRENT

TOP NEWS

TOP NEWS

SPORTFISH CENTER Featured on Shark Week and SharkFest

This year, HRI’s Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation researchers were featured during two episodes of Discovery’s annual Shark Week; “Sharks! With Tracy Morgan” and “Monster Mako Under the Rig”. “Monster Mako Under the Rig” garnered over 2 million viewers and ranked as the second most watched cable television show the evening it premiered. The show followed the CSSC team as they worked to sample “Maverick” mako sharks that reside in the waters off Port Aransas and migrate around Florida and up to Rhode Island. CSSC researchers were also featured in National Geographic’s month-long SharkFest for the first time.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

TOP NEWS HRI PRESENTS

HRI is proud to invite students and the general public to a special screening of the Texas wildlife film, Deep in the Heart, on September 15. The film will be shown at the TAMU-CC Performing Arts Center as part of the annual Furgason BRAVO! Series and tickets are free of charge. HRI acted alongside many Texas conservation organizations as a “Take Action” partner for Deep in the Heart.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

CLICK HERE TO WATCH TRAILER SUMMER FALL 2021 2022

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INSTITUTE NEWS

HRI and TAMU-CC Lone Star UAS Host Waterbird Drone Workshop HRI’s Conservation and Biodiversity Lab hosted a workshop titled “Best Practices for Surveying Nesting Colonial Waterbirds with Drones” in partnership with the TAMU-CC Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence and Innovation on July 27th through funding from the Harvey Weil Sportsman Conservationist Award. The workshop covered safe and effective drone surveying of nesting colonial waterbirds. CLICK HERE TO SEE PHOTOS

Visiting Researcher Studies Coastal Food Webs Visiting researcher Dr. Benoit Lebreton spent three weeks at HRI in June collaborating with members of the Coastal Conservation & Restoration laboratory under HRI Chair Dr. Jennifer Pollack.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

2022 Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve Workshops Happening Now After more than a two-year hiatus, HRI was excited to restart our summer Wetlands Workshop series with Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve and Learning Center! The last Saturday of every month from June through October, HRI research groups help all ages get hands-on with science and learn more about the diverse ecosystems, and ecosystem services, of the Gulf of Mexico. Follow Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve on FB for upcoming workshops. CLICK HERE TO SEE UPCOMING EVENTS

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SUMMER 2022


INSTITUTE NEWS

HRI’s Summer International Work This summer, HRI staff visited friends and colleagues in Cuba for the first time in over two years, hosting the 2nd Cuban Environmental Report Card workshop as part of the United Nations Programme GEF Grant awarded to Ecovalor. Staff also met with Universidad de la Habana, Parque Nacional Caguanes and the Aquario National De Cuba, HRI's longest standing partner in the country. Additionally, students from across the Gulf worked together this summer in Mexico at the SWIMM Workshop. Graduate students from the United States, Mexico, and Cuba, put together a report card for Alacranes Reef.

Waterbird Society Annual Conference Reminder! Waterbird Society Annual Meeting

2022

The Waterbird Society will hold its 46th Annual Conference in Corpus Christi this year. The scientific program will take place November 01 November 03, 2022. The council will meet on October 31, 2022. The society business meeting, followed by the awards ceremony and banquet, will occur on November 03, 2022, followed by field trips on November 04, 2022. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

Disaster Risk Mitigation Maps Developed for the Coastal Bend Dr. Diana Del Angel and Regional Resilience Partnership colleagues collaborated in developing the Coastal Bend Council of Government’s Method of Distribution for the allocation of $179,547,000 in Community Development Block Grant Mitigation Funds distributed to the region to develop strategic, high-impact activities to mitigate disaster risks.

SUMMER 2022

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INSTITUTE NEWS

CCA Supports Bringing Baffin Back The Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) recently made a generous funding commitment of $75,000 per year for three years to support the Bringing Baffin Back Water Quality Monitoring Program. CCA contributed funding support to launch the program in 2013, which turned into a highly successful citizen science effort involving local anglers, fishing guides, and landowners. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

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STAFF & STUDENT NEWS

HRI Bids Farewell to Belinda Damerow In August, HRI wished a happy retirement to Executive Administration Associate, Belinda Damerow! While her smiles, hard work, and positive attitude will certainly be missed around the halls and offices at HRI, she left a lasting impact on staff during her years here.

HRI Alumna Invited on Seafloor Expedition Jordana Cutajar, a former graduate student and Graduate Research Assistant at HRI, will soon set sail on the Nautilus Exploration Vessel as a Seafloor Mapping Intern learning mapping system technologies to reveal never before seen mountains and ridges under the Pacific Ocean. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

HRI CCME Master’s Student Monisha Sugla Starts NERTO Monisha Sugla, an MS student in the Coastal Conservation & Restoration laboratory, traveled to Seattle and began her NOAA Experiential Research and Training Opportunity (NERTO) on May 30th working at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center. The project is entitled “Green crab invasion: impacts on shellfish and nearshore habitats”. Monisha also has accepted a position working as a NOAA contract Research Operations Specialist at Cordell Bank Marine Sanctuary which she will begin on completion of her NERTO.

SUMMER 2022

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STAFF & STUDENT NEWS

Gayanilo Named Co-PI of GulfCORES Project The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently announced that it would provide $5.4 million in research funding to Texas A&M University’s Understanding Gulf Ocean Systems program. This funding will be specifically allocated to establish the Gulf Consortium for Offshore Risk Reduction Engaging Stakeholders (GulfCORES). HRI’s Felimon Gayanilo is a co-Principal Investigator for this project. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

A Talk on the Wild Side Podcast Bringing Baffin Back Episode In July, Dr. Mike Wetz appeared on the Ceasar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute’s podcast, A Talk on the Wild Side, to discuss all things Bringing Baffin Back. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

The Greater Amberjack Count Underway A “dream team” of researchers, including HRI’s Dr. Greg Stunz, is conducting an $11.7 million study of the greater amberjack species sponsored by the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium through the University of South Alabama. Named “The Greater Amberjack Count,” the overarching goal of the study is to estimate the number of greater amberjack in the U.S. South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

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HIGHLIGHTS Graduate Students Participate in UTMSI Summer Science Program HRI’s Coastal Conservation and Restoration group took part in the University of Texas Marine Science Institute's Summer Science Program where they discussed the ecosystem services that oysters provide, along with a hands-on section for students to shuck oysters in order to learn their anatomy. Afterward, students bagged oyster shells that will be used to restore a reef in the future!

Cheniere Support of CBBEP Aids HRI Oyster Reef Restoration Cheniere Energy, through the work of the Cheniere Foundation continues to support the Coastal Bend Bays & Estuaries Program’s (CBBEP) efforts by donating $100,000 to CBBEP projects including funding to support oyster reef restoration in St. Charles Bay. Oyster Reef Restoration in St. Charles Bay is a multi-year effort led by HRI.

PHOTO CREDIT: PAT MURRAY

CCA: Doctor Snapper Article Features HRI’s Stunz Among Dr. Greg Stunz’s many scientific and angling accolades, he has arguably spent more time catching, tagging, studying, analyzing, searching for and finding red snapper than anyone on the planet. CLICK HERE TO READ

Dr. Terry Palmer in Scientific American Article Assistant Research Scientist Dr. Terry Palmer was included in a Scientific American story looking at how the audio of snapping shrimp could help oysters re-establish long-lost ecosystems. CLICK HERE TO READ

SUMMER 2022

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HIGHLIGHTS HRI Doctoral Student Completes Internship in Louisiana Socio-Economics doctoral student Ulsía Urrea Mariño participated in the Summer Internship Program at the Coastal Ecosystem Design Studio, Louisiana State University, from June 4th to July 29th. The internship aimed to study settlement, coastal restoration, flood protection, and economic development issues to develop innovative solutions for coastal communities in the Barataria Basin in the Mississippi Delta, Louisiana.

Spanish Version of ReleaSense Available Now! This resource was developed as part of HRI's Trinational Initiative – a program that seeks to partner with managers in Mexico and Cuba – and now shares this content with Spanish-speaking anglers. CLICK TO VISIT RELEASENSE

Regional Resilience Partnership Launches Social Media The Regional Resilience Partnership (RRP), a joint project between the Coastal Bend Council of Governments and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi that works with local officials and stakeholders on disaster resilience, can now be found on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.

CLICK ON SOCIAL ICONS TO CONNECT WITH RRP

LIKE & FOLLOW FOR UPDATES

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PRESENTATIONS HRI Chair for Gulf Strategies Dr. Larry McKinney participated on a panel for Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2022 Sea: The Future in June. McKinney also presented in the Blue Beacon Series: Save Spectacular with Marine Sanctuaries & Gulf Restoration at Moody Gardens in Galveston in August.

HRI Endowed Chair Dr. Paul Montagna and other members of the HydroEcology laboratory, presented on the “Influence of the Formosa Discharge on Long-Term Dynamics of Abiotic and Biotic Resources in Lavaca Bay, Texas” for the Lavaca Bay Foundation in Port Lavaca in June.

Dr. Paul Montagna also presented “Long-Term Benthic Data in Three Basins can be Used for Adaptive Management of Inflow Standards” at a meeting jointly hosted by the Harte Research Institute and Texas Water Development Board in Corpus Christi in May.

Research Specialist Tara Topping and Postdoctoral Research Associate Dr. David Essian spoke to the Antonio E. Garcia Arts & Education Center’s Very Important Kids Camp this summer in Corpus Christi.

Assistant Research Scientist Dr. Danny Coffey and Research Specialist Jeff Kaiser spoke on “Fisheries Research in your Backyard – What’s Happening at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi” at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute Summer Science Camp in Port Aransas.

SUMMER 2022

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PRESENTATIONS

Dr. Danny Coffey also presented “Tracking Sharks in the Gulf of Mexico” to the Texas State Aquarium’s Sea Camp in June in Corpus Christi.

HRI Endowed Chair Dr. Dale Gawlik and Dr. David Essian co-hosted a virtual workshop for Colony Island Network Design and Implementation (CINDI). This was the first in a series of workshops for stakeholders involved in water colony island rehabilitation on the Texas coast.

Doctoral Student Antonio Cantu received a travel award from the Coastal and Marine Systems Science Program to participate in the Wetlands of the Intermountain West Workshop organized by Louisiana State University.

HRI Endowed Chair Dr. Michael Wetz spoke to the Rotary Club of Corpus Christi on “Bringing Baffin Bay Back” in August.

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PUBLICATIONS Long-Term Benthic Data: Adaptive Management of Three Basins Montagna, P.A. 2022. Long-Term Benthic Data: Adaptive Management of Three Basins. Final Report to the Texas Water Development Board, Contract # 2000012436. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, Texas, 88 pp.

Formosa Plastics Discharge Monitoring in Lavaca Bay, Texas, USA Montagna, P.A., E. Harris, A. Douglas, L. Vitale, D. Buzan. 2022. Formosa Plastics Discharge Monitoring in Lavaca Bay, Texas, USA. Distributed by: Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Information and Data Cooperative (GRIIDC), Harte Research Institute, Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi. CLICK HERE TO SEE ARTICLE

Diel Vertical Habitat Use Observations of a Scalloped Hammerhead and a Bigeye Thresher in the Northern Gulf of Mexico Anderson, T., E. N. Meese, J. M. Drymon, G. W. Stunz, B. Falterman, E. Menjivar, and R. J. D. Wells. 2022. Diel vertical habitat use observations of a scalloped hammerhead and a bigeye thresher in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Fishes 7:148. CLICK HERE TO SEE ARTICLE

Social Media Shines Light on the “Hidden” Impact of Nighttime Guided-gigging Charters on Texas’ Southern Flounder Fishery: A Stab in the Dark Hall QA, Coffey DM, Streich MK, Fisher MR, Stunz GW (2022) Social media shines light on the “hidden” impact of nighttime guided-gigging charters on Texas’ Southern Flounder fishery: A stab in the dark. PLoS ONE 17(6): e0269397. CLICK HERE TO SEE ARTICLE

SUMMER 2022

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NEW PROJECTS

Gulf Consortium for Offshore Risk Reduction Engaging Stakeholders (GulfCORES) Texas A&M University PI - Felimon Gayanilo $120,000

Outreach and Training: Workshop on Best Practices for Surveying with Small Aerial Systems Harvey Weil PI - Dale Gawlik $10,000

Collaborative Partnerships to Support Oyster Conservation and Recovery in Texas Still Water Foundation PI-Jennifer Pollack

CCA Texas PI - Michael Wetz $75,000

Pre-nourishment Beach Benthic Invertebrate Monitoring Texas General Land Office PI - Jennifer Pollack $190,728

Coupled Ocean Modeling Testbed (COMT) Platform for Physics and Contaminant Exchange Through the River-Estuary-Ocean Continuum

$100,000

Texas A&M University PI - Felimon Gayanilo $15,801

A Roadmap for Developing Resilient Oyster Populations

Texas Bacterial Source Tracking Program Bacteria Source Tracking and WPP Implementation Efforts

Louisiana State University PI - Jennifer Pollack $40,041

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Water Quality Monitoring in Support of Baffin Bay Watershed and Bay Restoration Efforts

Texas A&M AgriLife Research (Prime Sponsor: Texas State Soil & Water Conservation Board) PI - Dr. Michael Wetz $35,344

SUMMER 2022


GRADUATES PH.D. GRADUATES

DR. CORAL LOZADA

DR. KELSEY MARTIN

Ph.D. Coastal and Marine System Science Socio-Economics

Ph.D. Marine Biology Fisheries & Ocean Health

Committee Chair - Dr. Greg Stunz

Committee Chair - Dr. David Yoskowitz

M.S. GRADUATES

Jordana Cutajar, M.S.

EvaLynn Jundt, M.S.

Mollie McBride, M.S.

MS Coastal and Marine System Science Coastal Ecosystem Processes

MS Coastal and Marine System Science Ecosystem Science & Modeling

MS Marine Biology Coastal Ecosystem Processes

Committee Chair - Dr. Michael Wetz

Committee Chair - Dr. Xinping Hu

Committee Chair - Dr. Michael Wetz

B.S. GRADUATE

Lauren Rener, M.S.

Karin Trevino, M.S.

MS Environmental Science HydroEcology

MS Environmental Science HydroEcology

Committee Chair - Dr. Paul Montagna

Committee Chair - Dr. Paul Montagna

SUMMER 2022

Hannah McKenzie Zapata, B.S.

BS Biology Coastal Conservation & Restoration

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PEOPLE

TITLE CHANGES

Amie West, Ph.D. Assistant Research Scientist Coastal Conservation & Restoration

Kesley Banks, Ph.D. Assistant Research Scientist Fisheries & Ocean Health READ MY BIO

READ MY BIO

Joe Kuntz Laboratory Technician Fisheries & Ocean Health

Jessica Magolan, M.S. Research Specialist II Geospatial Sciences

READ MY BIO

READ MY BIO

Natasha Breaux, M.S Project Manager II Coastal Conservation & Restoration

Rhiannon Bezore, Ph.D. Assistant Research Scientist Geospatial Sciences READ MY BIO

READ MY BIO

NEW FACES

Bailey Otter Undergraduate Honors Intern Socio-Economics

Vanessa Lopez Executive Administrative Assistant Support Staff READ MY BIO

READ MY BIO

Kelley Savage, M.S. Graduate Research Assistant (Ph.D.) Coastal Conservation & Restoration

Liam Wolff Research Specialist I Conservation & Biodiversity

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READ MY BIO

Adrianna Zuniga Business Associate II Support Staff READ MY BIO

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H R I

P R E S E N T S

TA M U - C C P E R F O R M I N G A R T S C E N T E R S E P T E M B E R 1 5 , 2 0 2 2 T H U R S D AY C L I C K

H E R E

T O

G E T Y O U R T I C K E T S T O D AY

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