Gulf of Mexico Regional Sea Grant Meeting

Update: The 2017 Gulf of Mexico Regional Sea Grant Meeting has been postponed. The meeting is expected to take place in 2018.

save the date regional meeting 2017.postponed

The 2017 Gulf of Mexico Regional Sea Grant Meeting will be held at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab101 Bienville Boulevard, Dauphin Island, Alabama, on Dec. 6-8, 2017, Wednesday (half day), Thursday (all day), and Friday (half day).

The Gulf of Mexico Regional Sea Grant Meeting is for members of Florida, Mississippi-Alabama, Louisiana and Texas Sea Grant to get together and share information while identifying ways to work together.  The objectives of the meeting are:

  • Facilitate networking across the four Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant programs.
  • Learn about regional activities being conducted by Sea Grant colleagues working on similar issues.
  • Develop strategies for Sea Grant staff to jointly work together on regional topics.
  • Begin to capture regional success stories.
  • Increase understanding of emerging and long-standing regional issues.
  • Share examples of Gulf-wide and program-level best practices (e.g., how Sea Grant engages with research to create impacts, how programs capture impacts and accomplishments, and how programs build relationships with key partners)

Registration

There is no registration fee for staff that work for the four Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant College Programs. A registration link will be added here soon.

Location

The Dauphin Island Sea Lab is located on the eastern end of Dauphin Island, a 17-mile- long barrier island approximately 3 miles from the mainland and 35 miles south of Mobile, Alabama. It is surrounded by Mobile Bay, Mississippi Sound and the Gulf of Mexico. The 35-acre campus is bordered by Mobile Bay to the north and the Gulf of Mexico to the south.

Who Should Attend?

Sea Grant staff in the Gulf of Mexico from:

  • Administration (Directors, etc.)
  • Communications
  • Education
  • Extension
  • Legal
  • Research Coordination
  • Fiscal Officers

Agenda

Here is a the draft agenda for the regional meeting.

Lodging

Overnight accommodations will be available in the Dauphin Island Sea Lab’s dormitory facilities.  These single or double-occupancy dorm rooms have recently been updated and feature two twin beds, a dresser, desk, closet space, a single unit air-conditioner and handicapped-accessible community bathrooms.  Wifi will be available upon registration. Linens are not provided but are available upon request.  

For more information, please go to http://www.disl.org/about/location-facilities.

The Dauphin Island Sea Lab is a great place to get away and focus on the task at hand!  Surrounded by Mobile Bay, the Mississippi Sound and the Gulf of Mexico, the 35-acre campus sits on the east end of Dauphin Island, a town not known for its night life.  While Dauphin Island lacks a full-service grocery store and fast food places, it offers several restaurants and great outdoor opportunities such as fishing, beachcombing, kayaking and bird watching along with great sunsets and typically clear evening skies for stargazing. 

Travel

Due to a limited budget, we encourage participants to drive and carpool. Dauphin Island Sea Lab is located at 101 Bienville Blvd., Dauphin Island, AL 36528.

Dauphin Island lies approximately 45 minutes south of Mobile, Alabama.  The most convenient access is via I-10, exiting at 17A (Rangeline Road), driving south approximately 5 miles, jogging left (east) when that road ends at the Chevron station for ~1 mile, turning right on Hwy 193 (Dauphin Island Parkway) and continuing south to the island.  

Map showing where Dauphin Island is.

Coming from the west, a slower, but perhaps more scenic route is via Hwy 188, exiting I-10 at Grand Bay and following 188 until it meets 193 just north of the island.  Once on the island (watch out for our speed patrols), turn left (east) at the first stop sign/water tower and drive ~2 miles to the Lab (just past the ferry dock and campground). Note that the speed limit drops drastically as you get close to the ferry dock.

Closest airports (There are direct flights from several locations in Texas and Florida)

  • Mobile Airport (MOB), 40 miles (1 hour) away from Dauphin Island Sea Lab
  • Pensacola Airport (PNS), 95 miles (1 hour 45 minutes) away from Dauphin Island Sea Lab

Parking

Park either in the lot immediately east of the dorms, or north (towards the road) of the Beagle dorm. 

Field Trips

Cruise aboard DISL’s research vessel, the RV Alabama Discovery
Join Dauphin Island Sea Lab education staff for a 3.5-hour trip aboard the Sea Lab’s 65-foot RV Alabama Discovery to Mobile Bay.  We’ll trawl and use plankton nets to see some of its aquatic inhabitants and learn about the Bay’s ecology, its use and a bit of its history.  Bring your binos to see our winter birds and perhaps our resident pod of dolphins.  The RV Alabama Discovery is equipped with an interior cabin and heads (marine toilet) in case weather threatens.

All participants must complete and provide the trip leader the liability waiver (which must be notarized) and wear closed-toed, non-skid shoes aboard the boat.  Vessel regulations and the liability waiver are available below.  Note that this trip is weather dependent.  Capacity is limited to 37.  The cruise starts at 1 p.m.  Participants should meet at Shelby auditorium no later than 12:40 p.m. where the group leader will receive completed forms and escort the group to the boat dock.

Here are the vessel rules.

Tour of Dauphin Island
Dauphin Island is home to some great examples of coastal ecosystems.  This three-hour bus tour of Dauphin Island has stops at a salt marsh, maritime forest, barrier island beach and a Mississippian culture oyster midden.  Take note of common coastal plants and animals as well as non-native species and show examples of how human development has affected geomorphological processes on the island.

For comfort, this trip is limited to 25 participants. Participants should be prepared to walk short distances in sand, and perhaps mud, and bring a water bottle and sun protection. The tour starts at 1:30 p.m.  Participants should meet under Horizon Hall by the school buses on the south end of the Sea Lab’s campus.

Sand Island – A visit via pontoon boats
Sand Island was a significant nesting area for black skimmers and several species of terns. Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina significantly reshaped Dauphin Island, joining Sand Island to the mainland.  Sand Island has continued to elongate and a visit to the far southern end typically yields interesting birds, beach wrack and coastal plants.  This field trip is a 3-hour pontoon boat trip and walk around the southern tip of Sand Island.

Trip capacity is limited to 12.  Please note that this trip is very weather dependent.  A decision to cancel will be made Wednesday morning by DISL boat captains.  If the boat trip is canceled, DISL education staff will take participants to Sand Island via bus for a walk along the more accessible parts of the island (additiona.l participants will be permitted).  Please complete the required liability waiver (which must be notarized).  The trip starts at 1 p.m.  Participants should meet in front of the Beagle dormitory.

Tour of the Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory
One of the keys to Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant’s successful oyster aquaculture program in the region is the Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory (AUSL).  Join Dr. Bill Walton for a brief walking tour of AUSL to see where and how oyster larvae are produced and raised. This field trip also includes a boat tour to a nearby commercial oyster farm (weather permitting).  Tour starts at 2 p.m.  Meet at the AU Shellfish Lab entrance (a quick walk from Shelby Auditorium).  Limited to 15 participants.

Previous Meetings

Here are the meeting notes from previous Gulf of Mexico Regional Sea Grant Meetings.

Sponsors

The regional meeting is sponsored by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative and the Sea Grant Programs in the Gulf of Mexico.