JDG Associates, Ltd. has been engaged to conduct the search for the Executive Director position of the Washington, DC-based Marine Technology Society (MTS).

The Opportunity
MTS offers an opportunity to work with a dynamic, financially secure technical society representing industry, government, and academic professionals focused on global marine technology issues. The position will call on the successful candidate to facilitate international exchange on a broad range of current issues. MTS is looking for a high energy, self-starter to work with a dedicated volunteer leadership committed to significantly growing the organization’s international scope and range of services. The successful candidate will play a direct role in raising the profile of an organization dedicated to serving as the global forum for exchange in promoting awareness, understanding, advancement and application of marine technology.
The Client
Founded in 1963, MTS is a multidisciplinary organization with approximately 3,500 individual and organizational members. Benefits include the peer-reviewed MTS Journal, the bi-monthly newsletter Currents covering business, science, the Society, legislation and education, and E-News covering opportunities for funding, networking, scholarships and fellowships and awards. MTS provides scholarships to students studying marine science and ocean engineering in addition to other educational opportunities.  Most important, perhaps, is the continuing forum MTS provides for technical exchange and professional and organizational networking. MTS is a growing organization, boasting a membership of businesses, institutions, individual professionals and students who are ocean engineers, technologists, policy makers and educators. MTS’ vision is to be:
The leading authority and advocate for marine technology and resources
while promoting member success and public understanding.
The Position
The Executive Director (ED) reports to the Board of Directors, primarily through the MTS President, apprising the Board on matters critical to member interests, the organization and the fulfillment of its mission. Serving as an ex officio member of the Board, the ED works to ensure the Board operates in a highly functional, efficient and effective manner. As the chief of staff officer of MTS, the position has responsibility for managing its staff and the overall execution of Board policies, including MTS’ Strategic Plan. The ED has immediate responsibility for the policies and practices necessary for the effective operation of the headquarters function and serves as a spokesperson for MTS in internal and external relations. The position supervises a full-time staff of four and an annual budget of $1.7 million.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities
  • Advises the Board of Directors on issues, developments and actions, following up on and implementing Board decisions and communicating its decisions and directions to staff
  •  Oversees the development of MTS’ strategic planning process, monitors and reports on progress and facilitates an annual review, identifying future trends affecting the field
  • Oversees the creation/implementation of communications/membership marketing strategies to attract new members and enhance the value of membership to retain existing members
  • Maintains and develops relationships with appropriate associations, societies and coalitions, ensuring at all times that alliances have a clear purpose and a specific range of activities
  • Serves as spokesperson for MTS as directed by the President and Board of Directors
  • Promotes a positive image for MTS with the public and in the marine technology field, positioning MTS as a leader
  • Hires and supervises all staff, providing leadership that sustains increased customer service, effectiveness, productivity, entrepreneurial thinking and teamwork on MTS staff
  • Maintains proactive communication and positive relationships with local sections
  • Provides timely and accurate reporting of financial information to the Board of Directors and the membership according to policies set by the Board
  • Oversees publication of the “MTS Journal” and “Currents” newsletter and the website
First Twelve Months
  • Visible progress in the implementation of a membership development, retention and enhancement program
  • Review MTS’ strategic planning activities and assist in the development of a new plan, undertaking specific steps and serving as the catalyst to its initiation and implementation
  • Expand the range of MTS’ strategic and operational relationships, making other organizations aware of where it is going and inviting their support and collaboration
  • Undertake steps to increase specific member benefits and service offerings
Position Requirements
Bachelor’s degree is required, graduate degree preferred. Experience in marine technology or related field desirable but not required. Association experience, especially with a technical professional society, useful, though not required. Leadership qualities and demonstrated success at increasing membership and growth are essential. Success in strategic planning and implementation very helpful, as would be a proven track record in marketing and business plan development and execution. Public speaking, communications and outreach experience and success are highly desirable. Compatibles: Technological curiosity/acumen, sense of humor, multi-tasking, bridge builder, works and plays well with others, self-starter, team player, catalyst, engaging, high energy, collaborative.    

Paul A. Belford, Principal
JDG Associates, Ltd.
1700 Research Boulevard, Suite 103
Rockville, MD 20850 – 301 340 2210



August 4, 2015

CARICOOS HF Radars Detect Eddy in the Caribbean Sea

Our world's oceans are crowded with swirling motions called eddies. In our region they are formed by instabilities in the Caribbean current and resemble meteorological patterns we usually find in the atmosphere. Cyclonic eddies rotate counterclockwise in the Northern hemisphere, while anticyclones rotate clockwise. Eddies in the Caribbean Sea travel westward at speeds of roughly 15 to 20 cm/s, sometimes interacting with South American river plumes to trap brackish water with different salinity and temperature than their surroundings. As they travel west these huge whirlpools can potentially impact navigation, fisheries and ecosystems, as their nutrient-richer, saltier or warmer water may disrupt the business-as-usual marine dynamics. CARICOOS' new pair of high frequency radars detected the most recent eddy activity near the southwest coast of Puerto Rico. The cyclonic eddy was first detected on June 30, 2015, 52 nautical miles south of Ponce. Its location and extension compared favorably with publicly available satellite images. As it traveled west, this eddy trapped Sargasso in its core, which can also be seen in satellite images of ocean color.

Surface currents derived from CARICOOS HF Radar network showing a counterclockwise rotating structure
(available at

AVISO sea surface height anomaly showing an eddy signature southwest of Puerto Rico (available at

MODIS AFAI satellite image showing sargasso accumulation in the eddy core (from USF's Optical Oceanography Laboratory).

August 4, 2015

Sargasso is here!

Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands have been recording large amounts of Sargasso washing ashore all across. It typically drifts in a Northwestern trajectory due to the atlantic gyre resulting in large amounts accumulation, particularly in the south coasts. This kind of seaweed can sometimes cause disturbances in marine activities as it piles up in the coast, particularly in harbors or boat ramps. Boat operators, specifically PWC owners, need to be aware that Sargasso in large quantities can damage and/or shut down motors. Get to know when the next Sargasso patch will start arriving using USF Optical Oceanography Laboratory satellite images available here. Getting to know the local ocean conditions and environmental events is the key for safe marine operations.

Sargasso at Parguera's Boat Ramp in Lajas, PR.

MODISA AFAI image for July 25, 2015 and July 27, 2015.

August 4, 2015

CARICOOS and Surfrider Foundation-Rincon Team Up to Assess Beach Water Quality

Surfrider-CARICOOS beach water quality monitoring program (part of the Blue Water Task Force), provides test results for enterococci presence in water samples collected once or twice a week for various popular beaches along the northwestern coast of Puerto Rico. Currently more than 19 beaches and several fresh water sites are regularly monitored by a dozen volunteers as part of this program directed by Steve Tamar, vice president of Surfrider Foundation-Rincon Chapter. Very recently Steve and CariCOOS scientist Sylvia Rodriguez-Abudo teamed up for a two-week long daily monitoring campaign at Rincon Balneario. Their findings indicate that several events of bacteria presence at Rincon Balneario were undetected by Junta de Calidad Ambiental's every-other-week monitoring program. Most of these high-bacteria events occurred after more than 15 mm of accumulated rainfall were reported, although as pointed out by Dr. Rodriguez-Abudo, nearshore hydrodynamics and biogeochemistry are likely to play a significant role in the fate and transport of potentially pathogenic organisms. These results reaffirm the need for site-specific probabilistic models of beach water quality in the region, as well as fast and affordable detection techniques.

Blue Water Task Force beach water quality product.

August 4, 2015

CARICOOS Products Ready for the Midst of the Hurricane Season

NOAA's Climate Prediction Center says the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season will likely be below-normal, but that's no reason to believe coastal areas will have it easy. CARICOOS' buoy network and wind mesonet stations provide the user with near real time data before, during and after the storm. You can also locate your house in our storm surge maps for Puerto Rico and USVI, easily exportable to Google Earth. And don't forget to check the Hurricane Season tab for several other graphical products.

CARICOOS Storm Surge product interface.

August 4, 2015

Successful Glider Deployment

CariCOOS graduate student Luis Pomales and researcher Patricia Chardón along with Grant Rawson and Ulises Rivero from NOAA AOML deployed an ocean glider about eight nautical miles off the southern coast of PR. This deployment is part of a multi-institutional effort to improve tropical cyclone intensification forecasts in the Caribbean Sea and the Tropical North Atlantic Ocean. Data can be visualized and accessed here.

NOAA-AOML Sea Glider.

Crew ready to deploy.

August 4, 2015

Rincon Waverider Buoy Redeployed

After a few days of maintenance, our team successfully redeployed Rincon's Waverider buoy, the second most accessed buoy in the CariCOOS network. Located just a few miles from Rincon Lighthouse, this buoy provides ocean swell data for the west coast of the Puerto Rico. Information on wave height, direction, and period can be accessed here.

Rincon Waverider buoy after cleaning and maintenance.

The team retrieving the buoy for its annual maintenance.

August 4, 2015


CARICOOS at USCG Search and Rescue Meeting

CariCOOS Executive Director Professor Julio Morell and Technical Director Dr. Miguel Canals attended the USCG search and rescue meeting last April at the US Coast Guard Office in San Juan Puerto Rico. This is one of the many sector-driven engagement efforts aimed at better serving the needs of the search and rescue forces in the region.

CARICOOS Represented at Caribbean Regional Response Team Meeting

In an effort to increase awareness of CARICOOS products and services in support of rapid response operations, CARICOOS directors Professor Morell and Dr. Canals attended the Caribbean Regional Response Team meeting in St. Thomas, USVI this past June. This initiative resulted in new and enhanced private and public collaborations towards preparedness and response to natural and anthropogenic disasters.

Need Assessment and Stakeholder Engagement at South Harbor Safety and Security Meeting

CARICOOS leadership continues to attend the South Harbor Safety and Security meetings to engage stakeholders from the shipping and cargo industries, in an effort to sustain the commitment of CARICOOS in support port and harbor operations. This past meeting, which took place in July, focused on surveying the participants on data needs, CARICOOS asset awareness, and potential for external partnerships.

Making marine activities safer!

CariCOOS and SeaGrant Puerto Rico continue to emphasize marine safety to our local beachgoers. In an effort to extend public awareness of the vast amount of data concerning sea conditions, CARICOOS and SeaGrant participated in the WHO'SUP Fest, a standup paddle contest that took place in Rompeolas Beach, Aguadilla on Saturday July 11th. Participants were briefed on how easy it is to plan for marine activities by accessing or downloading our mobile application. This is one of our many outreach activities seeking to reduce the amount of incidents attributed to hazardous sea conditions, and educate people on how to access our data.

CARICOOS at JoBaNERR 2015 Earth Day Open House

CARICOOS Outreach and Education coordinator, Dr. Sylvia Rodriguez-Abudo, DMAC coordinator Dr. Jorge Capella, and graduate student Mary Carmen Acosta visited Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve last April for their 2015 Earth Day Open House. Dr. Rodriguez-Abudo presented the elements of the observing system to elementary school students, while Ms. Acosta shared preliminary findings of an ongoing CARICOOS-JoBaNERR collaboration on water quality time series analysis. JoBaNEER is a key CARICOOS partner for future ecological forecasting efforts in the region.

Sharing the CARICOOS Mission and Products Abroad

CARICOOS scientists and staff present major achievements and challenges in developing and maintaining an ocean observing system. Prof. Julio Morell emphasized on the particular needs of tropical islands at MTS/IEEE OCEANS'15 in Genova, Italy. In that same meeting Operations Engineer Carlos García presented the results of an ongoing thesis project seeking to asses the feasibility of wave energy in Puerto Rico and the USVI using CARICOOS operational models. Likewise Dr. Canals and Dr. Rodriguez-Abudo inaugurated the first ANAMAR's CIMO meeting this past May in the Dominican Republic, with the purpose of exploring international collaboration with the neighboring island.

Professor Morell presenting at at MTS/IEEE OCEANS'15. 

 May 1, 2015

Record-breaking Attendance at Enthusiastic CARICOOS General Assembly

The CARICOOS General Assembly was full of energy and enthusiasm. With record-breaking attendance, over 170 stakeholders, users, and collaborators joined CARICOOS to learn about our progress, interact with students through the poster session, and see live demonstrations of capabilities. Jorge Corredor, outgoing Council Chairman said it best - in the last 7 years CARICOOS has come from an idea to a robust presence in the NE Caribbean. "IOOS-CARICOOS is used with enthusiasm and confidence", said Dr. Walker, President of the University of Puerto Rico. He went on to say that CARICOOS' information is vital to the transportation of goods, human health, changes in climate and ecosystem, safety, and protection of our environment. Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands Congressional Representatives (Hon. Pedro Pierluisi and Hon. Stacey Plaskett's District Director Elizabeth Centeno) also showed their support in lively and enthusiastic messages.



Dr. Uroyoán Walker, UPR President - Dr. Manuel Valdés Pizzini, UPR Dean of Arts and Sciences - Ruperto Chaparro, Director Sea Grant and 2015 CaRA Council Chairman

click here for CaRA General Assembly 2015 Gallery


CARICOOS hosts workshop on new products: Nearshore Breaker Height Model and Storm Surge Map

MAYAGUEZ, PR - Members of the CARICOOS team, Puerto Rico Sea Grant, and NWS, hosted a workshop last January aiming at introducing stakeholders to the new Nearshore Breaker Height Model (NBHM) and Storm Surge Map (SSM). Attendees included beach managers, city/town representatives from various municipalities, Puerto Rico State Agency for Emergency and Disaster Management personnel, among others. As part of this interactive workshop, participants were primed with navigating, interpreting the graphical and tabular tools of the NBHM product, and the SSM for Puerto Rico. Participants were also briefly introduced to the science underlying each product and their associated uncertainties. The NBHM product is an effort to warn beachgoers and lifeguards of potentially dangerous breaker height levels. It provides breaker height estimates for 60 beaches in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands based on the Simulating WAves Nearshore (SWAN) wave model. The SSM product is a visualization tool in support of disaster management and mitigation efforts generated by numerical computations of storm surge resulting from hurricanes of different intensities and possible tracks. For more information of the NBHM and SSM products, please contact Dr. Miguel Canals and Prof. Aurelio Mercado, respectively.


May 1st 2015

Successful completion of Ocean Glider mission

CarICOOS, in collaboration with NOAA AOML, has successfully recovered two ocean gliders (a type of autonomous underwater vehicle or AUV) off the south coast of Puerto Rico after an extended mission in the Caribbean Sea. The oceanographic sections obtained by the vehicle will be used to refine predictions of hurricane intensity. Visual representations of the sections in addition to the underlying data are available at



April 27, 2014

Buoys are back!  Ready for the 2015 Hurricane Season

The annually scheduled maintenance operations for the St. John, San Juan and Vieques buoys have been completed and data can already be accessed at 



CariCOOS data buoys (GoMOOS-type buoys) are serviced yearly and refurbished by its fabricators from the Physical Oceanography group of the University of Maine led by Dr. Neal Pettigrew. This maintenance is scheduled to ensure it’s timely completion before the hurricane season that officially begins June 1. This major operation is supported by the CariCOOS Field Team and Commercial Divers Inc ®.

 January 26, 2015

Excellence in Poster Presentation Award at the APS Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics

CariCOOS congratulates Dr. Aponte's student Jaynise Perez for receiving the "Excellence in Poster Presentation" Award at the APS Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics. Her poster "CariCOOS Real-Time Data Validation of High-Resolution WRF Model" was presented this past weekend at Rutgers University.

Jaynise M. Perez and her poster CariCOOS Real-Time Data Validation of High-Resolution WRF Model

Jaynise in Rutgers

Poster Awards in the American Physical Society's Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics


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