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Research on interconnections among Gulf of Mexico ecosystems.
Outreach for decisions based on those interconnections.

NGI Structure

The Northern Gulf Institute (NGI) is led by a Director and a Co-Director and operates with direction from an Executive Board and a Council of Fellows to coordinate and advance its research, education, and outreach activities.


The Executive Board provides NOAA oversight and direction to the Northern Gulf Institute (NGI), communicates NOAA policies and priorities, and coordinates NOAA opportunities. The members of the Executive Board as of October 2021 are:

John Cortinas, Ph.D.

OAR/AOML* Director and the NOAA Technical Program Manager for NGI

Libby Jewett, Ph.D.

OAR Oceans Portfolio Steward

Joe Pica, Ph.D.

NESDIS/NCEI, Deputy Director

Paul Scholz, Ph.D.


Steve Thur, Ph.D.

NOS National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Director

Mel Landry III, Ph.D.

NMFS NOAA Restoration Center

Julie Jordan, Ph.D.

Mississippi State University VP Research and Economic Development

Gordon Cannon, Ph.D.

University of Southern Mississippi VP Research

Gary K. Ostrander, Ph.D.

Florida State University VP Research

Sam Bentley, Ph.D.

Louisiana State University VP Research and Economic Development

Bob Lindquist, Ph.D.

University of Alabama Huntsville VP Research and Economic Development

John Valentine, Ph.D.

Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory Director

Robert Moorhead, Ph.D.

Mississippi State University, NGI Director (ex-officio)

Gary Matlock, Ph.D.

acting OAR Cooperative Institute Program Director (ex-officio)

OAR – Oceanic and Atmospheric Research
AOML – Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory
NESDIS – National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service
NCEI – National Centers for Environmental Information
NOS – National Ocean Service
NMFS – National Marine Fisheries Service

The Council of Fellows provides the Northern Gulf Institute (NGI) with concept development, program strategy, annual research plans, peer review, resource allocation, research and technology coordination, and achieving the overarching goal of regional and disciplinary integration.

The Fellows representing the NGI academic members as of October 2021 are:
  • Paul Mickle, Ph.D., Mississippi State University (NGI Co-Director)
  • Joe Griffitt, Ph.D., University of Southern Mississippi
  • Eric Chassignet, Ph.D., Florida State University
  • Robert Twilley, Ph.D., Louisiana State University
  • John Valentine, Ph.D., Dauphin Island Sea Laboratory
  • Kevin Knupp, Ph.D., University of Alabama in Huntsville
Robert Moorhead

Robert J. Moorhead II, PhD

NGI Director
Office: 662.325.2580
Mississippi State University
HPC2 Box 9627
Mississippi State, MS 39562
Paul Mickle

Paul Mickle, PhD

NGI Co-Director
Office: 228.688.3228
MSU Science and Technology Center
1021 Balch Blvd
Stennis Space Center, MS 39529
Whitley Alford

Whitney Alford

NGI Program Administrator
Office: 662.325.8814
Mississippi State University
HPC2 Box 9627
Mississippi State, MS 39759
Jamie Dyer

Jamie Dyer

NGI Associate Director
Office: 662.325.0372
Mississippi State University
HPC2 Box 9627
Mississippi State, MS 39759
Jonathan Harris

Jonathan Harris

NGI Education and Outreach Director
Office: 662.325.3837
Mississippi State University
HPC2 Box 9627
Mississippi State, MS 39759