Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

James Rizzo

An Outstanding Islander

Outline photo of James Rizzo

Eye on the Gulf
James Rizzo, research specialist III with the Conrad Blucher Institute (CBI), Division of Nearshore Research, manages multiple observation networks along the Gulf Coast. These networks provide important meteorological and oceanographic information in support of safe navigation, research and operational projects. Rizzo supervises all aspects of the division projects to include: the Texas Coastal Ocean Observation Network (TCOON); the Corpus Christi Real-Time Navigation System (CCRTNS); and, five of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations (NOAA) Physical Oceanographic Real Time Systems (PORTS) on the Gulf Coast. These PORTS are located in Houston/Galveston and Sabine Pass, Texas; Gulfport and Pascagoula, Miss.; and Mobile, Ala. Since 2007, Rizzo has secured more than $6 million in local, state, and federal funding to support division projects by working with navigation managers, state and federal agencies, and emergency responders. In 2009, his team installed instruments such as buoys and current meters for the new Sabine-Neches PORTS on the Sabine-Neches waterway. This year, NOAA invited him to train personnel in Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize on the setup of coastal ocean observation networks in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Honduras. He directed the installation of a new water level station this summer to support the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) near Pascagoula, Miss. Rizzo joined the Island University’s Physical Plant in 1990 before moving to the CBI in 1992. During his time at the CBI, he has received many certifications to include a U.S. Coast Guard Captains License, and certifications from the Carnegie Bosch Institute and the Project Management Institute. Before he retires, Rizzo hopes to manage a network that encompasses the entire Gulf of Mexico.

© Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi • 6300 Ocean Drive, Corpus Christi, Texas 78412 • 361-825-5700