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It is with a sadness that we share news of the unexpected death of Dr. Matthew K. Howard, Data Management and Communications Coordinator for GCOOS and Research Scientist in the Department of Oceanography, College of Geosciences at Texas A & M University.

Matt’s pioneering contributions to oceanography, ocean observing systems and data management are wide-ranging and countless and matched only by his kindness, desire to help, quick response, wonderful wit and enthusiasm for life.

We will miss him dearly.


The family of Matt requests that in lieu of flowers and cards, a donation in Matt's name to Hospice Brazos Valley ( will be most appreciated.

February 9, 2018
February 9, 2018
At a time where I am having difficulty finding words of my own expression, the words flowed freely when describing him.

Matt Howard was a internationally recognized leader in Ocean Data Management and his impact and influence can be seen across the ocean community and into national and international agencies. For the past 25 years, he was engaged on many decision making and policy setting panels and committees that defined standards of practice and performance for oceanographic data collection, sharing, reporting, and archiving. Practicing what he preached, he was an outstanding sea going oceanographer for more than 40 years on dozens of seminal oceanographic projects, whose data legacy will inspire future generations and scientific inquery for years to come.

Matt will be greatly missed personally for his infectious positive spirit and attitude. I have had the honor of being his friend for 25 years and his positive impact on my life is deep.
February 9, 2018
February 9, 2018
Matt is a great guy. My sincere sympathies to you and your family.
February 9, 2018
February 9, 2018
Absolutely shocked and saddened to hear this news today. Matt was always ready and willing to step in and help out in any way possible, and his expertise was invaluable. A huge presence, both physically and technically, with a generous spirit. My sincerest condolences to Matt's family and his extended GCOOS and TAMU families.
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Recent Tributes
February 8
February 8
Hard to believe it’s been another year. I still miss your encyclopedic knowledge of all things ocean data related every day. I hope you’re cool with the way we’re carrying on.  We’ll meet again. 
December 21, 2023
December 21, 2023
Thinking of you today, my friend. I hope that you are at peace. I'm reposting this tribute from five years ago because it just seems so you. When I smell oak smoke in the distance, I wonder if it's you testing yet another brisket technique. Fair winds...

"Los Angeles...he walks again by night. Out of the fog and into the smog. Relentlessly. Ruthlessly. (I wonder where Ruth is?) Doggedly. (bark bark) Towards his weekly meeting with the unknown. At 4th and Drucker he turns left. At Drucker and 4th he turns right. He crosses MacArthur Park and walks into a great sandstone building. (smack) "

Matt was one of the very few people I knew that would have instantly started trading lines with me from that Firesign Theatre sketch. The last time I saw Matt was in Mobile, and as we waited for the photographer to get our group picture I quietly said 'Where's your school spirit?' Matt somehow heard me and promptly answered with 'In the rumble seat, of course! Want a snort?' We went back and forth with Firesign for about five minutes, to the great consternation of those around us.

I will miss Matt's humor, his vast knowledge of all things data, and his conviction that each developer should have his or her own toolbox and not be told with which brushes to paint. I will miss you, my friend.

Tell Nick Danger the CodeMonkey says 'Greetings', and I look forward to once again being able to raise a glass of school spirit with you.
Recent stories
February 10, 2018

This picture was taken during the June 2011 hypoxia cruise. After nearly 24 hours of high speed transit in rough seas, we were greated with calm gulf just off the mouth of the Mississippi.

During the transit, everyone was sick, except for Matt. We were all on our death beds, while Matt sat in the galley, siniging "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" and eating hot dogs.

Last slide

February 9, 2018

Matt always ends with this slide to depict how he views folks who work with computers, dedicated, they own their space and prefer silence. Thank you my dear friend!

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