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News & Events

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News stories posted in the last 60 days. For information about a story, contact Betsy Boynton.

USGS Oceanographers address the West Florida Barrier Island Governmental Council (BIG C)

On October 26, Oceanographers Joe Long and Hilary Stockdon will address the west Florida Barrier Island Governmental Council (BIG C; to discuss SPCMSC coastal hazards research including recent efforts to measure coastal change following Tropical Storm Colin and Hurricane Hermine. They will also describe the new video camera being installed at Madeira Beach to observe coastal processes and better understand the evolution of Florida beaches. Eleven municipalities residing on the west coast of Florida, from St. Pete Beach to Clearwater will be present at the council meeting.

posted: 2016-10-20

USGS St Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center Scientists to attend 2016 Esri Ocean GIS Forum

Steven Douglas (SPCMSC, Researcher), Xan Fredericks (SPCMSC, Cartographer/Lidar Coordinator), Ginger Range (SPCMSC, Geologist/GIS Specialist), and Heather Schreppel (SPCMSC, IT/Data Management Specialist) will be attending the Esri Ocean GIS Forum from November 1–3, 2016 at ESRI in Redlands, California. The purpose of this forum is to encourage knowledge-sharing across disciplines to help shape the future of GIS design and to discuss ways multi-dimensional data and web apps can help people put scientific information to work.

posted: 2016-10-20

Journal article 'Bacterial community diversity of the deep-sea octocoral Paramuricea placomus published

Compared to tropical corals, much less is known about deep-sea coral biology and ecology. Although the microbial communities of some deep-sea corals have been described, the study described in the journal article published by PeerJ ( is the first one to characterize the bacterial community associated with the deep-sea octocoral, Paramuricea placomus. The authors are Christina Kellogg, Steve W. Ross, and Sandra D. Brooke.

posted: 2016-10-20

USGS Center Director interviewed on syndicated radio program about potential impacts of Hurricane Matthew

Cheryl Hapke (Center Director, SPCMSC) was interviewed live on This Morning in America with Gordan Deal to discuss the potential impacts of Hurricane Matthew. The interview included discussion of potential beach erosion and what the USGS is doing to predict vulnerable areas in advance of the storm.

posted: 2016-10-20

Coastal Change Hazards PortalStorm team responds to Hurricane Matthew

The storm team is responding to Hurricane Matthew.

View probabilities of coastal change in the Coastal Change Hazards Portal at Check out our new experimental total water level viewer to see timing of storm impacts at Jupiter, Florida, at

posted: 2016-10-05

Graphic showing synchronized fieldwork research activitiesUSGS Multidisciplinary Field Effort at Dry Tortugas National Park

From September 26 to October 7, SPCMSC researchers Christina Kellogg and Kim Yates, assisted by Nathan Smiley, Sara Snader, and volunteer Mitch Lemon, will be engaged in integrated data and sample collection at Dry Tortugas National Park, approximately 70 miles west of Key West, as part of the Coastal and Marine Geology Program's Coral Reef Ecosystem Studies (CREST) project. Reefs are complex ecosystems where environmental and biological factors are constantly affecting each other, creating a heterogeneous and ever-changing landscape on both spatial and temporal scales. This effort will combine water sampling for carbonate chemistry and reef metagenome analyses. Understanding the processes that underlie whether the reef is accreting (growing) or dissolving are fundamental to questions of reef health and resiliency.

posted: 2016-09-21

USGS scientists to give congressional briefings on the Fire Island to Montauk Point Reformulation Plan (FIMP)

Cheryl Hapke (Center Director, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center) and Bill Schwab (Research Geophysicist, Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center) will participate in briefings for NY Congressman Zeldin and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand at their NY District Offices as part of a DOI Advisory Team on September 27th. The focus of the briefings is the USACE's FIMP Environmental Impact Statement, which is currently available for public review.

posted: 2016-09-14

Research Article Published on Barrier Island Restoration Support

The article "Use of structured decision-making to explicitly incorporate environmental process understanding in management of coastal restoration projects: Case study on barrier islands of the northern Gulf of Mexico" has been accepted for publication by the Journal of Environmental Management. This project developed a framework for directly incorporating process-knowledge into barrier island restoration support that will be expanded in future efforts; will be used in guiding decisions made by USACE if the Ship Island restoration project is damaged during construction; and identified several key uncertainties limiting robust management of barrier island restoration projects. It was co-authored by Soupy Dalyander, Michelle Meyers, and Greg Steyer (USGS); Brady Mattsson (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna); Elizabeth Godsey and Justin McDonald (USACE); Mark Byrnes (Applied Coastal Research and Engineering); and Mark Ford (NPS).

posted: 2016-09-14

USGS Lidar Coordinator and Data Management Specialist attend the Location Powers: Big Data Workshop in Orlando, Florida

Xan Fredericks (Cartographer/Lidar Coordinator, SPCMSC) and Heather Schreppel (IT/Data Management Specialist, SPCMSC) will be attending the Location Powers: Big Data Workshop on September 20, 2016, in Orlando, Florida. The purpose of this workshop is to bring leading developers of big geospatial data systems together and hear the latest developments, as well as discuss the advancement of big data computing techniques applied to geospatial data and its many applications.

posted: 2016-09-14

Tampa Bay Times interviews USGS Research Oceanographer on hurricane's impacts on Pinellas beaches

Hilary Stockdon (Research Oceanographer, SPCMSC) was interviewed by Craig Pittman, staff writer at the Tampa Bay Times, for a September 2 story on how Pinellas County beaches were impacted by Hurricane Hermine: In the article, Mr. Pittman also referred back to the SPCMSC hurricane group's 2012 Open-File Report on storm-induced coastal erosion hazards for the Gulf of Mexico.

posted: 2016-09-08

USGS Research Oceanographer hosts visiting scholars to collaborate on CFD modeling of sand and oil agglomerates

Soupy Dalyander (Research Oceanographer, SPCMSC) will be hosting Niels Jacobsen of Deltares (Delft, the Netherlands) the week of September 11–17 at the SPCMSC. Niels is advising the Master's research of Melanie Schippers, who is also being hosted at SPCMSC from August 14 to October 28. In collaboration with USGS and Deltares, Melanie is developing a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model of the incipient motion behavior of sand and oil agglomerates (see for more info), which will be used to improve prediction of their behavior and fate following an oil spill.

posted: 2016-09-08

Forecasts now focusing on Hermine's potential impacts to the Outer Banks

As Hermine transitions from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, our coastal change forecasts are focusing on potential impacts to the Outer Banks, North Carolina.

See forecasts of total water levels at

View probabilities of coastal change in the Coastal Change Hazards Portal at

posted: 2016-09-02

USGS Responds to Hurricane Hermine

The storm team is responding to Hermine. Activities include probabilities of coastal change (view in the Coastal Change Hazards Portal) and total water levels, as well as ground surveys of Pinellas County beaches.posted: 2016-09-01

USGS Research Microbiologist interviewed on Hawaiʻi Public Radio about coral research

Christina Kellogg (Research Microbiologist, SPCMSC) was interviewed on Hawaiʻi Public Radio on August 25th for their morning show "The Conversation" about the USGS's recent field work in Kauaʻi to investigate links between submarine groundwater discharge and coral disease outbreaks. The interview can be heard here:

posted: 2016-08-31

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