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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.

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

USGS scientists attend annual GSA meeting in Denver, Colorado

Several USGS scientists from the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center will attend the annual Geological Society of America (GSA) meeting taking place in Denver, Colorado, September 25–28, and some will present poster sessions. Terry McCloskey (Mendenhall Post-Graduate Fellow) will present "Using the Sedimentary Signature of Hurricane Katrina in the Pearl River Marsh, Louisiana to Infer Provenance of the Deposited Sediments: Implications for Accretion." Lisa Osterman (Research Geologist) will present "Seasonal and Environmental Trends of Benthic Foraminifera in Chincoteague Bay, Delmarva Peninsula, USA." Christian Haller (student intern, University of South Florida St. Petersburg) will present "Channel to Upland Transition: Modern Salt-Marsh Foraminifera from Grand Bay, Mississippi Sound." Nicole Khan (Research Geologist) and Elsie McBride (researcher) will also be attending.

posted: 2016-08-24

USGS Southeast Region Mapping Innovation Workshop co-hosted by SPCMSC and WARC

Xan Fredericks (Cartographer/Lidar Coordinator, SPCMSC) and Thomas Doyle (Deputy Director, Wetland and Aquatic Research Center (WARC)) are co-hosting the Southeast Region Mapping Innovation Workshop on Friday, August 26, 2016 in St. Petersburg, Florida and Lafayette, Louisiana. This simulcast Workshop is one of sixteen being held as part of the USGS Mapping Innovation Series. The goal is to engage employees in discussion on the opportunities and challenges for mapping innovation at the USGS, and to provide input and recommendations that will be summarized in a report on the Mapping Innovations Series.

For more information, please contact Xan Fredericks,, 727-502-8086.

posted: 2016-08-24

USGS Research Oceanographer attends Governors' South Atlantic Alliance meeting

Hilary Stockdon (Research Oceanographer, SPCMSC) will be attending a meeting for the Governors' South Atlantic Alliance (GSAA) on August 31, 2016. GSAA, a regional partnership consisting of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina leadership and their partners, is focused on ocean and coastal challenges and opportunities; promoting environmental sustainability, disaster preparedness, and strong economies. The GSAA Celebration and Transition Meeting goal is to envision a revitalized regional network that builds on the group's successes in understanding coastal vulnerabilities, assessing the health of coastal watersheds, and building community resilience through creative solutions (e.g. living shorelines, and clean and resilient marinas). Hilary will be representing USGS coastal research in the southeast, particularly coastal change hazards. One of the GSAA's two main projects is a Coastal Hazards Vulnerability Analysis.

posted: 2016-08-24

USGS scientists travel to Florida Keys for a reef-coring expedition

Lauren Toth (Mendenhall postdoctoral scholar, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC)) will be leading a research team August 16–26 on a ten-day expedition to collect core records of Holocene coral-reef framework from Western Sambo and Sand Key reefs off Key West, Florida. The new samples collected on this expedition will be added to the extensive archive of reef cores at SPCMSC ( and analyzed to answer critical questions about the long-term history of Florida's reefs. Toth will be joined by Anastasios Stathakopoulos, BJ Reynolds, and Hunter Wilcox, all from SPCMSC. Rex Sanders (Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center) will also join the team in Key West to highlight the research expedition for a USGS Sound Waves article and video-feature.

posted: 2016-08-18

USGS researcher attends 6th International Symposium on Deep-Sea Corals

Christina Kellogg (Research Microbiologist, SPCMSC) will attend the 6th International Symposium on Deep-Sea Corals (, September 11–16, 2016, in Boston, Mass. The symposium will bring together scientists, industry specialists, students, and managers with recent, state-of-the-art knowledge on the distribution, linkages, ecosystem function, and biodiversity of cold-water corals and their habitats. Christina will give a talk, "Comparison of the Microbiomes of Seven Species of Deep-Sea Corals." Other USGS researchers from the DISCOVRE project will also be attending and presenting: Cheryl Morrison (Leetown, SC), Nancy Prouty (Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center), Jill Bourque (Wetland and Aquatic Research Center - WARC), and Amanda Demopoulos (WARC). Amy West (Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center) is also attending to do outreach and communications. The USGS joins BOEM, NOAA and academic institutions in sponsoring this meeting.

posted: 2016-08-18

USGS to hold Gulf Restoration Coastal Resiliency Workshop

Nathaniel Plant and Soupy Dalyander, Research Oceanographers from the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center, are organizing a working group of USGS scientists (Neil Ganju and Erika Lentz of the Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center; Ana Garcia of the North Carolina Water Science Center; Elise Irwin of the Alabama Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Joseph Long and Davina Passeri of the SPCMSC; Stephanie Romanach and Don DeAngelis of the Wetlands and Aquatic Research Center; and Greg Steyer of the Southeast Region) and representatives of the coastal management community (Elizabeth Godsey of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Brian Spears of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and Darin Lee of the state of Louisiana). The objectives of this team, which may expand in the future, are to brainstorm ways in which USGS science can more effectively support projects to restore and preserve resilient coastal ecosystems; build a network of people to coordinate USGS support for management decisions in the northern Gulf of Mexico; and consider how USGS expertise can be brought to bear to improve decisions made in specific restoration projects. Members of the team will have their first workshop at the Five Rivers Delta Resource Center in Spanish Fort, Alabama, from August 30 to September 1.

For more information, please contact Soupy Dalyander,, 727-502-8124.

posted: 2016-08-18

Louisiana State University’s Center for Coastal ResiliencyUSGS researchers attend inaugural symposium at LSU's Center for Coastal Resiliency

On Tuesday, August 16, 2016, John Haines (Coastal & Marine Geology Program Coordinator), Cheryl Hapke (Center Director, SPCMSC), and Nathaniel Plant (Research Oceanographer, SPCMSC) will attend a symposium at Louisiana State University's Center for Coastal Resiliency ( This research center has just formed and will focus on application of computational hydrodynamic and hydrologic models. The symposium is the inaugural meeting for this center and includes panel discussions on federal resiliency strategies (Haines) and regional efforts that are planned or underway (Plant).

posted: 2016-08-04

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