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News & Events

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News stories posted in the last 60 days. For information about a story, contact Dennis Krohn 727-502-8062.

A gray seal rests on a rock.USGS scientist quoted in Science Magazine article

Dale Griffin, environmental and public health microbiologist at the USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC), was quoted in an article in Science Magazine's News section written by Jennifer Balmer on January 14. In one of the first studies to establish the land-to-sea transmission of bacteria associated with humans, scientists have detected high levels of a human bacterial strain in gray seals. Dale was queried on the possible sources of the bacteria. To view the article, visit:

posted: 2015-01-22

Stained glass created in memory of Dr. Abby SallengerSt. Petersburg Downtown Partnership and USGS co-host artwork dedication

On January 23rd, the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership will co-host a joint ceremony with the USGS dedicating a stained-glass memorial for Dr. Abby Sallenger by glass artist Lenn Neff. The artwork is currently displayed in the southeastern foyer of the Getting building on the USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC) campus. The ceremony will be held in the SPCMSC courtyard from 11:00 am to 11:45 am. USGS Director, Suzette Kimball, a collaborator and friend of Abby, is expected to attend, as well as other local dignitaries. For more information, please contact Sandy Coffman at 727-502-8002 or e-mail

posted: 2015-01-15

95th annual American Meteorological Society meetingUSGS scientist speaks at national meteorological meeting in Phoenix

On January 6th, Joseph Long (Oceanographer—SPCMSC) spoke at the 95th annual American Meteorological Society (AMS) at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Joe's talk was titled "Including Empirical Wave Runup in an Operational Forecast Model for Coastal Water Levels". Joe discussed an inter-agency effort between the USGS and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Weather Service (NOAA/NWS) to create an operational model at all Weather Forecast offices that will include surges, tides, and wave runup to predict total water levels along the coast. Pilot studies are currently being implemented and tested at two locations: Duck, North Carolina, and Treasure Island, Florida. Other USGS co-authors include Kara Doran, Jacquelyn Overbeck, and Hilary Stockdon.

For more information, visit:

posted: 2015-01-09

The mysterious black pipesUSGS St. Pete facility continues to expand chilled water application

On December 8, Chris Reich (Facilities Manager) explained the appearance of the mysterious set of black pipes in the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science (SPCMSC) courtyard. The plan is to expand the chilled water to the Getting Building and replace the direct expansion (compressor style) air conditioners. The chilled water system is more efficient and effective in controlling temperature and humidity. The pipes will be buried in the courtyard between the Studebaker Building and the Getting Building. Once installed, the next phase will be to run pipe inside and convert the existing air conditioning units. This upgrade has been planned to take place during the winter months so that indoor temperatures remain reasonably comfortable during the conversion. For more information about SPCMSCs plans to continue to increase efficiencies and reduce greenhouse gases (GHG), see Highlight of 2014-05-08.

posted: 2014-12-19

USGS St. Pete Outreach–By the Numbers

Responding to a data call by Melinda Garber from Headquarters about Engaging K–12 Young People, the St. Pete Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC) compiled its outreach activities for 2014. It was estimated that almost 9800 K–12 students interacted with SPCMSC staff in 21 outreach activities over the year. 44 of the SPCMSC staff or 41% of the total staff participated. Theresa Burress, our former outreach coordinator, participated in the most activities at 11. Thanks to the following USGS staff for participating: Doran, Flannery, Barrera, Haller, Kuffner, Reynolds, C., Bodin, Busch, Buster, Griffin, Kovacs, Krohn, Liu, Long, Raabe, Robbins, Smith, K., Smith, T., Toth, Brennan, Brownell, Bussey, Dalyander, DeWitt, Ellis, Fredericks, X., Gray, Kelso, Kindinger, McLaughlin, Mickey, Miselis, Moore, Morgan, Plant, Reich, Richey, Snell, Sopkin, Sosnowski, Stockdon, Terrano, and Tiling.

posted: 2014-12-19

USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC) at American Geophysical Union (AGU) Meeting

From December 13 to 19, AGU is holding its annual fall meeting in San Francisco, California, at the Moscone Convention Center. To show the strong ties between AGU and the USGS, this year the current director and 5 former directors are speaking at a special session. USGS SPCMSC has 10 scientists as primary presenters and 17 staff listed as co-authors. Below is a list of SPCMSC first authors at the meeting:

Name Session # Title
Brenner, O. EP31B-3551 Development of new morphometrics to assess beach response and recovery
Brownell, A. EP31B-3540 The Development of a National-Scale Geomorphic and Anthropogenic Coastal Classification Framework
Dalyander, S. OS22A-05 Review of Nearshore Morphologic Prediction
Doran, K. EO31B-554 Understanding Variability in Beach Slope to Improve Forecasts of Storm-induced Water Levels
Hapke, C. EP22A-06 Sustained morphologic changes to the shoreface related to Hurricane Sandy: Fire Island, NY
Knorr, P. B41B-0034 Ocean acidification model predicts a 65% reduction in large benthic foraminiferal carbonate sediment production on the west Florida shelf by 2140
Long, J. EP22A-02 Understanding and Predicting Time-Dependent Dune Erosion
Liu, S. ED53A-3469 USGS “iCoast—Did the Coast Change?” Project: Crowd-Tagging Aerial Photographs to Improve Coastal Change Prediction Models
Smith, C. EP11B-06 The threshold between storm overwash and inundation and the implication to paleo-storm records and climate signatures.
Stockdon, H. OS14A-07 Estimating wave runup during storms using numerical and parameterized models

posted: 2014-12-19

Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE-teams announcedUSGS scientist evaluates XPRIZE Phase 2 trials

From December 10–12, Christina Kellogg, (Research Microbiologist) from the USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC) will travel to Monterey, California, to act as a judge in the phase 2 trials of the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health XPRIZE (see SPCMSC Highlight from 2014-09-11). Chris will be involved in a team summit followed by a judges meeting.

For more information on the XPRIZE competition, visit:

posted: 2014-12-11

Aquifer Storage and Recovery in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration PlanUSGS scientist on Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) Special Review Panel

John Lisle (Research Microbiologist) will be participating as a panel member for the review of the Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) Regional Study which is part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) and the ASR Regional Study to be held in Jacksonville, Florida, from 12/10–12/12. This requirement, for review of the ASR Regional Study, is fulfilled by a panel assembled by the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences. The ASR Regional Study has three major components: a regional groundwater model, a hydrogeological evaluation (including water quality), and an ecosystem risk assessment. Dr. Lisle contributed to the groundwater quality evaluation with the USGS publication "Survival of Bacterial Indicators and the Functional Diversity of Native Microbial Communities in the Floridan Aquifer System, South Florida" (OFR 2014-1011), which was summarized in a chapter of the ASR Regional Study final report.

posted: 2014-12-11

Islamorada in the Florida KeysIslamorada, Florida fieldwork continues for supporting Coral Reef Project

USGS Dave Zawada and Kim Yates have sent a 4-person team (Nate Smiley, Legna Torres-Garcia, Anesti Stathakopoulos, and Chris Moore) to Islamorada in the Florida Keys from 12/7 to 12/12, as part of their ongoing work on Crocker Reef for the Coral Reef Ecosystem Studies (CREST) project. The team will be performing regular maintenance and downloading data from the Ocean Carbon System (OCS). They will also be deploying 4 Acoustic-Doppler Current Profilers (ADCPs). The ADCP data will be used to model water transport on the reef.

posted: 2014-12-11

Map of study areaUSGS scientist consulted for Fire Island - Montauk Point, NY Federal Plan

Cheryl Hapke (Research Geologist) from the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC), will represent the USGS on a Department of Interior (DOI) technical advisory team to provide coastal science expertise to the National Park Service (NPS) and Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) for planning discussions with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) NY District in the development and modification of the Fire Island to Montauk Point preliminary Federal Plan. The meeting will be held at USACE Headquarters in New York City from 12/8–12/9.

posted: 2014-12-11

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