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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.

Screen shot showing Python Map exampleSenior USGS science data coordinator continues work on data management training modules

From August 26–29, Heather Henkel, based at the St. Petersburg field center, will travel to Lakewood, Colorado, to work with Viv Hutchison and Lisa Zolly (Core Science Systems) on new training modules for the USGS Data Management web site. The first modules are available at http://www.usgs.gov/datamanagement/training/modules.php and cover three introductory topics. The USGS Data Management web site was developed to not only provide broad and easy access to best practices, tools, and recommended reading, but also to facilitate compliance with recent mandates from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) regarding open data access to well-managed, federally-funded research. Regardless of location, a broad range of scientists with little or no experience in data management will be able to implement current best practices by having the training modules available online.

posted: 2014-08-21

Members of the award-winning USGS Environmental Achievement teamSPCMSC receives USGS Environmental Achievement Award

The St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC) received notice it won one of three USGS Environmental Achievement Awards announced on August 6. SPCMSC won in the category for Good Neighbors for Greenhouse Gas Reduction. The award recognized the small team of Ellen Raabe, Environmental Program Coordinator, Molly McLaughlin, Lab and Safety Manager, Chris Reich, Operations Manager, the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership, and the Southeast Companies, facility leasing company. SPCMSC in collaboration with Southeast Companies has diligently worked to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the Center primarily by reducing electricity consumption by 19% from FY2012 to FY 2013 (see Highlight from 2014-05-08). The effort in FY2012 was part of ongoing modifications that included a hot-water solar tube array replacing the bulk of the natural gas used by the laboratory building, conversion from fluorescent bulbs to LED lighting, and expanding chilled water, supplied by the University of South Florida, by retrofitting HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) in all three buildings.

posted: 2014-08-14

Old photograph of USGS scientist taking measurements in the fieldUSGS field team to establish Sediment Elevation Tables (SETs) on Crocker Reef

From 8/18 to 8/29, five field staff from the USGS will travel to Islamorada, Fla. to establish benchmarks and accurately locate underwater Sediment Elevation Tables on Crocker Reef utilizing both the 25–foot R/V Sallenger and the 22-foot Twin Vee. Over the coming months and years, the SETs will allow the USGS to characterize sediment accumulation or removal patterns at several locations around the reef in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (For earlier work on Crocker Reef, see Highlight from 2014-07-02). USGS staff contributing to the fieldwork are Chris Reich, B.J. Reynolds, Nate Smiley, Lauren Toth, and new operations hire Anastasios Stathakopoulos (Anesti). Kim Yates and Dave Zawada serve as co-principal investigators.

posted: 2014-08-14

Map showing RRT areas in the US and CaribbeanUSGS oceanographer to give presentation to California Regional Response Team IX

From 8/12–8/13, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science (SPCMSC) research oceanographer P. Soupy Dalyander will participate in a Regional Response Team IX (RRT) meeting held in Signal Hill, California. The RRT is one of 13 teams chartered across the nation, co-chaired by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), for developing incident response plans. Soupy's presentation is titled "Assessing mobility and redistribution patterns of sand and oil agglomerates in the surf zone." The talk covers the work done as part of the Operational Science Advisory Team (OSAT3) in responding to Deepwater Horizon incident (see Highlight from 2014-02-13).

posted: 2014-07-31

Students from Orlando enjoy a visit to USGS St. Petersburg campusOrlando summer science camp students visit USGS St. Petersburg campus

On July 17, approximately 20 campers and counselors from the Orlando Science Center summer camp visited the USGS SPCMSC center. Organized by Monica Cook from the University of South Florida (USF) College of Marine Science, the visit to USGS is part of a day-long tour of the USGS/USF facilities in St. Petersburg. Kara Doran (SPCMSC Oceanographer) spoke to the middle school students about USGS barrier-island research at the center, and ended her talk by sharing personal stories about her experiences measuring beach erosion at the Kennedy Space Center.

posted: 2014-07-24

TechTrek logoUSGS St. Petersburg field center participates in Florida Tech Trek Outreach

On July 14, Theresa Burress and Karen Morgan from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC) participated in the Florida Tech Trek at Eckerd College. Sponsored by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the Tech Trek is a one-week science camp for eighth grade girls. The STEM-focused (science, technology, engineering, and math) summer camp program allows girls to gain confidence in STEM related subjects with hands-on labs and projects. Tech Trek has camps in over 10 states.

Theresa Buress presented an overview of the USGS and the St. Petersburg Center (SPCMSC). Karen Morgan presented the erosion model, "A Pan, a Fan, and some Sand," showing how the model can demonstrate the effects of extreme storms on our coastlines. With two full model setups the girls were divided into groups of 10, and worked together on their ideas to build an island. After the islands were built, participants could watch how their islands eroded when the fans were turned on. While the models were running the girls also used microscopes to view and identify different sands from around the world, and practiced using sieves to sort sand into different grain sizes. Afterward, Theresa and Karen discussed how each group built their island and talked about what worked to deter erosion and what did not. The overview and models were presented to two groups of 20 girls each, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

For more information on the Tech Trek camps, visit: http://www.aauw-techtrek.org/.

posted: 2014-07-24

coralMillennial-scale history of corals in Florida Keys Reef Tract

In June, 2014, Lauren Toth joined USGS-St. Petersburg as a Mendenhall Post-Graduate Fellow. Lauren will be working with coral ecologist Ilsa Kuffner on the CREST project (Coral Reef Ecosystem Studies) looking at corals from the USGS-St. Petersburg drill core collection. She will be analyzing the rates of reef accretion to understand why some reefs had slower rates of growth over the last 4000 years. Lauren will be utilizing the ICP-OES (Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrometer) to look at geochemistry of the corals in the drill core sections to understand not only changes in reef development, but also changes in the environment of the reefs through time.

posted: 2014-07-17

Data Series 767 index mapLidar Pre-Post Coverage of Hurricane Sandy for New Jersey released online

On July 16, the USGS released Data Series 767, "The EAARL-B Coastal Topography - Eastern New Jersey, Hurricane Sandy, 2012: First Surface." This publication provides geographically referenced elevation measurements of lidar-derived first-surface (FS) topography for a portion of the New Jersey coastline beachface, acquired pre-Hurricane Sandy on October 26, and post-Hurricane Sandy on November 1 and November 5, 2012. The datasets are made available for use as a management tool to research scientists and natural-resource managers.

posted: 2014-07-17

USF Oceanography Camp Students visit USGS St. Petersburg CenterUSF Oceanography Camp 2014 Students visit USGS St. Petersburg Center

On June 25 and 26, thirty 8th grade students attending University of South Florida (USF) College of Marine Science's (CMS) Oceanography Camp for Girls visited the USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC) to learn about how hurricanes and other extreme storms impact our coastline. Kara Doran simulated a hurricane using the Center's coastal erosion model, which illustrates how wind and waves transport sediment from a barrier island during storms. Fifteen students also had the opportunity to interview Center scientists one-on-one about their work. Participating St. Petersburg SPCMSC and Southeast Ecological Science Center (SESC) scientists included Kara Doran, Alisha Ellis, Jennifer Flannery, Caitlin Reynolds, Julie Richey, Lisa Robbins, Jaci Smith, Tom Smith, and Lauren Toth.

posted: 2014-07-10

Map showing study areaSt. Petersburg Center to conduct Louisiana Gulf Coast Islands fieldwork in July

From July 11th to the 31st, SPCMSC geologists Jim Flocks and Jen Miselis will lead a major field expedition to the Breton and Chandeleur Islands, part of the Breton National Wildlife Refuge, offshore of the Mississippi River Delta. The first of two field efforts at the Refuge this summer, the team will deploy from Venice, La., and Biloxi, Ms., and remain at the islands for the duration of the survey. The fieldwork will gather shallow-water bathymetry, near-surface geology, and island elevation using the R/V Sallenger among other vessels. SPCMSC staff participating in the field work include Julie Bernier, Trevor Browning, Nancy DeWitt, Jake Fredericks, Kyle Kelso, Stan Locker, BJ Reynolds, and Dana Wiese.

posted: 2014-07-10

Researchers collect data in Fire Island, New YorkUSGS jet-ski team successfully maps Fire Island nearshore

On June 25, the field team obtaining shallow water bathymetric data from jet-skis as part of the Hurricane Sandy Supplemental Funding effort returned from their fieldwork in Fire Island, New York. The mapping effort was very successful and the team, which included personnel from both the Santa Cruz and St. Petersburg Science Centers, acquired almost twice the amount of data that had been originally been tasked. Members of the team also mapped portions of the flood shoal of the Sandy breach on foot to collect data in water that was too shallow for the jet-skis. Coastal and Marine Geology staff participating in the data operations include Cheryl Hapke, B.J. Reynolds, Owen Brenner, Dave Thompson, Tim Nelson, Kyle Kelso, Andrew Stevens, Tim Elfers and Jackson Currie.

For more information on the Fire Island, New York, fieldwork see Highlight from 2014-05-22.

posted: 2014-07-02

Monitoring underwater sampling equipment in the Florida KeysMultidisciplinary field effort at Crocker Reef, Florida Keys

From July 7–17, researchers from the USGS will be engaged in integrated data and sample collection at Crocker Reef in the Florida Keys 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. We are combining expertise in three specific areas (geochemistry, geology, and metabolic processes) to better characterize the processes that affect carbonate precipitation and dissolution. This effort will combine sediment sampling for mineralogy with water sampling for carbonate chemistry and reef metagenome analyses. This summer sampling trip will be followed by another collection trip in December/January to capture seasonal variation. Understanding the processes that underlie whether the reef is accreting (growing) or dissolving is fundamental to questions of reef health and resiliency. Principal investigators are Christina Kellogg (metagenomes), Kim Yates (carbonate chemistry) and David Zawada (sediments). Assisting on this field trip are Chris Moore, Nathan Smiley, and Molly McLaughlin.

Reference: http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/crest/research-themes/reefscape.html

posted: 2014-07-02

Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) Summer MeetingSt. Petersburg Oceanographer presents talk to Earth Science Information Partners on coastal Digital Elevation Models (DEMs)

On July 8th, Joseph Long will present a talk entitled 'Online; on-demand access to coastal digital elevation models (DEMs)' at the Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) Summer Meeting in Frisco, Colo. The project is part of the 2014 USGS Community for Data Integration projects, and aims to build an online tool to construct DEMs that span the terrestrial/marine boundary for use in numerical models and coastal change research.

For more information about the ESIP Summer Meeting, visit: http://esipfed.org/2014SummerMeeting

posted: 2014-07-02

USGS staff give tour and technical briefs to undergradsUSGS St. Petersburg hosts NSF funded summer research undergraduate students from Mote

On June 20, 11 undergraduate summer interns and two staff, Krystal Harvey and Allison Gamble from Mote Marine Laboratory, toured the SPCMSC Center. The undergraduates are participating in the NSF–funded (National Science Foundation) REU program (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) at Mote, one of 33 participating centers across the nation. Four SPCMSC staff gave technical briefings during their 2-hour tour: Theresa Burress, Noreen Buster, Joe Long, and Chris Reich.

For more information about the REU program at Mote visit: http://mote.org/research/internships/research-experiences-for-undergraduates-reu-program

posted: 2014-06-25

The dunes are lower on Bay area beachesUSGS oceanographer talks to local TV news channel about coastal change impacts during extreme storms

On June 16, SPCMSC researcher Joseph Long was interviewed by Leigh Spann from WFLA News Channel 8 to discuss the USGS model for predicting coastal change impacts during extreme storms. The interview, timed closely with the June 1 beginning of hurricane season, discussed the importance of both scenario-based and real-time forecasts of storm-induced coastal change hazards. Key findings from the recent USGS assessments of storm related erosion hazards along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts were also highlighted: "According to the USGS model, 71 percent of the U.S. Gulf Coast would see dune overwash with a Category 1 storm."

To see a print version of the interview, visit: http://www.wfla.com/story/25815480/researchers-find-gulf-coast-vulnerable-to-storm-surge

posted: 2014-06-25

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