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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 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

Image from the video USGS Researchers explore drivers of coral-disease outbreak in Kaua‘i

Healthy coral reefs protect the shore from wave damage, provide shelter for important fish species, and are vital to tourism. Scientists from the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (Santa Cruz, California) and the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (St. Petersburg, Florida) will be working in Kaua‘i from July 29 to August 5, 2016, combining water and sediment sample collection, physical oceanography and metagenomics to look at watershed inputs, submarine ground water discharge, water residence times, and water quality in an effort to uncover environmental drivers influencing coral disease dynamics.

View the 3:46-minute video at

For more information, contact Curt Storlazzi,, 831-460-7521; or Chris Kellogg,, 727-502-8128.

posted: 2016-07-28

USGS Lidar Science Innovation WorkshopUSGS scientists present at 2016 USGS Lidar Science Innovation Workshop in Fort Collins, Colorado

Kara Doran (Physical Scientist, SPCMSC), Kathryn Smith (Ecologist, SPCMSC), Xan Fredericks (Cartographer/Lidar Coordinator, SPCMSC), and Dave Zawada (Research Oceanographer, SPCMSC) will each give a presentation at the USGS Lidar Science Innovation Workshop August 2–4, 2016, being held at the Colorado State University Campus in Fort Collins, Colorado. The workshop will be attended by an estimated 225 USGS representatives from across the bureau and will provide an unprecedented opportunity to collaborate on current and new lidar technologies for addressing science research, share applications and techniques, identify lidar data needs for cross-cutting science priorities, and educate USGS scientists on the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP). Participants will also discuss and refine acquisition strategies and processes, and identify opportunities and processes for all types of lidar data collection and sharing.

posted: 2016-07-28

Nathaniel Plant gives a presentation to Duke TIP CRISIS students at SPCMSCUSGS hosts hurricane talks for middle school participants from Duke TIP Crisis summer program at Eckerd College

The SPCMSC hosted talks for fifth and sixth graders participating in the Duke TIP Crisis (Creative Resolutions of Impending Situations with Intelligent Solutions) summer program at Eckerd College. On 6/29 and 7/6 Hilary Stockdon and Nathaniel Plant (Research Oceanographers, SPCMSC) explained how their research focuses on nearshore processes, coastal geomorphology, and large-scale coastal behavior, and how it helps to anticipate impacts of storms on coastal environments and to predict the response of coastlines to future events. After the presentations Kira Barrera, (Physical Scientist and Outreach Coordinator, SPCMSC) gave a tour of the center and demonstrated the coastal erosion model. On 7/13 Ginger Tiling-Range (Geologist/GIS Specialist, SPCMSC) gave a presentation about the effects of hurricanes on mangrove ecosystems, comparing the effects of Hurricanes Andrew and Wilma on the Everglades National Park. Specifically, it addressed wind effects from the storms and resulting defoliation, storm surge, erosion, and sediment deposition.

posted: 2016-07-21

USGS researchers participate in US Army Corps of Engineers Airborne Coastal Mapping and Charting Workshop

Kara Doran (Physical Scientist, SPCMSC) and David Nagle (Computer Scientist, SPCMSC) will travel to Silver Spring, Maryland, July 19–21 to participate in a lidar technology workshop being organized by the US Army Corps of Engineers Joint Airborne Lidar Bathymetry Technical Center of Expertise. The meeting will bring together federal and private sector lidar engineers, operators, and coastal researchers to discuss new lidar technologies, applications, and collaborations.

posted: 2016-07-14

USGS Powell coral reef working group to meet next week in Ft. Collins, Colorado, July 18-22, 2016

The USGS John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis working group investigating 'Local-scale ecosystem resilience amid global-scale ocean change: the coral reef example,' which includes Principal Investigators Ilsa Kuffner (SPCMSC), Peter Edmunds (California State University Northridge), and Ruth Gates (University of Hawaii); along with Lauren Toth (SPCMSC), Caroline Rogers (USGS Caribbean Field Station), and twelve experts from around the globe will meet July 18–22 in Ft. Collins, Colorado. The working group's goal is to uncover the geographic, biological, ecological, and physical features that characterize coral reef "oases" which seem to be doing better than others at the moment, and to evaluate the potential of these oases to catalyze broader-scale ecosystem recovery. This will be the first of two meetings, with projected products to be two high-impact journal articles.

posted: 2016-07-14

USGS researchers to acquire seafloor imagery and depth data over part of the Florida Reef Tract

From June 25 to July 1 a team including Dave Zawada, Lance Thornton, BJ Reynolds, Kyle Kelso, and Andy Farmer, all from SPCMSC, will collect seafloor imagery and depth data for a portion of the Florida Reef Tract around Molasses Reef off Key Largo. Imagery will be collected using the Along-Track Reef Imaging System (ATRIS) and jet skis will be used to collect the depth data. During the same trip, LiDAR data will be independently collected over an area extending from Biscayne National Park to Molasses Reef. The ATRIS and depth data will be used to validate the LiDAR data. These efforts will support an ongoing study by Zawada and Kimberly Yates (SPCMSC) on the regional-scale erosion of modern coral-reef ecosystems.

posted: 2016-06-30

Spring and Summer: Outstanding Outreach at USGS

SPCMSC Scientists Soupy Dalyander, Kara Doran, Kira Barrera, Kat Wilson, Xan Fredericks, Matthew Hardy, Hilary Stockdon, Nathaniel Plant, and Ginger Range have been busy engaging in numerous outreach activities this spring and summer. Girl Scout troops, school science nights, STEM Clubs, Invention and Science Fairs, and several summer camps are just a few of the events enriched by presentations on diverse topics including hurricanes and coastal erosion, oil spills, and ocean acidification. This year's spring and summer outreach activities have engaged 850 K–12 students!

posted: 2016-06-30

Girls enjoy Oceanography Camp for Girls at SPCMSCUSGS hosts USF Oceanography Camp for girls on June 22nd and 23rd

USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center hosted the University of South Florida, College of Marine Science Oceanography Camp for girls on June 22nd and 23rd. The camp was developed in the 1990s to inspire and encourage young women entering high school to consider career opportunities in the sciences, and the USGS is one of the camps original sponsors. Thirty girls participated in tours of the center led by Kira Barrera and were able to observe laboratory procedures and analysis demonstrated by researchers Max Tuten, Nick Zaremba, Chelsea Stalk, Chris Moore, Kyle Kelso, and Cole Spencer. In addition to the tours, campers conducted career interviews of Alisha Ellis, RC Mickey, Elsie McBride, Davina Passeri, Christopher Smith, Karen Morgan, Ginger Range, and Hilary Stockdon, giving the girls an opportunity to interact and engage with scientists and to gain insight on how to attain their future career path goals.

posted: 2016-06-30

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