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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.

New rugged, mobile jack-up tower houses pre-storm beach-measurement field equipmentUSGS Research Oceanographer collaborates with USACE to develop rapid-deployment pre-storm beach-measurement field equipment

Jenna Brown (Research Oceanographer, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center) recently spent a week at the Field Research Facility of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in Duck, NC, collaborating with Kate Brodie and colleagues on developing field equipment capable of measuring water levels and changes in beach characteristics during extreme storms. A terrestrial lidar scanner and video camera were affixed to the top of a rugged, mobile jack-up tower, which can be transported to a beach site and rapidly deployed prior to an oncoming hurricane or nor'easter. This work is ongoing, with the goal of obtaining in-situ observations of wave runup and beach topography before, during, and after an extreme storm, and ultimately allowing for the evolution of beach erosion and possible overwash and/or inundation events to be captured and examined.

posted: 2015-08-12

USGS scheduled to conduct sedimentologic and geophysical surveys around Dauphin Island, Alabama, August 11–29, 2015

This survey is a cooperative project funded by the National Federation of Wildlife and Fisheries. Dauphin Island is a strategically significant barrier island along the northern Gulf of Mexico and serves as the only barrier island providing protection to much of Alabama's coastal natural resources, to one-third of the Mississippi Sound, and to estuarine habitats. The geologic investigations will start with sediment sampling of various marine, barrier island, and estuarine environments led by Christopher Smith with team members BJ Reynolds, Marci Marot, Cathryn Wheaton, Alisha Ellis, Paul Nelson, (SPCMSC), and Dann Blackwood (WHCMSC). The sediment data will provide a better understanding of cross-shore and alongshore variability in near-surface sediments for comparison with modeling results.

The first leg will be followed by a geophysical survey of the waters surrounding Dauphin island using single beam bathymetric systems, seismic subbottom imaging, and sidescan sonar, led by Jim Flocks with team members Kyle Kelso, Nancy DeWitt, Julie Bernier, Jake Fredericks, Chelsea Stalk, and Max Tuten (SPCMSC). The bathymetric data will be integrated with additional datasets being acquired by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide a high resolution characterization of the morphology. This new image of the seafloor is critical for wave modeling efforts to determine island resiliency during storm impact.

posted: 2015-08-06

USGS Oceanographer selected for steering committee on West Florida Continental Shelf mapping project

Dr. Lisa Robbins (Oceanographer, St Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center) was selected as steering committee member of the "Restoring Fish and Sea Turtle Habitat on the West Florida Continental Shelf: Benthic Habitat Mapping, Characterization, and Assessment Project", PIs Steven Murkowski (University of South Florida) and Luis Barbieri (FWC). Other steering committee members include NOAA reps Steve Giordano, Bonnie Ponwith, Ginny Fay, Matthew Campbell, Rebecca Greene (BOEM), Libby Fetherston (Ocean Conservancy), Larry Mayer (University of New Hampshire) , and Robert Spaeth (Commercial Fisherman and Vessel Owner). This project will map the West Florida Shelf using multibeam and with Camera-Based Assessment Survey System (C-BASS). The first steering committee met on July 20, 2015. Discussions centered on description of the project and the cruises. PIs indicated that additional space on the scheduled cruises will include USGS and carbonate chemistry equipment that could be added onto the C-BASS system and ships. Funding is through the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the project is 3 years for over $4M.

posted: 2015-07-27

Sand and oil agglomerates (SOAs)USGS Research Oceanographer to present residual oil research at two public seminars

Soupy Dalyander (Research Oceanographer) will be presenting USGS research into the movement and seafloor interaction of sand and oil agglomerates (SOAs) at two seminars being organized to inform natural resource managers, oil spill responders, and the public on scientific understanding of oil spills. USGS has been a leading agency in investigating the dynamics of SOAs, which can form in the surf zone following an oil spill.

Both seminars are free and open to the public.

The Gulf of Mexico Sea Grant Oil Spill Outreach Team and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection are presenting, "Oil Spill Science Seminar: Impacts of Oil on Coastal Habitats" (, which will occur on July 22 in Temple Terrace, Florida.

Mississippi-Alabama SeaGrant will present "Navigating Shifting Sands: Oil on our Beaches" (, in Pensacola, Florida, on August 5.

posted: 2015-07-15

USGS Research Oceanographer joins multi-agency meeting to begin development of a new Coastal Resiliency Network

Hilary Stockdon, USGS Research Oceanographer at St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC) will be meeting with representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and American Shore & Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) to discuss plans for development of a new Coastal Resiliency Network in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, July 7. The goal is to use the wealth of data that already exists in the Corps, USGS, and other federal agencies to quantity coastal resiliency and predict changes through time.

Hilary Stockdon will be representing USGS. USACE leads are Jeff Lilycrop and Julie Rosati. ASBPA lead is Nicole Elko.

posted: 2015-07-08

Participants from Oceanography Camp for Girls tour USGSUSGS Hosts the University of South Florida College of Marine Science Oceanography Camp for Girls

On July 1st and 2nd the USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC ) hosted the University of South Florida College of Marine Science Oceanography Camp for Girls. The camp was developed in the 1990s to inspire and motivate young women entering high school to consider career opportunities in the sciences. Thirty girls participated in tours of the Center and labs led by Chris Reich and Kira Barrera, and observed laboratory procedures and analysis. To give the campers the opportunity to interact and engage with scientists, they met with new SPCMSC director Dr. Cheryl Hapke, and conducted career interviews of Nathaniel Plant, Alisha Ellis, RC Mickey, Jaci Overbeck, Kira Barrera, Jenna Brown, Kat Wilson, Lisa Ostermen, and Terrence McCloskey.

posted: 2015-07-08

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