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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 Microbiologist to give invited plenary talk at ASM MICROBE 2017

Christina Kellogg, SPCMSC Research Microbiologist, was invited to convene a session at the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) MICROBE 2017 conference on the topic of Microbes and Climate Change. Dr. Kellogg will also give an invited plenary talk in the session, titled "Coral Microbiology in a Changing Ocean." This talk will highlight cutting edge work done by other researchers as well as describe Dr. Kellogg's work cataloging baseline microbiomes of deep-sea coral species in an effort to provide a benchmark against which future anthropogenic and environmental change can be measured. ASM MICROBE 2017 takes place June 1–5, 2017 in New Orleans, LA.

posted: 2017-05-18

USGS researchers meet with Fire Island National Seashore management to continue collaborative project on beach recovery forecasting

Jennifer Miselis and Kat Wilson (scientists, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center), Richard Snell (computer programmer, SPCMSC), and Erika Lentz (scientist, Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center), will travel to Patchogue, New York, next week. The group will meet with Fire Island National Seashore personnel on May 23. The meeting will continue collaboration on a three-year project funded through the National Resource Preservation Program aiming to forecast beach recovery using probabilistic networks.

posted: 2017-05-18

SPCMSC Scientists conduct Beach Survey at Fire Island National Seashore

From May 23–26, St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center scientists Owen Brenner and Kat Wilson will conduct GPS monitoring surveys on Fire Island, New York, as part of the continuing efforts to assess post-Sandy beach recovery. Surveys of shorelines and beach profiles were first collected immediately prior to Hurricane Sandy in 2012, and have been collected frequently in the four and a half years since. For more information on the Hurricane Sandy Supplemental Fire Island project, visit:

posted: 2017-05-18

A short film developed as part of Julie Meyer's 2015 L'Oreal USA For Women in Science fellowshipUSGS Scientist featured in Women-in-Science outreach video

SPCMSC Research Microbiologist Christina Kellogg is one of the scientists interviewed in "Drawn to the Sea: Florida Women in Marine Science," a new outreach video geared toward Girl Scouts and middle school students, to encourage girls to consider science careers. The 12-minute video was created by Dr. Julie Meyer of University of Florida as part of her L'Oreal Women In Science Fellowship.

posted: 2017-05-12

USGS Researchers study the balance between reef growth and erosion on a Florida Keys reef

Dr. Lauren Toth (Research Oceanographer, SPCMSC) is leading a research expedition to the Florida Keys to assess the balance between reef growth and erosion at Hen & Chickens Reef. This research will follow up on a previous study by Toth, Ilsa Kuffner (Research Marine Biologist, SPMSC), and Harold Hudson (retired NOAA-FKNMS) that measured rates of bioerosion at Hen & Chickens using an experiment set up by Hudson nearly two decades ago. Toth and her team—Hunter Wilcox (CNT contractor at SPMSC), Elizabeth Whitcher (M.S. candidate at Florida Institute of Technology), and Robert Fidler (Ph.D. candidate at Florida Institute of Technology)—aim to develop a more complete picture of the balance between reef growth and erosion at this site by developing a survey-based carbonate budget. This CREST research project will provide important new insights into the drivers of reef erosion in the Florida Keys.

posted: 2017-04-27

Map of study area at Assateague Island, Maryland and VirginiaUSGS releases 2016 lidar-derived topobathymetric data for Assateague Island, Maryland and Virginia

The USGS has released 2016 lidar-derived topobathymetric data for Assateague Island, Maryland and Virginia. The survey, flown in September 2016, post-Hurricane Hermine (USGS field activity number [FAN] 16CNT03:, was a repeat effort of the survey flown post-Hurricane Joaquin in November 2015 (FAN 2015-344-FA: The CMGP's National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards project uses lidar-derived data to quantify the vulnerability of shorelines to coastal change hazards, such as severe storms, sea-level rise, and shoreline erosion and retreat.

posted: 2017-04-13

NSF-GRIP fellow to visit USGS SPCMSC for research on coral reefs

University of Hawaiʻi Ph.D. candidate, Elizabeth (Beth) Lenz, will arrive in April to work with Ilsa Kuffner (USGS Research Marine Biologist) on the Coral Reef Ecosystem Studies (CREST) project. Beth received a Graduate Research Internship Program (GRIP) award to complete the study "Adding Coral Physiology and Genetic Metrics to USGS Calcification Monitoring on Florida Keys Reefs." The GRIP program is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide opportunities for NSF Graduate Fellows to enhance their professional development by engaging in mission related research experiences with partner agencies across the federal government. Beth will be visiting SPCMSC for one month this spring, during which she will join Kuffner's field expedition to the Florida Keys, and again for several months next fall to process her samples in the laboratory. Beth's work will expand the understanding of reef resilience at the reef sites where USGS conducts calcification monitoring by incorporating novel, additional data on the reproductive status and symbionts of the coral colonies being monitored. Her data will allow USGS to test the hypothesis that seawater temperature, bleaching history, and/or symbiont type affect coral fecundity and growth rate.

posted: 2017-04-06

USGS Center Director interviewed by Channel 13 Fox News—Tampa

Cheryl Hapke (Center Director, SPCMSC) was interviewed by Channel 13 Fox News meteorologist Mike Bennett. The interview, which was filmed on site at Pass-a-Grille, St Pete Beach, is for a special on rising seas which is scheduled to be aired in May as part of a series on preparing for this year's hurricane season. Topics discussed included rising sea levels in Florida, including the Tampa Bay area, as well as the importance of barrier islands and their effects in dampening storm surge. As sea levels grow higher, storm surges would cause more erosion and more flooding in places that may not have flooded before. Bennett also asked if the Tampa Bay area could see nuisance flooding such as Miami is already experiencing.

posted: 2017-04-06

USGS releases sediment data from around Breton Island, Louisiana

Sediment data, including core logs and grain-size data, from cores collected in 2014 and 2015 from around Breton and Gosier Islands, Breton National Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana, were released online in Data Series 1037 and the accompanying data release Together they serve as an archive of sediment data from vibracores, push cores, and submerged grab samples collected from around Breton and Gosier Islands, Louisiana, during two surveys in July 2014 and January 2015. Sedimentologic and stratigraphic metrics derived from these data can be used to ground-truth the geophysical data and characterize potential sand resources or can be incorporated into sediment transport or morphologic change models.

posted: 2017-03-30

USGS Oceanographer Attends One Gulf Summit and Gulf of Mexico Alliance All Hands

Soupy Dalyander, (Research Oceanographer, SPCMSC), is attending the One Gulf Summit and Gulf of Mexico Alliance All Hands from 3/27–3/31/2017 in Houston, Texas. The One Gulf Summit ( brings together managers, scientists, and stakeholders from the United States, Mexico, and Cuba to discuss issues of ecological and human health in the Gulf of Mexico following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The Gulf of Mexico Alliance ( is a regional partnership with representation from the five Gulf states, federal agencies, academia, private organizations, and non-profits, and works to identify priority issues in human and ecological health in the Gulf for several focus areas, including coastal resiliency; Soupy is the DOI representative to this team.

posted: 2017-03-30

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