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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.

SPCMSC scientist talks to families at the 2016 Great American Teach-InUSGS staff participate in the 21st annual Great American Teach-In

The Great American Teach-In, sponsored by Duke Energy since 1994, is part of Pinellas County Schools' annual American Education Week Celebration. The event encourages members of the community to visit Pinellas County schools for an hour, a few class periods, or an entire school day to share with students details of their careers or to teach a class. Students are exposed to new concepts and gain an understanding of the many career choices that are available. Kira Barrera, Ilsa Kuffner, Joe Long, BJ Reynolds, and Dave Thompson represented the USGS visiting four schools and presenting to 645 kindergarten through 8st grade students their work on climate change and its impacts, scientific diving, and coastal hazards and change.

posted: 2016-12-01

A happy child sits astride the jet ski at the St. Pete Science FestUSGS a Silver Sponsor of the 6th Annual St. Petersburg Science Festival

The St. Petersburg Coastal Marine Science Center (SPCMSC) and Wetland and Aquatic Research Center (WARC) represented the USGS at the 6th annual St. Petersburg Science Festival, October 21–22, 2016. Six exhibits were presented over the two-day festival highlighting USGS research; including corals, microfossils and paleoclimate, food webs, Lidar, seafloor mapping, and coastal hazards and change. Over 33 USGS personnel participated in the event which engaged approximately 1,000 school children on the Friday school day and a record of 25,000 attendees on Saturday.

posted: 2016-11-17

USGS researchers to host Hurricane Matthew webinar for Congressional staffers

On Thursday November 17, the USGS is hosting a Hurricane Matthew webinar for Congressional staffers. Brian McCallum (Hydrologist, South Atlantic Water Science Center), Geoff Plumlee (Research Geochemist, AD for Environmental Health), and Hilary Stockdon (Research Oceanographer, SPCMSC) will provide an update on the USGS response to Hurricane Matthew. Topics include the rapid water level gauge deployment, coastal erosion forecasts, and environmental health research. They will discuss how USGS worked with NOAA and FEMA to help emergency managers prepare for the hurricane, what was done to measure water levels during the hurricane, and how USGS is assessing storm impacts and preparing for future extreme weather events.

posted: 2016-11-17

USGS scientist selected as judge for the $7 Million Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE

Christina Kellogg (Research Microbiologist) from the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC) will travel to San Diego November 13–17, 2016 for the judging summit to begin the next phase of the Shell Ocean Discovery XPRIZE competition. This $7 million global competition is challenging teams to advance deep-sea technologies for autonomous, fast, and high resolution ocean exploration (visit

posted: 2016-11-09

USGS marsh sediment transport study at Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Kathryn Smith (Ecologist, SPCMSC), Nicole Khan (Research Geologist, SPCMSC), and Chelsea Stalk (research assistant, SPCMSC) installed field sampling devices to examine marsh sediment transport at four marsh sites in Grand Bay NERR, Mississippi. In addition, eight marsh sediment cores were collected to expand on an existing marsh sediment and carbon database for the Northern Gulf of Mexico. This research is being conducted in conjunction with estuarine circulation and sediment transport studies by WHCMSC scientists, Dan Nowacki, Steven Suttles, and Neil Ganju. The study will further scientific understanding of shoreline erosion and marsh sedimentation, as well as elucidate the fate of carbon in estuaries with rapidly eroding marshes.

posted: 2016-11-03

USGS Scientist Delivers Invited Talk at Workshop to Inform Coral Reef Restoration Practitioners

Ilsa B. Kuffner (Research Marine Biologist, SPCMSC) was invited to give a talk at the 'Workshop to Advance the Science and Practice of Coral Restoration,' at Nova Southeastern University, Dania Beach, Florida, November 15–17, 2016. The workshop's agenda includes sessions focused on both the science and practical nature of coral-reef restoration, and promotes cutting-edge science with a focus on turning science into actionable restoration practices. The primary theme of the workshop is scaling up restoration to provide for meaningful coral reef ecosystem recovery. Kuffner will be speaking during the session on 'New Approaches to Assist in Site Selection and Design' and will be presenting data and science results from the USGS Calcification Monitoring Network.

posted: 2016-10-27

USGS Research Oceanographer invited to visit collection of coral-reef cores at Oberlin College, Ohio

Lauren T. Toth (Research Oceanographer, SPCMSC) has been invited to visit the extensive collection of Caribbean coral-reef cores collected by Dr. Dennis Hubbard of Oberlin College, 11/1/2016–11/4/2016. Toth will be giving an invited seminar to students and faculty in the Department of Environmental Studies. She will also collect data from the cores that will be used to develop comparative reconstructions of reef development in the Florida Keys and the wider Caribbean.

posted: 2016-10-27

USGS researcher attends 'Coastal Dynamics and Ecosystem Change: Caribbean, Quo Vadis?' workshop

Terrence McCloskey (SPCMSC, Mendenhall Post-Graduate Fellow) is attending a small invitational meeting in Bonaire, Dutch west Indies from 10/18 to 10/21. Researchers will be looking at the state of environmental conditions in the Caribbean, particularly in regard to climate change and sea level rise. It is an international conference, with participants primarily from Caribbean countries and Europe. Only 3 of the 24 invitees were from the United States.

posted: 2016-10-26

USGS researchers at SACNAS conferenceUSGS researchers present research and judge presentations at annual multicultural SACNAS conference

Jennifer Flannery (Chemist, SPCMSC) and Christopher Smith (Geologist, SPCMSC) were invited to speak about their research in a USGS-sponsored session at the annual SACNAS conference, which offers 3 days of elite science, mentoring, training, and cultural activities for all levels of students and scientists. Also attending were Thomas Doyle (Deputy Director, WARC, Lafayette, LA) and Debra Willard (Climate R&D Program Coordinator, Reston, VA). SACNAS is the leading multicultural and multidisciplinary science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) diversity organization in the USA. Jennifer Flannery and Christopher Smith also served as judges for several undergraduate and graduate student posters and oral presentations.

posted: 2016-10-26

USGS Oceanographers address the West Florida Barrier Island Governmental Council (BIG C)

On October 26, Oceanographers Joe Long and Hilary Stockdon will address the west Florida Barrier Island Governmental Council (BIG C; to discuss SPCMSC coastal hazards research including recent efforts to measure coastal change following Tropical Storm Colin and Hurricane Hermine. They will also describe the new video camera being installed at Madeira Beach to observe coastal processes and better understand the evolution of Florida beaches. Eleven municipalities residing on the west coast of Florida, from St. Pete Beach to Clearwater will be present at the council meeting.

posted: 2016-10-20

USGS St Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center Scientists to attend 2016 Esri Ocean GIS Forum

Steven Douglas (SPCMSC, Researcher), Xan Fredericks (SPCMSC, Cartographer/Lidar Coordinator), Ginger Range (SPCMSC, Geologist/GIS Specialist), and Heather Schreppel (SPCMSC, IT/Data Management Specialist) will be attending the Esri Ocean GIS Forum from November 1–3, 2016 at ESRI in Redlands, California. The purpose of this forum is to encourage knowledge-sharing across disciplines to help shape the future of GIS design and to discuss ways multi-dimensional data and web apps can help people put scientific information to work.

posted: 2016-10-20

Journal article 'Bacterial community diversity of the deep-sea octocoral Paramuricea placomus' published

Compared to tropical corals, much less is known about deep-sea coral biology and ecology. Although the microbial communities of some deep-sea corals have been described, the study described in the journal article published by PeerJ ( is the first one to characterize the bacterial community associated with the deep-sea octocoral, Paramuricea placomus. The authors are Christina Kellogg, Steve W. Ross, and Sandra D. Brooke.

posted: 2016-10-20

USGS Center Director interviewed on syndicated radio program about potential impacts of Hurricane Matthew

Cheryl Hapke (Center Director, SPCMSC) was interviewed live on This Morning in America with Gordan Deal to discuss the potential impacts of Hurricane Matthew. The interview included discussion of potential beach erosion and what the USGS is doing to predict vulnerable areas in advance of the storm.

posted: 2016-10-20

Coastal Change Hazards PortalStorm team responds to Hurricane Matthew

The storm team is responding to Hurricane Matthew.

View probabilities of coastal change in the Coastal Change Hazards Portal at Check out our new experimental total water level viewer to see timing of storm impacts at Jupiter, Florida, at

posted: 2016-10-05

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