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News stories posted in the last 60 days. For information about a story, contact Betsy Boynton.

Researchers from USGS attended the 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting

Researchers from SPCMSC attended the 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting (OSM), co-sponsored by the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), and the Oceanography Society (TOS), which was held 11–16 February, in Portland, Oregon. Scientists from St. Petersburg presented a broad array of research subjects. Listed below are the participants' papers with first authorship:

Jenna A Brown: CD34B-0125 Monitoring Coastal Change with Unmanned Aerial Systems at Madeira Beach, Florida
Cheryl J Hapke: CD34A-0115 Characterizing the Morphologic Evolution of a Breach System: Fire Island, NY
Jennifer L Miselis: CD33A-07 Barrier Island Response to Sea-level Rise Predicted by Coupling a Morphodynamic Model with Geomorphological and Storm-response Observations
Timothy Robert Nelson: MG51A-03 Incipient Motion Threshold of Variable Density, Size, and Shape Sand and Oil Agglomerates
Christopher G Smith: E23A-04 Developing a decadal scale sediment budget: Quantifying vertical fluxes contributing to the evolution of a marsh platform
Kathryn E.L. Smith: E24A-0260 Wetland Shoreline Erosion and Sediment Deposition in a Rapidly Eroding Marsh

posted: 2018-02-22

Photo shows graduate students diving near coral to help collect data on the growth of and condition of coral reefsUSGS scientist travels to Pacific Panama to complete study on the impacts of climatic and oceanographic variability on coral reefs

SCMSC Research Oceanographer Lauren Toth will travel to Pacific Panama from February 26th–March 15th to collect data on the growth, erosion, and oceanography of coral reefs in Pacific Panama. On this trip, Toth and her collaborators from Florida Institute of Technology, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and Northeastern University will collect final measurements from a network of oceanographic and ecological monitoring stations that have been surveyed bi-annually since the Spring of 2016 as part of a NSF-funded project. Toth will visit the Gulf of Chiriqui, a region that experienced severe coral bleaching and mortality in response to the 2016 El Niño event, and the Gulf of Panama, which did not experience coral bleaching because the waters were cooled by seasonal upwelling. While in the Gulf of Chiriqui, Toth will also teach a graduate-level field course in coral-reef ecology for Northeastern University's Three Seas program that will use her research to provide students hand-on training in marine-science research. Panamanian reefs are especially sensitive to environmental disturbances and may, like "canaries in a coal mine," help scientists predict the future of coral-reef ecosystems on a global scale.

posted: 2018-02-08

USGS Scientists and researchers at the Institute for Geophysics publish a new study in Nature Communications

USGS Scientists, in collaboration with researchers at the Institute for Geophysics at University of Texas at Austin, have published a study titled "Pronounced centennial-scale Atlantic Ocean climate variability correlated with Western Hemisphere hydroclimate" in Nature Communications. The paper links salinity changes in the Gulf of Mexico over the past 4 millennia to changes in rainfall patterns in the Western Hemisphere. They argue that the link between salinity in the Gulf of Mexico and rainfall patterns is the Gulf Stream, which originates in the Gulf of Mexico; and understanding the long-term linkages between surface ocean circulation changes and precipitation patterns is important to projecting and preparing for these future changes in western hemisphere rainfall patterns.

posted: 2018-02-05

CMGP Lidar Coordinator participating in National Elevation Assessments and Coordination session at 2018 ASPRS Annual Conference

Xan Fredericks, Lidar Coordinator for the Coastal and Marine Geology Program, will moderate and participate in the National Elevation Assessments and Coordination session at the 2018 American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado, February 5–8, 2018. The session includes updates on the 3D Elevation Program, the 3D Nation Requirements and Benefits Study, the Interagency Working Group on Ocean and Coastal Mapping, as well as a panel discussion about lessons learned and goals of future national assessments.

posted: 2018-01-25

USGS Research Oceanographer invited to attend the 21st Annual Florida Marine Turtle Permit Holder Meeting to discuss hurricane impacts

Over 400 people representing academia, wildlife managers, non-profit conservation organizations, and state and federal agencies are currently registered to attend the 21st Annual Florida Marine Turtle Permit Holder Meeting in St. Augustine FL February 2–4, 2018. The meeting will be host to a wide range of presentations and discussions about current research, trends, and emerging issues in sea turtle conservation throughout the state of Florida. Research Oceanographer Joseph Long was invited to the meeting to present work performed with collaborators Kara Dora, Justin Birchler, and Hilary Stockdon related to the impact of recent hurricanes to the Florida coast, including observed changes in shoreline and dune positions and beach volumes that could impact successful sea turtle nesting.

posted: 2018-01-25

USGS Researcher assists with Fire Island National Seashore Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment

SPCMSC Research Geologist Jennifer Miselis will travel to National Park Service (NPS) Fire Island National Seashore (FIIS) office in Patchogue, New York, to assist the NPS Northeast Region and the Coastal Resources Center at the University of Rhode Island with a Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for FIIS. As a member of the Natural Resources Workgroup, Dr. Miselis has helped to evaluate existing data and models to provide expert judgements about the exposure and vulnerability of natural assets in the park to climate changes, such as increased inundation and changes in precipitation and air temperature. At the upcoming workshop, assessments from natural, cultural, and facilities resources will be integrated to systematically determine resource vulnerability and adaptive capacity. The effort is supported by the NPS Climate Change Response Program and will result in a report in 2018.

For more information, contact Jennifer Miselis, jmiselis@usgs.gov

posted: 2018-01-25

USGS Researchers publish paper on Florida estuary acidification using 20+ years of data from shellfish industry

USGS researchers Lisa L. Robbins (retired) and John T. Lisle (Research Microbiologist, SPCMSC) published an article, 'Regional Acidification Trends in Florida Shellfish Estuaries: a 20+ Year Look at pH, Oxygen, Temperature, and Salinity,' in Estuaries and Coasts. In the article pH, dissolved oxygen, temperature, and salinity data from 10 Florida shellfish estuaries and shellfish bed stations are compared. Over 80,000 measurements, spanning from 1980 to 2008, taken on Atlantic Ocean and West Florida coast sites showed significant regional trends of consistent pH decreases in 8 of 10 estuaries. Other significant trends include decreasing dissolved oxygen in 9 of 10 estuaries, increasing salinity in 6 of 10, and temperature increases in 3 of 10 estuaries. The data provide a synoptic view of Florida estuary trends, which reflect the complexity of changing climate and coastal ocean acidification. These data provide context for understanding, and interpreting the past and predicting future of regional water quality health of shellfish and other organisms of commercial and ecological significance along Florida's coasts.

Read the article here: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12237-017-0353-8

posted: 2018-01-18

USGS Researchers Attend the Florida Coastal Mapping Program Workshop

Research scientists from multiple agencies and universities will participate in developing a strategy for mapping all of Florida's coastal waters during a 3-day workshop in St Petersburg. The USGS and the Florida Institute of Oceanography spearheaded an effort to bring multiple federal and state agencies and stakeholders together to develop a strategy to map all of Florida's coastal waters, from the shoreline to 200 m water depth, over the coming decade. A year-long effort to assess existing data and undertake a gap analysis will culminate in a 3-day workshop Jan 9–11, 2018, to be held at the Florida Wildlife Research Institute in St Petersburg, Florida. A staffer from Representative Crist's office will be providing opening remarks and plans to attend the entirety of the workshop. Cheryl Hapke, Xan Fredericks, Jim Flocks, Jen Miselis, and Stan Locker from the SPCMSC will be participating, along with invited speaker Sam Johnson (PCMSC), and Jeff Danielson from the EROS Data Center. The technical team engaged in the effort include NOAA, BOEM, USACE, FIO, FWRI, FL DEP, USF College of Marine Science, NOVA Southeastern University, U. Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science, and Florida Atlantic University.

posted: 2018-01-03

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