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

USGS Scientist participates in research cruise to Andros Island, Bahamas, to study historic coral-reef die-offs

Dr. Lauren Toth (Research Oceanographer, SPMSC) will join researchers from Florida Atlantic University on a cruise on Florida Institute of Oceanography's new research vessel the R/V Hogarth to study the reefs of Andros Island, Bahamas, from May 9th–16th, 2018. Like many coral reefs in the western Atlantic, the offshore reefs of the Andros Barrier Reef system, located in the northeastern Bahamas, have experienced a multiple of mass mortality events in recent decades as a result of high-temperature stress (see Coral Bleaching). These mortality events have had particularly severe impacts on the populations of the two most common reef-building species, the boulder star coral (Orbicella species) and the elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata). As both species are now listed under the U.S. Endangered Species act, it is critical that scientists better understand the drivers of their population declines. By quantifying the timing and extent of past coral mortality on the Andros Barrier Reef system, researchers will gain insights into the drivers of coral mortality and determine whether recent declines have a historic precedent.

posted: 2018-04-19

USGS scientist invited to speak at Florida A&M University's School of the Environment

Dawn Goldsmith, SPCMSC Molecular Biologist, will give an invited talk at the School of the Environment of Florida A&M University entitled "Microbiomes of two cold-water corals: Primnoa resedaeformis and Primnoa pacifica." The talk will describe Dr. Goldsmith's work in the coral microbial ecology lab of Dr. Christina Kellogg to catalog the microbiomes of these species. This research is part of an effort to provide a benchmark against which future changes in cold-water coral ecosystems can be measured. Dr. Goldsmith will also speak separately with students who are interested in discussing graduate school or career paths. The talk will be part of the Dr. Rana Athar Memorial Lecture Series and will occur at FAMU in Tallahassee on April 6, 2018.

posted: 2018-04-05

USGS researcher invited to brief Representative Ben Diamond

Cheryl Hapke will meet with Florida State Representative Ben Diamond on Friday, March 30, in his District office in St. Petersburg to brief him on the Florida Coastal Mapping Program. Representative Diamond learned of the Florida Coastal Mapping Program through the Innovation District in St Petersburg. As a follow-up and to find out more details on the FCMaP, the State Representative for District 68 requested a meeting with Hapke, a co-chair of the program, to provide a briefing about the program and its objectives. The Florida Coastal Mapping Program is a committed effort of 4 federal and 4 State agencies working together to coordinate coastal seafloor mapping and to develop a strategy to map all of Florida's coastal seafloor from the shore to the shelf break in the next decade.

posted: 2018-03-29

USGS Scientists participate in Gulf of Mexico Habitat Monitoring and Mapping User Workshop and Mapping Summit

Cheryl Hapke (SPCMSC Research Geologist and Florida Coastal Mapping Program Coordinator) and Xan Fredericks (Coastal and Marine Geology Program Lidar Coordinator) will participate in the Gulf of Mexico Habitat Monitoring and Mapping User Workshop and Mapping Summit at the NOAA Disaster Response Center in Mobile, Alabama, April 3–5, 2018. Hosted by the Gulf Ecosystem Restoration Council Monitoring and Assessment Program (CMAP) and the Gulf of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) Data and Monitoring Priority Issues Team, the Workshop and Summit aims to coordinate with regional stakeholders to continue gathering Gulf-wide information on existing baseline assessments, monitoring and mapping efforts, and monitoring and mapping standards, while also identifying gaps, beginning prioritization, and identifying strategies for implementing GOMA's Master Mapping Plan.

posted: 2018-03-29

USGS Scientist Attends Oceanology International as part of Xprize Delegation

Christina Kellogg (SPCMSC Research Microbiologist) will attend Oceanology International in London, England, March 13–15, in her capacity as a judge for the Shell Ocean Discovery Xprize. Xprize will announce which teams are advancing to the final round of the competition as part of several sessions at the conference featuring deep-sea technology and ocean Xprize competitions. The advancing teams will share a $1-million milestone award. The Shell Ocean Discovery Xprize is an international competition intended to incentivize development of higher resolution and less expensive methods of autonomous deep-sea mapping. Oceanology International offers the world's leading forum where industry, academia and government share knowledge and connect with ocean technology and marine science communities.

posted: 2018-03-02

CMGP Lidar Coordinator selected to serve as USGS Federal Point of Contact/Coordinator for 3D Nation Elevation Requirements and Benefits Study

Xan Fredericks, Lidar Coordinator for the Coastal and Marine Geology Program and Chair of the USGS Lidar Points of Contact Working Group, was selected by the USGS National Geospatial Program to serve as the USGS Federal Point of Contact for the national 3D Nation Elevation Requirements and Benefits Study, coordinating survey nominations across Mission Areas and Regions and compiling USGS responses.

Kicked off in late 2017, the 3D Nation Study will document and refine the requirements and benefits of the wide range of mission critical needs that depend on 3D elevation data to inform policy, regulation, scientific research, and management decisions. Such mission critical needs include flood risk management, infrastructure management, natural resources conservation, intermodal freight movement, safe maritime shipping and congestion avoidance, and updating nautical charts, among others. The 3D Nation Study builds on the original National Enhanced Elevation Assessment, which was key to informing the design of the 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) to respond to the rapidly growing need for high-quality elevation data to represent the land surface. The new study will provide the ability to assess new acquisition technologies against user requirements and identify the tradeoffs between different approaches while simultaneously helping plan for the next round of 3DEP after nationwide coverage has been completed. Importantly, the study adds our inland rivers, oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes to the equation.

posted: 2018-03-02

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

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