USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program
Recent News - stories from the last 14 days.
Scientists from the SPCMSC will conduct bathymetric surveys offshore of the Chenier Plain in western Louisiana in June and July, 2017. Using shallow-draft vessels, including two personal watercraft outfitted with bathymetric systems, the scientists will survey 230 km of the coastal zone with a 500-m by 1-km grid from the shoreline out to 4 km offshore. Data collected from the western part of the Chenier Plain will be compared to a similar survey conducted in 2006 to monitor change. The eastern portion of the Chenier Plain, including offshore of Marsh Island, has not been surveyed and in part is listed as "unsurveyed" on nautical charts. The study is being conducted in collaboration with the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) as part of the Barrier Island Comprehensive Monitoring Project and will include integrating the bathymetric data with elevation measurements of the Chenier Plain using lidar. Results will be published in Data Series and Open-File Reports, and will be included in the Louisiana Coastal Information Management System. The study will provide a baseline for future monitoring efforts and provide vital information for Louisiana's Coastal Master Plan.
Dr. Lauren Toth (Research Oceanographer, SPMSC) will be leading a 10-day reef-coring expedition to collect data on the Holocene history of reef development in Dry Tortugas National Park. USGS researchers have been studying the geology and ecology of coral reefs in Dry Tortugas National Park since the late 1960s, but there are important unanswered questions about the history of reef development in this region. In particular, it is unknown why elkhorn coral, which was historically dominant throughout the western Atlantic, was absent in the fossil record of the Dry Tortugas. Recently, however, SPCMSC CREST scientists Ilsa Kuffner (Research Marine Biologist) and Anastasios Stathakopoulos (Oceanographer) discovered extensive deposits of sub-fossil elkhorn on Pulaski Bank in the northeast part of the park. In mid-June, Toth and her team from SPMSC—Anastasios Stathakopoulos (Oceanographer), BJ Reynolds (Oceanographer & Dive Safety Officer), and Hunter Wilcox (Research Technician, CNT) will collect reef cores and additional samples of sub-fossil elkhorn from Pulaski Bank to better understand the history of elkhorn populations and their role in reef development in the region. The team will also be joined by Christina Kellogg (Research Microbiologist, SPCMC) who will be studying the meta-genome of coral reefs in the park.
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.
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.
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: http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/fire-island/.
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.