USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program
Recent News - stories from the last 14 days.
From April 5–7, Nathaniel Plant (Research Oceanographer, SPCMSC) will attend the final meeting of a 12-country coastal hazard project called Risc-Kit in Delft, The Netherlands, to review project results and present a U.S. perspective on coastal hazard research and applications. USGS and the international community help protect coastal infrastructure, economies, and ecosystems. Specifically, the Netherlands looks to USGS for data sets on storm impacts, and many aspects of the Risc-Kit project are modeled on the USGS coastal change assessments. Lessons learned by Risc-Kit and USGS projects are mutually beneficial to understanding and responding to coastal hazards.
Xan Fredericks, Lidar Coordinator for the Coastal and Marine Geology Program, won the 2017 American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS) National Election for GIS Division Assistant Director (https://www.asprs.org/general/asprs-annual-election-results.html). She will serve as GISD Assistant Director for two years and then move up to the Director position for two more years. Founded in 1934, the ASPRS is a scientific association serving over 7,000 professional members around the world with a mission to advance knowledge and improve understanding of mapping sciences, and to promote the responsible applications of photogrammetry, remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS), and supporting technologies.
USGS researcher Dale Griffin (Environmental and Public Health Microbiologist, SPCMSC), in partnership with the USEPA Office of Homeland Security, has published a new project webpage, “Joint USGS/USEPA Pathogens in Soils Geographic Information Systems Project,” featuring an interactive web mapping application. This application, created by Steven Douglas (Researcher, SPCMSC), helps researchers determine background concentrations of select pathogens in soils of the contiguous U.S. and the influences of geochemistry, weather and climate on these pathogen populations. The application will be used to display future predictive geospatial modeling and research results.
USGS Research Marine Biologist Ilsa Kuffner (SPCMSC) was quoted in a March 15, 2017 article of Inside Climate News. The author of the new article asked Kuffner to comment upon the results of a study published in Nature this week about the connection between ocean-heat stress and coral bleaching on the Australian Great Barrier Reef. The new study found that 2016 coral bleaching intensity was almost entirely explained by the amount heat-stress and not by reef-management status, water quality, or bleaching history. Kuffner explained that the study provides further evidence that the primary agents of coral mortality, mainly bleaching and coral disease, do not have to be the same as those preventing reef recovery. It is to the process of reef recovery that secondary stressors—like poor water quality and overfishing—are important.
USGS Research Marine Biologist Ilsa Kuffner (SPCMSC), Research Ecologist Caroline Rogers (Caribbean Field Station), Research Oceanographer Lauren Toth (SPCMSC), and eleven other colleagues from around the world will meet to discuss and analyze existing datasets on coral reef status in concert with remotely sensed physical oceanographic data at the John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis. The working group’s goal is to uncover the geographic, biological, ecological, and physical features that characterize coral reef “oases” which have maintained populations of corals against a background of reef ecosystem degradation. For this second and final meeting of the working group, members will finish one manuscript and conduct analyses for a second that will assess the physical, biological, and oceanographic settings where areas qualifying as “reef oases” presently exist.