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News Archive - stories from February 2013.

For information about a story, contact Ann Tihansky (202) 208-3342.

SPCMSC Scientist Participates in Bureau Hazard Communication Workshop

From Feb 18 – 21, a workshop was conducted at the Southern California field seismology office in Pasadena, CA for the USGS Science Application for Risk Reduction (SAFRR) project. The project’s goals are to identify methods to implement the communication objectives outlined in the Natural Hazards Strategic Science Plan (SSP) ( and to define the elements and structure of the SAFRR project that could support this implementation.  Twelve scientists including representatives from USGS coastal, earthquake, landslide, tsunami, volcano, flood, and geomagnetic hazards attended.  Outcomes of the meeting were some top-down recommendations that would provide improved technical and staffing support for this effort and some bottom-up actions and strategies for reaching the SSP objectives.  Nathaniel Plant attended this meeting and represented coastal hazard issues.

For more information about the SAFFR project, please see:

posted: 2013-02-27

Australian Coastal Erosion Specialist Visits SPCMSC

For the week of February 25th, Dr. Kristen Splinter from the University of New South Wales, Australia, will be visiting the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center to work with Dr. Joseph Long (SPCMSC-Oceanographer) on forecasting shoreline evolution on Australian and U.S. coastlines.  The primary goal is to implement recently published data assimilation tools developed by the USGS (Long and Plant 2012) into the shoreline model developed and used at the University of New South Wales (Splinter et al. 2012).  During her visit she will be giving a seminar on February 27th at 10:30am in the Normile Conference Room on “The development and application of a new empirical equilibrium shoreline model across multiple sites and minimum data collection requirements.”

For more information, please see:
Long, J.W. and N. G. Plant (2012). “Extended Kalman Filter framework for forecasting shoreline evolution.” Geophysical Research Letters 39(13): L13603

Splinter, K.D, M.A. Davidson, et. al. (2012) “Climate controls on longshore sediment transport.” Continental Shelf Research 48: 146-156.

posted: 2013-02-27

SPCMSC Coastal Geologist leaving on 60-day Detail to develop Post-Sandy Guidance

On Friday, Feb. 9th, SPCMSC geologist Cheryl Hapke left to do a two-month detail working with FEMA and other Federal, State, and Local agencies to develop guidance for post-Hurricane Sandy recovery. Cheryl will serve as the coastal processes subject expert working out of the FEMA Joint Field Office in Queens, NY.

posted: 2013-02-14

SPCMSC Research Effort mentioned in International Periodical

In the Feb 9th edition of the international magazine, The Economist, the article entitled “Global warming may make the northernmost ocean less productive, not more so", the USGS Arctic Ocean Acidification project was mentioned discussing the rising acid levels in the Arctic Ocean and its ramifications to organism health and the foodweb. The article can be found at:

posted: 2013-02-14

Senior St Petersburg Oceanographer passes away at 63

On Wed., February 6, the USGS St. Petersburg Center received news that senior oceanographer Asbury (Abby) Sallenger passed away at his home the previous evening.  Following are some remarks forwarded by CMGP chief, John Haines: “Abby's contributions to the USGS, to the Coastal and Marine Geology Program, and to many of us personally cannot be briefly captured. He was the architect of our Coastal Program, and his vision can still be seen in the structure, objectives, and values of that program. In building our program, he insisted that science comes first - while maintaining that the USGS has a unique responsibility to ensure our science makes a difference to issues of national importance. He relished that responsibility, and was our most effective advocate for the role of science, particularly USGS science, in addressing coastal issues.

Abby was an imaginative researcher and was engaged in his own research, and in the broader community, until the end. He was currently participating as an author of IPCC and USGCRP technical reports on sea-level rise and the vulnerability of coastal systems, and within the last year published important research on regional sea-level rise in Nature.

Some of Abby's legacy can be seen in our response to Hurricane Sandy - a response that has garnered substantial recognition for the USGS.  At the heart of our response to hurricanes you'll find Abby's vision, Abby's science, and Abby's leadership. He was a great friend and mentor to me personally, and he had an enduring impact on the USGS."

For more information, see:
New York Times


Tampa Bay Times

posted: 2013-02-07

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