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News Archive - stories from April 2013.

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

SPCSMC Post-Doc Presents Crisis Communication Research at IgniteTampa Forum

On Thursday, April 25, 2013 Sophia B Liu, Ph.D., Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow at the USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC), presented her research on crisis crowdsourcing, specifically on coastal hazard classification, at the 3rd Annual IgniteTampa ( held at the historic Tampa Theater in Tampa, Florida. Ignite talks have a strict fixed format: 5 minutes and 20 slides, that automatically advance every 15 seconds. Sophia recounts her personal experience using Twitter during a Colorado wildfire, the long history of crowdsourcing at the USGS with the "Did You Feel It?" earthquake website established in 1999; and her recent research work on the USGS Tweet Earthquake Dispatch system that can detect earthquakes in real-time by crowdharvesting Twitter data. For her Mendenhall research, Sophia is developing iCoast, a web application to ground truth and improve predicative coastal erosion models by utilizing the power of crowdsourcing to help classify thousands of coastal aerial photos acquired in response to Hurricane Sandy.

posted: 2013-04-25

SPCMSC Scientist invited participant to Joint GSA Penrose/ AGU Chapman Conference on Coastal Issues

From April 14 to 19, SPCMSC Oceanographer, Jack Kindinger participated with a select group of 80 coastal scientists in Galveston, Texas, for the Joint GSA/AGU Conference on Coastal Processes and Environments under Sea-Level Rise and Changing Climate: Science to Inform Management. The joint conference was convened to develop criteria to increase scientific and public awareness of the realities of global change and its impacts on coastal environments. There were four days of talks, posters, and a field trip describing: (1) short-term and long-term impacts of accelerated sea-level rise, (2) climatically induced alteration in sediment delivery to coasts, (3) increased frequency of severe storms, and (4) anthropogenic exacerbation of coastal change. On the fifth morning a panel led the small group of scientists in a discussion "Reaching Scientific Consensus and Conveying Science to Policy Makers". This discussion produced twenty-five basic knowledge points that will guide decision and policy makers.

posted: 2013-04-25

SPCMSC Staff participate in undersea research in deepwater canyons off the US East Coast

The USGS DISCOVRE (Diversity & Connectivity of Vulnerable Reef Ecosystems) team will take part in multiple cruise legs between April 30 and May 27 to investigate the biology and ecology of deepwater canyons off the eastern coast of the United States. This cruise will focus on Norfolk Canyon with some visits to Baltimore Canyon. Michael Gray (SPCMSC) will be examining the microbial associates of deep-sea corals and the microbial diversity present in soft sediments. He will also be retrieving a setting plate experiment that has been underwater since last August to look at the microbial biofilms that form on various substances (limestone, sandstone, steel), since those biofilms determine which macrofauna will later colonize rocky outcrops or shipwrecks. Other DISCOVRE scientists include Cheryl Morrison (Leetown Science Center), studying coral population genetics; Amanda Demopoulos (SESC), studying benthic ecology and foodwebs; and Nancy Prouty (Santa Cruz), studying paleoclimate using coral skeletons. The cruise will be a NOAA signature expedition and will have web coverage on the Ocean Explorer website. This work is conducted in cooperation with BOEM-funded contractors from a variety of academic institutions.

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posted: 2013-04-17

USGS staff participates in Climate Change Symposium for Educators

On April 22, Lisa Robbins and Theresa Burress will present a one-hour workshop to teachers on climate change science to the Coastal Areas Climate Change Education Partnership (CACCE) at Jefferson High School in Tampa, Fl. The workshop will provide an overview of current research underway at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center (SPCMSC), where scientists study various aspects of climate change such as creating climate histories using microfossils, coral reef calcification, and ocean acidification. USGS scientist Lisa Robbins will discuss her recent research expeditions to the Arctic Ocean where researchers collected ocean chemistry data and shared their experiences with students via an interactive web site and blog. The CACCE Symposium, funded by the National Science Foundation, will bring together hundreds of educators and secondary school teachers working in science institutions from the Tampa Bay area to facilitate discussions about innovative educational practices on climate change science.

posted: 2013-04-11

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