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News Archive

News Archive - stories from April 2014.

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

Map showing Barnegat Bay areaUSGS scientists conduct fieldwork in Barnegat Bay, NJ, as part of Hurricane Sandy Response

As part of the Estuarine Physical Response Project, a Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief funded project, Christopher Smith, Marci Marot, and Alisha Ellis from USGS will be traveling to Barnegat Bay, NJ from 5/10–5/22. The field work in Barnegat Bay will focus on the collection of nine box cores in order to evaluate depositional/erosional patterns over the last 100 years. These longer term perspectives will provide context for the impact that high magnitude events, such as Hurricane Sandy, have on estuarine systems, and the estuarine systems' role as a source/sink of coastal sediments.

posted: 2014-05-01

Image of (from left to right) William Ow, Bob Rosenbauer, Jane Reid, and Congressman Sam FarrCongressman Sam Farr Drops by USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California; Recognizes LEED Certification of Building

Congressman Sam Farr (D-CA, 20th District) visited the USGS office on April 24. Farr was in Santa Cruz for the opening of his show of personal photographs that are on display at the R. Blitzer Gallery, the same gallery where the USGS Earth-Science-Art exhibit was shown in 2012. The USGS office and gallery are housed in the same building, owned by Ow Properties. William Ow took the opportunity to bring Farr, Donna Blitzer (Director of Government Relations, University of California, Santa Cruz), and Carina Chavez (with Farr's local office) to the USGS so they could be present when Ow shared framed acknowledgements of the building's LEED Gold Award ( with USGS Science Center leaders. The LEED award is on display in the USGS office. For more information, contact Jane Reid,, 831-460-7402.posted: 2014-04-28

Map showing high-resolution bathymetry of the seafloor surrounding the Skagit Delta. These data, along with underwater video, photographs, and dive surveys, allow classifications of habitats to be made to quantify the distribution of habitats and marine resources.USGS and Skagit Climate Science Consortium Provide Outreach on Western Washington Coastal Climate Change

On April 24, USGS scientists and members of the Skagit Climate Science Consortium held an Open House in Mt. Vernon, WA, on climate change impacts to Western Washington and the Skagit River Watershed. Federal, tribal, state, county and municipal elected officials, public works staff and planners, and community members attended. Presentations and a poster forum updated projections on how climate change will impact coastal communities, agriculture, infrastructure, ecosystems, and restoration goals for salmon recovery. This information will help the region's communities, planners, and the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) understand how flood hazards from rivers and sea-level rise are likely to influence the USACE Skagit General Flood Investigation and preferred alternatives for Skagit River Flood Hazard Mitigation. For more information and copies of the presentations visit or contact Eric Grossman,, 831-234-4674.posted: 2014-04-24

Photo showing a calcification stationCREST team continues calcification monitoring efforts in Florida Keys

From 4/28–5/9, a team led by Ilsa Kuffner (USGS-Research Ecologist) will be visiting the USGS calcification monitoring network stations at Biscayne National Park (NP), Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (Sombrero Sanctuary Preservation Area (SPA) and Crocker Reef), and Dry Tortugas NP, as a continuation of the semi-annual monitoring effort for the Coral Reef Ecosystem Studies (CREST) project. Additional field staff from the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center include Jennifer Morrison and BJ Reynolds.

posted: 2014-04-23

Photo of overwash damage on Majuro. Photo by UH-SeaGrant.Briefing for U.S. Ambassador in Republic of the Marshall Islands on Sea-Level Rise and Climate Change Impacts on Pacific Island Atolls

USGS research geologist Curt Storlazzi will brief Ambassador Armbruster and his staff at the U.S. Embassy on Majuro in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) on May 8-9, 2014. Storlazzi will explain the project he leads, “The Impact of Sea-Level Rise and Climate Change on Department of Defense Installations on Atolls in the Pacific Ocean,” as well as other USGS efforts to understand climate-change and sea-level-rise impacts on atolls. RMI consists mainly of low-lying atolls already threatened by sea-level rise and changing climate. In March 2014, a combination of unusually high tides and waves flooded the capital for the third time in a year and led RMI’s president to declare a state of emergency. For more information, contact Curt Storlazzi, 831-460-7521.posted: 2014-04-18

Map of Florida Keys showing lidar study areaCMGP lidar surveys conducted out of St. Petersburg

On April 10, Wayne Wright (USGS-Salisbury, MD) flew into Albert Whitted Airport in St. Petersburg, Fla. to conduct Lidar surveys around South Florida for approximately two weeks for the Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP). The primary objective of these flights is to coordinate with USGS field staff to conduct bathymetric calibration experiments with the new EAARL-B Lidar. Two USGS Principal Investigators are involved. Dave Zawada is leading field excursions for ground truthing of Lidar at Egmont Key (Tampa Bay) and N. Miami Beach, Fla. Both beach profiles and sonar-based bathymetry data within the areas covered by the Lidar flights will be collected. The CREST (Coral Reef Ecosystem Studies) study site at Crocker Reef near Islamorada, Fla. is also a potential field target. If conditions permit, Nathaniel Plant will divert the Lidar to survey a region from the shoreline to offshore including nearshore shoals at Cape Canaveral, Fla. The objective for this Air Force funded project is to describe how bathymetry has changed and how these changes affect sediment budgets. A large number of USGS staff are involved with the field operations. They include: Owen Brenner, Jerry Butcher, Jake Fredericks, Kyle Kelso, Christine Kranenburg, Karen Morgan, Tim Nelson, BJ Reynolds, Dave Thompson, Lance Thornton, Rudy Troche, Dana Wiese, and Phil Thompson (retired). For more detailed information on Wayne’s schedule, please contact Emily Klipp.

posted: 2014-04-17

College of Staten Island, Staten Island, New YorkUSGS Scientist attends workshop on Elevation Database Applications

On April 22–23, Joe Long will be attending a workshop held by the USGS Coastal National Elevation Database Applications (CoNED) Project team and the College of Staten Island, intending to bring together storm surge modelers with the coastal elevation mapping community. The workshop is intended to foster information exchange and collaboration between lidar experts, hydrographers, geographers, and the storm-surge monitoring and modeling community.

posted: 2014-04-17

Abby Sallenger surveying damage from Hurricane Dennis in 1999"Sallenger Nearshore Legacy" meeting in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

From April 30 to May 2, six researchers from the USGS will attend a meeting on Nearshore Process Research subtitled: "Reflections on the Sallenger Years and New Visions for the Future." The meeting has three purposes:

  • To celebrate the memories and contributions of Abby Sallenger over the past three decades,
  • To establish a vision for the future of nearshore science for the next decade and beyond, and
  • To contribute to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers development of a strategic plan for their Field Research Facility.

Attending from the USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center are P. Soupy Dalyander, Cheryl Hapke, Joseph Long, Jenifer Miselis, Nathaniel Plant, and Hilary Stockdon. Nathaniel Plant is on the steering committee and will chair a session on the Future and Collaborations. Hilary Stockdon will present one of a series of agency-level talks about the USGS perspective on the next 10–20 years in nearshore science.

posted: 2014-04-03

Toxicology and Risk Assessment ConferenceUSGS microbiologist to speak on anthrax distribution at national toxicology conference

From April 7 – 10, USGS scientist Dale Griffin will attend the Toxicology and Risk Assessment Conference (TRAC) in Cincinnati, Ohio, sponsored by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) – National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Dale will speak on 4/9 about a joint USGS – USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) project to survey pathogenic bacteria in North American soils and will focus on the distribution and toxicology of Anthrax (Bacillus anthracis).

For more information on the TRAC conference, visit:

posted: 2014-04-03

Science for DecisionmakingCMGP Program Chief addresses nationwide All Hands Meeting from SPCMSC

On March 27, the Coastal and Marine Geology Program (CMGP) Coordinator John Haines held an “all-Program staff meeting” in St. Petersburg, Fla reaching staff across all major CMGP Centers (Menlo Park and Santa Cruz in Calif., Woods Hole, Mass. and St. Petersburg, Fla). Haines was in town for the annual Program Council meeting with Program leadership, including Susan Russell-Robinson, Ann Tihansky, and Center Directors; Dick Poore, Bob Rosenbauer, and Walter Barnhardt. Haines discussed funding trends and his vision for future CMGP priorities and directions. He announced the development of a new program plan that will involve key staff and feedback from across the Program to guide investments and staffing decisions for the next 10 years. The last major published plan, "Science for Decisionmaking," was prepared by the National Research Council.

To view the 1999 NRC report on the Coastal and Marine Geology Program, visit:

To see an example of the CMGP response to the NRC report, visit:

posted: 2014-04-03

Photo of Curt Storlazzi installing wave/tide gauge mounts on the reef flat off Roi-Namur. Photo by USGS-PCMSC.Continued Investigation of Sea-Level-Rise and Climate-Change Impacts on Pacific Ocean Atolls

USGS scientists from the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center will conduct fieldwork on Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands with collaborators from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) April 20-May 7, 2014. Scientists from NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) and Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research (CCFHR) will join the USGS researchers to gather data on bathymetry, topography, tides, waves, run-up, and the resulting wave-driven inundation of the atoll islands. The work is part of a project funded by the Department of Defense (DoD) to assess the impacts of sea-level rise and climate change on Pacific atolls that house DoD installations. The findings will also be useful to Pacific island nations already threatened by sea-level rise and changing climate. For more information, contact Curt Storlazzi,, 831-460-7521.posted: 2014-04-02

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