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USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program

News Archive

News Archive - stories from May 2013.

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

SPCMSC Coastal Scientist Invited Panelist at AAPG/SEPM Special Session on Hurricane Sandy

On May 21, SPCMSC Geologist Cheryl Hapke will speak at the combined annual meeting of the American Association of Petroleum Geology (AAPG) / Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM) in Pittsburgh, PA. Cheryl is one of three invited panelists for a Special Session on Hurricane Sandy and Our Vulnerable Developed Coastlines. Cheryl recently returned from a 75-day detail to the Hurricane Sandy Joint Field Office (JFO) in Queens, NY. Cheryl was appointed as a Subject Matter Expert (SME) on coastal change to the Natural and Cultural Resources (NCR) group. The NCR is one of six Recovery Support Functions (RSF) specified in the new Natural Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) implemented in 2011. The Department of Interior (DOI) is assigned responsibility as the coordinating agency for NCR RSF, and Cheryl became the lead field coordinator of the NCR Recovery Support Function because of her continued presence and familiarity with New York State and local stakeholders and regional federal partners. Cheryl led the transition from the response-phase Beach Infrastructure Task Force to formulation of the recovery-phase Coastal Resiliency Task Force. Cheryl initiated the publication of Coastal Resiliency Fact-Sheets, based loosely on USGS fact sheets, which have been adopted by many other RSF efforts.

For more information on the AAPG/SEPM Special Session, please see

posted: 2013-05-23

SPCMSC Researcher Invited to become a Member of the Advisory Board for the Ocean Acidification- International Coordination Centre (OA - ICC)

On May 14, 2013, Dr. Lisa Robbins SPCMSC (St Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center) participated in the first Advisory Board meeting of the Ocean Acidification - International Coordination Centre (OA-ICC) held at the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Environmental Lab in Monaco. Dr. Robbins was invited to become a founding Member of the Advisory Board for the Ocean Acidification - International Coordination Centre. This Centre, located in Monaco, was launched to aid communicating, promoting and facilitating global actions on ocean acidification. The Advisory Board has representatives from the SOLAS-IMBER (Surface Ocean-Lower Atmosphere Study - Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research) Ocean Acidification Working Group (of which Robbins is a member). Representatives of other major OA programs and projects around the world on the advisory board include IMBER, SOLAS, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), IAEA, UK Ocean Acidification Programme, MedSeA Project (European Mediterranean Sea Acidification in a changing climate) to name a few. Representatives from other international organizations include UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme), World Bank, IOC-UNESCO (International Oceanographic Commission - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), EC-JRC (European Commission - Joint Research Centre) among others. Government and foundations include the Prince Albert I Foundation, NOAA, and the Monaco Foreign Affairs Department. Dr. Robbins is the lead on the task for Capacity Building for Ocean Acidification scientific research in developing nations. In the coming year, two OA capacity building workshops are being planned; one in Chile and a second in the Caribbean.

posted: 2013-05-23

SPCMSC Researchers invited to Expert Panel Workshop on the Role of Subsidence in Coastal Louisiana

On May 13, 2013, SPCMSC staff Jack Kindinger, Jim Flocks, and Julie Bernier participated in a workshop on the role of subsidence for Louisiana Coastal Restoration and Protection Planning hosted by The Water Institute of the Gulf (TWIG) in Baton Rouge, LA. Participating via Webinar, the SPCMSC scientists were invited to present an overview of SPCMSC's past, current, and potential subsidence research. The Panel was tasked by the State of Louisiana's Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) to address current data gaps in coastal subsidence knowledge. The objectives of the workshop were to foster technical discussion on primary processes driving subsidence, to describe technical issues associated with the various measurement methodologies, to identify existing data sources, and to make recommendations to the CPRA committee.

posted: 2013-05-16

SPSMSC staff continue Calcification Monitoring in the Keys

From May 13 – May 24, a field team led by SPCMSC scientist Ilsa Kuffner will continue research on coral growth involving several species in the Florida Keys.  The goal of the research is to better understand why rates of coral calcification and reef building are faster in the Dry Tortugas compared to the main Florida Keys reefs. The field trip will finish up the monitoring on one species and start monitoring a second.  SPCMSC staff also participating includes Jennifer Morrison, BJ Reynolds and Keith Ludwing.  The field crew will be staying aboard the M/V Ft. Jefferson, a National Park Service vessel chartered by the USGS for use by both Ilsa’s research team and Kristen Hart’s (SESC) research team.

posted: 2013-05-13

SPCMSC staff to establish Baseline Map for FY14 Coral Reef Project

From May 20 – May 25, SPCMSC Research Oceanographer Dave Zawada will lead a field expedition to the Florida Keys to map Crocker Reef, using the ATRIS imaging systems ( The imagery will be used to create a benthic-cover map of the site which will serve as a base layer for future data products to be generated during CREST-II a continuation of the Coral Reef Ecosystem Studies Project (

posted: 2013-05-13

Green Sea Turtles Benefiting from Protected Areas

On Monday, April 29, USGS put out a press release ( on research showing green sea turtles make use of habitats in Dry Tortugas National Park and nearby protected areas. The work, conducted by SESC biologist Dr. Kristen Hart, SPCMSC scientists Dr. Dave Zawada and Barbara Lidz, and a University of Florida colleague, was recently published in the journal Biological Conservation. Media calls so far include Mother Jones and Washington bureau of the Sun Sentinel/Orlando Sentinel. The release was picked up by a number science blogs such as Science Daily, PhyOrg, RedOrbit, Mother Nature News, Biology News Net. It was also run in Discovery News, the Summit County Citizen's Voice, and syndicated by LiveScience.

posted: 2013-05-03

SPCMSC interview with 10 News WTSP Tampa on Hurricane Research

On April 25, SPCMSC-Oceanographer Hilary Stockdon was interviewed by a team from Tampa's Channel 10 News for a special show they will be broadcasting for hurricane season. Mark Collins, a station forecast meteorologist, talked to Hilary about storm surge, waves, sand dunes, beach erosion, and USGS predictions, among other topics.  The TV crew recorded a lot of video of our USGS model runs and maps showing probabilities of coastal change. The show is expected to air on June 1, the first day of Hurricane season.

posted: 2013-05-02

SPCMSC hosts High School Charter Students

On April 30, 2013, a group of 35 junior and senior dual-enrollment high school students from The Villages Charter School, in Sumter County, Florida, visited the US Geological Survey and USF College of Marine Science. SPCMSC staff member Theresa Burress introduced them to the U.S. Geological Survey and the diverse array of ongoing scientific research at the St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center. Research geologist Jennifer Miselis led a tour of the Science Center. She explained how scientists use the sediment core laboratory and equipment, demonstrated by Julie Bernier, as they conduct field work and seek to advance their knowledge of coastal geomorphology along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of the United States.

posted: 2013-05-02

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