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News Archive

News Archive - stories from February 2017.

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

Screenshot of Patrick on the CBS5 KPIX news on February 14, 2017.Widespread media coverage of USGS-led study on 2015-16 El Niño

A study by USGS geologist Patrick Barnard and colleagues triggered a flurry of media coverage when it appeared February 14 in Nature Communications. The study documents unprecedented coastal erosion along the U.S. West Coast during the 2015-16 El Niño. Barnard appeared on CBS5 News (KPIX-TV) from Capitola Beach on February 14. He spoke on National Public Radio on KQED’s Forum program on February 17 and WBUR’s Here and Now on February 22. Radio station KCBS (San Francisco) interviewed USGS oceanographer and co-author Dan Hoover on February 16. Stories appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Examiner, the Los Angeles Times, the News Tribune (Tacoma, Washington), the Orlando Sentinel (Florida), Popular Science, Discover, and numerous additional outlets in the U.S. (including Chinese- and Spanish-language sites) and overseas (France, UK, Australia, Germany, South Africa). Contact: Patrick Barnard,, 831-460-7556posted: 2017-02-24

USGS Researcher Co-Chairs Coral Microbiome Session

SPCMSC Research Microbiologist Christina Kellogg will attend the ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii, Feb. 26–Mar 3, 2017, to co-chair a coral microbiome session. She will give two talks: one about deep-sea coral microbiomes and one about careers with the USGS (

posted: 2017-02-23

Photograph of acting deputy center director of the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center.Nadine Golden is Acting Deputy Director of Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center

Director Guy Gelfenbaum of the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (PCMSC) in Santa Cruz, California, announced on February 16 that Nadine Golden will be the Center’s Acting Deputy Director. Golden has an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Masters in Geography from San Francisco State University. She has been with PCMSC since 2004 and played a major role in GIS analysis, accuracy assessment, metadata, data management, and archives for the California Seafloor Mapping Program (CSMP) and Marine Geomorphology, Evolution, and Habitats project. Golden has helped lead PCMSC’s data management group and has facilitated Center scientists’ access to and use of ScienceBase to meet data publishing requirements. Her history of helping PCMSC accomplish its science goals makes her a valuable addition to the Center management team. Contact: Guy Gelfenbaum,, 831-460-7401posted: 2017-02-22

Screenshot from 360-degree video shot December 16, 2016, during a king tide at Malibu Broad Beach in Southern California.USGS scientist provides a glimpse of future sea levels in Southern California

Work by USGS oceanographer Juliette Finzi Hart is featured in an Orange County Register article published February 14, “How scientists are using virtual reality to show people effects of global warming”. Finzi Hart played a major role in creating virtual-reality viewers to help visitors envision the effects of sea-level rise and storms on Santa Monica beach. She is using a device on loan from Google to create 360-degree videos of flooding by extreme high tides (“king tides”) in various parts of Southern California. Available on YouTube, the videos enable viewers to see the kind of flooding likely to occur as sea level continues to rise. On February 24, Finzi Hart will present her work to the region’s South Bay Cities Council of Governments. Contact: Juliette Finzi Hart,, 831-460-7522posted: 2017-02-22

USGS Scientists travel to Pacific Panama to study the impacts of climate on coral reefs

SCMSC Research Oceanographer Lauren Toth will leave this week for the first part of a bi-annual research expedition to study the coral reefs of Pacific Panama. On this trip, Toth will visit the Gulf of Chiriqui, a region that experienced severe coral bleaching and mortality in response to the 2015–16 El Niňo event. With the help of graduate students and academic collaborators Toth will re-survey a network of oceanographic and ecological monitoring stations designed to measure the long-term response of the reefs to this climatic disturbance.

posted: 2017-02-15

Large storm waves crashing on the rocks near Santa Cruz, California. Photo by Christie Hegermiller, USGSUSGS News Release: Severe West Coast Erosion During 2015-16 El Niño

Release Date: FEBRUARY 14, 2017
In a study released today, U.S. Geological Survey scientists and their colleagues document how the 2015-16 winter featured one of the most powerful El NiƱo climate events of the last 145 years.

Read the February 14, 2017 USGS News Release.

posted: 2017-02-14

Illustration showing seafloor habitat areas developed from various sources.USGS scientist describes techniques for mapping coral reefs

USGS geologist Curt Storlazzi explains how the USGS uses multiple techniques to map coral reefs in “Mapping Methods Prove Helpful in Protecting Coral Reefs,” published February 10, 2017, in POB. Storlazzi leads the USGS Pacific Coral Reefs project. POB, for “Point of Beginning,” a surveyor’s term, is a newsletter for professional surveyors and mappers.

Contact: Curt Storlazzi,, 831-460-7521.

posted: 2017-02-13

USGS Lidar Coordinator to attend International LiDAR Mapping Forum 2017

Xan Fredericks, Lidar Coordinator for the Coastal and Marine Geology Program, will attend the International LiDAR Mapping Forum (ILMF) 2017 conference in Denver, CO, February 13th–15th. ILMF ( is a technical conference and exhibition showcasing the latest airborne, terrestrial, and underwater lidar, as well as emerging remote-sensing and data collection tools and technologies. With special emphasis on data acquisition, fusion, integration, processing, and visualization, ILMF is especially useful for Asset Management, Civil Infrastructure, Coastal Zone Mapping, Emergency Services & Disaster Response, Land and Natural Resource Management, and Urban Modeling applications.

posted: 2017-02-01

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