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News and Events Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center news, seafloor mapping, gas hydrates, seismic imaging

image of dr. laura brothers, usgs This Woman ROCKS! Many people spend years trying to find their “dream job,” but USGS Marine Geologist, Dr. Laura Brothers, is one of the lucky few who has already found hers.

What’s the most important advice Brothers has for young women thinking about pursuing a careerin science, technology, engineering, and/or math fields, known as STEM, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. “Find a mentor,” Brothers says. “It goes for anybody going into any field. Finding somebody that can lead you along and show you the ropes makes a big difference. It can be tough to envision yourself in a field, if you don’t look like most of the practicing professionals, particularly when you’re starting out.”

Read more about Dr. Laura Brothers on page 26 of Summer 2014 Newswave.

image of methane seeps from the upperslope of virginia Widespread methane seepage from the seafloor on the northern US Atlantic margin. Natural methane leakage from the seafloor is far more widespread on the U.S. Atlantic margin than previously thought, according to a study by researchers from Mississippi State University, the U.S. Geological Survey, and other institutions.

The study, Widespread methane leakage from the sea floor on the northern US Atlantic Margin, by A, Skarke, C. Ruppel, M, Kodis, D. Brothers and E. Lobecker in Nature Geoscience is available on line.

image of dr. rich signell, usgs  research oceanographer USGS Scientist Receives 2014 DeSouza Award. Dr. Richard Signell of the USGS has been awarded the 2014 Russell L. DeSouza Award by the Unidata Users Committee. The DeSouza Award honors “individuals whose energy, expertise, and active involvement enable the Unidata Program to better serve the geosciences.”

Read more about Dr. Rich Signell on page 20 of Summer 2014 Newswave.

image of coawst workshop participants New Approaches for Storm Forecasting Combining models for a more robust way of understanding storms and their impacts. The USGS Coastal and Marine Geology Program recently sponsored training for nearly 90 scientists from over 15 countries to learn about a new modeling system designed to improve our ability to predict storms and their impacts. The system, called Coupled- Ocean-Atmosphere-Wave- Sediment Transport (COAWST) Modeling System, couples together several open-source modeling components that have been tailored to investigate processes of the atmosphere, ocean, waves, and coastal environment.

Read more about COAWST Modeling System on page 23 of Summer 2014 Newswave.

image of location map and bottom photographs of the massachusetts seafloor from nahant to cape cod #StrongAfterSandy—The Science Supporting the Department of the Interior’s Response. Dr. Neil K. Ganju, Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center research oceanographer, speaks at Congressional Briefing.

Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 devastated some of the most densely populated areas of the Atlantic Coast. The storm claimed lives, altered natural lands and wildlife habitat, and caused millions of dollars in property damage. Hurricane Sandy is a stark reminder of our Nation's need to better protect people and communities from future storms. To inform the Department of the Interior's recovery efforts, the U.S. Geological Survey, National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are collectively developing and applying science to build resilient coastal communities that can better withstand and prepare for catastrophic storms of the future.

Read more about the Congressional Briefing Series

image of location map and bottom photographs of the massachusetts seafloor from nahant to cape cod New Maps of the Massachusetts Seafloor. The U.S. Geological Survey and the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) have worked collaboratively to map the geology of the shallow seafloor offshore of Massachusetts coast. Interpretation of high-resolution geophysical data (interferometric and multibeam swath bathymetry, lidar, backscatter, and seismic reflection), sediment samples, and bottom photographs were used to produce a series of maps that describe the distribution and texture of seafloor sediments, shallow geologic framework, and physiographic zones of this inner-shelf region.

The link to the first CZM interpretive report, Shallow Geology, Seafloor Texture, and Physiographic Zones of the Inner Continental Shelf from Nahant to Northern Cape Cod Bay, Massachusetts, is available at

seismic survey sites conducted on the research vessel pelican in april and may 2013 Seismic-Imaging Research Cruise Investigates Deepwater Gas Hydrate Deposits in the Gulf of Mexico. Interest is mounting in the possibility that gas hydrate—a naturally occurring ice-like substance that contains vast quantities of methane—might be a viable source of natural gas. A research cruise by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Gas Hydrates Project in the northern Gulf of Mexico in spring 2013 shed new light on that possibility. Read more in Sound Waves
CEVI for the coast of the northern gulf of mexico Understanding and Predicting Change in the Coastal Ecosystems of the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Special Issue, 63, of the Journal of Coastal Research, Understanding and Predicting Change in the Coastal Ecosystems of the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Read more in the Journal of Coastal Reseach Special Edition
image of u.s. continental shelf project team State Department Recognizes U.S. Extended Continental Shelf Project Team's Accomplishments with Superior Honors. On April 4, 2013, the Department of State (DOS) presented Superior Honor Awards to the Senior agency representatives and the Integrated Regional Team leads working on the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf Project. The Interior Department, through USGS, contributes to the accomplishments of this team. Read more in NewsWave
Research Vessel David Folger Middlebury College Research Vessel Named for Retired USGS Scientist. In the marine research community, one of the greatest honors is to have a research vessel named for you. Such is the distinction bestowed on retired U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientist Dave Folger. The research vessel (R/V) David Folger, a 48-foot hydrofoil catamaran, is the newly dedicated research vessel for Middlebury College in Vermont. It will explore the waters of Lake Champlain while offering a state-of-the-art oceanographic platform for undergraduate students to learn the basics of marine research. Read more in Sound Waves
landsat image of the largest ice cap in europe A Cold Look at Planet Earth. The recently published State of the Earth's Cryosphere at the Beginning of the 21st Century summarizes past and present-day changes in the Earth's cryosphere (the whole of its frozen water) and describes the ongoing and potential effects of those changes. Extensively illustrated in print and connected to a companion online image gallery, this volume supplies a synthesis for 10 other geographically-based volumes in the 11-volume Satellite Image Atlas of Glaciers of the World. Read more at
photograph of international team studying gas hydrates Groundbreaking Gas Hydrate Research. A new project in Japan is helping scientists make significant progress in studying gas hydrates as a potential source for natural gas production. This research advances understanding of the global distribution of gas hydrates as well as whether and how methane contained in gas hydrates can be used as a viable energy source. Read more at
image of an icebreaker Arctic Expedition Reaches 88.5 Degrees North Latitude. The United States and Canada joined forces once again to survey the seafloor in remote and ice-covered regions of the Arctic Ocean. The two-icebreaker expedition was the last of four joint cruises designed to collect data that each country will use to define its "extended continental shelf"—the area beyond 200 nautical miles (nm) from shore where a nation has sovereign rights over resources on and beneath the seafloor according to the Law of the Sea Convention. (Visit to learn more.) Read more in Sound Waves
mapsheet of submarine canyons incising the seaward margin of georges bank U.S. and Canadian Geologists Collaborate in Mapping the Georges Bank Seabed. A series of maps showing the seabed topography of the Canadian portion of relatively shallow Georges Bank and the deeper Fundian and Northeast Channels has been compiled by geologists Brian Todd and John Shaw of the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) and Page Valentine of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Read more in Sound Waves
image of native youth in science participants, tribal members and usgs staff Native Youth in Science—Preserving Our Homelands. The Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe partnered with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center (WHCMSC) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, to develop and deliver a summer science pilot program for Mashpee Wampanoag tribal youth in grades 6, 7, and 8. Read more in Sound Waves
image of rob thieler What's next after Superstorm Sandy? (CNN) -- Superstorm Sandy has taken a tragic toll on the residents of the mid-Atlantic's barrier islands. All along the coast, hundreds of homes were lost, and thousands of people still have no power after Sandy wreaked havoc. The impact is not unlike many other destructive recent storms in the United States, such as Ivan, Katrina and Ike. So what can be done? Read more at
image of usgs staff Warming climate presents grave risk of greenhouse gas release in Arctic. Deep beneath the frozen Arctic are deposits of methane. Lots of methane. And there's even more on the sea floor. As the environment warms, these deposits are being released into the atmosphere, presenting grave risks of runaway warming. Read more at
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This page last modified on Monday, 24-Nov-2014 12:44:39 EST