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Western Region CMG Scientists Host Science Journalists at Marine Facility

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Mike Boyle shows sidescan-sonar fish
Mike Boyle, right, shows journalists a sidescan-sonar fish. Computer equipment behind the fish was used to display sidescan images from Lake Washington and Glacier Bay.
Last month, CMG scientists held a miniature open house at the USGS Marine Facility (Marfac) in Redwood City, California, for 30-plus science journalists.

The journalists had come from all over the country to cover the Annual Fall Meeting of AGU (December 13-17) in San Francisco. During an AGU-sponsored field trip to the USGS on Sunday, December 12, the journalists were treated to:

  • a trip on San Francisco Bay aboard WRD's 96-ft R/V Polaris, and

  • a behind-the-scenes look at marine research equipment housed at Marfac.

Original plans for the event—conceived and organized by Western Region Public Affairs Officer Pat Jorgenson—called only for the trip aboard the Polaris. But so many journalists signed up that Pat had to plan two boat trips, with half the journalists on the Polaris and half waiting their turn at Marfac.

Brian Edwards discusses CMG sediment studies in Monterey Bay
Brian Edwards, left, and a visiting journalist discuss CMG's sediment studies in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
The ready-made audience was more than CMG could resist, and so began a scramble to pull together a mini-open house on short notice. Helen Gibbons and Terry Bruns drew up plans; Helen, Carolyn Degnan, Carol Reiss, Chris Gutmacher, and Sue Hunt set up display areas at Marfac; and half a dozen CMG scientists gathered equipment, records, cores, and posters to display. The result was highly successful.

Mike Boyle displayed a Klein 2000 sidescan-sonar system, showing the journalists the sidescan fish and digital sidescan records collected from Lake Washington (Seattle) and Glacier Bay (Alaska). The journalists—and Bob Hirsch, USGS Chief Hydrologist in town for AGU and on hand for the Polaris trip—were particularly impressed with images of plane and boat wrecks in Lake Washington, and Mike filled numerous requests for printed images of the wrecks. Paul Carlson exhibited a multibeam bathymetric map of central San Francisco Bay, complete with a large stereo image and 3-D glasses to help visitors view it.

Brian Edwards showed results from coring Monterey Bay sediment and also interested journalists in his work on saltwater intrusion in Southern California aquifers. Larry Phillips displayed cores from the Arctic Ocean and pointed out evidence they contain for climate cycles. Hank Chezar commented on a variety of camera sleds and ran underwater video footage.

Chris Sherwood shows tripods
Chris Sherwood, center, shows visiting journalists where tripods will be placed off Southern California in January 2000.
Chris Sherwood showed journalists a tripod with attached instruments (current meter, turbidity sensors, cameras) that is being rigged at Marfac for upcoming field work. The tripods will be deployed from the Scripps R/V Sproul to gather data for CMG studies of sediment and pollutant transport on the continental shelf off Los Angeles. Terry Bruns and Sue Hunt were on hand to answer general questions about the CMG Program and the Marine Facility. Handouts for the journalists included fact sheets, postcards, educational posters and booklets, and small samples of rocks dredged from Gorda Ridge off northern California.

The mini-open house gave CMG scientists an opportunity for one-on-one interactions with some of the best science writers in the nation, who later offered Pat Jorgenson many glowing comments about the event.

Related Web Sites
Western Region Coastal & Marine Geology
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

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in this issue: Fieldwork cover story:
Hudson Valley Shelf

Research CMG/WRD Co-op

Outreach Marine Facility Hosts Science Journalists

Co-op Research Open House

GIS Day '99

Meetings GD Managers Visit St. Pete

Staff & Center News WHFC Visitors

WHFC Arrivals

Publications January Publications List

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Updated December 02, 2016 @ 12:09 PM (THF)