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Workshop on Effects of African and Asian Dust Transport Held in St. Petersburg

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"The Effects of Globally Transported African and Asian Dust on Coral Reefs and Human Health" was the focus of a conference hosted by USGS scientists in St. Petersburg, Florida, on August 14th and 15th. Over 50 participants from 14 institutions attended. Scientists from the USGS (Biological Resources, Geologic, and Water Resources Divisions), NASA, Centers for Disease Control, Florida Marine Research Institute, and nine universities gathered to hear presentations detailing new findings and to discuss future directions for studies. Academic institutions represented were California State University-Sonoma, Florida International University, McMasters University, Nova University, Ponce School of Medicine, University of Miami-RSMAS, University of South Carolina-Aiken, University of South Florida, and University of the West Indies-Barbados. Dust particles appear to act as carriers for microorganisms, with at least one known coral disease pathogen identified from dust event samples. Dust is also thought to transport chemical contaminants such as pesticides, plasticizers, pharmaceuticals, and heavy metals, of which some are known endocrine disruptors.

Future studies include:

  • isolation and identification of microorganisms associated with dust events,

  • identification and quantification of chemical contaminants transported,

  • identification of coral disease pathogens,

  • quantification of micro- and macronutrient flux to the ocean,

  • elucidation of the chemical pathways and roles of iron, and

  • human and marine eco-toxicology of the transported contaminants.

Gene Shinn, Ginger Garrison, Garriet Smith, Dale Griffin, Christina Kellogg, Charles Holmes, Michael Majewski, William Foreman, Mario Fernandez, and Laurie Richardson are involved in the USGS dust investigation.

Related Web Sites
Conference—The Effects of Globally Transported African and Asian Dust on Coral Reefs and Human Health
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Coral Mortality and African Dust
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

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Moloka'i Coral Reef Monitoring

North Carolina Cruises

California Offshore Oil Seeps

Research Training FWS in Geologic Processes of Coastal Ecosystems

MRIB to Host Digital Library of Gulf of Maine

Meetings Coastal Summit

Coastal Issues at GSA

Dust Transport

Gulf of Mexico Integrated Science

Awards Geographical Honor Society—Larry Handley

Staff & Center News Quenton Smith-Costello: SEPAC

NWRC Seminars

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