Marine Science Day in St. Petersburg Sparks Children's Interest
James Kostka of The Canterbury School of Florida organized Marine Science Day on March 1 for the
school's youngsters from kindergarten through second grade and invited the USGS to participate
in the day's activities. About 120 children in groups of 10 to 12 visited various science displays set
up in the school's courtyard in St. Petersburg, FL.
Georgia De Stoppelaire and Noreen Buster (USGS, St. Petersburg) took part in the outreach
event. They presented Georgia's research project, which uses NASA lidar (light detection and
ranging) surveys to study the effects of nonnative horse grazing on American beachgrass and
the resulting impact on coastal geomorphology at Assateague Island, USA.
Noreen Buster (left) and Georgia De Stoppelaire (right) educate
young students about coastal processes, NASA lidar technology, and the effects of horse grazing
on Assateague Island.
Georgia De Stoppelaire demonstrates NASA lidar technology and
how it is used to detect horse-grazing effects on coastal geomorphology at Assateague Island.
Assateague Island is a barrier island approximately 57 km long. The south third of the island
is in Virginia, and the north two-thirds in Maryland. Wild horses roam the island in two main
herds, one on the Virginia side and one on the Maryland side. Once a year, the horses are
rounded up, and most of the foals are auctioned off to control the size of each herd and lessen
their impact on island ecology.
Georgia and Noreen's presentation included posters and a miniature barrier-island display with
fenced experimental plots, toy horses, sand, and turfgrass. Georgia used a toy helicopter and
laser pointer to help the youngsters understand the concept of lidar surveying, which uses laser
light shot from an aircraft to make detailed measurements of topography. The children were
intrigued, and the presentation sparked interest and many questions. To end the presentation,
Noreen and Georgia gave a coloring book to each child, compliments of the Southwest Florida
Water Management District. As the afternoon's naptime approached, we don't know who was
more exhaustedthe children or Noreen and Georgia! All in all, the big event was quite a
success for the little ones.
in this issue:
Gas-Hydrate Research Wells Completed
Moloka'i Coral Reef Sediment
Role of Parasites in Ecosystems
Public Art Project
Marine Science Day
Marine Environmental Careers Symposium
Students Visit Woods Hole
Congressional Briefing on Wetlands
Woods Hole Science Fairs
TalksDOE and College of William and Mary
Netherlands Sediment-Transport Collaboration
Tampa Bay Estuary Tour
Monterey Bay Research Award
Japanese Land-Management Team Visits St. Pete
Western Region Retirements
Woods Hole Visitor
April Publications List