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Winter Science Planning by the Sea—Northeastern Coastal Ecosystems and Resources Workshop

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The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)'s Northeastern Coastal Ecosystems and Resources Workshop, a large science-planning event, was held on January 7 and 8 in Narragansett, RI. Approximately 75 people participated, including representatives from all USGS disciplines (geography, biology, water, and geology), regional executives, program coordinators, and team chief scientists.

Representatives also attended from outside agencies and organizations, including the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), the University of Rhode Island (URI), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)'s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), the National Park Service (NPS), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Battelle, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sea Grant program (MIT Sea Grant). Peter August served as host for the meeting, which was held at the scenic University of Rhode Island Coastal Institute facility overlooking Narragansett Bay.

Daytime sessions focused on the development of integrated approaches to addressing overarching coastal themes for the Northeast region, and an evening poster session and cabaret gave participants a chance to share their regional research. The workshop participants provided input to the development of an integrated science plan that uses existing USGS capabilities and identifies those that are needed from outside collaborators.

The steering committee selected three "big issues" as the science framework for the workshop. These issues had been identified as critical scientific needs in several previous regional workshops. Addressed within each issue were the primary threats to coastal ecosystems and resources, the stressors arising from those threats, and consequent ecological responses. The issues were:

  1. Fluxes (water, nutrient, sediment, and contaminants),
  2. Coastal hazards (climate change and sea-level rise, shoreline change), and
  3. Urbanization (and related habitat change).

The meeting kicked off with inspiring presentations by the following invited speakers: John Farrington, Vice President for Academic Programs and Dean of WHOI; Scott W. Nixon, Professor of Oceanography at URI's Bay Campus; and Arthur Lerner-Lam, Associate Director for Seismology at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. After the presentations, participants broke into rotating discussion groups to address the three "big issues." Breakout-session facilitators then summarized results for the entire group and gave these summaries to a writing team. The writing team will develop a 10-page science plan by May, summarizing the meeting and identifying specific priorities for future coastal science in the region.

Special thanks go to facilitator Susan Russell-Robinson, host Peter August, the breakout-session facilitators, the organizing committee, and the entertainers of the evening, Estuaries Cabaret.

Related Web Sites
Northeastern Coastal Ecosystems and Resources Workshop
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

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Research cover story:
Competitive Edge of Invasive Species

Lake Mead Work Continues

Outreach Dolphin Rescue

London Interns Tour St. Pete

Congressional Briefing on Gas Hydrates

Volcanic Ash and Aviation Safety

Science Mentoring

Meetings Coastal Vulnerability

Lidar Data and Technology

International Deep-Sea Corals Workshop

Northeastern Coastal Ecosystems and Resources Workshop

Awards Shinn Wins 2002 Shoemaker Distinguished Achievement Award

Coastal and Marine Scientists Win 2002 Shoemaker Product Excellence Awards

Behrendt and Poag Elected AAAS Fellows

Normark Awarded Keen Medal

Staff & Center News A Tribute to Joe Newell

Marine Geophysics Pioneer Honored

Celebrating Careers of Five Retirees

Manheim Lectures on Trends in Scientific and Technological Innovation

Publications San Francisco Bay Earthquake Hazards

Effectivenes of Marine Reserves in Central California

Human Influence on Diatom Productivity and Sedimentation in Chesapeake Bay

Feb. / Mar. Publications List

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