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Three USGS Volunteers in Florida Working on Ocean Acidification

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Volunteers at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) learn new skills, pave the way for future careers, teach others, and stay involved in science. This article highlights three volunteers working on various aspects of ocean acidification. Macy Carter is currently a sophomore at the University of South Florida (USF) in St. Petersburg and is working with oceanographer Lisa Robbins at the USGS St. Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center. Carter is planning to major in geology and wanted to help with ocean-acidification projects. She called Robbins and started volunteering. “Working with Dr. Robbins on ocean acidification projects is a great learning experience. I have been able to apply knowledge learned in class to discussions and research here at the USGS.”

USF student and USGS volunteer work on data from an ocean acidification experiment
Above: University of South Florida student and USGS volunteer Macy Carter (left) works with USGS Pathways Program student Kira Barrera on data from an ocean acidification experiment conducted with green algae, Halimeda. [larger version]

Carter comes to the center three times a week to help Robbins with data collection, organization, analysis, and report writing. “I look forward to helping Dr. Robbins because it is always a fun task; nothing we do is ever mundane. We are constantly finding new things,” says Carter, “and learning new things I had no idea I even wanted to know! This experience is amazing; I have finally found my calling in geology.”

In summer 2013, another volunteer, Lindsey Evans, also worked with Robbins. Although Evans, a junior at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, is studying psychology, she is also taking environmental classes and is interested in ocean acidification. During her volunteer time at USGS, Evans helped to organize ocean acidification data that Robbins had collected during Arctic cruises (for example, see “USGS Arctic Ocean Research: A Polar Ocean Acidification Study,” Sound Waves, August 2011), learned new software to teach to the ocean acidification team, prepped Arctic coral samples to be cut into thin sections (for observation under a microscope), and researched Arctic coral. When asked about working on something different from her college major, Evans responded, “It taught me how science is approached and research is done. It was such a student-friendly atmosphere, and I had fun. In fact, it was like working for family!”

Lindsey Evans prepares a carbonate sample for thin sectioning and 14C dating.
Above: Lindsey Evans prepares a carbonate sample for thin sectioning and 14C dating. [larger version]

Longtime volunteer Sharon Gilberg continues to help USGS with ocean acidification education by providing updates for the USGS ocean acidification website, tweeting about Arctic Ocean acidification cruises and research on Twitter @USGSArctic, and visiting classrooms. Gilberg has most recently developed iPad activities for the classroom using water-sample data from the ocean acidification cruises and is working on additional activities using the CO2calc app. (Read about this app in Sound Waves at "Communications Awards Recognize Ocean Chemistry Topics" [this issue] and "CO2calc Will Assist Studies of Ocean Chemistry," and in USGS Open-File Report 2010–1280.)

Sharon Gilberg at Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska, June 20, 2010.
Above: Sharon Gilberg at Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska, June 20, 2010. [larger version]

Gilberg currently teaches oceanography and Earth science at St. Petersburg College. As a geologist and teacher, she feels that “It is important that we use social media as well as mobile computer technology as tools to continue to educate students about science and inspire them through the adventure of modern scientific exploration.”

Learn more about the USGS Volunteer for Science Program.

Learn more about USGS ocean acidification research at http://coastal.er.usgs.gov/ocean-acidification/.

Related Sound Waves Stories
USGS Arctic Ocean Research: A Polar Ocean Acidification Study
August 2011
Communications Awards Recognize Ocean Chemistry Topics
March / April 2014
CO2calc Will Assist Studies of Ocean Chemistry
March 2011

Related Websites
Ocean Acidification
CO2calc: A User-Friendly Seawater Carbon Calculator for Windows, Mac OS X, and iPhone
USGS Volunteer for Science Program

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in this issue:

cover story:
Assessing Climate Change Vulnerability of Pacific Atolls

Spotlight on Sandy
Fire Island Oceanographic Study Update

Linking Coastal Processes and Vulnerability in Assateague Island Region

Recent Hires Assist USGS Barrier Island and Estuarine Studies

EDEN and EVE—Getting the Water Right in Paradise

"Marathon" Bird May Plan Flights Based on Weather Across the Pacific

Warmer Conditions Create New Goose Habitat in Arctic Alaska

25 Years After the Exxon Valdez, Sea Otter Populations at Pre-Spill Levels

USGS Intern Teaches Kids about Ocean Acidification

USGS Scientists Support the National Ocean Science Bowl’s Spoonbill Bowl

Communications Awards Recognize Ocean Chemistry Topics

Three USGS Volunteers in Florida Working on Ocean Acidification

USGS Employee in Florida Recognized for Service on Science Museum Board

Publications New Kid on the Web: USGS CMGP Redesigned Website Goes Live

March / April Publications

Accessibility FOIA Privacy Policies and Notices

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