April 18, 2008
NOAA Continues Partnership with Census
Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau announced a major realignment for the 2010 Census. The Census will revert back to using paper and pencil, instead of using hand-held personal digital assistant (PDA) units, to acquire certain data, including the number of individuals at a particular residence. Census, however, still plans to use Global Positioning System (GPS)-enabled hand-held units and work with NOAA’s National Geodetic Survey (NGS) in the months leading up to the 2010 Census, during the address canvassing phase in 2009. NGS will be assisting Census by providing post-processing software and training on NGS’s On-line Positioning User Service (OPUS) after the address canvas is complete. This will be the first time GPS positions will be collected during a national census and will result in improved accuracy of housing unit locations and more accurate features in the Census Bureau’s Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing (TIGER) System database. For more information, contact Knute.Berstis@noaa.gov.
NOAA Experts Evaluate Marine Conservation in China
From April 10 – 24, NOAA experts representing the National Marine Sanctuary Program, the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, and the National Marine Fisheries Service are participating in field investigations at four sites in China, two of which are NOAA-China partner reserves. As part of an eight-year project sponsored by the United Nations (UN) Development Programme and the Chinese Government, the NOAA experts will visit key coral, mangrove, and offshore islands in five southern Chinese provinces to review site strategies, investment plans, and the results of recent efforts to improve marine biodiversity conservation and management at the four sites. The group will consult with Chinese and UN colleagues at the Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystems Management Training and Education Center in Xiamen City, where discussions will focus on the design and operation of environmental monitoring systems, public outreach and education campaigns, governance mechanisms, management planning and operations, habitat health, and sustainable uses. For more information, contact Jonathan.Justi@noaa.gov or Anne.Walton@noaa.gov.
Test Kit to Assist with Harmful Algal Bloom Monitoring
Information about the algal toxin test kit developed by the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) spread throughout the world when researchers introduced the new harmful algal bloom monitoring device to representatives from 11 European countries, Canada, and the United States at a recent meeting. The kit is a reliable, inexpensive monitoring tool that rapidly detects and measures domoic acid. If ingested in sufficient quantities, domoic acid, an algal toxin, can cause serious illness or death in humans and marine mammals. The domoic acid test kit is an excellent example of federal research successfully transferred to a commercial product. NCCOS is promoting the transfer of this new method for detecting algal toxins to research and regulatory programs worldwide. For more information, contact Pat.Tester@noaa.gov.
April 11, 2008
Contractors Trained on New Airport Surveying Software
The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) has released new Airport Data Logger (ADL) software that will be used to help standardize the process of airport and aeronautical surveys. The ADL software will standardize and streamline the aeronautical survey process, ultimately allowing for more cost-effective, efficient surveys. NGS started training private contractors on the use of the new ADL software at the NGS Field Operations Branch in Norfolk, Virginia. Data collected and analyzed with ADL software will be used to develop runway approach procedures and obstruction charts. NGS, in accordance with a series of interagency agreements with the Federal Aviation Administration, provides airport geodetic control, runway, navigational aid, obstruction, and other aeronautical data critical to the operation of the National Airspace System. For more information, contact Mark.Howard@noaa.gov.
Marine National Monument Designated a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area
The fragile and unique marine ecosystems of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands encompassed by the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument will receive additional protection under a new internationally recognized designation announced by NOAA on April 4. The designation, which was finalized on April 3 by the International Maritime Organization, declares the waters of the monument a “Particularly Sensitive Sea Area” (PSSA). The Monument is only the second marine protected area in the United States to receive this designation. The designation puts into effect internationally recognized measures designed to protect marine resources of ecological or cultural significance from damage by ships while helping keep mariners safe. On May 1, special zones known as “Areas to be Avoided” will appear on international nautical charts to direct ships away from coral reefs, shipwrecks, and other ecologically or culturally sensitive areas in the monument PSSA that may also pose a navigation hazard. For more information, contact Keeley.Belva@noaa.gov.
The Surveyors: Charting America's Course Movie Available Online
The film, "The Surveyors: Charting America's Course,” produced by the Office of Coast Survey, Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services, National Geodetic Survey, Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, and the NOS Ocean Media Center was recently highlighted at the National Science Teachers Association in Boston, Massachusetts. It is also being distributed and screened across the Nation at over 50 venues and is available online. The film takes you on a journey through time and throughout our United States with the men and women who surveyed the land and the marine waterways of America, helped form the present scientific infrastructure of the United States, and whose indomitable spirit and perseverance mirror that of the Nation they surveyed. For more information, contact Teresa.Christopher@noaa.gov or John.Ewald@noaa.gov.
April 4, 2008
LIDAR Data Now Available for Two Counties in South Carolina
Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) data for two South Carolina counties, Charleston and Colleton, are now available from the NOAA Coastal Services Center (CSC) Web site. The data were collected in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources for use in updating flood insurance maps and were verified by personnel from the Center and the National Geodetic Survey. The data have an accuracy of six inches in open terrain. Data coverage includes the Port of Charleston, the Fort Sumter National Monument, and the Ashepoo-Combahee-Edisto Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve. LIDAR data can be used by coastal professionals and local officials to assist in decision making and land-use analysis. For more information, contact Rebecca.Mataosky@noaa.gov.
Project Highlights Use of Ocean Data in Classroom
The NOAA Ocean Data Education (NODE) Project, a partnership effort among NOAA’s Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS), National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), and National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS), gained attention at the National Science Teachers Association Conference in Boston, MA, last week. Two seminar presentations and a half-day short course helped illustrate the use of NODE curricula, which incorporate real scientific data into lessons for grades 5-8, to help students explore dynamic Earth processes and understand the impact of environmental events on a regional or global scale. The most recently added NODE module focuses on sea level and the El Niño phenomenon. For more information, visit http://www.dataintheclassroom.org or contact Jennie.firstname.lastname@example.org, Michiko.Martin@noaa.gov, Atziri.Ibanez@noaa.gov, or Kenneth.Casey@noaa.gov.
Coordinating on Coastal Warning Systems in the Caribbean
Several NOAA representatives recently participated in the Third Session of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission's Coordination Group for Tsunami and Other Coastal Hazard Warning Systems in the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions in Panama City, Panama. The U.S. Delegation, which included representatives from NOAA, the United States Agency for International Development, and the University of Puerto Rico, joined representatives from 15 Caribbean Member States and more than six United Nations (UN) and non-UN organizations to discuss the requirements for an early warning system for the Caribbean, including infrastructure, capacity building, sustainability, education, and collaboration. This meeting presented a mechanism for the United States to partner with regional authorities in the development of early warning systems for coastal hazards. For more information, contact Arthur.E.Paterson@noaa.gov.