Web Highlight

Web Highlight

You've heard of radar and sonar, but have you heard of LIDAR? LIDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth. Don't miss our latest Ocean Fact!

NOS For Employees website

For Employees

The Safety and Environmental Awareness Training needs to be completed by February 28. For more information on accessing the training and a brief summary of what is covered visit the Safety/Environment page on the For Employees website.

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NOS Communications & Education Division

NOS Assistant Administrator Weekly Newsletter

January 24, 2013

Hi folks,

image of NOS Assistant Administrator

Next week, I’ll turn over the pen to Dr. Holly Bamford, who is taking the helm as the NOS assistant administrator. I have spent most of my career in the National Ocean Service, from serving as a science coordinator, and eventually as director, at the Office of Response and Restoration, to leading the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management. When I moved to NOS headquarters in September 2009, I saw an opportunity to work with leaders across NOS to strengthen our organization and better align our activities with our mission. Because of the dedication of people like you, we have been successful in making important progress toward these goals. I would like to take the opportunity to thank the men and women of NOS for continuously demonstrating—through your actions as well as words—your dedication to moving the mission of NOS forward.

In the past year, I've talked about the many ways NOS is positioning America for the future. Through our programs, products, and services, we are preparing our coastal communities for change, supporting the growth of the U.S. economy, and preserving important places for generations to come. We could only do this with a solid foundation that includes effective program management, meticulous resource administration, and a far-reaching strategic vision.

I am delighted that Dr. Holly Bamford was asked to lead NOS at this critical time. In addition to her exceptional scientific credentials, Dr. Bamford's experience has prepared her very well for the job. I can't think of a better person to whom I could "pass the baton."

I look forward to working with Dr. Bamford and NOS in my new position as deputy under secretary for operations at NOAA.


David Kennedy
Assistant Administrator
National Ocean Service

Web Highlight

Web Highlight

You've heard of radar and sonar, but have you heard of LIDAR? LIDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging, is a remote sensing method that uses light in the form of a pulsed laser to measure ranges (variable distances) to the Earth. Don't miss our latest Ocean Fact!

For Employees

NOS For Employees website

The Safety and Environmental Awareness Training needs to be completed by February 28. For more information on accessing the training and a brief summary of what is covered visit the Safety/Environment page on the For Employees Web site.

Around NOS

NOAA Provides Support During Presidential Inaugural Preparations (OCS, CO-OPS)

The Office of Coast Survey and the Center for Operational Products and Services (CO-OPS) supported the preparations for the presidential inauguration. A navigation response team vessel, the crew from the Bay Hydro II, and headquarters personnel responded to a homeland security request from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) to survey sections of the Potomac River in and around Washington DC. CO-OPS personnel provided priority processing of tidal information necessary to create customized charting products. Survey technicians and cartographers quickly processed the survey data and created customized charting products for USCG and other homeland security responders. After additional processing and review, the information collected will be used to update nautical charts that are available to the public. For more information, contact CAPT Jon Swallow.

New Coastal Data Added to the Digital Coast (CSC)

NOAA's Digital Coast provides access to data contributed by many local, state, and federal agencies. Twenty-one new LIDAR data sets were recently added, including areas in Oregon, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, and Maryland. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers post-Hurricane Sandy LIDAR for the coasts of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York was also added. These recent additions bring the LIDAR data holdings to over a trillion points. Fourteen new imagery missions were also added and include U.S. Army Corps of Engineers imagery of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, as well as 2012 National Geodetic Survey imagery for parts of Alabama, Oregon, and Washington. All data are accessed through a new and improved system, the Digital Coast Data Access Viewer. For more information, contact Jennifer Halleran.

International Meetings Improve Marine Data Collection and Integration (IOOS®)

Last week, the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Program attended meetings in Ireland and England to improve international collaboration on ocean observing efforts in those countries. IOOS representatives met with representatives of SmartBay Ireland to discuss the IOOS network of high frequency radars (HFR) measuring surface current speed and direction to support search and rescue response, tsunami warnings, fisheries management, marine protected area monitoring, and vessel tracking. SmartBay is responsible for the establishment and development of a National Research, Test and Demonstration facility to support the application and translation of research and provide platforms for the testing and demonstration of new technologies and solutions in the Marine and related sectors. IOOS representatives then traveled to Southampton, England, to speak at the Operational Oceanography conference, also discussing HFR there. Working with other nations will accelerate research in emerging uses, including model ingest and ecosystem and climate research. Furthermore, the 2012 World Radio Communication Conference established an HFR frequency range that will reduce service interruptions due to interference. For more information, contact Laura Griesbauer.  

Report Reveals Hudson River and Wildlife Have Suffered Decades of Extensive Chemical Contamination (OR&R)

The Hudson River Natural Resource Trustees, including NOAA, released a report last week outlining the magnitude of toxic chemical pollution in New York's Hudson River. The report, "PCB Contamination of the Hudson River Ecosystem", documents six years of data and analysis showing that the Hudson River, for more than 200 miles below Hudson Falls, N.Y., is extensively contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Starting in 1947 and for approximately 30 years, manufacturing plants operated by General Electric Company discharged PCBs into the upper Hudson River, where they were mostly contained in the river sediments behind the Ford Edward dam. In 1973 the dam was removed, releasing an estimated 1.3 million cubic yards of PCB-laden sediment downstream. For more information, contact Tom Bronson

North Carolina NERR Data Pinpoints Cause of Mass Fish Kill (OCRM)

North Carolina state environmental officials recently reported hundreds of thousands of dead Atlantic menhaden fish washing up at Masonboro Island in Wilmington. North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) maintains one of NOAA's System-wide Monitoring Program (SWMP) monitoring stations in that area and quickly determined that the fish kill was due to a significant drop in dissolved oxygen levels. State environmental officials noted the SWMP station's role was critical in quickly determining the cause of the event, and allowed them to communicate the information to the public and media in a timely fashion. The Masonboro Island monitoring station is part of a national network of monitoring stations in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NEERS). For more information, contact Bree Murphy.

Research Aims to Improve Airborne Positioning Accuracy (NGS)

The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) recently performed a research experiment to calibrate the GPS antenna on top of an aircraft used in the Gravity for the Redefinition of the American Vertical Datum (GRAV-D) Project. Antenna calibration for ground-based geodetic GPS antennas greatly reduces positioning errors. Despite its expected benefits, calibrating an aircraft GPS antenna is extremely rare, because of the complexity and variety of expertise needed to accomplish the task. NGS' unique combination of expertise in GPS antenna calibration, airborne positioning, and precise land surveying allowed scientists to conduct this test and estimate how calibrating a GPS antenna can improve airborne Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) positioning accuracy. For more information, contact Theresa Diehl.

"Sanctuaries Mean Business" with Turtle Bay Resort (ONMS)

NOAA's Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary has forged a partnership with the Turtle Bay Resort, located adjacent to the sanctuary on the North Shore of O'ahu. Sanctuary staff are working with Turtle Bay to offer outreach opportunities to hotel guests, local visitors and resort staff as part of a "Sanctuaries Mean Business" initiative aimed at raising the profile of the sanctuary and encouraging responsible enjoyment of Hawai'i's marine environment. Activities provided by the sanctuary will include weekly outreach booths and whale talks for visitors, special training sessions for hotel staff to help them communicate information to guests about Hawai'i's unique marine resources, and a "Welcome Back, Whales" event at the resort on Jan. 26. This event will provide education booths, a NOAA lecture series, children's activities, wildlife walks and children's hula. For more information, contact Patty Miller.

Algae Toxin Traced Through Rat Brains Yields Clues to Sea Lion Seizure Risk (NCCOS)

To better understand epileptic disease caused by an algal toxin in young California sea lions, researchers from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) exposed pregnant lab rats to the substance and studied its movement. In the adult rats, the toxin, known as domoic acid, enters the brain and surrounding fluid quickly and exits from the cerebrospinal fluid just as fast, protecting them from long-term harm. The fetuses did not fare as well. The toxins in the fluid surrounding their brain and spinal column lingered much longer, which can lead to greater risk of severe neurological damage. An earlier study conducted by NCCOS scientists identified the link between aggressive behaviors and epileptic symptoms in adult sea lions after eating fish contaminated with this toxin, which is produced by a common ocean algae. For more information, contact John Ramsdell.

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