CORS station with sunset

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Why do we need (and how do we get) accurate, consistent positioning data? The latest Diving Deeper podcast has the answers. Tune in for a conversation with Joe Evjen with NOAA's National Geodetic Survey.

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NOS Communications & Education Division

NOS Assistant Administrator Weekly Newsletter

August 23, 2012

Hi folks,

image of NOS Assistant Administrator or designee

Today, I’d like to share with you the results of the recent survey about this newsletter, along with some of the changes we are making in response to your feedback.

Your response to the survey was terrific. A total of 359 people took time to complete it. Among the responders, 69 percent said they typically skim through the weekly and read items of interest. More than half thought once a week was about the right frequency.

Along with these responses, we received more than 500 specific ideas to improve the NOS Weekly and other communications from NOS headquarters. A recurring recommendation was to invite other NOS leaders to write this section. We adopted this idea in July and I really appreciate the program office directors’ enthusiasm for taking up the pen.

Some of the responders encouraged me to talk about administrative successes as well as scientific and operational accomplishments. Others asked me to highlight science more often. Several people acknowledged that it is better to hear bad news (for example, in the budget arena) than to be left wondering. Others recommended highlighting regional activities.

One person recommended more jokes so I remember not to take myself too seriously, and another said I might give 59 minutes at the end of my emails to make sure people read them. All of these ideas provided a good perspective on how to use this space to help keep you informed. I’m not sure about implementing the 59 minutes idea, but I’ll keep it in mind.

Finally, we received frequent comments about the newsletter’s format. To address all concerns, the folks in the Communications and Education Division came up with a new design that is more consistent across different browsers and automatically adjusts to fit any monitor, tablet, or smartphone screen. All of this makes for easier reading.

Starting next Thursday, the weekly email that arrives in your inbox will contain a link to the new version. Simply click on the link to open the Weekly in your browser. I think you will find the new format worth the extra step.

David Kennedy
Assistant Administrator
National Ocean Science

Website Highlight

Why do we need (and how do we get) accurate, consistent positioning data? The latest Diving Deeper podcast has the answers. Tune in for a conversation with Joe Evjen with NOAA's National Geodetic Survey.

CORS station with sunset

Around NOS

NOAA Partners with Fishing for Energy in Massachusetts (OR&R)

On August 13, Newburyport, Mass., officially became the 31st port to join the Fishing for Energy program. Fishing for Energy, a partnership between the NOAA Marine Debris Program, Covanta Energy, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and Schnitzer Steel, is designed to provide a cost-free solution to derelict fishing gear disposal at ports across the country. The program significantly increases the likelihood that derelict gear does not become marine debris, and by partnering with waste management companies, the collected gear also does not end up in landfills. Metal gear is recycled through Schnitzer Steel and combustible gear is burned as a source of renewable energy at a local Covanta Energy facility. For more information, contact Anna Manyak.

Emergency Remote Sensing Imagery Collection in Louisiana (NGS)

Drought conditions have lowered water levels on the Mississippi River and are causing hazards to navigation. By request of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development through NOAA’s Gulf Coast regional navigation manager, staff from the National Geodetic Survey recently collected imagery from aboard NOAA’s King Air aircraft of the area around the Port of Lake Providence in Louisiana. Grain shipments have been hindered by the low water levels between the Port of Lake Providence and the Port of Greater Baton Rouge. It is expected to take approximately 20 days to clear the channel, and as many as 24 million bushels of soybeans and corn are expected to be shipped by barges if the channel is dredged. For more information, contact Mike Aslaksen.

Sanctuary Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center Opens in Pago Pago (ONMS)

On August 17, Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the American Samoa Department of Commerce celebrated the opening of the Tauese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center in Pago Pago, American Samoa. The 5,894-square foot joint visitor center features state-of-the-art exhibits and interactive learning tools to promote ocean awareness and encourage good marine stewardship. The Ocean Center includes exhibit space and offices for sanctuary staff and volunteers. Conference rooms, meeting rooms, and the exhibit area will be available for meetings, training, and other functions. The dedication was attended by American Samoa Governor Togiola Tulafono, Deputy Secretary of Samoan Affairs Nania Afuola, and delegates to the Coral Reef Task Force. For more information, contact Gene Brighouse.

Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Grant Awarded to NOAA Partner (NCCOS)

On August 10, the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative awarded researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina one of 19 grants that support studies determining environmental effects of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. The university researchers will evaluate what effects petroleum and dispersant exposure have on embryonic stem cells from pygmy sperm whales, alligators, pigs, and mice. Researchers will receive the approximately $1.2 million award over the next three years for this work. The medical university is a partner institute of the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science Hollings Marine Laboratory. For more information, contact Jeff King.

NOAA Releases New Climate Change Impacts Guide for Coastal Management Partners (OCRM)

The Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) has released the Voluntary Step-by-Step Guide for Considering Potential Climate Change Effects on Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Projects. The guide is part of NOAA’s multi-phased effort to more systematically consider climate change impacts in the implementation of programmatic activities including restoration, land acquisition, and facilities development. This new document addresses recommendations in the Programmatic Framework for Considering Climate Change Impacts in Coastal Habitat Restoration, Land Acquisition, and Facility Development Investments, developed and released by OCRM and National Marine Fisheries Service Office of Habitat Conservation in 2010. The guide provides a clear approach for coastal management partners to consider how climate impacts might affect conservation projects and how to incorporate climate change consideration into planning processes. Though it focuses on the implementation of OCRM’s Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program, the methodology described has broad application for conservation planning and land acquisition in a changing climate. For more information, contact Kim Penn.

Training Supports Climate Adaptation Efforts in the Northern Mariana Islands (CSC, OCRM)

The latest in climate science was provided to officials in Saipan during the three-day Climate Adaptation for Coastal Communities training provided by the NOAA Coastal Services Center and TetraTech, Inc. The focus was on assessing climate vulnerability, using social science to communicate information about climate adaptation, and implementing adaptation strategies.
Officials left the training better able to address the region’s top climate adaptation issues. The training was hosted by the Coastal Resources Management Program of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in partnership with the Office of Coastal Resource Management. For more information, contact Gwen Shaughnessy.

NOAA Ship Fairweather Goes Where No NOAA Survey Ship Has Gone Before (OCS)

With the ice cover opening up, the NOAA Ship Fairweather was able to proceed east of Barrow, Ala., in its 1,500-mile Arctic hydrographic reconnaissance survey. With winds from the south pushing the ice far enough off shore to allow transit along the coast, the Fairweather has now made it further east along the North Slope than any NOAA or U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey hydrographic ship. Previous surveys were last conducted by field parties with much smaller boats in the 1950s and 1960s. From observations, looking at aerial images of the sea ice, and listening in on radio traffic between the limited vessels transiting the area, it looks promising that the Fairweather will make it to Demarkation Point on the Canadian border. For more information, contact Jeffery Peterson.

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