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Staff & Center News

Western Coastal and Marine Geology Team Hires Three New Scientists

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The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)'s Western Coastal and Marine Geology Team (WCMG) recently added three new scientists to its permanent staff.

Renee Takesue
Renee Takesue checks her global-positioning-system (GPS) coordinates before leaving to collect surface-water samples off Kaneohe Bay with the Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology.

Renee K. Takesue will join the team as a research geochemist, bringing significant expertise in environmental geochemistry, chemical oceanography, and paleoceanography.

Renee received her B.S. in oceanography (minor in geology) in 1995 from Humboldt State University and her M.A. (1997) and Ph.D. (2002) in chemical oceanography (minors in paleoceanography and atmospheric science) from Columbia University.

Her dissertation was titled "Variability in Coastal Upwelling Environments along the Western Americas from Nearshore Geochemical and Paleo-Tracers." In this work, Renee used geochemical upwelling tracers in nearshore waters to compare El Niño-related shifts in California Current water properties and hydrography with those in the Peru-Chile Current. She used trace elements in bivalve shells to show that 9,000 years ago, northern California coastal waters were approximately 2°C warmer than today.

Renee is currently completing a USGS Mendenhall postdoctoral project under Charlie Bacon and Janet Thompson titled "Research in Environmental Biogeochemistry Using Microbeam Instruments."

For this work, she is using the Stanford University-USGS SHRIMP RG (Sensitive High-Resolution Ion Micro Probe Reverse Geometry) to measure trace elements in San Francisco Bay bivalve shells to explore environmental proxy relations, spatial and temporal patterns of trace-metal inputs, and short-term bioaccumulation patterns. Renee will be completing her postdoctoral work in March and joining the team in April at the Pacific Science Center in Santa Cruz, CA.

Peter Ruggiero
Peter Ruggiero

Peter Ruggiero has joined the team as a research geologist, bringing broad expertise in large-scale coastal behavior and evolution, nearshore sedimentary processes, and coastal engineering.

Peter received a B.S. in civil engineering from Lehigh University, followed by an M.S. and a Ph.D. from Oregon State University. His dissertation was titled "Wave Runup on High-Energy Dissipative Beaches and the Prediction of Coastal Erosion."

Following graduate school, Peter worked for 5 years as a coastal engineer with the Washington Department of Ecology's Coastal Monitoring and Analysis Program. This work focused on southwestern Washington coastal-erosion studies, a beach-morphology-monitoring program, and the Columbia River littoral cell. Peter continued these investigations with the USGS as a Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow from 2001 to 2003.

Peter is also working on several other USGS projects, including the Geological Characterization and Sedimentary Processes of Nearshore Habitats in Kachemak Bay, Alaska (as project chief); National Assessment of Coastal Change Hazards; North Carolina Regional Coastal Erosion Studies; Coastal Evolution, Process-Based Multiscale Modeling; and Coastal Habitats in Puget Sound.

Peter has also participated in major field experiments at Newport, OR, and Duck, NC. Peter will be moving from his present office in Menlo Park, CA, to the Pacific Science Center in Santa Cruz in late spring or early summer.

John, Sherie, and Owen L'Heureux.
Jon has a new baby as well as a new job! Here he is with his wife, Sherie A. L'Heureux, and their son, Owen Warrick L'Heureux (born Jan. 1, 2004).

Jon Warrick has joined the team as a research geologist, bringing considerable expertise in coastal sedimentology, hydrology, and remote sensing.

Jon received a B.S. in soil science from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; an M.S. in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Wisconsin; and a Ph.D. in marine science from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), where he was a NASA Earth System Science Fellow. His dissertation was titled "Short-Term (1997-2000) and Long-Term (1928-2000) Observations of River Water and Sediment Discharge to the Santa Barbara Channel, California."

During breaks in his education, Jon worked as a hydrologist and staff engineer for Woodward-Clyde and Komex-H2O Science, Inc.

Following his stint at UCSB, Jon spent a year on the Earth-sciences faculty at Whittier College, then came to the USGS in 2002 as a Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow. Jon's postdoctoral work involves development of a research program in coastal sedimentology that focuses on the urbanized margin of southern California.

Among other tasks, Jon is helping to organize efforts to study hyperpycnal sediment transport and the effects of the recent large southern California wildfires on the marine environment. Jon has also been a contributor to the multiagency Bight '03 investigations of water quality and river dispersal in the southern California Bight. Jon will be moving from his present office in Menlo Park to the Pacific Science Center in Santa Cruz in late spring or early summer.

We look forward to the contributions of these three new members of our team!

Related Sound Waves Stories
New Faces at the Pacific Science Center in Santa Cruz, CA
October 2003
USGS Scientists Discover Gas Hydrate in Southern California During Cruise to Study Offshore Landslides, Earthquake Hazards, and Pollution
November 2003
Multipronged Scientific Assault on North Carolina's Outer Banks
June 2003

Related Web Sites
Western Region Coastal & Marine Geology
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Santa Cruz & Menlo Park, CA

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in this issue: Fieldwork cover story:
Turbidity Flows Recorded in Monterey Canyon

Mapping Hawaiian National Parks

Research USGS and Academia in Partnership

Meetings Chesapeake Bay Science

Special AGU Sessions on Gas-Hydrate Systems

South Louisiana Sea-Level Rise

Awards Clifton to Receive Pettijohn Medal

USGS Book Wins Outstanding Publication Award

"Local Heroes" of Western Snowy Plover Protection

Staff & Center News MIT Scientists Visit Woods Hole

Three New Scientists

New Postdoc in St. Petersburg

Reef Name Becomes Official

Publications New Book on the Phosphoria Formation

Two Articles in JSR

February Publications List U. S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
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