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USGS Scientist Featured on National Geographic Television Series "Strange Days on Planet Earth"

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Curious tourist divers (upper right) watch as USGS scientist Ginger Garrison conducts underwater research at a coral reef in the Virgin Islands National Park.
Above: Curious tourist divers (upper right) watch as USGS scientist Ginger Garrison conducts underwater research at a coral reef in the Virgin Islands National Park. Photograph courtesy of Steve Simonsen (see Steve Simonsen Photography). [larger version]

Ginger Garrison, a marine biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Florida Integrated Science Center in St. Petersburg, FL, is conducting research on coral disease and the effects of anthropogenic activity on the health of coral-reef environments. Aspects of her research are featured in a National Geographic television series that began airing on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) stations on April 20. The series, titled "Strange Days on Planet Earth," highlights the possible effects of global warming. Ginger is featured in the episode titled the "One Degree Factor," in which she discusses the hypothesis that African dust plays an adverse role in coral disease and human health. This episode was filmed in July 2003 in the Virgin Islands and in Trinidad. A Web site about the National Geographic Series is posted at URL

Currently, the USGS scientists working on the Coral Mortality and African Dust project (Gene Shinn, Ginger Garrison, Dale Griffin, Chuck Holmes, Christina Kellogg, Bill Foreman, Mike Majewski, Carl Orazio, David Alvarez, Scott Carr, and Mike Gray) are collaborating with the National Institute of Meteorology and Geophysics in the Republic of Cape Verde; the Environmental Management Authority and the University of the West Indies in Trinidad; the University of the Virgin Islands; the University of Hawai'i and the State of Hawai'i; the University of South Carolina, Aiken; Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi; and the University of Mali in Mali, West Africa, to study the effects of African and Asian dust on downwind ecosystems and human health. On Sal Island (Cape Verde) in May 2005, Ginger sampled air for chemical contaminants and microorganisms, surveyed coral reefs for the presence of disease, and characterized benthic cover on coral reefs. She also is conducting global-change and coral-reef research in American Samoa with USGS scientists Chris Kellogg, Chuck Birkeland, and Greg Piniak, looking at microbes and coral resilience.

Related Sound Waves Stories
African Dust Microbiology in the Caribbean
September 2002
Caribbean Coral-Reef Ecologist Studies Dust from the African Sahel
March 2002

Related Web Sites
National Geographic Television Series "Strange Days on Planet Earth"
National Geographic
Coral Mortality and African Dust
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Online Documentary: "The Effects of Globally Transported African and Asian Dust on Coral Reef and Human Health"
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
St. Petersburg Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

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USGS and AGI Receive Valuable Seismic Data from Chevron

Fieldwork Northeastern Caribbean Tsunami and Earthquake Hazards

Habitat Mapping to Assess Health of Apalachicola Bay Oyster Fishery

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Outreach USGS Scientist Featured on Television Series

Earth Day Celebration at Elementary School

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Department of Commerce Science and Technology Fellows Visit USGS

USGS and American Ground Water Trust Expand Teacher Institute Program

Youth Enrichment Service E-Team Visits USGS

Awards USGS Personnel in St. Petersburg, Florida, Win Awards

Staff & Center News Clean-Room Construction Begins at Woods Hole Science Center

USGS National Education Coordinator Visits St. Petersburg Office

Kurt Rosenberger Joins the Western Coastal and Marine Geology Team

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