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Outreach

Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Sound Waves, 1999 to 2009


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Ten years have passed since the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Coastal and Marine Geology Program formally launched the monthly newsletter Sound Waves. Sound Waves began by covering research-project news from USGS field centers in Woods Hole, Massachusetts; St. Petersburg, Florida; and Santa Cruz and Menlo Park, California. The inaugural edition was published in January 1999. Later, coverage was expanded to include interdisciplinary news and information on all coastal topics and disciplines across the USGS from several coastal-science centers (currently numbering eight), as reflected in the subtitle: "Coastal Science & Research News from Across the USGS." The newsletter has grown from just 8 pages to an average of 15 to 25 pages each month, and responsibility for the professional-style editing, layout, and Web design has been shared in superior fashion by capable and conscientious staff among the three Coastal and Marine Geology Program centers. Helen Gibbons (Menlo Park) and Barbara Lidz (St. Petersburg) were editors early on and have continued to the present. Here is a list of others who have been instrumental in the success of Sound Waves over the years (with duty stations at time of service): Gabrielle Bodin (National Wetlands Research Center, Lafayette, Louisiana), Sara Boore (Menlo Park), Jane Ciener (Menlo Park), Sandy Coffman (St. Petersburg), Becky Deusser (Woods Hole), Gaye Farris (National Wetlands Research Center), Trent Faust (St. Petersburg), Anne Gartner (Menlo Park), Joy Geiselman (Alaska Science Center, Anchorage), Jan Goodell (Woods Hole), Ardis Greatorex (Woods Hole), Hannah Hamilton (Gainesville, Florida), George Havach (Menlo Park), Susan Horton (National Wetlands Research Center), Gloria Maender (Western Ecological Research Center, Tucson, Arizona), Susan Mayfield (Menlo Park), Ellen Mecray (Woods Hole), Greg Miller (Woods Hole), Sandra Morrison (Great Lakes Science Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan), Donna Newman (Woods Hole), Cynthia Pimental (Woods Hole), Joanne Sedlock (Woods Hole), Jolene Shirley (St. Petersburg), Laura Torresan (Santa Cruz), Rob Wertz (St. Petersburg), and Mary Ellen Williams (Woods Hole).

sampling of Sound Waves issues
Above: Sampling of Sound Waves issues, from early (left) to recent. [larger version]

At first, Sound Waves was duplicated on paper and mailed to several hundred addresses, but it soon became Web based as it grew in size and the Web became the medium of choice. Over the past decade of putting forth more than 200 cover stories and news articles on the countless accomplishments, awards, and publications of USGS coastal and marine scientists to the broader marine science community, there is much to celebrate—and with pride. For 2009 so far, the newsletter's Web site averages 1,978 visits per day, and the average length of a site visit is 7:59 minutes. The number of monthly e-mail-update subscribers is 1,398.

As Program Coordinator for the Coastal and Marine Geology Program from 1996 to 2000, I realized the need to communicate results of the various projects and activities at the program's three field centers in a timely manner, not only internally but also to other parts of the USGS and to a larger audience outside the USGS. Up until that time, the centers had circulated informal individual newsletters, and the program had produced a Web site and occasional newsletters, but we lacked a consistent and easily accessible instrument to highlight and communicate coastal and marine science results and events across the country. Over the past decade, current Coastal and Marine Geology Program Coordinator John Haines and chief scientists at the contributing science centers have continued to support the newsletter.

Meeting the need to communicate research results and news was the objective when the newsletter was created. The success of Sound Waves is borne out by continued high-quality content and positive feedback and comments from its numerous readers, those internal to the USGS and those of the external science community, teachers, students, congressional staffers, and the public. These needs are more important than ever, and I have great expectations that Sound Waves will continue to meet them well, and well into the 21st century.


Related Sound Waves Stories
USGS Wins 15 Blue Pencil, Gold Screen Awards
June 2004
Passing the Torch for Production of Sound Waves
November 2001
New Program-Wide Newsletter Introduced
January 1999

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in this issue:

Fieldwork
cover story:
Submarine Ground Water Discharge Along the West Florida Shelf

Significant Gas Resource Discovered in Gulf of Mexico

Research Assessing Offshore Marine Sand Deposits

Outreach 10th Anniversary of Sound Waves

USGS: Your Resource During Hurricane Season

Internship Programs at USGS Center in St. Petersburg

Open House in Menlo Park

Meetings Annual NGOM Science Meeting

Publications June/July 2009 Publications List


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