Teachers Tour Woods Hole Field Center
On the afternoons of July 12th and 14th, the WHFC played host to 40 Massachusetts public
and private school teachers, kindergarten through high school, who were attending a two-week
conference on bringing science and resources into the classroom. The credit-granting seminar,
funded by the Museum Institute in Teaching Science, was held at Green Brier Nature Center,
East Sandwich, MA. Robbin Kozlowski, their leader and an environmental scientist and fan of
Cape Cod geology, offered the group a visit to Falmouth beaches or a tour of USGS. The USGS
was chosen enthusiastically. By dividing the group in two, they were able to view activities
in labs at the Quissett Campus and learn how the data being processed and analyzed were
collected by our acquisition systems, housed at the Marine Operations Facility (MOF).
and Michael Casso demonstrate core cutting of Boston Harbor samples.
At MOF Jessica Cote of the Sediment Transport Lab described assemblage and deployment of
tripods and moorings, the data they collect and the hazards to our equipment. Kathy
Konicki and Andrew Fox outlined capabilities of the SWASH ATVs with their cargo of precise
DGPS positioning systems for measuring storm-related shoreline changes. Greg Miller
demonstrated the assembly of Ocean Bottom Seismometer (OBS) spheres and earthquake data
recently recorded during an early summer deployment off the western shore of Puerto Rico.
The teachers were ushered through the Data Library where they received outreach materials
including "Land and People" teacher packets (these outline local environmental issues,
particularly land-use impact on potable water quality). The teachers then visited the
shipboard seismic vans where sidescan sonar and seismic data are acquired and processed
at sea. Tom O'Brien demonstrated how the tow fish emitted and received a signal and then
how topside acquisition systems digitized the signal for processing and mosaic construction.
shows visitors around the sediment laboratory.
Later, the teachers visited the GHASTLI Lab at Quissett Campus where Bill Winters
demonstrated the analysis of bottom samples and explained our nation's interest in gas
Teachers striking quartz pebbles together to give off light.
The visitors then moved on to the Sediment Texture Lab where Larry Poppe
explained how the equipment sized the samples as his technicians continued to process
samples. He also gathered them all into his office where, after turning off all lights,
he showed them how atoms in quartz pebbles give off light when you strike them together.
A great demonstration to take back to their classrooms!
Both Tammie Middleton and
Barb Seekins described how they use GIS to analyze and display various Center data
giving examples of work they have done. Tammie described layering bathymetry,
sidescan sonar, sample data and bottom photos from Stellwagen Bank National Marine
Sanctuary while Barb presented a poster depicting historic and ongoing shoreline
changes in West Falmouth, MA, resulting from property owners' attempts to stabilize
their shorefronts with massive boulder revetments.
Barb Seekins describes how GIS is used to analyze and display data.
Last stop for the groups was the
Geochemistry Lab with Mike Bothner and Michael Casso, who demonstrated core cutting
of Boston Harbor samples and our decade-long monitoring input into the Boston Harbor
outfall pipe relocation with predicted pollution dispersion. Time ran out before interest
flagged and the group left pleased to be bringing excitement and new resources to their
fall curricula. With a USGS bag of URLs to explore, each teacher has a wealth of new
material to stimulate their students' interest in geology and their world.
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
in this issue:
Biscayne Nat'l Park Corals
Santa Monica Bay
Salvage for Science
Joint USGSMonterey Aquarium Cruise
Teachers Tour WHFC
Students Tour WHFC
West Falmouth Harbor Water Sampling
World's Largest GIS Conference
SC/GA Coastal Erosion Project
NOAA Data Integration
Talk at WHFC
New Babies in Western Region
New Coastal & Marine Geology Circular
August Publications List