St. Petersburg Hosts Geochemical Processes Workshop
A U.S. Geological Survey workshop on Geochemical Processes of Coastal Contaminants was held
June 12th-14th at the Center for Coastal and Regional Marine Studies in St. Petersburg, FL.
Keith Kvenvolden (CMGPMenlo Park), Marilyn ten Brink (CMGPWoods Hole) and Peter Swarzenski
(CMGPSt. Pete) co-organized the event. Approximately 30 USGS scientists who have a strong interest
in the geochemistry, transport, and effects of coastal contaminants attended the workshop. The meeting
provided a forum for geochemists, sedimentologists, and contaminant biologists in all divisions to
clarify objectives that address the geochemical processes and interactions of contaminant substances
and their transport within coastal systems on a nationwide scale. Participants included CMGP scientists
from all three centers, plus colleagues from BRD (Scott Carr, Ginger Garrison), GD (Tom Cronin, Bill Orem)
WRD (Rick Hooper, Art Horowitz, Scott Phillips, and Ben McPherson).
Organizers of the Geochemical Processes Workshop with St. Petersburg Team Chief Scientist and host Lisa Robbins.
Left to right: Marilyn ten Brink, Lisa Robbins, Keith Kvenvolden, and Peter Swarzenski.
Goals of the workshop were to:
- identify and prioritize important national issues and information needs for understanding
contaminant flux, mobility and impact on ecosystem health;
- identify the approach and methodology best suited to address these questions and define our role as USGS
scientists in meeting research needs;
- develop a national and interdivisional infrastructure within the USGS for interdisciplinary research
in coastal contaminants.
Participants of the 2001 Geochemical Processes Workshop.
After introductory remarks by Lisa Robbins (Team Chief ScientistSt. Pete) and Marilyn ten Brink,
Keith Kvenvolden moderated a series of presentations that described ongoing geochemical projects along
our Nation's coastline, region by region. In the afternoon a discussion ensued on key coastal geochemical
processes, parameters and problems. Data gaps, criteria for prioritizing research, and limits to predictive
abilities were discussed. Wednesday morning we broke up into three sub-groups, each tasked to define our
view of a national plan for coastal contamination studies and how to implement these views. Salient
conclusions of discussions include the following:
In the courtyard:
Workshop participants enjoyed the opportunity for informal discussions at the evening social
held in the courtyard of the St. Petersburg facility.
- We need to create nationwide infrastructure for geochemical research on contaminants in coastal regions.
A USGS-wide interest group, communications system, advisory team, dialogue with management, and outreach
materials are required.
- Fundamental geochemical issues that threaten coastal environmental quality have been identified. Needs
differ on regional scales but issues exist nationwide, sound scientific criteria exist to prioritize research,
and dialogue with regional environmental managers is critical.
- Understanding the past behavior and prediction of the future fate and impact of contaminants in coastal
systems are overarching goals. Compilation of existing data nationwide, sensitivity testing for processes,
and a balance of characterization and process studies are all needed to meet this goal.
On Thursday, a writing team (John Bratton, Marilyn ten Brink, Ellen Mecray (CMGP-Woods Hole), Sid Mitra
(CMGP-Menlo Park), Bill Orem (GD ERP) and Peter Swarzenski (CMGP-St. Pete) transcribed and summarized
the proceedings of the workshop. Input from approximately 30 additional contaminant scientists throughout
the USGS who were unable to attend the workshop will be included in the final workshop report and recommendations.
in this issue:
Mapping Puget Sound
Biscayne Nat'l Park
Glacier Bay Cruise
GIS Group Teaches Science
Geologic Discipline EMAC
Closing the Circle
NAGT Summer Interns
Woods Hole Interns
Jerry Parker Memorial
Gaye Farris Re-Elected to STC Exec Board
"Natural Gas Hydrates" Book
July Publications List