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Awards

“Atlantic Canyons” Interagency Study Team Receives Excellence in Partnering Award



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The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) were awarded the National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP) 2015 Excellence in Partnering Award at the Ocean Sciences Meeting in New Orleans on February 23, for their work in conceiving, managing and conducting the “Atlantic Canyons: Pathways to the Abyss” project.

Hundreds of catsharks, or chainlink dogfish, rest on one of the "Billy Mitchell" Fleet shipwrecks
Above: Hundreds of catsharks, or chainlink dogfish, rest on one of the "Billy Mitchell" Fleet shipwrecks. The shipwreck has also been occupied by colonies of anemones, starfish, and hydroids. Image courtesy of Deepwater Canyons 2013 - Pathways to the Abyss, NOAA-OER/BOEM/USGS. [larger version]

U.S. Geological Survey scientists prepare to extract a sediment sample from one of the push cores deployed by the Jason II ROV
Above: U.S. Geological Survey scientists (left to right) Jennifer McClain-Counts, Jill Bourque, and Amanda Demopoulos prepare to extract a sediment sample from one of the push cores deployed by the Jason II remotely operated vehicle. Image courtesy of Deepwater Canyons 2013 - Pathways to the Abyss, NOAA-OER/BOEM/USGS. [larger version]

Through collaboration, all three Federal agencies accomplished what none could have done alone. This multi-year effort leveraged the resources of BOEM, USGS, NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 12 universities and research institutions, and two companies, to explore Baltimore and Norfolk Canyons about 60 miles offshore of Maryland and Virginia. The work took place under the NOPP research umbrella.

A squat lobster rests among a bubblegum coral, a red tree coral, and a sponge
Above: Deep-sea coral communities can be very diverse. Here a squat lobster rests among a bubblegum coral, a red tree coral, and a sponge. A brisingid seastar arm is also visible. Image courtesy of Deepwater Canyons 2013 - Pathways to the Abyss, NOAA-OER/BOEM/USGS. [larger version]

The research findings are significant and depict a biologically rich region that had not been fully explored in the past, including historically important shipwrecks, extensive deep-sea coral communities, and a vast methane-seep ecosystem. Learn more about the project’s history and discoveries by watching the 23-minute high-definition video, “Pathways to the Abyss.”

ROV Jason is launched from NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
Above: ROV Jason is launched from NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown. Image courtesy of “Deepwater Canyons 2013 - Pathways to the Abyss,” NOAA-OER/BOEM/USGS. [larger version]

Participating USGS scientists from across the nation and multiple research programs being recognized for their part of the Atlantic Canyon project include: Matthew Andersen, Jonathan Borden, Jill Bourque, Colleen Charles, Olivia Cheriton, Hillary Close, Katharine Coykendall, Amanda Demopoulos, Michael Gray, Christina Kellogg, Stephanie Lawler, Jennifer McClain-Counts, Cheryl Morrison, Nancy Prouty, Kurt Rosenberger, and Pamela Swarzenski.

The team received another major award in January 2014, when Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell presented them with the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Partners in Conservation Award.


Related Sound Waves Stories
Deepwater Canyon Study Among Projects Given Prestigious DOI Partners in Conservation Award
Jan. / Feb. 2014
Life in the Abyss
May / June 2013
Coral Gardens: Forests of the Deep Mission Log, May 11, 2013
May / June 2013
USGS Scientists on Team Honored by Excellence in Partnering Award
Nov. / Dec. 2012
Scientists Cruise Deep into Coral Ecosystems
December 2009

Related Websites
Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Partners in Conservation Award
DOI
"Atlantic Canyons" study team to receive prestigious award at Ocean Sciences 2016 in New Orleans
BOEM
Pathways to the Abyss
Vimeo
DISCOVRE - Diversity, Systematics and Connectivity of Vulnerable Reef Ecosystems Project
USGS

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in this issue:

Research
Mystery Solved: Seafloor Mapping Reveals Cause of 1964 Alaskan Tsunami

Local Research with Global Effects: Coastal Scientists Study El Niño in California

Outreach
Second Phase of Photo and Video Portal Completed

Awards
"Atlantic Canyons" Interagency Study Team Receives Excellence Award

Staff
USGS Scientist Takes Intl. Atomic Energy Agency Post in Monaco

A Childhood Love for Plants Becomes a Career in Wetland Science

Publications
New Map Series Shows Geology of the Seabed off Boston, Massachusetts

Feb. / Mar. Publications

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