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Outreach

Open House Welcomes Enthusiastic Visitors to Santa Cruz Office



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In 2004, shortly after moving into new USGS offices in Santa Cruz, California, we hosted a large open house. Then we skipped a few years. Quite a few years.

On Saturday, December 9, 2017, we held our second open house at this location. Roughly 300 people interacted with 14 displays on topics ranging from seabird biology to mapping coastal landslides with drones. Scientists from the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center (PCMSC), California Water Science Center (CAWSC), and Western Ecological Research Center (WERC) eagerly shared their science with the community, including many children.

Photo of research geologist Amy East showing a child how to sift sand to determine its size
Above: Research geologist Amy East (left) shows a budding geologist how to sift sand to determine its size during our Open House in Santa Cruz, California. Photo credit: Rex Sanders, USGS. [larger version]

“The public was excited to see what we do,” said PCMSC Director Guy Gelfenbaum, “and many were engaged in interesting and meaningful conversations about the science.”

Exhibits and presenters included:

Several other USGS scientists and staff pitched in to create, set up, operate, and clean up the displays.

Photo of children posing for pictures on personal watercraft
Above: Posing for pictures on personal watercraft was very popular. Photo credit: Rex Sanders, USGS. [larger version]

Kids really enjoyed sifting sand through screens, dancing in front of an infrared camera, and climbing around on personal watercraft. Two reporters and a photographer covered the event, producing a story for the Santa Cruz Sentinel newspaper and a 2-minute KION-TV evening news segment.

Photo of open house organizer Rex Sanders explaining the wide range of USGS research for a TV interview.
Above: Open house organizer Rex Sanders explains the wide range of USGS research for a TV interview. Screen capture from KION video. [larger version]

Because of the enthusiastic response, we plan to hold the next open house much sooner. As one visitor told KION, “It's been really fun talking with these people.”

Photo of an orange sidewalk sign against a background of green grass Photo of adults and kids sifting beach sand
Above: Sidewalk signs attracted visitors from the weekly farmer’s market across the street. Photo credit: Helen Gibbons, USGS. [larger version]

  Above: Adults and kids enjoyed sifting beach sand after a short demonstration by Amy East (right), as Shawn Harrison (center) looks on. Photo credit: Helen Gibbons, USGS. [larger version]

Photo of a child on a personal watercraft
Above: A future personal watercraft captain checked out the controls on a beautiful December day in Santa Cruz. Photo credit: Rex Sanders, USGS. [larger version]

Photo of a researcher demonstrating equipment to 2 children Photo of a reporter interviewing the science center director
Above: Anthony Guerriero (left) helped a youngster count headphone clicks to measure streamflows. Photo credit: Helen Gibbons, USGS. [larger version]

  Above: KION-TV reporter Ashley Keehn (right) asked PCMSC Director Guy Gelfenbaum about why we held this open house. Photo credit: Shawn Harrison, USGS. [larger version]

Photo of visitors and staff in the USGS Santa Cruz Center lobby
Above: Visitors and staff filled our lobby for several hours. Photo credit: Guy Gelfenbaum, USGS. [larger version]

Photo of a researcher talking to a child as a camerawoman films them Visitors watch as a researcher points to a screen
Above: Emma Kelsey (right) explained seabird biology to visitors as a TV camera recorded the scene. Photo credit: Shawn Harrison, USGS. [larger version]

  Above: Visitors watched closely as Alicia Balster-Gee (in green vest) presented our research on marine geohazards in Alaska. Photo credit: Guy Gelfenbaum, USGS. [larger version]

Photo of 2 men watching a researcher talking Photo of a researcher showing a large mineral to a visitor
Above: Members of the PCMSC Marine Minerals Team, including physical science technician Kira Mizell (center), took turns describing the importance of seafloor minerals. Photo credit: Guy Gelfenbaum, USGS. [larger version]

  Above: Research geologist Jim Hein gave a hands-on explanation of seafloor mineral deposits. Photo credit: Kira Mizell, USGS. [larger version]

Photo of 2 men discussing underwater camera equipment
Above: Gerry Hatcher (right) described how the bright yellow camera sled helps scientists study the ocean floor. Photo credit: Helen Gibbons, USGS. [larger version]

Photo of a young girl trying on a researcher's boots Photo of a researcher talking to 2 visitors, with computer screens showing images in the background
Above: Li Erikson (right) helped a young visitor try on the tall boots needed for Alaskan coastal research. Photo credit: Shawn Harrison, USGS. [larger version]

  Above: The drone on the table helped map a giant Big Sur landslide that closed California’s Highway 1. Josh Logan (right) described the process to visitors. Photo credit: Rex Sanders, USGS. [larger version]

Photo of visitors looking at a table with handouts
Above: Our handouts were very popular with kids and adults. Photo credit: Guy Gelfenbaum, USGS. [larger version]

Photo of a reasercher talking to 2 visitors Photo of a researcher talking to visitors while using a computer screen for visuals
Above: Patrick Barnard (left) explained detailed computer forecasts of coastal flooding and erosion driven by climate change. Photo credit: Rex Sanders, USGS. [larger version]

  Above: A small crowd leans in to view seafloor videos and photos presented by Nadine Golden (left). Photo credit: Helen Gibbons, USGS. [larger version]

Related Sound Waves Stories
Festive Open House at the USGS Pacific Science Center
October 2004

Related Websites
Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
USGS
Santa Cruz Field Station
California Water Science Center
Open house on all services at USGS
KION News Channel
USGS scientists share their research with community at open house
Santa Cruz Sentinel

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in this issue:

Cover Story New Expedition along  the Queen Charlotte-Fairweather Fault in Alaska

News Brief
News Briefs

Field Work
Recent Fieldwork

Outreach
Open House Welcomes Enthusiastic Visitors to Santa Cruz Office

Meetings
Highlights from the 2017 AGU Fall Meeting

Awards
DOI‘s Distinguished Service Award Given to Susan Russell-Robinson

Staff amd Center News
Susan Russell-Robinson: Forty-Two Years of Service to the USGS

Publications
Jan. Publications

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