Enthusiastic response to open house at the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz

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USGS scientists at the Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California, spoke with an estimated 300 visitors during a December 9 open house.

Adults and kids explored interactive exhibits, video and photo displays, posters, deep-sea rocks and minerals, and oceanographic equipment. Exhibits (and people) filled the lobby and entrance courtyard. “The public was excited to see what we do,” said Center Director Guy Gelfenbaum, “and many were engaged in interesting and meaningful conversations about the science.” Media coverage later that day included an article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel and a segment on KION TV’s late-night news.

USGS hydrologist Anthony Guerriero discusses a device used to measure streamflow with a couple of youngsters.

USGS hydrologist Anthony Guerriero of the California Water Science Center lets a young enthusiast spin the propeller of a current meter that, when underwater, rotates according to how fast the water pushes past it. You can "listen" to the ticking sounds that the current meter makes with each revolution of its propeller. The ticking sound is transmitted to a computer, and based on how many ticks per second are "heard" by the computer, water velocity (meters per second) can be calculated.

Geologist Jim Hein and Physical Science Technician Kira Mizell stand with their display of seafloor minerals for an event.

Geologist Jim Hein and physical science technician Kira Mizell pose with their display on seafloor minerals.