Open House Welcomes Enthusiastic Visitors to Santa Cruz Office

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Scientists at the USGS offices in Santa Cruz, California participated in the Open House on Saturday, December 9, 2017, excited to share their science with the community.

This article is part of the January 2018 issue of the Sound Waves newsletter

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.

“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.

A woman shows visitors how she uses sediment sieves.

USGS research geologist Amy East shows onlookers how to sift sand to determine its size.

(Credit: Rex Sanders, USGS. Public domain.)

A USGS employee kneels near a small, yellow, torpedo-shaped device that is hanging in front of him.

USGS hydrologist Anthony Guerriero lets a visitor spin the propeller of a current meter.

(Credit: USGS. Public domain.)



A woman facing the camera talks to two men with their backs to the camera.

Members of the PCMSC Marine Minerals Team, including physical science technician Kira Mizell (center), took turns describing the importance of seafloor minerals.

(Credit: Guy Gelfenbaum, USGS. Public domain.)

A man and two women crouch around a table with a computer screen that one of the women is pointing to while she talks.

Visitors watched closely as Alicia Balster-Gee (in green vest) presented our research on marine geohazards in Alaska.

(Credit: Guy Gelfenbaum, USGS. Public domain.)


USGS Ocean Engineer Gerry Hatcher explains his equipment for collecting underwater video to a visitor.

USGS Ocean Engineer Gerry Hatcher explains his seafloor video equipment and techniques to a visitor.

(Credit: USGS. Public domain.)

A man at right talks about and gestures at a rock on a table to another man who is squatting in front of the rock.

Research geologist Jim Hein (right) gave a hands-on explanation of seafloor mineral deposits.

(Credit: Kira Mizell, USGS. Public domain.)


A USGS employee describes what is shown on the computer screen while visitors use a computer with a mouse.

On December 9, 2017, USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center in Santa Cruz, California opened its (lobby) doors to the public at an Open House event. Here, USGS geographer Nadine Golden helps visitors to navigate around the USGS coastal and marine video and photo online “portal” or web site.

(Public domain.)



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