Photo Roundup - April-May 2019

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A selection of coastal and marine images from across the USGS

This article is part of the April-May 2019 issue of the Sound Waves newsletter.

Bald eagle sits atop a leafless tree, overlooking a marshy inlet with farmland in the distance.

I spy with my little (eagle-) eye . . .

After a successful beach survey and installation of remote-sensing cameras on a nearby island, scientists Shawn Harrison and Andrew Stevens spotted this bald eagle near the mouth of the Skagit River, Washington. Photo credit: Andrew Stevens, USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, public domain.



People are wearing wet suits and waders and are holding hand-held computers and backpacks with equipment in them, smiling.

Synchronized mapping

USGS and Washington State Department of Ecology scientists are geared up and ready to start a topographic survey at the mouth of the Elwha River, using handheld computers and backpack-mounted GPS equipment. The river continues changing years after the largest dam removal project in the United States. Photo credit: Andrew Stevens, USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, public domain.


View from the sky of a landscape with a river running through it, and the river is winding back and forth.

The Long and Winding... River

A winding strip of rainbow colors shows the bathymetry (depth) of the bed of the Mokelumne River just above its confluence with the San Joaquin River in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta east of San Francisco Bay, California. USGS scientists mapped the channel as part of a project to assess the impact of invasive aquatic vegetation on sediment movement in the Delta. Image credit: Pete Dartnell, USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, public domain.


Cheboygan Residents Tour the R/V Sturgeon

Cheboygan residents tour the R/V Sturgeon

USGS Great Lakes Science Center staff led two public tours of the research vessels Sturgeon and Arcticus on April 24, 2019, as part of the Earth Week Plus Expo in Cheboygan, Michigan. A group of fifty tour participants learned about USGS Great Lakes science, viewed the variety of scientific equipment used during field surveys, and saw the inner workings of the vessels. Photo credit: Andrea Miehls, USGS, April 24, 2019, public domain.


Baby bird walking on the rocks of a volcano

Glaucous-winged Gull chick on Bogoslof Island, Alaska

Less than year after the last eruption of Bogoslof Volcano, this baby gull took some of its first steps on the newly-formed rocks. As adults, these coastal birds can be found from the eastern Russia, through Alaska and the U.S. West Coast south to Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. The gulls are one of 28 bird species the USGS monitors for avian influenza. Photo credit: Gary Drew, USGS, August 15, 2018, public domain.


Canning River Delta with thin barrier island

Canning River Delta with thin barrier island and ice pack

Alaska’s Canning River reaches the Arctic Ocean in the 19.3 million acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The USGS studies the area for potential production of oil and natural gas, and to understand rapid environmental changes in the Arctic area. Photo credit: USGS, 2019, public domain.

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A silhouette of a person on a high bluff overlooking the calm ocean at sunset.

Peace at dusk

USGS oceanographer Shawn Harrison stands on the coastal bluff of Barter Island, Alaska at sunset. Shawn and his fellow researchers are studying how the highly erosive bluff changes under the varied conditions experienced by this stretch of coastline. The knowledge gained will be used to improve computer-derived simulations of shoreline change. Communities can then use the information to plan for sea-level rise, changing storm patterns, and other threats to coasts. Photo credit: Ferdinand Oberle, USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, September 8, 2018, public domain.


Sea Lamprey

Male or female? It depends.

Sea lampreys are an invasive, parasitic species of fish damaging the Great Lakes. Scientists with the USGS and Michigan State University found that slower sea lamprey growth rates during the larval phase of development may increase the odds of an individual fish becoming male. (Photo credit: USGS, May 30, 2019, public domain.)


USGS pilots landing a Unmanned Aerial Systems (uas) on  Dauphin Island, Alabama

USGS pilot landing a drone on Dauphine Island, Alabama

A USGS unmanned aerial system (drone) pilot collected aerial imagery and ground control points for the Coastal Resource Evaluation for Management Applications project. Computer analysis of these photos can produce detailed elevation, vegetation, and habitat maps used to study coastal changes. Photo credit: Seth Ackerman, USGS, March 12, 2019, public domain.


USGS scientist Sarah Fitzgerald holds a surf scoter that has been fitted with a satellite tag.

Surf scoter sporting a satellite tag

USGS scientist Sarah Fitzgerald holds a surf scoter fitted with a satellite tag that transmits the bird’s location to satellites. By knowing the distribution and migration patterns of seabirds, offshore wind energy farms could be located and operated to minimize wildlife impacts. Photo credit: USGS, 2017, public domain.


Photo taken as SPMSC scientist Lauren Toth conducts a photographic survey of Porter Patch reef off Key Largo

Surveying a coral reef using underwater photography

Earlier this year, USGS scientist Lauren Toth conducted a photographic survey of Porter Patch reef off Key Largo, Florida, one of several sites surveyed since 1996. The new reef photos will be compared to historic surveys to determine how much structural complexity was lost over the past two decades. Photo credit: Dominique Gallery, USGS, April 3, 2019, public domain.


Visit the USGS Multimedia Gallery to browse more than 10,000 other photos and videos: 

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Recent Coastal and Marine Fieldwork - April-May 2019

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News Briefs - April-May 2019

Coastal and marine news highlights from across the USGS

This article is part of the April-May 2019 issue of the Sound Waves newsletter.

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Date published: May 31, 2019

Social Media Highlights - April-May 2019

A selection of recent USGS coastal and marine social media posts