Richard P Signell, Ph.D.
Rich Signell is a research oceanographer at the US Geological Survey in Woods Hole. He graduated from the University of Michigan School of Engineering with a B.S. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Science in 1983, obtained a MS in Physical Oceanography from MIT in 1987, and a PhD from the WHOI/MIT Joint Program in Physical Oceanography in 1989.
Rich's early work at the USGS focused on dispersion and transport in coastal waters, and included the hydrodynamic simulations for the relocation of Boston’s sewage outfall to clean up of Boston Harbor. He has worked on a number of environmental sediment issues, including Massachusetts Bay, Lake Pontchartrain, and Long Island Sound. He also worked for the NATO Undersea Research Center in La Spezia, Italy from 2001-2004. Rich has a long-standing interest in data management, analysis and visualization, promoting standards and standards-based modeling tools for the last 20 years.
Science and Products
Estuarine processes, hazards, and ecosystems describes several interdisciplinary projects that aim to quantify and understand estuarine processes through observations and numerical modeling. Both the spatial and temporal scales of these mechanisms are important, and therefore require modern instrumentation and state-of-the-art hydrodynamic models. These projects are led from the U.S....
Numerical models are used by scientists, engineers, coastal managers, and the public to understand and predict processes in the coastal ocean. This project supports the development and application of open-source coastal models and has several objectives: 1) improve the code of numerical sediment-transport models by implementing new or improved algorithms; 2) obtain measurements of coastal...
Executive Summary Traditionally in the USGS, data is processed and analyzed on local researcher computers, then moved to centralized, remote computers for preservation and publishing (ScienceBase, Pubs Warehouse). This approach requires each researcher to have the necessary hardware and software for processing and analysis, and also to bring all external data required for the workflow over the...
Evaluating a new open-source, standards-based framework for web portal development in the geosciences
Web portals are one of the principal ways geospatial information can be communicated to the public. A few prominent USGS examples are the Geo Data Portal (http://cida.usgs.gov/gdp/ [URL is accessible with Google Chrome]), EarthExplorer (http://earthexplorer.usgs.gov/), the former Derived Downscaled Climate...
This project is complete and the website is archived and no longer updated.
Boston Harbor, once one of the most polluted waterways in the nation, is in the final stages of a major cleanup. A $3.8 billion cleanup program, begun in 1985 by the Massachusetts Water Resources...
Community for Data Integration fiscal year 2017 funded project report
The U.S. Geological Survey Community for Data Integration annually funds small projects focusing on data integration for interdisciplinary research, innovative data management, and demonstration of new technologies. This report provides a summary of the 11 projects funded in fiscal year 2017, outlining their goals, activities, and outputs.Hsu, Leslie; Allstadt, Kate E.; Bell, Tara M.; Boydston, Erin E.; Erickson, Richard A.; Everette, A. Lance; Lentz, Erika; Peters, Jeff; Reichert, Brian E.; Nagorsen, Sarah; Sherba, Jason T.; Signell, Richard P.; Wiltermuth, Mark T.; Young, John A.
Community for Data Integration 2016 annual report
The Community for Data Integration (CDI) represents a dynamic community of practice focused on advancing science data and information management and integration capabilities across the U.S. Geological Survey and the CDI community. This annual report describes the various presentations, activities, and outcomes of the CDI monthly forums, working...Langseth, Madison L.; Hsu, Leslie; Amberg, Jon J.; Bliss, Norman; Bock, Andrew R.; Bolus, Rachel T.; Bristol, R. Sky; Chase, Katherine J.; Crimmins, Theresa M.; Earle, Paul S.; Erickson, Richard; Everette, A. Lance; Falgout, Jeff T.; Faundeen, John L.; Fienen, Michael N.; Griffin, Rusty; Guy, Michelle R.; Henry, Kevin D.; Hoebelheinrich, Nancy J.; Hunt, Randall; Hutchison, Vivian B.; Ignizio, Drew A.; Infante, Dana M.; Jarnevich, Catherine; Jones, Jeanne M.; Kern, Tim; Leibowitz, Scott; Lightsom, Francis L.; Marsh, R. Lee; McCalla, S. Grace; McNiff, Marcia; Morisette, Jeffrey T.; Nelson, John C.; Norkin, Tamar; Preston, Todd M.; Rosemartin, Alyssa; Sando, Roy; Sherba, Jason T.; Signell, Richard P.; Sleeter, Benjamin M.; Sundquist, Eric T.; Talbert, Colin B.; Viger, Roland J.; Weltzin, Jake F.; Waltman, Sharon; Weber, Marc; Wieferich, Daniel J.; Williams, Brad; Windham-Myers, Lisamarie
Advancing coastal ocean modelling, analysis, and prediction for the US Integrated Ocean Observing System
This paper outlines strategies that would advance coastal ocean modelling, analysis and prediction as a complement to the observing and data management activities of the coastal components of the US Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®) and the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS). The views presented are the consensus of a group of US-based...Wilkin, John L.; Rosenfeld, Leslie; Allen, Arthur; Baltes, Rebecca; Baptista, Antonio; He, Ruoying; Hogan, Patrick; Kurapov, Alexander; Mehra, Avichal; Quintrell, Josie; Schwab, David; Signell, Richard P.; Smith, Jane
Observations and a linear model of water level in an interconnected inlet-bay system
A system of barrier islands and back-barrier bays occurs along southern Long Island, New York, and in many coastal areas worldwide. Characterizing the bay physical response to water level fluctuations is needed to understand flooding during extreme events and evaluate their relation to geomorphological changes. Offshore sea level is one of the...Aretxabaleta, Alfredo; Ganju, Neil K.; Butman, Bradford; Signell, Richard P.
Bathymetry and backscatter intensity of the sea floor of the Historic Area Remediation Site in 1996, 1998, and 2000
Surveys of the bathymetry and backscatter intensity of the sea floor of the Historic Area Remediation Site (HARS), offshore of New York and New Jersey, were carried out in 1996, 1998, and 2000 using a Simrad EM1000 multibeam echosounder mounted on the Canadian Coast Guard ship Frederick G. Creed. The objective of the multiple echosounder surveys...Butman, Bradford; Danforth, William W.; Clarke, John E. Hughes; Signell, Richard
Dynamic reusable workflows for ocean science
Digital catalogs of ocean data have been available for decades, but advances in standardized services and software for catalog search and data access make it now possible to create catalog-driven workflows that automate — end-to-end — data search, analysis and visualization of data from multiple distributed sources. Further, these workflows may be...Signell, Richard P.; Fernandez, Filipe; Wilcox, Kyle
Technical Note: Harmonizing met-ocean model data via standard web services within small research groups
Work over the last decade has resulted in standardised web services and tools that can significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of working with meteorological and ocean model data. While many operational modelling centres have enabled query and access to data via common web services, most small research groups have not. The...Signell, Richard P.; Camossi, E.
Investigating the importance of sediment resuspension in Alexandrium fundyense cyst population dynamics in the Gulf of Maine
Cysts of Alexandrium fundyense, a dinoflagellate that causes toxic algal blooms in the Gulf of Maine, spend the winter as dormant cells in the upper layer of bottom sediment or the bottom nepheloid layer and germinate in spring to initiate new blooms. Erosion measurements were made on sediment cores collected at seven stations in the Gulf of Maine...Butman, Bradford; Aretxabaleta, Alfredo L.; Dickhudt, Patrick J.; Dalyander, P. Soupy; Sherwood, Christopher R.; Anderson, Donald M.; Keafer, Bruce A.; Signell, Richard P.
Advances in a distributed approach for ocean model data interoperability
An infrastructure for earth science data is emerging across the globe based on common data models and web services. As we evolve from custom file formats and web sites to standards-based web services and tools, data is becoming easier to distribute, find and retrieve, leaving more time for science. We describe recent advances that make it easier...Signell, Richard P.; Snowden, Derrick P.
Near-bottom circulation and dispersion of sediment containing Alexandrium fundyense cysts in the Gulf of Maine during 2010-2011
The life cycle of Alexandrium fundyense in the Gulf of Maine includes a dormant cyst stage that spends the winter predominantly in the bottom sediment. Wave-current bottom stress caused by storms and tides induces resuspension of cyst-containing sediment during winter and spring. Resuspended sediment could be transported by water flow to different...Aretxabaleta, Alfredo L.; Butman, Bradford; Signell, Richard P.; Dalyander, P. Soupy; Sherwood, Christopher R.; Sheremet, Vitalii A.; McGillicuddy, Dennis J.
U.S. Geological Survey core science systems strategy: characterizing, synthesizing, and understanding the critical zone through a modular science framework
Core Science Systems is a new mission of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) that resulted from the 2007 Science Strategy, "Facing Tomorrow's Challenges: U.S. Geological Survey Science in the Decade 2007-2017." This report describes the Core Science Systems vision and outlines a strategy to facilitate integrated characterization and understanding of...Bristol, R. Sky; Euliss, Ned H.; Booth, Nathaniel L.; Burkardt, Nina; Diffendorfer, Jay E.; Gesch, Dean B.; McCallum, Brian E.; Miller, David M.; Morman, Suzette A.; Poore, Barbara S.; Signell, Richard P.; Viger, Roland J.
Construction of a 3-arcsecond digital elevation model for the Gulf of Maine
A system-wide description of the seafloor topography is a basic requirement for most coastal oceanographic studies. The necessary detail of the topography obviously varies with application, but for many uses, a nominal resolution of roughly 100 m is sufficient. Creating a digital bathymetric grid with this level of resolution can be a complex...Twomey, Erin R.; Signell, Richard P.