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GCE-LTER Project News

July 2017 Calendar

LTER IM Committee Meeting
dates: 07/24/2017 to 07/28/2017
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Latest Data Releases

03/14/2017 – Data Release

Provisional CTD data from the GCE Mini-Cruises are now processed and online.  These data also include CTD profiles taken around the time of Hurricane Matthew (October 2016). https://gce-lter.marsci.uga.edu/private/app/ctd_data.asp

Note that the SeaBird CTD malfunctioned in May 2016, so no CTD profile data were collected for that month.  The June through August surveys were sampled using the Castaway handheld CTD profiler while the SeaBird was getting repaired.  

Also, the October Mini-Cruise data was lost.  We have data from October in the Hurricane Matthew casts, but not from our normal monthly stations. 

02/22/2017 – Data Release

Historic NOAA Palmer Drought Index data sets and plots for Georgia Division 9 (coastal counties; see map) are now available in the GCE Data Portal. These indices are useful for characterizing the timing and severity of drought events in the long-term climate record. The data were downloaded from NOAA and converted into tabular data sets with decoded state and date columns to simplify filtering, plotting and analysis.

Monthly indices are available from 1895 to present, and will be updated approximately quarterly. Complete data sets for all US climate divisions can also be browsed and downloaded for off-line analysis. Separate data sets are provided for four types of drought indices, as described below and in data set metadata:

Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI): attempts to measure the duration and intensity of the long-term drought-inducing circulation patterns. Long-term drought is cumulative, so the intensity of drought during the current month is dependent on the current weather patterns plus the cumulative patterns of previous months. Since weather patterns can change almost literally overnight from a long-term drought pattern to a long-term wet pattern, the PDSI can respond fairly rapidly.

Palmer Modified Drought Index (PMDI): Operational version of the PDSI. Description available in Heddinghaus and Sabol (1991).

Palmer Hydrological Drought Index (PHDI): measures hydrological impacts of drought (e.g., reservoir levels, groundwater levels, etc.) which take longer to develop and longer to recover from. This long-term drought index was developed to quantify these hydrological effects, and it responds more slowly to changing conditions than the PDSI.

Palmer Z Index (ZNDX): measures short-term drought on a monthly scale.

01/26/2017 – Data Release

Finalized 2016 data from the SINERR/GCE weather station at Marsh Landing on Sapelo Island were added to the GCE Data Catalog (MET-GCEM-1701). A cumulative data set covering the period 2003-2016, with tables containing both original 15-minute observations and summarized daily statistics, was also added to the catalog (MET-GCES-1701) and will be updated annually.

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Latest File Uploads

06/30/2017 – Photograph
Littoraria irrorata photograph (details)

06/30/2017 – Photograph
Uca pugnax photograph (details)

06/30/2017 – Photograph
Uca pugnax photograph (details)

06/30/2017 – Photograph
Uca pugnax photograph (details)

06/30/2017 – Photograph
Uca pugnax photograph (details)

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GCE Project Announcements

07/24/2017 – Employment

Brendan Manley is the newest addition to the GCE field crew.  He finished with a MS in Environmental Studies at UNC Wilmington in December.  He has been gaining field experience working with the North Carolina Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve.   Brendan is also currently in the United States Air Force Reserves after spending 10 years in the United States Air Force.  Please make sure you say hello to Brendan the next time you are on Sapelo.  

(keep reading)

(contact Jacob Shalack for additional information)
07/13/2017 – Outreach News

A group of 13 enthusiastic teachers have gathered at UGAMI once again to spend a week assisting Scientists and Graduate Students in the field. The 13 teachers, including 2 from Tennessee, have been deeply immersed in the field work for the various projects supporting the mission and goals of the GCE-LTER. It is a great testimony to the Schoolyard program that both teachers and scientists arrange their summer to return to the island to work on their projects during this particular time. This year we have 3 returning teachers acting as mentors for the newbies. The Alber, Schalles, Pennings, and Craft teams are back and going strong. Some of the projects involve water quality, plant monitoring, sea turtle patrol, spider population studies, and, of course, some aspect of SALTEX. Teachers are experiencing many different stages of the processes of science with intentions of reflecting the same in their own teaching settings. It is certainly not always fun and games, but the groups that gather each year make the most of the experiences and always go away with great stories to tell, a smile and the hope of returning.

(keep reading)

(contact Venetia Butler for additional information)
07/11/2017 – Education News

Scientists working at Sapelo have not always managed to clean up after themselves. Schoolyard teacher Mary Beth Hannon and Steve Pennings took a break from collecting data on plant communities to clean up part of a long-abandoned experiment at airport marsh. We won't name and shame the scientist who left it here (not part of our beloved LTER family!), but with more and more attention being paid to work in the Georgia marshes, it is important for us all to clean up in the future when our experiments are finished.

(keep reading)

(contact Steve Pennings for additional information)
07/04/2017 – Sapelo News

GCE LTER technicians once again dominated the field at the 12th (?) annual Sapelo Island fourth of July 5K run. Alyssa took first place overall, with Dontrece coming in second, both finishing the course in less than 22 minutes. Witnesses said that they "obliterated" the remaining field, which consisted of around 28 runners. We congratulate them both for bringing glory to the LTER and showing that hard work in the marsh is the key to all-around physical fitness. Jacob and Zach, for unknown reasons, did not compete. Members of the Angelini lab and Schalles lab, although not equaling the performance of the GCE techs, finished the course with respectable times and excellent attitudes. The Angelini lab, needing more exercise and data, then headed out into the marsh to do field work. Island manager Fred Hay finished first in the "over 40 men" age group.  GCE co-PI Steve Pennings (over 40 with sore leg category), his dog Torrey (medium dog category), his long-suffering assistant Huy Vu and his dog Vincent (large dog category) were all disqualified from the 2K walk for failing to complete the course and we hope that they will do better next year.

(keep reading)

(contact Steve Pennings for additional information)
06/30/2017 – Monitoring Program

Each month the field crew collects monthly data on Spartina stem density, stem height, chlorophyll content, and above:belowground biomass ratio in creekbank, medium Spartina and short Spartina zones near the flux tower. These data help us understand the phenology of Spartina, provide a check on phenology data generated by remote sensing and the phenocam, help calibrate and test the Spartina model, and help us interpret the data coming from the flux tower. 

(keep reading)

(contact Steve Pennings for additional information)
06/28/2017 – Education News

Some visiting teachers attending a workshop led by Georgia Graves helped the GCE LTER remove a truckoad of abandoned infrastructure from the high marsh around UGAMI. In this case, this debris came from projects that pre-dated the founding of the LTER. Chief pry-bar operator was Zach Lawson, GCE LTER field crew intern, center.

photograph
The world is one truckload of debris a better place.

(contact Steve Pennings for additional information)

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grants OCE-9982133, OCE-0620959 and OCE-1237140. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.