Last month I spent three weeks working in the USA, I visited Floridad and California. It was a very rewarding and inspiring research trip. Thank you to all the people who organised Coastal Sediments and who were wonderful hosts at UC Davis and at USGS Santa Cruz.
Part 1 – Attending Coastal Sediments in St Pete’s Beach, Florida
Coastal Sediments was, as it always is, a great friendly conference. There were lots of really interesting talks and posters and the organisation was really efficient. And there were two great keynote addresses given by the wonderful Dr Britt Raubenheimer and Dr Joan Pope; yes, both female, amazing!
If I can take any take-home-messages for me that I can convey in a short blog post, those are that we need more research on the sediment transport of sediments that are not unimodal and well sorted (for example mixed sediments or carbonate sediments); that we need to quantify sediment supply to coastal systems; and, that there are many coastal systems that are not open-ocean beaches that remain poorly understood*.
Part 2 – Working with the University of California, Davis: fieldwork at Tomales Bay’s estuarine beaches and seminar at Bodega Bay Marine Laboratory.
I joined Professor John Largier from UC Davis at Bodega Marine Laboratory for a field campaign on the beaches located inside Tomales Bay. This is part of the Partnership Collaboration Award between The University of Sydney and the University of California, Davis. It is also part of a long-term collaboration with Dr Shari Gallop, formerly from Macquarie University and now at the University of Waikato. The team also included field support by David and Robyn and postgraduate student from UC Davis Sam Winter, and UC Berkeley Lukas WinklerPrins.
The objective was to establish a baseline and a long-term monitoring program for the estuarine beaches located inside Tomales Bay (just over 100 km north from San Francisco). We surveyed six beaches, deployed pressure sensors in all of them, and collected 104 sediment samples that will help us characterise these beaches.
We had glorious weather most of the days and finished with an après-fieldwork (is that even a thing? it should be!) oyster degustation by the water that was just perfect!
We also went to San Francisco Bay to observe the beaches in estuaries and bays over there. It was a beautiful day with great visibility, look at the estuarine beach beside the Golden Gate!
Part 3 – A quick visit to the USGS Santa Cruz including a seminar on estuarine beaches and a seminar/workshop on gender equity in coastal geosciences and engineering.
Shari Gallop and I then rented a car and went on road trip from Bodega to Santa Cruz; we drove by the coast and it was a truly beautiful drive!
Our short visit to the USGS in Santa Cruz was short but intense. Our hosts, Andy O’Neil and Crut Storlazzi, organised a research seminar on estuarine beaches, that triggered interesting conversations with some USGS scientists. We also delivered a WICGE seminar where we presented our paper about the steps to achieve gender equality in coastal geosciences and engineering. We had an engaged audience and there were lots of interesting discussions.
*Although there are still many aspects of open ocean beaches that need more research too!