Media Advisory: Washington Governor Jay Inslee to Speak About Building Resilience at the Pacific Northwest Climate Science Conference
As part of the Planning Committee for the Fifth Annual Pacific Northwest Climate Science Conference, the Department of the Interior’s Northwest Climate Science Center is pleased to invite you to join more than 250 scientists and practitioners from the Northwest to learn the latest on Pacific Northwest climate science and adaptation, including presentations on landslides, wildfires, sea level rise, extreme weather events, natural resource and infrastructure vulnerability, human health and cultural impacts.
At 1:30 PM on Wednesday Washington Governor, Jay Inslee, will give a Keynote Address on increasing resilience in Washington State and the Northwest.
Who: Scientists, managers and administrators addressing climate change across a range of sectors. Plenary by Washington Governor, Jay Inslee.
When: The conference will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, September 9-10, 2014
Where: Kane Hall on the University of Washington Seattle campus. Click here for directions.
Members of news organizations and of science writers' associations are encouraged to attend the conference. To learn more and to RSVP contact Lisa Hayward Watts at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-795-8843.
The avian flu virus that caused widespread harbor seal deaths in 2011 can easily spread to and infect other mammals and potentially humans.
A new study by the U.S. Geological Survey and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital shows that the avian influenza H3N8 strain that infected New England harbor seals could be transmitted to other mammals through the air without physical contact. Transmission by respiratory droplets through coughing, for example, is the main way influenza viruses spread among people. The study also showed that current seasonal flu vaccines do not protect against this seal virus, meaning a new vaccine would be necessary if there ever was an outbreak in humans.
"The ability to transmit through the air is an important step in the path toward any influenza virus becoming pandemic," said USGS scientist Hon Ip. "The lack of protection against the seal virus from the annual seasonal vaccine highlights the risks posed by this H3N8 group of viruses."
The article, led by St. Jude in collaboration with the USGS and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was published today in the journal Nature Communications and is available online.
The scientists tested a sample of the influenza virus taken from an infected harbor seal in New Hampshire in 2011, and found that the virus was closely related to inﬂuenza viruses from wild birds. However, the H3N8 virus isolated from the seal contained mutations that allowed it to reproduce efficiently in human lung cells, cause disease in mice and infect ferrets through the air.
"Findings from this study highlight the need for continued surveillance and study of avian influenza genetics, particularly in areas like coastal regions where wild birds, wild mammals and human populations come into contact with each other,” said USGS scientist Jeff Hall.
H3N8 viruses, common in wild birds, have been associated with ongoing outbreaks in dogs and horses and have also been detected in pigs, donkeys and now seals. Beginning in September 2011, more than 160 young harbor seals were found dead or dying along the New England coast as a result of this infection. In previous H3N8 mortality events, up to 20 percent of the local seal population died.
For more information on zoonotic diseases, or diseases that spread between animals and humans, please visit the USGS National Wildlife Health Center website.
Governor Markell signs bill declassifying and updating fines for certain hunting fishing and boating offenses
September 2, 2014
Race the Wave 5K fun run/walk to practice tsunami evacuation routes.
Cannon Beach, OR – September is National Preparedness Month and Pacific Northwest coastal communities are leading by example. Cannon Beach, Oregon will host Race the Wave, their first hazard-themed fun run designed to blend awareness and action into a single activity.Language English
Reporters: A photograph of the showcase gage is available online.
A U.S. Geological Survey streamgage will be dedicated by Congressional and city officials on September 3 in Rapid City. This showcase streamgage is located on Rapid Creek at Rapid City in Founders Park and will provide visitors with critical information about how streamflow is measured and other water-resource issues related to floods, droughts, water supply and recreation.What: Media and public are invited to attend a dedication ceremony and open house for the historical USGS showcase streamgage on Rapid Creek at Rapid City.
Who: U.S. Senator John Thune (invited) or representative
Rapid City Mayor Sam Kooiker
Mark Anderson, Director, USGS South Dakota Water Science Center
Dave Carpenter, National Weather Service
Other agencies and users of streamflow information
When: Wednesday, September 3, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Please gather on-site at 9:30 a.m.; comments will be at 10 a.m., followed by open house.
Where: North side of Rapid Creek across the footbridge in Founders Park (map of streamgage location)
Rapid City, S.D.
The Rapid Creek at Rapid City streamgage has one of the longest periods of record in South Dakota, with continuous discharge since July 1942. The new showcase gage has an outreach or public education purpose in addition to measuring flow. The gage house was designed to fit in and be part of Founder's Park.
The streamgage features three display windows that can be changed and updated over time. Current displays explain how a streamgage operates, describes the history of flooding along Rapid Creek, and provides a summary of the efforts by the City of Rapid City to improve water quality of urban runoff. A graph of the historical flows is provided with a QR code that will allow visitors to rapidly learn the current gage height and streamflow discharge from a smartphone or other mobile device.
The largest peak discharge at this location was estimated as 50,000 cubic feet per second during the historic 1972 flood. This flash flood took 238 lives and was among the deadliest flash floods in U.S. history.
The streamgage is operated in cooperation with the City of Rapid City and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
For more than 125 years, the USGS has monitored flow in selected streams and rivers across the U.S. The information is routinely used for water supply and management, monitoring floods and droughts, bridge and road design, determination of flood risk and for many recreational activities.
Division of Fish and Wildlife receives federal grant to monitor and provide education on white nose syndrome in bats
CHICAGO –September is National Preparedness Month, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) encourages everyone to make disaster preparedness a priority.Language English