Volume 4 2011


Clark Contributes to Rip Currents Book

Coastal Engineering Specialist Gene Clark contributed to a chapter in the recently published book “Rip Currents: Beach Safety, Physical Oceanography, and Wave Modeling.”

 “We are heading into some very wintry weather in Wisconsin right now, but those sunny days on the beach aren’t too far into the future. With our chapter specifically focusing on the Great Lakes rip currents, and by contributing to a book edited by some nationally renowned experts, I am pleased to work toward ensuring a safe experience,” Clark said.

The book is available at crcpress.com/product/isbn/9781439838969.

Log on and Learn About Climate Change

When it comes to climate change, many U.S. citizens can slip into maybe-somewhere-else-and-probably-later thinking. It is quite the opposite for those charged with talking about and/or developing adaptation strategies. For them, it is a here-and-now world of urgency.

Communicators and extension educators — and those civic leaders and resource managers who live and work in coastal areas — face ever-increasing responsibilities to communicate and address the many and complex facets of coastal climate change.

A multimedia self-guided education series accessible at meted.ucar.edu/climate/coastalclimate could help to ease a bit of that pressure.

Anonymous user feedback has been positive. Here are two quotes. “The module is well-written, straightforward and provides concrete examples and take-aways that will be very helpful in communicating with the public and various stakeholder groups.” “A nicely packaged overview of climate change as it applies to our coastal communities.”

The material was posted in May. Since then, 832 users have logged on to learn about:

•  Downscaling climate models
•  Working with state and local governments
•  Preparing the coasts from the perspective of sustainable development
•  Working toward hazard-resilient coasts
•  Ensuring safe and sustainable fisheries in the face of climate change
•  Ensuring healthy coastal ecosystems in the face of climate change
•  Mitigation, adaption and costs of building resiliency
•  Impacts on inland lakes

The modules were developed cooperatively by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research’s COMET® program, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Program Office’s Sectoral Applications Research Program, and many Sea Grant programs and their university partners under the leadership of Wisconsin Sea Grant.

A user must register to learn from the modules.

It is, however, a free and easy process.

Athelstan Spilhaus—Father of Sea Grant

If not for the man named Athelstan, you might not be reading this publication. Literally thousands of critical aquatic science research projects might never have happened. And the National Sea Grant College program — and by extension, University of Wisconsin Sea Grant — might never have existed.

It’s been 45 years since President Lyndon Johnson signed the bill that brought the National Sea Grant College program into existence in 1966. The actual idea, however, was suggested two years earlier by a South African writer/ oceanographer/geophysicist named Athelstan Frederick Spilhaus. He is and was the true “Father of Sea Grant.”

Spilhaus would have turned 100 this November, and he’s due to get a little historical love. Sharon Moen, communications manager for Minnesota Sea Grant, is busily penning “With Tomorrow in Mind: Athelstan Spilhaus (Dreamer of Satellites, Cities and Sea Grant)” a history of Spilhaus and the formation of the national program.

 “I completely understand why Walter Cronkite said that Athelstan Spilhaus was the most interesting person he had interviewed,” said Moen. “Beyond coming up with the Sea Grant concept and then tirelessly pushing for it to become a reality, Dr. Spilhaus was a sharp-thinking, wildly creative, unusually productive individual, literally until the day he died.”

Moen hopes to have her book completed and published in time for the 2012 meeting of the American Fisheries Society in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The last time the AFS met in the Twin Cities — a mere 49 years ago — Spilhaus delivered the Sea Grant speech that began it all.

The Aquatic Sciences Center is the administrative home of the
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute & University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute.

©2011 University of Wisconsin Board of Regents