Monday, February 1, 2016

Nature Conservancy Calls Phones and Drones To Monitor CA Coastal Erosion




Citizen Scientists Phone It In!

 

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

You know the expression asking someone to work harder: "Don't just phone it in." Well in California now you can - phone it in. In fact, The Nature Conservancy is asking you to do just that, using your smartphone to help it document the beach erosion and coastal flooding caused by the El Nino storms that have pummeled the state.
 

Calling on "Citizen Scientists" to lend a hand by taking photos at the beach, The Nature Conservancy wants you to take photos of the shoreline and uplink them to its El Nino Monitoring Initiative site.  
Sarah Newkirk, Senior Coastal Project Director for the Nature Conservancy in California, says that individuals can capture far more images and at a more local scale than researchers on their own or through satellites. 

"It’s incredible! You can take a picture and your phone automatically captures time, date, and a precise location. Geolocation features on phones are so good that you can map to within a meter or two of where you are."
 
The Conservancy is asking drone operators to get on board, too, with any aerial shots they can provide.

For the best results, The Conservancy says to "take pictures at high tide or after flooding events to show the greatest level of inundation."


Newkirk calls these crowd sourced photos "ground truthing" that will provide researchers with another way to test their scientific models of how climate change and sea level rise are changing California's shorelines.

According to the Conservancy, photographing both gradual and episodic changes to the shoreline this way helps give researchers the real-world, real time evidence they need, leading to more accurate predictive models. This, in turn, will enable communities to know what to expect and to better plan how to protect people and nature into the future.
SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel have heard experts saying that as much as 80% of California's coast is experiencing erosion, with the potential for sea levels to rise an additional five feet by 2100. A recent study, From Boom to Bust? Climate Risk in the Golden State, reports $19 billion of coastal property could be below the water line then. So, the more information we can gather about this, the better.


"We are pushing the boundaries of modeling," says Newkirk. With the advent of smartphone and drone photo inputs researchers can draw on the power of many to assist them in their predictions...crystal ball glimpses into the future that can have a big impact on all of us

 

And when the next rains come, don't just grab your umbrella, grab your phone!   



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Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to this copyrighted material. Publications wishing to reprint it may contact them at surfwriter.girls@gmail.com Individuals and non-profit groups are welcome to post it on social media sites as long as credit is given. 


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Celeste Hamil On Board!



Surf City's Go-To Gal

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel


When there's a big event to stage in Surf City USA chances are Celeste Hamil is on the scene.

Hamil was the one at the helm when Huntington Beach celebrated its 100th anniversary with a 100 Years of Surfing and Century of Stoke extravaganza in 2014 that lasted all summer.



 
 

Hamil was seemingly everywhere – from the beach to the announcer's table with legendary surfer Peter (PT) Townend calling the surfing action. 

 

It was Hamil, too, overseeing the Epic Big Board Ride with the World's Largest Surfboard carrying 66 surfers into the Guinness World Record Book on International Surfing Day (ISD), June 20, 2015.


The board – a whopping 42-feet long – caught  a 12-second ride that won't be soon forgotten...and captured two records – World's largest surfboard and Most people riding a surfboard!



SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel have seen firsthand what a dynamo Hamil is. Focused and organized, she is like a general commanding the troops. And, failure is not an option when it comes to accomplishing her mission.

Asked what it was like to stage the Epic Big Board Ride, Hamil told SurfWriter Girls, "It was one of my most memorable days, filled with exhilaration and a few challenges. The end result was well worth the effort of a year of planning by an international team of builders, consultants and surf professionals."


Hamil said that she was "totally stoked to participate in a once in a lifetime experience that will continue to resonate in a meaningful way for the community, visitors and sponsors for many years to come." 


Tony Soriano, Huntington/Seal Beach Chapter Chairperson of the Surfrider Foundation, says it was great partnering with Hamil on the ISD/Epic Big Board Ride and said she helped "bring awareness and passion to protect our playground – the ocean, waves and beaches that provide so much enjoyment."

 
A CSU Fullerton graduate with a major in Kinesiology and Exercise Science, Hamil is an NCAA and USA Gymnastics Certified Judge with over 35-years experience. For the past ten years she has been the USA Gymnastics Floor Manager and Staging Manager for all national televised events.


With strong ties to Huntington Beach, Hamil has helped stage events ranging from the Surf City USA Marathon to the City’s popular Taste of Huntington Beach.
 

Along with this, Hamil has served as the Marketing Manager of the Huntington Beach Downtown Business Improvement District, helping to organize and promote its events and activities. 


So, it's no wonder that Hamil is always where the action is. Not just as a spectator, but right in the middle of it. SurfWriter Girls think that Huntington Beach is lucky to have Hamil on board and are excited to see where she turns up next.  

 


Please post your comment below. Comments will appear the next day.


Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to this copyrighted material. Publications wishing to reprint it may contact them at surfwriter.girls@gmail.com Individuals and non-profit groups are welcome to post it on social media sites as long as credit is given.