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Celebrating Abe’s birthday! Lincoln’s slave density map is home again in President Lincoln Cottage   Leave a comment

The “slave density map,” created by the men of U.S. Coast Survey in 1861, is one of Coast Survey’s most treasured historical maps. Artist Francis Bicknell Carpenter included it in his painting, “First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincoln,” because Lincoln consulted it so often in devising his military strategy. According to Carpenter, President Lincoln used the map in his decisions to send his armies to free blacks in some of the highest density areas in order to destabilize Southern order.

Francis Bicknell Carpenter placed the "slave density map" in the lower right corner of his painting of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Francis Bicknell Carpenter placed the “slave density map” in the lower right corner of his painting of the Emancipation Proclamation.

 

President Lincoln’s Cottage, now maintained by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, is where President Lincoln developed the Emancipation Proclamation. So it was fitting that, on Lincoln’s birthday this year, NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey presented a copy of the map to Cottage officials, to assist with their vital educational programs.

In the very library where Lincoln may have studied the map, Coast Survey’s Dawn Forsythe (left) and NOAA’s Ben Sherman (right) presented the map to Erin Carlson Mast, the Cottage’s executive director, and Callie Hawkins, associate director for programs.

Dawn Forsythe (Coast Survey), Erin Carlson Mast and Callie Hawkins (Lincoln's Cottage), and Ben Sherman (NOAA) with the slave density map in the Lincoln Cottage library.

Dawn Forsythe (Coast Survey), Erin Carlson Mast and Callie Hawkins (Lincoln’s Cottage), and Ben Sherman (NOAA) with a copy of the slave density map in the Lincoln Cottage library.

 

The Cottage plans to use the map in their educational programs. To learn more about the map, see Mapping Slavery in the Nineteenth Century.

The men of Coast Survey created the map to help the public understand the secession crisis, by providing a visual link between secession and slavery.

The men of Coast Survey created the map to help the public understand the secession crisis, by providing a visual link between secession and slavery.

So you want to chart an artificial reef?   2 comments

There are literally millions of pieces of data on nautical charts. How do cartographers determine which data to put on the charts? Two Coast Survey cartographers, Paul Gionis and Lance Roddy, explained some of the processes, protocols, and NOAA charting requirements to participants at the Florida Artificial Reef Summit earlier this month. (See the archived video of their presentation, starting at 55:40.) Among their many duties, these cartographers are responsible for vetting artificial reef public notices and permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and for acquiring source data from the state and county reef coordinators.

By explaining the nautical chart aspects of planning, creating, and maintaining fish havens, they hoped to smooth out the permitting and charting phases.

(By the way, in case you’re wondering what we mean by “fish haven,” Coast Survey’s Nautical Chart Manual defines them as “artificial shelters constructed of rocks, rubble, boxcars, boats, concrete, special designed precast structures to enhance fish habitats, remnants of oil well structures, etc., that are placed on the sea floor to attract fish. Fish havens are often located near fishing ports or major coastal inlets and are usually considered hazards to shipping. Constructed of rigid material and projecting above the bottom, they can impede surface navigation and therefore represent an important feature for charting.”)

Permits issued by the Army Corps of Engineers are the sole source for classifying obstructions as artificial reefs and fish havens for charting purposes. Specific essential information needs to be provided for charting the areas.

  • Cartographers need accurate geographic coordinates and dimensions, and the “authorized minimum clearance” (safe vessel clearance) for each distinct reef boundary.
  • Importantly, the designated area cannot conflict with charted features. For instance, we cannot designate artificial reefs or fish havens in safety fairways, restricted areas, anchorages, or entrance channels. It almost goes without saying that we also don’t want to place reefs in missile test areas, or areas with pipelines, cables, or unexploded ordnance.
  • The cartographers must receive notice of deployment (telling us that construction has begun).

A good example of how Coast Survey works on charting artificial reefs is the initial reef proposal for Port Everglades chart 11466. The initial proposal designated a minimum clearance of 7 feet – which would prevent a mariner from transiting the area even though the water is very deep. The proposed reef area also conflicted with two established anchorages for commercial ships waiting to enter the port.

Initial reef proposal

Initial reef proposal

 

After working with the Corps of Engineers and project planners, Coast Survey was able to split the area and chart three separate bands with progressively deeper minimum depths, from seven feet to 60 feet of clearance. They also avoided overlap with the charted anchorages. The solution prevented navigation conflicts and protected the artificial reef.

Charted fish havens were banded progressive depths, excluding anchorages

Charted fish havens were banded by progressive depths, and excluded anchorages.

The cartographers appreciated the chance to talk directly to Florida’s artificial reef community. “Events like these provide an expansive avenue to articulate Coast Survey requirements for promoting safe and efficient navigation,” Gionis points out.

Coast Survey’s navigation manager for Florida, Mike Henderson, is our charting representative on the ground in that state, and is available to work on future projects as well as answer charting inquiries in general.

NOAA Open House to share scientific awesomeness   Leave a comment

Explore your world and learn how NOAA — the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — takes the pulse of the planet every day and protects and manages ocean and coastal resources. 2015 NOAA Open House Ad

Join us on NOAA’s Silver Spring, Maryland, campus for a day of discovery. Listen to engaging talks by NOAA experts, explore interactive exhibits, take special tours, and have fun with hands-on activities for ages 5 and up. Meet and talk with scientists, weather forecasters, hurricane hunters, cartographers, and others who work to understand our environment, protect life and property, and conserve and protect natural resources.

The Silver Spring campus is at 1315 East-West Highway, next to the Silver Spring Metro Stop (Red Line). Public parking is available.

NOTE: A government-issued photo ID is required for adults. Check NOAA Open House for a list of acceptable forms of identification.

Visit www.noaa.gov/openhouse for details or call 301-713-7258 for more information.

Posted January 22, 2015 by NOAA Office of Coast Survey in Education, Event

NOAA Coast Survey 2015 leadership team   Leave a comment

NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey enters 2015 with a leadership team that is ready to transform the nation’s hydrographic data acquisition and maintenance program, making coastal data more easily accessible for digital applications that include navigation and coastal planning. We thought you might like to know who those leaders are…

Director, Coast Survey: Rear Admiral Gerd F. Glang

RDML Gerd Glang formal2Rear Adm. Glang was appointed as director of Coast Survey in August 2012. A NOAA Corps officer since 1989, Glang is a professional mariner, specializing in hydrographic surveying and seafloor mapping sciences. He has served aboard four NOAA ships, working in the waters of all U.S. coasts, from the largely uncharted coastal waters of Alaska’s southwest peninsula to the South Pacific. He was commanding officer of NOAA Ship Whiting in 1999, when the ship responded to the seafloor search for John F. Kennedy, Jr.’s, downed aircraft. Just three months later, he led Whiting to the first discovery of the seafloor debris fields from Egypt Air Flight 990. Ashore, Glang has led NOAA work in hydrography, cartography, and planning. A 1984 graduate of the State University of New York Maritime College with a bachelor’s degree in engineering, Glang also received a graduate certificate in ocean mapping from the University of New Hampshire Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, and is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School Senior Executive Fellows program.

Deputy Director, Coast Survey: Kathryn Ries

Katie RiesRies has served as deputy director since 2001, co-leading the workforce of 235 employees and managing the day-to-day operations of Coast Survey’s $83 million national program. She also serves as a senior adviser to the director in his role as U.S. representative to the International Hydrographic Organization, and works to advance U.S. positions in IHO policy deliberations. From 2003 to 2012, she chaired the IHO’s MesoAmerican Caribbean Hydrographic Commission’s Electronic Chart Committee, where she led the development and execution of regional charting plans in Caribbean and Central America. Ries began her career in NOAA as a Presidential Management Fellow in the International Affairs office. She earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Master of Art in international public administration from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in 1986.

Chief of the Hydrographic Surveys Division: Captain Eric W. Berkowitz

EricBerkowitzCapt. Berkowitz joined Coast Survey this month, and will assume the chief’s duties after he completes the Harvard Kennedy School Senior Executive Fellows program in February. Berkowitz has over 23 years of experience as a NOAA Corps Commissioned Officer, with extensive experience in marine and aviation operations and executive leadership. His most recent duty station was at the Marine Operations Center in Newport, Oregon, where he was the director of marine operations for 16 NOAA ships. Both a pilot and a mariner, Berkowitz was with the Snow Survey Flight Program for five years. He has also done a three-year stint as deputy chief and acting chief of the National Geodetic Survey’s Remote Sensing Division. His onboard ship experience includes duties on Rude, Whiting and Mt. Mitchell. Berkowitz received his Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in 1990.

Chief of the Coast Survey Development Laboratory: Captain Richard Brennan

Rick BrennanCapt. Brennan has served with the NOAA Officer Corps for over 20 years, sailing on nearly every hydrographic ship in the modern NOAA fleet. He has conducted surveys throughout U.S. waters, through the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean to the Gulf of Maine, and from the Oregon coast to Chukchi Cap in the Arctic Ocean. Brennan’s most recent sea assignment was as the commanding officer of the NOAA Ship Rainier, surveying Alaskan waters. Brennan has also served as chief of Coast Survey’s Atlantic Hydrographic Branch and as the mid-Atlantic navigation manager. Earlier, Brennan pursued a Master of Science degree in ocean engineering at the University of New Hampshire’s Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, specializing in ocean mapping, acoustics, and tidal error models. After that, he led the Hydrographic Systems and Technology Program at NOAA, with a focus on transitioning new technology into fleet operations. Capt. Brennan graduated from the Citadel, in Charleston, South Carolina, with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering. He completed the Harvard Kennedy School Senior Executive Fellows program in 2013.

Chief of the Marine Chart Division: John Nyberg

John NybergNyberg served as the deputy chief of the Marine Chart Division from 2010 to 2014, and was named chief in July 2014. As deputy, he helped direct Coast Survey’s chart modernization to digital products, changing the operational focus from paper-based chart compilation to electronic navigational charts. Prior to his work in the Marine Chart Division, Nyberg was deputy chief of Coast Survey’s Navigation Services Division, moving to the leadership position after working as a technical advisor and United States Coast Pilot cartographer. During his 12 years with NSD, he helped manage the procurement of the research vessel Bay Hydrographer II, initiated the modernization of the United States Coast Pilot’s production system, and served as acting navigation manager for Long Island Sound. Nyberg has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida, with a major in geography. In 2006, he earned his master’s in international management from the University of Maryland University College. 

Chief of the Navigation Services Division: Russell Proctor

???????????????????????????????Russ Proctor started with NOAA as chief of Coast Survey’s Navigation Services Division in July 2014. He is a maritime professional and 25-year veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard. A career marine safety officer, Proctor has extensive experience directing daily operations and emergency response activities to improve safety, security, and stewardship of the marine transportation system. He was Captain of the Port in Toledo, and Sector Deputy Commander in Portland, Oregon. He also served at the ports in Philadelphia, Delaware, and Houston/Galveston. His operational experience was balanced by three headquarters assignments, serving on the marine safety staffs for resource planning, regulatory compliance policy, and commercial standards development. Proctor is a distinguished graduate of the American University Key Executive Leadership Program, with a master’s degree in public administration. He graduated in 1988 from the Maine Maritime Academy with a bachelor’s degree in nautical science, and a U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Marine Deck Officer license.

Posted January 7, 2015 by NOAA Office of Coast Survey in Nautical charts

Happy holidays from NOAA Coast Survey!   3 comments

One of the best things about this time of year is creating a holiday greeting for our friends around the world. Sometimes we take a serious look at the past year, and other times we have some fun with technology. This year, we dove deep into whimsy, with a parody of the lovely traditional poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” by Clement Clarke Moore.

We hope this lighthearted greeting adds a bit of cheer to the season, as we extend our sincere wishes for a safe new year across the world’s oceans. THANK YOU to all who contribute to that effort.

Posted December 18, 2014 by NOAA Office of Coast Survey in Nautical charts

Coast Survey wants your thoughts about chart catalogs   5 comments

Regular blog readers are aware of NOAA chart transformations over the last year, as we transition our nautical products to a wide range of paper and digital formats, print-on-demand services, and web mapping ‒ providing updated information that is easy to access. Next up for consideration is the traditional chart catalog. In a Federal Register Notice published on November 28, we ask for your opinion.

Until April 2014, the Federal Aviation Administration had printed NOAA’s nautical chart catalogs on oversized paper sheets (up to 35 inches by 55 inches), folded them, and made them available to the public for free. Since the printing was done in bulk, and stored prior to distribution, the information on the reverse side of the catalogs was often out of date by the time catalogs reached customers. When the FAA ceased printing NOAA nautical charts in April, they also stopped printing the catalogs.

Since then, NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey has privatized paper chart production by expanding the number of chart printing agents through the NOAA “print-on-demand” program. Questions remain on whether to transition the catalogs to a similar paper “print-on-demand” system where customers would pay for the catalogs.

We have now transformed the chart catalogs into letter-sized PDF documents that users can print at home. Produced with digital technology, the catalogs are easy-to-see, easy-to-use, easy-to-print, and are updated as changes occur. The new format has a higher resolution and more geographic names than the large-format catalog, and heavily trafficked waterways covered by multiple charts have their own dedicated pages.

So. Florida chart catalog

The new PDF chart catalogs are letter-sized and can be printed at home.

 

If users prefer a web-based search for charts, the interactive chart catalog, established in early 2014, lets you point, choose, and download.

Even with the two new catalog products, however, we understand some people may still prefer the big traditional catalog ‒ and so we’re considering a reinstatement of the front page. We could re-start the updating process if there is a market demand and if commercial printing firms decide to carry the catalogs as for-sale products. The updated chart catalogs would only have the front side showing the areas covered by the catalog, with chart outlines and their corresponding chart numbers. They would not show anything on the reverse side. (We consider the reverse side, which lists chart agents, as obsolete and will not continue it. The Coast Survey website now carries regularly updated information about NOAA-certified chart printers.)

Before making the decision, we want to know if demand remains for the large-format chart catalogs, and if users are willing to purchase these from commercial providers, such as NOAA-certified printing companies, subject to their decision on whether to carry the product. Tell us what you think. Comments about the new letter-sized PDF catalogs and the interactive web catalog are also welcome.

Written, faxed, or emailed comments are due by midnight, April 30, 2015. You can email comments to frank.powers@noaa.gov, or fax to 301-713-9312. Written comments may be mailed to Frank Powers, Office of Coast Survey, 1315 East-West Highway, #6254, Silver Spring MD 20906.

By the way, you will always have digital access to the chart catalogs of 2014 and earlier, as we are archiving current and historical chart catalogs in Coast Survey’s Historical Map & Chart Collection.

Read the full Federal Register Notice here.

 

Posted December 1, 2014 by NOAA Office of Coast Survey in Chart catalogs

Public has new web access to NOAA hydro survey plans   4 comments

With over 3.4 million square nautical miles of U.S. waters to chart, NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey is constantly evaluating long-term hydrographic survey priorities. Now, for the first time, Coast Survey is posting its three-year survey plans and making them publicly available at the Planned NOAA Hydrographic Survey Areas (2015-2017) in ArcGIS Online. In addition to seeing the outlines of planned survey areas for the next three years, users can obtain additional metadata (project name, calendar year, and area in square nautical miles) for each survey by simply clicking on the outlines. Other features display the survey area information in a tabular format, and can filter the information using metadata fields.

The new Planned NOAA Hydro Survey map color codes project areas by year. Clicking on the outline gives additional information.

The new Planned NOAA Hydro Survey Area map color codes project areas by year. Clicking on the outline gives additional information.

The Hydrographic Survey Division is Coast Survey’s primary data acquisition arm. They plan and manage the large survey ships’ hydrographic operations. (The Navigation Services Division manages the smaller survey boats used by the navigation response teams. Their survey plans will soon be added to this webmap.)

Because of the enormousness of our area of responsibility and limited resources, Coast Survey develops long-term survey priorities using a number of parameters, including navigational significance, survey vintage (when the area was last surveyed), vessel usage, and potential for unknown dangers to navigation. Coast Survey then culls the long-term priorities for annual survey plans using other factors such as urgent needs (recent grounding, accidents, etc.), compelling requests from the maritime industry and U.S. Coast Guard, traffic volume, and identified chart discrepancies.

While Coast Survey tries to consider operational constraints, ice coverage, and weather patterns while making plans, sometimes the unexpected does occur. We have to emphasize that these are plans, subject to reevaluations, operational constraints, weather, and resource allocation. Because plans often change, people should bookmark the site and check back often. This is an operational site, and we will update plans as they change.

For more information about specific survey areas or to request a survey, please submit an inquiry through NOAA’s Nautical Inquiry & Comment System or contact the regional navigation manager for your area.

The Planned NOAA Hydrographic Survey Areas webmap is powered by Esri’s ArcGIS Online technology.

Posted November 20, 2014 by NOAA Office of Coast Survey in Hydrographic surveys

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