Solution specific articles for Marine, Ocean, Coastal, Science & Information.

Lynker’s Pacific Islands Observer Program Debriefers Win Federal Executive Board Team Award

Lynker’s Pacific Islands Observer Program Debriefers were recognized with a Federal Executive Board team award for their efforts to finalize the 2019 data earlier than the deadline. Our team also played an instrumental role in transitioning the NOAA Fisheries’ Pacific Islands Region legacy database to a new system, as well as the hard work and dedication they bring to the program every day. Said Dawn Golden, NOAA Pacific Islands Region Observer Program Lead “This would not have been possible without your staff so I wanted to pass this along to you.  Jim, Lynn, and Kyle all played key roles in this effort.” Kudos to the Lynker Debriefer team!

Lynker Performed Site Visits for Hawai’i Coastal Resilience Assessment at Kako’o ‘Oiwi

Lynker’s Coastal Resilience Specialist, Bridget Lussier, along with staff from NMFS Restoration Center and the National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center, performed site visits for the Hawai’i Coastal Resilience Assessment at the He’eia NERR with a team from The Nature Conservancy. The site, Kako’o ‘Oiwi on O’ahu, includes taro farms, with other traditional crops such as papaya and breadfruit. The taro fields retain and filter rainwater as it runs from the mountain, before it flows into a fish pond where native fish thrive. The rock walls of the fish pond protect the shoreline from surge, allow sediments to settle in the basin to protect the coral reefs outside, and provide breaks in the wall for fish passage and water flow.  The fish pond dates back 600-800 years and protects an estuarine environment teeming with biological productivity.

The team saw invasive species removal at work (primarily red mangroves, but also invasive fish, frogs, and mongoose), and native plant revegetation efforts. The project exemplifies integrating habitat restoration with food security, native and endangered species conservation, coastal storm protection, and managing land-based sources of sediment to protect coral reefs.

 

 

 

 

 

Lynker Supports Seabird Protection and Rehabilitation in Hawaii

Lynker biologist, Laura Trilles, recently led several Seabird Mitigation and Rescue training sessions for construction workers repairing and paving damaged roads on Kauai.  The threatened and endangered seabirds are attracted to artificial lights, often used by construction crews, by mistake, which causes them to circle the lights confused and then fall to the ground.  Once grounded, these birds have difficulty taking flight on their own.  Two species are of particular concern on Kauai: the Hawaiian Petrel (endangered) and the Newell’s Shearwater (threatened).

The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires a mitigation and training plan be submitted by all companies conducting work that could potentially have a negative impact on the seabirds. Lynker wrote this plan for Grace Pacific, a subsidiary of Alexander and Baldwin, Inc., who is conducting roadwork on Kauai in a known flight corridor of the seabirds. We also provided training sessions on how to minimize interactions with the birds as well as how to rescue the birds once they are grounded. Bird identification, handling and how to report and deliver downed seabirds to a local rescue program called Save Our Shearwaters was included in the training. Lynker offers environmental consulting services to government, commercial and non-profit sectors. Our biologists and scientific writers provide a wide variety of products and services, and our local island presence allows us to act fast and meet tight deadlines.

Lynker at Aquaculture Americas 2020

Lynker employees Bill O’Toole, Emily Bruton, Luke Brantley, and Mark Tagal attended the Aquaculture America 2020 national conference and exposition in early February 2020. There were over 150 exhibitors and 70 plus sessions covering the latest trends in global aquaculture and burgeoning technologies driving the field. Among the many associations, societies, and companies present, some of innovative ideas put forward regarded native Hawaiian fishing practices, NOAA entanglement simulators, and emerging techniques for micro-algae production.

Lynker is also a key partner to HATCH (hatch.blue) an international accelerator program designed to help aquaculture innovators promote their solutions to customers around the world. Lynker is working with HATCH and the National Energy Laboratory (NELHA) of Hawaii in the Hawaii Ocean Science and Technology park (HOST) to support ongoing research efforts and assist in bringing them to market.

For more information, please contact Liz Tarquin, Lynker VP for our Marine, Ocean, and Coastal Science and Information Group.

9 Lynker Employees Receive NOS Team Member Awards!

Lynker President Joe Linza and Lynker Vice Presidents Jill Meyer and Liz Tarquin were on hand to help NOAA National Ocean Service (NOS) officials hand out NOS Team Member of the Year and Group Team Member Awards for 2019. The following Lynker awardees are being recognized for their outstanding contributions in support of the NOS mission over the past year. Congratulations!

NOS Employees of the Year
Chris Robinson
Brenna Sweetman
Gwen Shaughnessy
Sajeed Pouydal
Robbie Greene

Team Award
Leon Geschwind
Michael Griffin
Kenneth Rainer
Shannon Lewinski

Lynker staffs NOAA Booth at Largest US In-Water Boat Show

Lynker Employees Joe Linza, Katie Fitzenreiter, and Sam DeBow (L-R) at the 2019 Annapolis Boat Show

Lynker President Joe Linza stopped in to see Lynker employees RADM Sam De Bow (VP) and Katie Fitzenreiter (Oceanographic Data Specialist) who were helping staff the NOAA booth supporting The Office of Coast Survey (OCS) and the Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services (COOPS) at the October 2019 Annapolis, MD Powerboat and Sailboat Shows.  These are the Nation’s Largest In-Water Boat Shows.  Lynker interacted with the recreational mariner community and answered technical questions about charting and tide products.  High praise was received for the work NOAA does to promote the safety of navigation.

 

 

  

 

There were significant high tides over the weekend and a tropical storm offshore, which pushed water up the Chesapeake Bay, resulting in a lot of people with soggy shoes and wet pant legs asking questions about the tides. The chart below displays the predicted tide (shown in blue) against the measured tides (shown in green).

Data courtesy of NOAA/NOS/COOPS

 

 

Lynker Attends First Annual Nic ECO at Duke!

Lynker HR attended Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment first annual Nic ECO (Explore Career Options) event last week. We met a lot of talented students interested in a career in the environmental field. We identified exciting potential candidates that Lynker is looking for to fill internships and full-time openings in the future.

 

Whale Whispering in the Hawaiian Islands

Lynker Bioacoustician and Marine Mammal Specialist, Eden Zang, recently assisted in deploying deep water acoustic recorders in waters off Maui and Kauai. These passive acoustic recorder packages will be deployed until Spring 2020 to study the presence and distribution of humpback whales in Hawaiian Island Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary (HIHWNMS) waters. The recorders will also monitor other biological and anthropogenic (human-related) sources of sound as part of NOAA’s SanctSound project examining soundscapes across seven national marine sanctuaries and one national marine monument. Eden’s work will contribute directly to NOAA’s nationwide efforts to baseline sound levels and acoustic conditions in the sanctuaries, and measure and model their effects on marine mammals and other living marine resources inhabiting US waters from the Eastern Caribbean to the Western Pacific.

NOAA Fisheries’ ESA & MMPA Programs Receives Award

The US Secretary of Commerce recognized NOAA Fisheries’ ESA and MMPA programs with a Gold Medal Award for their contribution to regulatory efficiencies and effectiveness in protecting and sustaining at-risk marine and ocean living resources. The Department of Commerce Gold Medal is the highest honor award of the United States Department of Commerce.  Since 1949, the Gold Medal is presented by the Secretary of Commerce for distinguished performance. Particularly noted, Lynker’s Dean-Lorenz Szumylo spearheaded the implementation of the ESA Section 7 Mapper, an interactive, GIS-driven visualization tool NOAA scientists, federal action agencies, and the general public use to help identify ESA-listed species and critical habitats along the East Coast.  Dean was previously awarded NMFS Team Member of the Year for his efforts regarding this tool.

The innovative Mapper tool provides a dynamic web interface used to locate areas where Section 7 Consultations are recommended due to the presence of ESA-listed fish, marine mammals, or sea turtles at various life stages, exhibiting specific behaviors (such as migrating, foraging, spawning, rearing, or calving). The Mapper currently covers consultation areas along major waterways and marine zones of the Greater Atlantic Region and is expanding to include the South Atlantic and Eastern Gulf of Mexico later this year. The tool allows users to draw a project site on a map, determine which consultation areas overlap, and generate a detailed report of ESA species found there. In addition to greatly expediting the process of determining whether further consultation with NOAA Fisheries is necessary, the tool has reduced the number of unnecessary consultation requests received and has improved the quality, accuracy, and reliability of data needed to support regulatory compliance.

Version 2 is now out and represents a major update to the underlying Section 7 Consultation Area data. In the new version of the mapper, users now have increased control over the map display.  They can toggle individual data layers on and off, rearrange the drawing order of data layers, and use a new tool that easily allows them to “swipe” away the data to view the underlying basemap.