Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic

Hampton, VA, United States

Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic

Hampton, VA, United States
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Van Parijs S.M.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Baumgartner M.,Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | Cholewiak D.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Davis G.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | And 13 more authors.
Marine Technology Society Journal | Year: 2015

The U.S. Northeast Passive Acoustic Sensing Network (NEPAN) is composed of numerous passive acoustic recorders that provide archived and near-real-time data on acoustically active marine mammals and fish species. It currently stretches from the northern Gulf of Maine into the New York Bight within the northwest Atlantic Ocean. The recorders include moored units that are entirely subsurface and archive audio, units with real-time reporting capabilities via surface buoys, and autonomous vehicles or “gliders.” Data derived from NEPAN will provide long-term year-round information on the presence and spatial distribution of vocal mysticetes and odontocetes, as well as fish. These data will be used to address critical conservation and management needs as well as to reduce threats from anthropogenic activities. Currently, NEPAN will operate from 2014 until late 2017. This listening network is an example of how collaborative scientific efforts and financial investment across many federal agencies can produce a novel far-reaching solution to current scientific information gaps. In this article, we lay out our vision for the future and provide details on the technologies and applications currently used in NEPAN. Furthermore, we present a road map that includes expanding the range of NEPAN throughout the Western North Atlantic Ocean, detecting more species and addressing an even more diverse range of management and conservation applications. However, the reality remains that the continued operation and/or expansion of this type of “listening network” will only be possible in the long term with clear and direct support from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). © 2015, Marine Technology Society Inc.. All rights reserved.

Lannoo M.J.,Indiana University School of Medicine - Terre Haute | Petersen C.,Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic | Lovich R.E.,Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest | Nanjappa P.,Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been devastating amphibians globally. Two general scenarios have been proposed for the nature and spread of this pathogen: Bd is an epidemic, spreading as a wave and wiping out individuals, populations, and species in its path; and Bd is endemic, widespread throughout many geographic regions on every continent except Antarctica. To explore these hypotheses, we conducted a transcontinental transect of United States Department of Defense (DoD) installations along U.S. Highway 66 from California to central Illinois, and continuing eastward to the Atlantic Seaboard along U.S. Interstate 64 (in sum from Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California to Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia). We addressed the following questions: 1) Does Bd occur in amphibian populations on protected DoD environments? 2) Is there a temporal pattern to the presence of Bd? 3) Is there a spatial pattern to the presence of Bd? and 4) In these limited human-traffic areas, is Bd acting as an epidemic (i.e., with evidence of recent introduction and/or die-offs due to chytridiomycosis), or as an endemic (present without clinical signs of disease)? Bd was detected on 13 of the 15 bases sampled. Samples from 30 amphibian species were collected (10% of known United States' species); half (15) tested Bd positive. There was a strong temporal (seasonal) component; in total, 78.5% of all positive samples came in the first (spring/early-summer) sampling period. There was also a strong spatial component-the eleven temperate DoD installations had higher prevalences of Bd infection (20.8%) than the four arid (<60 mm annual precipitation) bases (8.5%). These data support the conclusion that Bd is now widespread, and promote the idea that Bd can today be considered endemic across much of North America, extending from coast-to-coast, with the exception of remote pockets of naïve populations.

Petersen C.E.,Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic | Lovich R.E.,Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest | Phillips C.A.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Dreslik M.J.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Lannoo M.J.,Indiana University School of Medicine - Terre Haute
EcoHealth | Year: 2016

The chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has been implicated in amphibian declines on almost all continents. We report on prevalence and intensity of Bd in the United States amphibian populations across three longitudinally separated north-to-south transects conducted at 15 Department of Defense installations during two sampling periods (late-spring/early summer and mid to late summer). Such a standardized approach minimizes the effects of sampling and analytical bias, as well as human disturbance (by sampling restricted military bases), and therefore permits a cleaner interpretation of environmental variables known to affect chytrid dynamics such as season, temperature, rainfall, latitude, and longitude. Our prevalence of positive samples was 20.4% (137/670), and our mean intensity was 3.21 zoospore equivalents (SE = 1.03; range 0.001–103.59). Of the 28 amphibian species sampled, 15 tested positive. Three sites had no evidence of Bd infection; across the remaining 12 Bd-positive sites, neither infection prevalence nor intensity varied systematically. We found a more complicated pattern of Bd prevalence than anticipated. Early season samples showed no trend associated with increasing temperature and precipitation and decreasing (more southerly) latitudes; while in late season samples, the proportion of infected individuals decreased with increasing temperature and precipitation and decreasing latitudes. A similar pattern held for the east–west gradient, with the highest prevalence associated with more easterly/recently warmer sites in the early season then shifting to more westerly/recently cooler sites in the later season. Bd intensity across bases and sampling periods was comparatively low. Some of the trends in our data have been seen in previous studies, and our results offer further continental-level Bd sampling over which more concentrated local sampling efforts can be overlaid. © 2016 International Association for Ecology and Health (outside the USA)

PubMed | University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, University of Washington, Mingan Island Cetacean Study, Cornell University and 8 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Movement ecology | Year: 2015

Little is known about migration patterns and seasonal distribution away from coastal summer feeding habitats of many pelagic baleen whales. Recently, large-scale passive acoustic monitoring networks have become available to explore migration patterns and identify critical habitats of these species. North Atlantic minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) perform seasonal migrations between high latitude summer feeding and low latitude winter breeding grounds. While the distribution and abundance of the species has been studied across their summer range, data on migration and winter habitat are virtually missing. Acoustic recordings, from 16 different sites from across the North Atlantic, were analyzed to examine the seasonal and geographic variation in minke whale pulse train occurrence, infer information about migration routes and timing, and to identify possible winter habitats.Acoustic detections show that minke whales leave their winter grounds south of 30 N from March through early April. On their southward migration in autumn, minke whales leave waters north of 40 N from mid-October through early November. In the western North Atlantic spring migrants appear to track the warmer waters of the Gulf Stream along the continental shelf, while whales travel farther offshore in autumn. Abundant detections were found off the southeastern US and the Caribbean during winter. Minke whale pulse trains showed evidence of geographic variation, with longer pulse trains recorded south of 40 N. Very few pulse trains were recorded during summer in any of the datasets.This study highlights the feasibility of using acoustic monitoring networks to explore migration patterns of pelagic marine mammals. Results confirm the presence of minke whales off the southeastern US and the Caribbean during winter months. The absence of pulse train detections during summer suggests either that minke whales switch their vocal behaviour at this time of year, are absent from available recording sites or that variation in signal structure influenced automated detection. Alternatively, if pulse trains are produced in a reproductive context by males, these data may indicate their absence from the selected recording sites. Evidence of geographic variation in pulse train duration suggests different behavioural functions or use of these calls at different latitudes.

Stevens D.,Protection Engineering Consultants, LLC | Crowder B.,Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic | Sunshine D.,Defense Threat Reduction Agency | Marchand K.,Protection Engineering Consultants, LLC | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Structural Engineering | Year: 2011

The collapse of conventional/nonhardened structures was a concern of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for years before the collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) towers during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2011 (9-11), owing to the bombings of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, the U.S. embassies in Africa, and the U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon. Since 9-11, motivated by the lack of any meaningful U.S. progressive collapse design requirements, DoD has worked with the civilian community on a number of significant efforts to improve the design of buildings to resist disproportionate collapse. The DoD efforts have included laboratory and field experiments, numerical simulations, and development of design requirements. Synergy and coordination with the civilian community resulted in combined programs with the General Services Administration, guidance and feedback provided by the ASCE Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) Committee on Disproportionate Collapse Standards and Guidance (DCSG) and its members, and adoption of some European civilian approaches to progressive collapse design. A significant result of the DoD effort was the creation of Unified Facilities Criteria (UFC) 4-023-03, Design of Buildings to Resist Progressive Collapse. The approaches employed in UFC 4-023-03 are currently being evaluated and modified for civilian applications by the SEI DCSG committee. The development and underlying approaches used in UFC 4-023-03 are briefly summarized in this paper, as are the previous DoD laboratory and field tests and numerical simulations. © 2011 American Society of Civil Engineers.

Fuentes M.M.P.B.,James Cook University | Pike D.A.,James Cook University | Dimatteo A.,Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic | Wallace B.P.,Oceanic Society | Wallace B.P.,Duke University
Global Change Biology | Year: 2013

Enhancing species resilience to changing environmental conditions is often suggested as a climate change adaptation strategy. To effectively achieve this, it is necessary first to understand the factors that determine species resilience, and their relative importance in shaping the ability of species to adjust to the complexities of environmental change. This is an extremely challenging task because it requires comprehensive information on species traits. We explored the resilience of 58 marine turtle regional management units (RMUs) to climate change, encompassing all seven species of marine turtles worldwide. We used expert opinion from the IUCN-SSC Marine Turtle Specialist Group (n = 33 respondents) to develop a Resilience Index, which considered qualitative characteristics of each RMU (relative population size, rookery vulnerability, and genetic diversity) and non climate-related threats (fisheries, take, coastal development, and pollution/pathogens). Our expert panel perceived rookery vulnerability (the likelihood of functional rookeries becoming extirpated) and non climate-related threats as having the greatest influence on resilience of RMUs to climate change. We identified the world's 13 least resilient marine turtle RMUs to climate change, which are distributed within all three major ocean basins and include six of the world's seven species of marine turtle. Our study provides the first look at inter- and intra-species variation in resilience to climate change and highlights the need to devise metrics that measure resilience directly. We suggest that this approach can be widely used to help prioritize future actions that increase species resilience to climate change. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Read A.J.,Duke University | Barco S.,University of North Carolina at Wilmington | Bell J.,Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic | Borchers D.L.,University of St. Andrews | And 15 more authors.
Journal of Cetacean Research and Management | Year: 2014

In this paper the occurrence, distribution and abundance of cetaceans in offshore waters of Onslow Bay, North Carolina, USA is described. Between June 2007 and June 2010 monthly aerial and shipboard line-transect surveys were conducted along ten 74km transects placed perpendicular to the shelf break. In total 42,676km of aerial trackline (218 sightings) and 5,209km of vessel trackline (100 sightings) were observed. Seven species of cetaceans were observed, but the fauna was dominated strongly by common bottlenose and Atlantic spotted dolphins. Both species were present year-round in the study area. Using photo-identification techniques, five bottlenose dolphins and one spotted dolphin were resighted during the three-year period. In general, the abundance of cetaceans in Onslow Bay was low and too few sightings were made to estimate monthly abundances for species other than bottlenose and spotted dolphins. Maximum monthly abundances of bottlenose and spotted dolphins were 4,100 (95% CI: 1,300-9,400) in May 2010 and 6,000 (95% CI: 2,500-17,400) in March 2009, respectively. Bottlenose dolphins were found throughout the study area, although they were encountered most frequently just off the shelf break. In contrast, spotted dolphins exhibited a strong preference for waters over the continental shelf and were not encountered beyond the shelf break.

Hodge L.E.W.,Duke University | Bell J.T.,Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic | Kumar A.,Naval Facilities Engineering Command Atlantic | Read A.J.,Duke University
Marine Mammal Science | Year: 2013

To determine whether the occurrence and duration of odontocete vocal events varied by depth or time of day in Onslow Bay, North Carolina, we analyzed acoustic data collected by five underwater recorders. These recorders were deployed in July 2008 at three depths: two in shallow (64-73 m), one in medium (236 m), and two in deep (~366 m) water. We found that habitat influenced the occurrence of odontocete vocalizations, with significantly greater daily vocal activity from delphinids on recorders in deeper waters and sperm whale clicks recorded only on the medium and deep recorders. These findings suggest that a greater diversity and occurrence of animals are located in waters beyond the shelf break in this area, a conclusion supported by visual surveys. We also found an increase in the occurrence of delphinid clicks at night on the shallow and deep recorders, likely reflecting nocturnal foraging activity, and a regular nocturnal occurrence of sperm whale clicks on the medium-depth recorder located near the shelf break, suggesting that one or more sperm whales moved into that area to feed at night. These observations improve our understanding of the occurrence and behavior of odontocetes in this region of the U.S. Atlantic seaboard. © 2012 by the Society for Marine Mammalogy.

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