Science picks -- leads, feeds and story seeds (February 2003)

e, degrade global positioning systems, damage satellite electronics, and induce ground currents that can damage high-voltage power grids and enhance pipeline corrosion. USGS scientists who study geomagnetism play an important role in the study and diagnosis of 'space-weather' conditions through the real-time collection, transportation, and dissemination of high-frequency geomagnetic data collected from its array of ground-based geomagnetic observatories. In affect, the USGS provides a 'ground-truth' data collection service, which is critical to the other federal space-environment programs at NOAA, NASA, NSF, and the US Air Force. For more info check out: http://geomag.usgs.gov Kathleen Gohn (kgohn@usgs.gov) 703-648-4242

Good Bats? Bad Bats? It Depends While bats in urban areas do great service by consuming flying insects, there is also a public health concern about their possible role in the spread of rabies. Research involves a 5-year case study of the dynamics of rabies transmission in an urban population of big brown bats in Colorado, with an ultimate goal of modeling potential disease transmission dynamics among urban bat colonies. David Ozman (dozman@usgs.gov) 303-202-4744.

Got Boogie Board? Do Science! A scientific instrument mounted atop a boogie board a shortened surfboard is enabling USGS hydrologists to make more accurate measurements of the flow of shallow rivers. The acoustic instrument, which bounces sound waves off the river bottom, can be coupled with radio modems and hand-held computers and is enabling technicians to get out of the stream, ensuring greater safety and providing more accurate and more frequent data for some stream conditions. Using the acoustic devices and laser rangefinders to estimate the distance to shore, USGS hydrologic technicians can quickly and accurately gage the discharge of

Contact: USGS Office of Communications
United States Geological Survey

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