USGS book on south shore reef earns two awards

This USGS image of Molokai's South Shore was part of a long-term study of the fringed reef.


It was in November of 2008 that an important book about Molokai’s south shore coral reef was published. “The Coral Reef of South Moloka’i, Hawai’i — Portrait of a Sediment-Threatened Fringing Reef” was published by the U.S. Geological Survey after an in-depth multiyear study.

The book used vivid photographs and color illustrations while maintaining a strong scientific basis. For these reasons, the book earned two awards in 2009: the 2009 National Association of Government Communicators Blue Pencil Award of Excellence, announced in April 2009, and the Association of Earth Science Editors 2009 Outstanding Publication Award in the print category, announced in September 2009.

Both awards acknowledge the work of scientific editors Michael Field, Susan Cochran, Joshua Logan, and Curt Storlazzi of the Western Coastal and Marine Geology Team; and text editor Peter Stauffer and designer and layout artist David Jones of the Menlo Park Publishing Service Center.

The reef off south Molokai is the longest fringing coral reef in the Hawaiian chain and one of the best preserved. However, it is also severely threatened by large loads of sediment that wash off land heavily altered by farming, ranching, grazing by wild goats, and other activities.

USGS scientists and their colleagues placed instruments on the sea bottom for months at a time. The instruments collected numerous samples, and mapped coral locations. This gave scientists an opportunity to monitor in detail how the reef functions.

Soft-cover copies of the book are available to purchase for $39 at the USGS Store. Call 1-888-ASK-USGS.

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