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  • SCCWRP’s DNA barcoding research featured in special issue of Freshwater Science

    March 12, 2014: Dr. Eric Stein, Dr. Raphael Mazor, and Bryan White of the SCCWRP Biology Department contributed to a special series on “Molecular Approaches in Freshwater Ecology” released in this month’s issue of the journal Freshwater Science. DNA barcoding represents a new molecular tool for rapidly identifying biological specimens collected for environmental monitoring using a short gene sequence from a standardized position in the genome, rather than traditional visual identification. Three articles co-authored by SCCWRP scientists in collaboration with partners at the US Environmental Protection Agency, Stroud Water Research Center, and the Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding, include: “Comparison of four species-delimitation methods applied to a DNA barcode data set of insect larvae for use in routine bioassessment,” “Cryptic biodiversity in streams: a comparison of macroinvertebrate communities based on morphological and DNA barcode identifications,” and “Does DNA barcoding improve performance of traditional stream bioassessment metrics?” For more information about this research area, please contact Dr. Eric Stein.


  • SCCWRP releases 2013 Annual Report

    February 07, 2014: SCCWRP released its 2013 Annual Report in January. With 39 journal-quality articles, the Report is the largest in SCCWRP’s 45-year history. Impressively, the articles share bylines with more than 150 project collaborators from nearly 100 institutions; only a single article is authored solely by SCCWRP staff. Hard copies will be mailed out in late February, and electronic articles with supplementary information are available on the SCCWRP website. To be added to the SCCWRP Annual Report mailing list, please send your name and mailing address to Christina Steidley.

  • Expert panel provides organizational review

    February 07, 2014: An expert panel comprised of research directors from nationally prominent laboratories across the country met at SCCWRP February 5-7. Their mission was to evaluate SCCWRP in preparation for the upcoming SCCWRP Commission Strategic Planning meeting to be held May 1. The review included technical, organizational, administrative, and other aspects of the agency. As such, they received a full day of testimony from the Executive Director, and then interview selected Commissioners, CTAG member, SCCWRP staff, and project collaborators. The panel’s recommendations, which include the aspects of SCCWRP to retain and those to consider changing, will be compiled in a report for the Commission. Panel members (from left to right) include Dr. Fred Holland, Dr. Michael Barbour, Dr. Herb Windom, Dr. Jerry Schubel, Dr. Worth Nowlin, and Jim Stahl.


  • Guidance manual adopted by state helps identify beach contamination sources

    January 28, 2014: Over the last several years, SCCWRP has worked with a statewide team including researchers from UC Santa Barbara, Stanford University, and UCLA to evaluate and recommend mechanisms for identifying sources of contamination to beaches that chronically fail to meet water quality criteria. SCCWRP released a complete guidance manual in January, which the State Water Resources Control Board recently adopted as a standard template for coastal managers and health departments preparing Clean Beach Initiative proposals. It provides a cost-effective tiered approach to source identification and utilizes current molecular technologies. California is the first state in the nation to establish a standardized protocol for developing and implementing source identification studies. For more information on the manual, please contact Dr. John Griffith.

  • Pilot wet weather epidemiology study kicks off at San Diego beaches

    January 27, 2014: On January 15, SCCWRP and UC Berkeley, in collaboration with the Surfrider Foundation, kicked off the nation’s first epidemiology study to examine health effects in surfers following storm events. A trained team of recruiters enrolled surfers on the beach, who will later report any health symptoms using an android (Galaxy) or IOS (iphone) app currently available through GooglePlay and iTunes. The app, study brochure, FAQs, and hotline are also on the study website. Daily sampling of discharge and ambient water quality at the two study beaches, Ocean Beach and Tourmaline Surfing Park in San Diego, will take place during both wet and dry weather this winter. In collaboration with scientists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, SCCWRP mounted an automated in situ environmental sample processor on the Ocean Beach Pier to gather continuous water quality data directly adjacent to surfers in the “line up.” For more information on the study, please contact Ken Schiff.