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Old 03-04-2006, 04:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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DrDolphin does Hawaii..... Updated 4/9

I guess I should start with how this whole trip evolved. This summer - I was part of a team that did some monitoring of construction work in the Port of Miami. We monitored underwater blasting events to make sure they did not harm dolphins, manatees or sea turtles that live near the port. We monitored the construction in a way that no one has ever done before.

Knowing that the work was unique and of scientific value - the team (a total of 6 of us) decided we wanted to try and release the information in a way that the scientific community could review it. We also want to publish the work eventually in a scientific journal.

Part of the way we planned to get our results to the scientific community was through presentations at scientific conferences. First we submitted for a conference in San Diego, California to be held in December 2005. The second conference that came up was a special session on acoustics (how sound travels through the ocean) at the Ocean Sciences Conference in Honolulu Hawaii in February 2006.

I submitted an abstract to the conference organizers while I was on hurricane duty in Mississippi (after copious emails between me and the other 5 co-authors) and waited.

Our Abstract:
"Dodge-Lummus Island Turning Basin Project
Acoustic Measurements and Quantification to Determine Impacts to Marine Mammals during Construction Blasting Operations at the Port of Miami

Authors: Terri Jordan – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District
Ken Hollingshead – National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA
Dr. Thomas Keevin – U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District
Dr. Gregory Hempen - U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District
Becky Hope – Port of Miami, Environmental Management
Mary Jo Barkazsi – ECOES Consulting

In 1990, Congress authorized the deepening and expansion of the Miami Harbor, Port of Miami, Miami-Dade County, Florida. Part of the project included deepening of the Dodge Lummus Island Turning Basin and Fisherman’s Channel to -42’. The Port of Miami (Port) previously attempted to complete the project without underwater blasting. The contractor and subsequent surety company were unable to successfully complete the authorized work primarily due to the limestone bedrock that was resistant to dredging. In 2000, the Port approached the Jacksonville District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (District) to complete this dredging project. The District determined that blasting would be required as a construction technique and that Miami Harbor is routinely occupied by a number of marine species that are protected under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 including the Florida manatee, Trichechus manatus and marine turtles (Caretta caretta and Chelonia mydas). As a result the Corps initiated consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA Fisheries) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act was required. The District also determined that a population of bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, a species protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (MMPA), had been documented transiting through the Port and could be affected by the proposed blasting. The District submitted an application for an Incidental Harassment Authorization (IHA) under the MMPA in June 2002, which was issued in 2004 and renewed in April 2005. Construction began in June 2005. A key determination made by NOAA was that marine mammals were unlikely to be seriously harmed by the detonations due to the District's conservative monitoring and mitigation measures aimed to ensure that neither dolphins, nor manatees would be within a pre-determined safety zone when the detonations occurred. Additionally acoustic and pressure monitoring was conducted for a selected group of blasts, with additional acoustic measurements collected for each blast during construction activities. This presentation reviews the preliminary analysis of the results from marine mammal monitoring; an overview of acoustic and pressure measurement data collected during construction; and potential implications for future work using blasting as a construction technique in Florida by the Jacksonville District or elsewhere by others."

In November we were notified that our work had been accepted - and that we were being asked to prepare a presentation. This means one of us would stand up in front of all the other scientists in the room and in 15 minutes or less, tell them what we did and the results.

I was listed as the lead author -- as part of the acceptance - I notified my boss (whom I'd told we submitted the abstract) that we had been accepted and that none of the other authors looked like they would be able to attend - which left me as presenter (well I was lead author). So -- I started planning a trip to Honolulu.

The last time I went to Hawaii I was 12 years old. Of course I knew that I would not be able to do much in the way of "tourist" type stuff - since I was working (right??) but I wanted to do SOMETHING.

Originally I had planned to try and add an additional week to my trip and go to the Big Island of Hawaii and/or Maui for some vacation - but buying the house in December and the almost 10,000 I spent preparing the house to live in (painting, moving, buying new furniture, etc) put a krimp in the plan.

Instead - I would have to make due with Honolulu and what I could see while I was there.

Of course - knowing that one of our own Passporters lived close to Honolulu - I PMed Courtney to see if she (Frank and Tylor too) were up to a get together during my visit. We agreed to meet and decided to wait until we got closer to the trip to schedule something.

The Plans
Feb 19 - Leave Jacksonville, Delta airlines to Atlanta - change planes and head to Honolulu - 10 hr nonstop flight to Honolulu

Feb 20-24 - Conference in Honolulu

Feb 24 PM - Fly from Honolulu to Atlanta.... overnight
Feb 25 am - arrive Atlanta - change planes and fly home to JAX.

Next up - Final plans and Travel Day
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Old 03-04-2006, 05:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: DrDolphin does Hawaii.....

Great start, Terri!
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Old 03-04-2006, 06:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: DrDolphin does Hawaii.....

Great start Terri! Congrats on the paper and the conference [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif[/img]

Can't wait for more [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]
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Old 03-04-2006, 07:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: DrDolphin does Hawaii.....

[b]Great Start!!!

Make sure you add LOTS of details, I'm looking for information for our trip in May [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/rofl2.gif[/img]
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Old 03-04-2006, 10:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: DrDolphin does Hawaii.....

Awesome Start Can't wait for more!
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Old 03-05-2006, 02:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: DrDolphin does Hawaii.....

Great start Terri - can't wait to read more! [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif[/img]
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Old 03-05-2006, 03:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: DrDolphin does Hawaii.....

This reminds me of the phone call I overheard where I understood ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! This is a side of you I never got to see before, and it was really cool!

Can't wait to see more!! [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 03-05-2006, 04:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: DrDolphin does Hawaii.....

Great start Terri! Looking forward to your next installment.
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Old 03-05-2006, 08:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: DrDolphin does Hawaii.....

I hope the presentation went well! [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif[/img] Can't wait to read more!
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Old 03-05-2006, 10:13 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: DrDolphin does Hawaii.....

[img]/ubb/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif[/img] Sounds like a good trip so far
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Old 03-05-2006, 10:48 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: DrDolphin does Hawaii.....

Final Plans and Travel Day --

Well - after many months of stress about getting the presentation completed and reviewed by all. We did it (on the thursday before I left - but that left ONE DAY for change - thats ok - right?). In addition - a few of the speakers had been asked to participate in a press conference since our general topic of discussion (sound in the ocean and how it effects marine animals) is of high interest right now...

So - are you ready for this - not only will I be presenting in front of a large number of scientists that deal with sound in the ocean (I am newer to this...), now I get to present to a group of people from the PRESS (like the kind that misquote you) the day before. This also meant I needed to put together a shorter version of my presentation for them (about 7 minutes worth).

I had confirmed my hotel reservation at the Hilton Hawaiian Village on Waikiki - there were 6 hotels that the conference suggested using - and I opted for Hilton, since I am a Hilton Hhonors Diamond member -- I tend to get upgrades, etc. Although I will admit to being a tad worried about some of the reviews it had gotten on tripadvisor.com -- they were either hot or cold. Plus Courtney warned me it was A) HUGE and B)Always very busy.

The other thing I wanted to do was to upgrade my seat from coach to first class - like I had done when I went to San Diego (since this flight is twice as long). Well - no go on that one. Even though I had a full price government fare - the code made it non-upgradeable. So I went to Delta.com and tried to make sure I was on aisle seats toward the front of the plane the entire trip. I was basically successful in that.

I left on Sunday the 19th at 10am. Of course, I had not finished packing yet when I woke up at 6am -- which meant my idea for a run went right out the window. I spent the last 2 hours in the house packing my 2 suitcases, 1 carry on bag and my laptop case. The carry on bag proved especially important. Since the flight was 10 hours between Atlanta and Hawaii - I knew that the shoes were going to have to come off my feet (since my feet tend to swell on flights of more than 2 hours). I brought my fluffy house socks (the kind you put on instead of houseshoes), my horseshoe shaped squishy pillow, a sweatshirt, my iPod, and a couple of books. This was in addition to 3 bottles of water.

I got to the airport and boarded without a problem. I was supposed to have a one hour lay over in Atlanta - which I thought would give me enough time to buy "plane food (nuts, candy, something I would eat)" but when we landed I was told I was in concourse A and my flight to hawaii was in T. OK -- so after taking like 20 minutes to get me off the plane - I am down to 40 minutes to take off. I hoofed it to the escalator down to the tunnel - opted to skip the train and hauled cookies to Terminal T. Up the escalator and right into the line of my section of the plane boarding. No plane food -- uh oh. I crossed my fingers that the plane food in coach would be edible and found my seat.

I was seated next to a scientist from Miami who was also attending the conference - so we talked alot about work. I also watched bits and pieces of "Legend of Zorro" and "Grommit and something - the curse of wererabbit". Neither captured my interest -- so I read my book and tried to sleep. Now I will admit to having a HORRID time sleeping on planes. Going west is not much of an issue -- since you get there earier, but coming home - I really need to sleep to catch up. SO.... I had magic sleeping pills in my bag for the flight home.

Plane food was "Interesting" -- first there was the turkey smothered in cinnamon apple sauce with something white and starchy that was supposed to be mashed potatoes. I also had a salad (lump of lettuce) with parasem cheese and soggy croutons. Last but not least there was a whole wheat roll with butter and a oreo brownie (brownie with oreo pieces). All I can say is that I ate the roll and the brownie. SO HEALTHY!! About half way through the flight - we were given a snack of peanuts - which I can not eat -- so later the flight attendant brought me cookies from first class (with a finger to her lips to tell me to be quiet about it). Lastly there were cold turkey sandwiches and potato chips. Now that I ate.

We landed right about 530pm (1030pm according to my body) and I found my bags and the hotel shuttle (8 dollars one way, or 14 round trip) without too much heartburn. The shuttle is sort of like DME -- coaches that fill up and go on a certain path to a series of hotels. Took about 45 minutes to get to my hotel from the airport.

I checked into my hotel - and was assigned to the Diamond Head Tower on the 14th floor. I had booked a standard "garden view" room originally. Well.... I got a 2-room SUITE with an OCEAN VIEW!!! Woo Hoo!! I have pics - but I will post those for MOnday since they were taken the following morning. By the time I was in my room - it was only 7pm Hawaii time - midnight according to my body. I called Courtney to let her know I was on the ground and checked into my hotel. We confirmed our dinner plans for Monday evening and agreed to talk more the following day. After that and unpacking and settling in - I skipped dinner and headed to bed.

Next - Day 1 of the Conference and a Dinner with Friends!
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Old 03-05-2006, 11:17 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: DrDolphin does Hawaii.....

Long trip! Can't wait to see the pics of the upgrade! Wow!
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Old 03-05-2006, 11:58 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: DrDolphin does Hawaii.....

Now that's an upgrade!
More pls!!
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Old 03-05-2006, 12:08 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: DrDolphin does Hawaii.....

Great start Terri!! Nice upgrade at the hotel!! Can't wait to read more!!!!
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Old 03-05-2006, 12:13 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: DrDolphin does Hawaii.....

Another great update Terri. [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif[/img] I can't wait to hear how you got on with the journalists - if that ever happens to you again, then do let me know, as I work with journalists every day of the week and could've given you some tips on how to handle them. I just hope they weren't too nasty. [img]/ubb/images/graemlins/082502no_prv.gif[/img]
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