Ralph S. Lewis

I am a marine geologist, and I served as the State Geologist of Connecticut for six years. I am now associated with the Long Island Sound Resource Center here at UCONN-Avery Point. I have spent most of the past twenty four years studying the geology of Long Island Sound. The geologic framework phase of this work involved eighteen marine seismic data collection and physical sampling cruises devoted to understanding the composition and geologic history of the Long Island Sound basin. More recently, I have concentrated on understanding the Sound’s modern sediment system as it relates to sediment budgets and benthic habitats. This involves the use of side-scan sonar, multibeam and single-beam echosounders to acoustically map the depth and character of the sea floor. Underwater photography and physical sampling are also an important part of this effort.

Working with our partners at the U.S. Geological Survey (U.S.G.S.), we have recently published the Quaternary Geologic Map of Connecticut and Long Island Sound Basin (Stone and Others, 2005). This is a “first of its kind” state-wide map which links the terrestrial geology of Connecticut to the offshore geology of Long Island Sound in a seamless, unified portrayal.Our other collaborators have included: The U.S. Minerals Management Service (M.M.S.); The National Undersea Research Center (N.U.R.C.) at UCONN-Avery Point; N.O.A.A.’s Atlantic Hydrographic Branch; and students and faculty from the following colleges and universities: Boston University, Mount Holyoke College, S.U.N.Y.-Stony Brook, U.S. Coast Guard Academy, University of Connecticut, University of New Haven, University of Rhode Island, Vrije Universitiet (Amsterdam), Wesleyan University and Williams College.

My involvement with the Long Island Sound Resource Center stems from my interest in using the World Wide Web to disseminate data and information in formats that are useful to researchers, educators, resource managers, and other interested parties. We are working to reconfigure the Long Island Sound Resource Center Web site (www.lisrc.uconn.edu) so that it has the capability to provide entrees into a broad spectrum of offerings that vary from bibliographic and recreational listings to modules containing comprehensive bodies of knowledge. A module that provides access to the results of research supported by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection and a prototype for serving up a compendium of geologic knowledge, with supporting data, are presently “works in progress”.

Publications

Auster, P.J., Lewis, R.S., Wahle, L.C., Babb, I.C. and Malatesta, R.J.. 1994. The Use of Side-Scan Sonar for Landscape Approaches to Habitat Mapping. Workshop Proceedings, Applications of Side-Scan Sonar and Laser-Line Systems in Fisheries Research. Special Publication No. 9: p. 1-7.

DiGiacomo-Cohen, M.L. and Lewis, R.S.. 2000. Maps Showing the Shape of the Marine Transgressive Surface and the Thickness of Postglacial Sediments in Long Island Sound, Georeferenced Seafloor Mapping and Bottom Photography in Long Island Sound, Chapter 1. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report. 00-304: CD-ROM.

Knebel, H.J., Lewis, R.S., and Varekamp, J.C.. 2000. Regional processes, conditions, and characteristics of the Long Island Sound sea floor: In: Thematic Section, Vol. 16, No.3, Journal of Coastal Research – Regional Processes, Conditions, and Characteristics of the Long Island Sound Sea Floor, Knebel, H.J., Lewis, R.S. and Varekamp, J.C. Eds. Coastal Education and Research Foundation, Inc., Royal Palm Beach, FL, U.S.A., p. 519-521.

Lewis, R.S. and DiGiacomo-Cohen, M. L.. 2000. A Map of the Thickness of Post- Glacial Sediments in Long Island Sound. Proceedings, The Fifth Biennial Long Island Sound Research Conference, University of Connecticut, Stamford, CT., p. 3.

Lewis, R.S. and DiGiacomo-Cohen, M.L.. 1995. Protocol development for seafloor mapping and benthic habitat characterization in Long Island Sound. Abstracts with Programs, Northeast Section Meeting, Geological Society of America. 27: p. 64.

Lewis, R.S. and Stone, J.R.. 1990. Glaciolacustrine facies as seismic units in Long Island Sound. Abstracts with Programs, Northeast Section Meeting, Geological Society of America. 22: p. 30.

Lewis, R.S. and DiGiacomo-Cohen, M.L.. 2000. A review of the geologic framework of the Long Island Sound Basin, with some observations relating to postglacial sedimentation: In: Thematic Section, Vol. 16, No.3, Journal of Coastal Research – Regional Processes, Conditions, and Characteristics of the Long Island Sound Sea Floor, Knebel, H.J., Lewis, R.S. and Varekamp, J.C. Eds. Coastal Education and Research Foundation, Inc., Royal Palm Beach, FL, U.S.A., p. 522-532.

Lewis, R.S. and Stone, J.R.. 1991. Late Quaternary stratigraphy and depositional history of the Long Island Sound Basin: Connecticut and New York: In: Special Issue No. 11, Journal of Coastal Research – Quaternary Geology of Long Island Sound and Adjacent Coastal Areas, Gayes, P.T., Lewis, R.S. and Bokuniewicz, H.J., Eds., Coastal Education and Research Foundation, Inc., Royal Palm Beach , FL, U.S.A., p. 1-23.

Lewis, R.S., DiGiacomo-Cohen, M.L. and Twichell, D.C.. 1998. Sidescan Image of the Seafloor Off New London, Connecticut in Long Island Sound Environmental Studies. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report. 98-502: Chapter 2. CD-ROM.

Lewis, R.S., Robinson, A.C., McHone, N., DiGiacomo-Cohen, M.L., Poppe, L.J., and Polloni, C.. 1998. Long Island Sound bibliographic database in Long Island Sound Environmental Studies. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report. 98-502: Chapter 7. CD-ROM.

Neff (Friedrich), N.E. and Lewis, R.S.. 1989. Non-energy resources, Connecticut and Rhode Island coastal waters. Marine Geology. 90 (2): p. 125-130.

Poppe, L.J., Lewis, R.S., Quarrier, S., Zajac, R., and Moffett, A.M.. 1994. Map showing the distribution of surficial sediments in Fishers Island Sound, New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. U.S. Geological Survey Miscellaneous Investigations Series Map. I-2456: 1 sheet, scale 1:24,000.

Stone, J.R., Shafer, J.P., London, E.H., DiGiacomo-Cohen, M., Lewis, R.S., and Thompson, W.B.. 2005. Quaternary Geologic Map of Connecticut and Long Island Sound Basin. U.S. Geological Survey Geologic Investigations Series Map I-2784, scale 1:125,000, 2 sheets and pamphlet. 72p.

Zajac, R.N., Lewis, R.S., Poppe, L.J., Twichell, D.C., Vozarik, J. and DiGiacomo-Cohen, M.L.. 2003. Responses of Infaunal Populations to Benthoscape Structure and the Potential Importance of Transition Zones. Limnology and Oceanography. 48 (2): p. 829-842.