Rutgers University
  • RUCOOL Updates: July-September 2022

    Posted on November 17th, 2022 Mike Crowley No comments

    2022 has passed by at lightning speed as we enter the final quarter of the year. It was a busy summer of field work followed by the start of another school year. Things have returned a bit back to normal as travel and meetings are once again underway both nationally and internationally. 

    State 

    • Our new cohort of six Masters of Operational Oceanography students started in early August and they hit the ground running with Glider School, HF-Radar School, and Software Bootcamp. They have already performed field work with HF-Radar maintenance and Glider deployments. 
    • Grace Saba presented her collaborative efforts with NJDEP to develop a statewide ocean acidification monitoring network at the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council and New Jersey Shellfisheries Council (Atlantic Coast and Delaware Bay) meetings.
    • RUCOOL faculty are teaching seven courses this fall including Topics in Marine Science, Sea Monsters, Oceanographic Methods & Data Analysis (Bio & Chem), Integrated Ocean Observations, Biology of Living in the Ocean Water Column Ecosystem, Operational Ocean Modeling, and Dynamics on the Continental Shelf.
    • Rutgers University was awarded 12 Fellowships by the NJ Wind Institute. RUCOOL students were awarded three of these fellowships including graduate student Samantha Alaimo, and undergraduates Khalid Mujahadeen and Jeury Betances. Congrats!
    • Three of our Masters of Operational Oceanography students successfully defended their theses this summer. Congrats to Tim Stolarz, Casey Jones and Courtney Dreyfus! 
    • RUCOOL welcomed our 3rd new employee this year. Julia Engdahl will be using her Python data analysis skills in supporting hurricane intensity research, and ocean heat content analysis in the Caribbean. Welcome Julia!
    • The R/V Rutgers continues to be used from the Raritan down to Tuckerton and offshore. Captain Chip Haldeman, hosted our Masters of Operational Oceanography Students on multiple training trips for gliders and instrument operations as well as MTS glider camp, numerous glider deployments, and work with the Lower Raritan Watershed Partnership. We had 77 passengers in addition to our captain and crew. 
    • We still have to check our 25 year history of upwelling, but this summer may very well have been the longest upwelling event in our existence. Upwelling of cold water from the ocean floor to the beach occurs when southwesterly winds bring hot air into our areas during the summer. Air temps were hot, which made the coastal ocean cold. It will be a dataset to study for years to come. It’s interesting when temperatures at Atlantic City are 10oF higher on October 10 than they were on August 10. 
    • Seven STEM Ambassadors spent the day with Dr. Hugh Roarty from RUCOOL to learn about the High Frequency radar network that is used to measure ocean surface currents and how drones are used to calibrate the radars.  The STEM Ambassadors will take the knowledge they have gained this past week back to their respective communities and teach-back to their younger peers at local YMCAs, libraries, and afterschool programs.
    • RUCOOL Grad Students Sam Alaimo, Malarie O’Brien and Emily Busch showed off the latest technologies in ocean observing at the Rutgers University Marine Field Station’s (RUMFS) 50th Anniversary celebration in September. Hundreds of people attended this weekend celebration.
    • RUCOOL grad student Joe Gradone received the 2022 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship Award which began in September.  
    • Travis Miles gave an invited presentation on the state of Offshore Wind at Princeton Agricultural Society supporting NJAES.

    National

    • Several RUCOOL faculty and students attended the NYSERDA State of the Science Workshop in Tarrytown, NY : Josh Kohut and Grace Saba chaired a panel entitled Autonomous Solutions responding to the oceanographic and ecological monitoring needs of offshore wind development. Grad Students Courtney Dreyfus and Sam Alaimo presented posters, and Rutgers PhD student, Jacquelyn Veatch, presented a poster entitled Assessing the role of ocean currents on prey concentration from hourly to seasonal scales using lagrangian coherent structures.
    • Nicole Waite and Kaycee Coleman, traveled to Sitka, AK to deploy glider RU26d for ocean acidification research in the Gulf of Alaska funded by the Alaska Ocean Observation System  (Grace Saba PI). While in Sitka, Nicole and Kaycee joined the local radio station, KCAW, to talk about the pH glider mission. They also hosted a meet and greet with the Sitka community to talk about RUCOOL, ocean acidification, and RU26d – where everyone was very excited for and welcoming to our cool ocean robot!You can listen to the full radio interview here.
    • REU RIOS summer internship Topics ranged from underwater volcanoes, oysters physiology, Antarctic krill and ancient oceans.   Additionally, the interns participated in weekly workshops that develop their career and research aptitude.  The program was co-coordinated by Josh Kohut, who, along with 2 other RUCOOL faculty, directly mentored three of the students.  The summer program concluded with a science symposium in which the students shared their work and celebrated their success. 
    • Grace Saba, Josh Kohut, and Travis Miles were invited to be members of the Habitat & Ecosystem Subcommittee for the Regional Wildlife Science Collaborative for Offshore Wind.
    • In August, the 4-H National STEM Challenge “Explorers of the Deep” was launched and is now available for sale on the 4-H site.  The kit features a mini-glider that kids can use to learn about density and ballasting, an ocean literacy board game, and communicator activity. Each year, approximately 25,000 STEM Challenge kits are sold, with the potential to engage many more times that number of 4-H club members, after school programs and K-12 students.  Janice McDonnell and the education & outreach team have spent much of the past year developing the kit.  To learn more, visit https://marine.rutgers.edu/4hchallenge/ 
    • This spring, the ARIS Broader Impacts toolkit project solicited a call for participants for our second cohort.  Over the summer, a team of reviewers selected 7 institutions from a pool of 18 applicants to join the project with a $25K subcontract to support their efforts..  Cohort members will spend the next 2 years utilizing the ARIS Toolkit at their home institutions, and researching how the toolkit impacts the development of BI projects and proposals at their institution.  
    • Hugh Roarty, Rick Lathrop,  and Janice McDonnell received a 17K grant from the NASA Space Grant Program to work with diverse youth in the 4-H STEM Ambassador program.  Youth will be introduced to ecological studies at Duke Farms looking at climate change in agriculture. 
    • In August, Travis Miles and Joe Gradone took two summer RIOS intern undergraduates to Teledyne Webb Research (TWR) to expose them to a professional career environment in marine technology. Additionally two representatives of TWR aided in glider training for our summer glider training.

    International

    • As part of our deep and enduring partnership, the U.S. Embassy Kolonia welcomed scientists from Rutgers University, including RUCOOL’s Oscar Schofield, who are currently conducting a baseline assessment in support of Green Climate Fund-resilient food security for farming households across the FSM.   The United States has contributed one billion dollars to date to the Green Climate Fund.
    • Several members of the RUCOOL team attended the Underwater Gliders Meeting in Seattle in September. Mike Crowley and Travis were on the meeting steering committee, while Scott Glenn hosted a two day session on using gliders for tropical cyclone prediction. Grad student Joe Gradone presented a talk on glider measurements and estimations of velocities in the tropics in a session chaired by Mike. 
    • Grace Saba and Josh Kohut presented a talk entitled An autonomous-based oceanographic and ecological baseline to inform offshore wind development over the continental shelf off the coast of New Jersey at the ICES Annual Science Meeting in Dublin, Ireland. They were joined by several Rutgers and Monmouth University members of their collaborative offshore wind research team.
    • Oscar chaired the Long Term Ecosystem Research at Palmer Station meeting while Grace and Josh were in Ireland and the rest of the glider crew were in Seattle. It was quite the week! 

    Newly Funded Research 

    • NOAA IOOS (University of Delaware): Mid Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observation System (MARACOOS). (Oscar Schofield, $1.4 million, 1 year).
    • NJ Board of Public Utilities: BPU Wind Resource Evaluation Modification. (Scott Glenn, Travis Miles, Josh Kohut, $500,581 for 1 year).
    • Department of Energy (Duke University): Wildlife and Offshore Wind: A Systems Approach to Research and Risk Assessment for Offshore Wind Development from Maine to North Carolina. (Josh Kout, $31,031, 1 year)
    • US Department of Agriculture  National Institute of Food and Agriculture: Hatch. (Kohut, $84,026, 2 years)

    Papers Published: (**Current or Former Graduate Student or Postdoctoral Researchers)

    • Nardelli, S., Gray, P., Schofield, O. 2022. Developing a convolutional neural network to classify phytoplankton images collected with an Imaging FlowCytobot along the West Antarctic Peninsula. Marine Technology Society Journal 56:45-57. DOI: 10.4031/MTSJ.56.5.8.
    • Hak Soo Lim, Dongha Kim, Hee Jun Lee, Minwoo Kim, Seung Hwan Jin, Travis N. Miles, Scott Glenn; Typhoon-induced Full Vertical Mixing and Subsequent Intrusion of Yangtze Fresh Waters in the Southern Yellow Sea: Observation with an Underwater Glider and GOCI Ocean Color Imagery. Journal of Coastal Research 1 September 2021; 114 (SI): 171–175. doi: DOI: 10.2112/JCR-SI114-035.1.
    • Miles, T.; Zhang, D.; Foltz, G.; Zhang, J.; Meinig, C.; Bringas, F.; Triñanes, J.; Le Hénaff, M.; Aristizabal Vargas, M.; Coakley, S.; et al. Uncrewed Ocean Gliders and Saildrones Support Hurricane Forecasting and Research. Oceanog 2021, 34, 78–81, DOI: 10.5670/oceanog.2021.supplement.02-28.

     

  • RUCOOL Updates: April – June 2022

    Posted on July 19th, 2022 Mike Crowley No comments

    Welcome summer! For a lot of college researchers, summer is their quiet time, but this is oceanography and it’s our busiest season. Field research along the NJ shore, summer student research projects and the arrival of our new crop of Masters of Operational Oceanography students add to an already loaded schedule. Going to be a busy July and August, but first, here’s what we were up to this spring…

     

    State 

    • No doubt that the greatest news for RUCOOL the last few months was that Associate Professor Grace Saba received her tenure in April. For those that know Grace, this will come as no surprise as her bio-geochemistry work has been referenced world wide, and she has mentored a long list of heavily decorated grad students. Congrats Grace!
    • Congratulations to Emily Slesinger (and Grace Saba) who received the School of Graduate Studies Distinguished Scholarly Achievement Award. The Distinguished Scholarly Achievement Award is the School of Graduate Studies’ most prestigious honor. Awarded to a student who demonstrates the highest possible level of academic excellence and achievement, this award celebrates extraordinary scholarship and research.
    • Speaking of awesome students, RUCOOL had several grad students graduate in May including Liza Wright Fairbanks, Ted Thompson, Emily Slesinger, Sam Coakley, Schuyler Nardelli and Ailey Sheehan. Congrats!
    • Senator Robert Menendez staff visited RUCOOL in April to discuss our work in the offshore wind industry, as well as our research focusing on improving hurricane intensity forecasts for New Jersey and the nation.
    • RUCOOL’s Travis Miles, Josh Kohut, and Alex López were joined by graduate students Casey Jones and Tim Stolarz  at the NJDEP celebration of Earth day at Liberty State Park. The fearless group manned a Rutgers booth that saw over 1,000 visitors come through where they spoke about our graduate student program, offshore wind energy and hurricane research. 
    • RUCOOL welcomed two new additions to the team: Kaycee Coleman and Brian Buckingham. Kaycee will be focused on program management of the Orsted Fisheries research project while Brian is the newest addition to our expanding glider team as the fleet continues to grow. Welcome to both of them!
    • Operational Oceanography master’s degree students Courtney Dreyfus and Casey Jones joined Josh Kohut and others at the 2022 International Offshore Wind Partnering Forum (IPF) conference in Atlantic City in late April
    • Oscar Schofield joined other Rutgers faculty to design and develop the Rutgers Climate Initiative which will be presented to the Chancellor Provost’s office in July.
    • Grace Saba and colleagues conducted a cruise May 2-5 focused on sampling microplastics in and around the Delaware Bay plume.

     

    National

    • In June, RUCOOL’s Scott Glenn testified in front of the US Congress’ Subcommittee on the Environment, headed up by Congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, regarding the Priorities for Weather Research report he co-led for the NOAA SAB.  The House version of the 2023 Appropriations Bill contains the language “The Committee applauds and thanks NOAA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) for the report it produced titled, Priorities for Weather Research, which will be a useful guidepost for future investments in the weather enterprise”.
    • In April, the AMS President-elect, an AMS Past-President, and Scott Glenn co-lead a panel discussion on the future of weather research and forecasting at the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Washington Forum in DC.
    • Travis Miles was interviewed by Accuweather in the RUCOOL ocean glider lab regarding his research in improving hurricane intensity forecasts for the nation.
    • Oscar Schofield was interviewed by Science Friday about changing life at the poles, and what to expect in the coming years. 
    • Scott Glenn and Oscar Schofield were invited keynote speakers at the  Lifetime Achievement Award for Doug Webb by Teledyne Marine Inc. in Falmouth.  This award recognized Doug’s impact and how it changed the field of oceanography through the new technologies he invented and commercialized. Scott and Oscar were asked to provide commentary of how important those changes have been over the last 30 years.  During the events Teledyne Marine announced a 3-year gift to Rutgers for the Teledyne Marine Doug Webb Graduate Student Fellowship to continue Rutgers history of student exploration with underwater glider technologies.
    • In June, we welcomed 12 undergraduate students from across the country to participate in our NSF funded REU program, RIOS.  These students are working with mentors over a 10 week program that supports their independent research.  Topics this year range from underwater volcanos, oysters physiology, Antarctic krill and ancient oceans.   Additionally, the interns are participating in weekly workshops that develop their career and research aptitude.  The program is co-coordinated by Josh Kohut, who, along with 2 other RUCOOL faculty, directly mentored three of the students.  The summer program will conclude with a science symposium in which the students shared their work and celebrate their success.  
    • PhD candidate Lauren Cook conducted a 3-week experimental study at the Rutgers Aquaculture Innovation Center to determine the amount of different sources of carbon released from Atlantic menhaden, a dominant forage fish in the Mid-Atlantic Bight.
    • Grace Saba presented two invited talks at the Ocean Carbon & Biogeochemistry annual summer meeting: New Insights on the Role of Fishes in Ocean Carbon Flux and ‘Eco-gliders’ as novel platforms for ocean health and ecosystem monitoring and research. Saba PhD candidate Lauren Cook also presented their research at the meeting “Closing the fish carbon export gap: Initial laboratory-based approaches in creating a full carbon production suite for an abundant North Atlantic forage fish.”

     

    International

    • Scott Glenn was awarded a 2022 Rutgers Global Grant entitled “Collaborative Metocean Observing in Cuba: Step 1 – High Frequency Radar.” The project is about building an observatory at a critical choke point in the global ocean circulation that impacts our climate and supports improvements in hurricane forecasting. This project is our first step in a longer term vision co-developed with Cuban scientists to advance metocean (meteorology and physical oceanography) observing in Cuba as a component of a shared Gulf of Mexico strategy. That strategy, characterized as “One Gulf, Two Technologies, Three Countries, For the People” is our plan to expand high frequency radar and underwater glider technologies across the Gulf in the US, Mexico and Cuba to improve weather and climate forecasts for the benefit of all. 
    • Oscar Schofield and Jim Simon have been coordinating Rutgers scientists (across the Departments of Plant Sciences, Agriculture, and Food Resource Economics combined with the Rutgers School of Engineering) and developed a team specializing in the implementation of sustainable food system development including agriculture and marine resources, agribusiness and fresh water engineering.  This has been developed working closely with the government of Pohpnei in the Federated States of Micronesia. This has resulted in a formal MOU for research and food system implementation partnerships.  The team has been developing a holistic vision for Pohnpei State’s sustainable food system development that includes climate smart agribusiness and aquaculture opportunities for capacity building, job creation and increased economic independence. Support for this has been supported with several external and internal grants. To date this includes a grant from Rutgers Global 2022-2023. Food Security for Island Nations in a Changing Climate (Schofield, Seidel, Simon, $10,000) grant and an external award from the Green Climate Fund 2022. Climate-resilient food security for farming households across the Federated States of Micronesia. PIs Simon, Seidel, Schofield ($245,000)
    • Scott Glenn and Travis Miles participated in the 4-day United Nations Ocean Decade Co-Design Workshop, helping NOAA co-lead the Tropical Cyclone Exemplar. Their Exemplar attracted over 60 international experts in tropical cyclone observations, forecasting and warnings to co-design an international U.N. response that includes less developed countries and small island developing states.  Scott and Travis  have been invited to join the overall international Co-Design Team.

     

    Newly Funded Research 

    • Texas A&M University (National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine):  Improving Loop Current Ocean Observations and Prediction. (Scott Glenn, $172,049, 1 year)
    • National Science Foundation Long Terrm Ecosystem Research Palmer Station:  Ecological Response and Resilience to “Press-Pulse” Disturbances and a Recent Decadal Reversal in Sea Ice Trends Along the West Antarctic Peninsula. (Oscar Schofield, $1,187,258, 1 year)

     

    Papers Published: (**Current or Former Graduate Student or Postdoctoral Researchers)

      • Mathieu Gentil, Claude Estournel, Xavier Durrieu de Madron, Gaël Many, Travis Miles, Patrick Marsaleix, Serge Berné, François Bourrin, Sediment dynamics on the outer-shelf of the Gulf of Lions during a storm: An approach based on acoustic glider and numerical modeling, Continental Shelf Research, 2022. DOI: 10.1016/j.csr.2022.104721.
    • Northeast Fisheries Science Center and contributors. 2022. State of the Ecosystem 2022: Mid-Atlantic. Northeast Fisheries Science Center. Access report here. Grace Saba and Lori Garzio were contributing authors.
    • Northeast Fisheries Science Center and contributors. 2022. State of the Ecosystem 2022 Report: New England. Northeast Fisheries Science Center. Access report here. Grace Saba and Lori Garzio were contributing authors.

     

  • RUCOOL Updates: February – March 2022

    Posted on April 26th, 2022 Mike Crowley No comments

    Spring has arrived and we are smack in the middle of a busy semester of teaching and research. Offshore wind continues to be a focus for both current and proposed projects as we quickly approach summer. 2022 promises to be the busiest for glider deployments in a long, long time, and the R/V Rutgers will be key to that work, not to mention that the boat will be transporting loads of students out on the water for classes research.

    State 

    • Forecasters from the National Weather Service (NWS) met with Rutgers’ graduate student Casey Jones in February to discuss career paths within their agency.  Casey is presently a student in the Masters of Operational Oceanography program. Casey met with Lead Marine Forecaster Sarah Johnson as well as Science and Operations Officer Brian Haines. They shared their career experiences working in the agency and described entry level and internship opportunities for Casey to pursue with the Weather Service.

    National

    • Grace Saba and Dave Aragon, Josh Kohut and Oscar Schofield had two Top Cited Articles in 2020-2021  in Limnology and Oceanography (Wiley Publishers). Grace’s paper was titled “Toward a better understanding of fish-based contribution to ocean carbon flux” (https://doi.org/10.1002/lno.11709). Dave, Josh and Oscar’s paper was titled “FIReglider: Mapping in situ chlorophyll variable fluorescence with autonomous underwater gliders” was recently recognized as a top cited article (2020-2021).” (https://doi.org/10.1002/lom3.10380).
    • RUCOOL was able to assist former NOAA Gulf Stream forecaster Jenifer Clark in research for a wrongful death lawsuit in Florida that occurred when a passenger fell off a Disney cruise line.  Florida law is in effect if the location of the vessel was NOT in the Gulf Stream at the time of death.  If it was in the Gulf Stream, then international waters will try the case. Jen used RUCOOL archived satellite data to locate the Gulf Stream edge on the day of the accident.
    • The RUCOOL education team continues to work on the national 4-H STEM Challenge which will be released in October 2022.

    International

    • The RUCOOL education team is planning a big implementation of the Data to the Rescue: Penguins Need Our Help at Liberty Science Center in Jun 2022 for 200 kids –  see  our example Polar Literacy videos at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-ODzx3_s-w&t=5

    Student Awards

    • Ph.D. student Lauren Cook was awarded the Frank Marmin Memorial scholarship from the International Women’s Fishing Association.
    • RUCOOL grad student Joe Gradone was selected to receive the 2022 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship Award.  This fellowship is awarded in recognition of academic excellence and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) achievements, from over 3,000 applicants.  The award will cover all of his graduate school costs for the next 3 years.
    • Liza Wright-Fairbanks gave the Marine Technology Society (MTS) Walter Munk Scholar Award Commemorative Lecture on March 29, with the introduction and moderating by Dean Laura Lawson. This Zoom lecture had 75 attendees and was a follow up to her MTS award and lecture in fall 2021.
    • Congratulations to RUCOOL grad student Sam Coakley on successfully completing his Masters defense entitled “The evolution of a stratified upper ocean under tropical cyclone forcing.” Sam will be moving on to work at the US Climate Variability and Predictability Program.

    Newly Funded Research 

    • Vetelsen, “Challenger Glider Mission,” S. Glenn, O. Schofield and T. Miles ($150,000, 1 year).
    • NJ Department of Environmental Protection, “An ecological and oceanographic baseline to inform offshore wind development over the continental shelf off the coast of New Jersey,”  Grace Saba & Josh Kohut ($2,503,552, 2 years). Press release link: https://www.nj.gov/dep/newsrel/2022/22_0011.htm
    • Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (NOAA CINAR), “Ocean Acidification Synthesis Products,” Grace Saba ($78,999, 1 year)

    Papers Published: (**Current or Former Graduate Student or Postdoctoral Researchers)

    • Michael R. Stukel, Oscar M.E. Schofield, Hugh W. Ducklow, Seasonal variability in carbon:234 thorium ratios of suspended and sinking particles in coastal Antarctic waters: Field data and modeling synthesis, Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, Volume 184, 2022. DOI: 10.1016/j.dsr.2022.103764
    • Schofield, O., A. Fassbender, M. Hood, K. Hill, and K. Johnson (2022), A global ocean biogeochemical observatory becomes a reality, Eos, 103, DOI: 10.1029/2022EO220149
    • Slesinger, E., Bates, K., Wuenschel, M., Saba, G. 2022. Regional differences in energy allocation of black sea bass (Centropristis striata) along the US Northeast Shelf (36°N – 42°N) and throughout the spawning season. Journal of Fish Biology, DOI: 10.1111/jfb.15023
    • Schwartzman, B., Saba, G.K. 2021. Workshop Summary: Developing a Statewide Ocean Acidification Monitoring Network for New Jersey. November 19, 2021 (virtual). Access report here.
    • Gutt, J., Isla, E., Xavier, J., Adams, B., Ahn, I.-Y., Cheng, C.-H., Colesi, C., Cummings, V., Griffiths, H., Hogg, I., McIntyre, T., Meiners, K., Pearse, D., Peck, L., Piepenburg, D., Reisinger, R., Saba, G.K., Schloss, I., Signori, C., Smith, C.R., Vacchi, M., Verde, C., Wall, D. 2022. Ten scientific messages on risks and opportunities for life in the Antarctic. Antarctic Environments Portal: https://environments.aq/publications/ten-scientific-messages-on-risks-and-opportunities-for-life-in-the-antarctic/.
    • Thompson, T., Wright-Fairbanks, E., Barnard, A.H., Branham, C.W., Saba, G.K. 2021. Best Practices for Sea-Bird Scientific deep ISFET-based pH sensor integrated into a Slocum Webb Glider. OCEANS 2021: San Diego – Porto. San Diego, CA, 2021, pp. 1-8, doi: 10.23919/OCEANS44145.2021.9706067.
    • Sheehan, A., Saba, G., Nardelli, S., Beaird, N. 2021. Developing open-source analysis pipeline for a glider-based Acoustic Zooplankton Fish Profiler (AZFP). OCEANS 2021: San Diego – Porto. San Diego, CA, 2021, pp. 1-6, doi: 10.23919/OCEANS44145.2021.9706028.

    RUCOOL Meetings & Conferences 

    RUCOOL attended several conferences this February and March, however, one stands out amongst the rest.  Every two years, the oceanography research community comes together at the Ocean Sciences meeting, which was held virtually in February 2022 due to COVID-19. In addition to 10/12 Rutgers RIOS students giving talks, the  RUCOOL team contributed to 26 presentations, including:

    • Ackleson, S. G., Schofield, O. 2022. Regional size distribution and morphology of particles suspended in ocean waters adjacent to the West Antarctic Peninsula.
    • Bailey, K., Brenner, J., Glenn, S., Miles, T., etal., Coastal Monitoring Using Underwater Profiling Gliders During the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season.
    • Bourrin, F., Gentil, M., Durrieu de Madron, X., Miles, T., Suspended Particles Characteristics from Glider Observation in a Region of Freshwater Influence.
    • **Conroy, J., Steinberg, D., **Nardelli, S., Schofield, O. 2022. Trophic ecology of juvenile Antarctic krill: A multi-method approach.
    • ** Diou-Cass, Q., Schofield, O. 2022. Using physiological models to quantify trends in phytoplankton photoacclimation and growth over decades of change in the Western Antarctic Peninsula.
    • **Diou-Cass, Q., Waite, N., Schofield, O., 20 Years of Pigment Data Suggests Regional Shift In Energy Supply To Phytoplankton Communities In The Western Antarctic Peninsula.
    • Gentil, M., Bourrin, F., Estournel, C., Durrieu de Madron, X., Miles, T., Sediment Dynamics on the Outer Shelf of the Gulf of Lions during an Onshore Storm: an Approach based on Acoustic Glider and Numerical Modeling.
    • Gong, D., Wang, H., Kerfoot, J., Miles, T., Crowley, M., Glenn, S., Schofield, O. 2022. Improved thermal lag correction for pumped glider CTD.
    • **Gradone, J., Miles, T., Glenn, S., Wilson, D., Smith, M., Observing Essential Ocean Features in the Eastern Caribbean for a Safe and Predicted Ocean.
    • Hann, A., Bernard, K., Kohut, J., Oliver, M., Statscewich, H., New Insight into Salpa thompsoni Distribution via Glider-borne Acoustics.
    • Kohut, J., Glenn, S., McDonnell, J., Miles, T., Saba, G., Schofield, O., Lopez, A. 2022. Workforce Development Supporting the Blue Economy: A Master’s Program of Integrated Ocean Observing at Rutgers University.
    • Knap, A., Salas de Leon, D., DiMarco, S., Whilden, K., Whelan, C., Glenn, S., Working together; trans-national effort to install and operate 2 HF Radars across the Yucatan Straight.
    • Lin, Y., Cassar, Moreno, Marchetti, A., Ducklow, H., Schofield, O., Delage, E., Meredith, M., Li, Z., Eveillard, D., Chaffron, S. 2022. Decline in plankton diversity and carbon flux with reduced sea ice extent along the Western Antarctic Peninsula.
    • Miles, T., Slade, W., Glenn, S., Particle Size and Concentration Observations from a Glider Integrated In-situ Scattering and Transmissometry (LISST) Sensor.
    • **Nardelli, S., Schofield O. 2022. Assessing the ecological drivers of phytoplankton bloom phenology in coastal Antarctica.
    • Nazzaro, L., Kohut, J., Brodie, J., Morse, L., Baurmgartner, M., Dreyfus, C., Ezzat, A., Mapping North Atlantic right whale distribution relative to coastal ocean features in the Mid Atlantic Bight.
    • Passacantando, M., Kohut, J., **Veatch, J., The Decadal Impact from Suppression of Eddy-Diffusivity on Surface Mixing in the Southern Ocean through ARGO Float Analysis.
    • Roarty, H., Evaluation of the NOAA Operational Forecast System in Delaware Bay.
    • ***Romano, J., Schofield, O. 2022. A Closer look at the pH variability of the Southern Ocean in a Warming Climate.
    • Saba, G., Gangopadhyay, A., Gawarkiewicz, G., Anomalous intrusions of warm core ring water onto the Mid-Atlantic Bight shelf alleviate acidification but increase warming during summer 2021.
    • Schofield, O., Waite, N., Steinberg, D. 2022 Food web dynamics along a changing West Antarctic Peninsula.
    • Stienbarger, C., Smith, E., Goni, G., Kim, H., Le Henaff, M., Miles, T., Thruston, S., Building bridges between the observing and modeling communities: NOAA works toward improving tropical cyclone intensity forecasts.
    • **Turner, J., Dierssen, H., Schofield, O., Stammerjohn, S., Kim, H., Munroe, D. 2022. Interannual variability of satellite derived phytoplankton indices west of the Antarctic Peninsula 1997-2021.
    • **Veatch, J., Fredj, E., Kohut, J., Using Lagrangian Coherent Structures to Quantify Prey Concentrating Features in Coastal Biological Hotspot.
    • Wang, H., Gong, D., Friedrichs, M., Harris, C., Miles, T., Zhang., Y., Canyon upwelling and downwelling in the Mid-Atlantic Bight.
    • *** Zembricki, E., Schofield, O. 2022. Are you krilling me? How humpback whales are impacting a rapidly warming West Antarctic Peninsula.

    (*** undergraduate student, ** graduate student or postdoctoral researcher)

  • RUCOOL Updates: December 2021 – January 2022

    Posted on February 16th, 2022 Mike Crowley No comments

    Hello 2022! Yes, many of us started the first 30 days of the year remotely, but we are now back in the office and in person for classes. It’s been a busy 9 weeks of proposal writing in addition to all the goings on listed below. RUCOOL will likely be adding to our team in the coming months as our offshore operations expand.

     

    State 

    • Congratulations to Dr. Emily Slesinger (Grace Saba advisor) who successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled “Black sea bass physiology and life history in the context of seasonal and long-term climate change.” Emily is now working as a NRC fellow at a NOAA NMFS lab in Newport, Oregon. 
    • Congratulations to Dr. Schuyler Nardelli (Oscar Schofield advisor) on defending her PhD thesis entitled “Seasonal dynamics of plankton ecology in coastal Antarctica.” Schuyler is now a Knauss Marine Policy Fellow in Washington D.C. working with NOAA IOOS. 
    • Congratulations to Dr. Liza Wright-Fairbanks (Grace Saba Advisor) for successfully defending her dissertation, “Observing seasonal cycles, drivers, and potential biological impacts of ocean acidification in the Mid-Atlantic Bight.” Dr. Wright-Fairbanks is now a  Knauss Marine Policy Fellow working with the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program. 
    • Alex Lopez joined RUCOOL and began his work in heading up teaching/training for our 3rd cohort of Masters of Operational Oceanography students. The students have chosen their areas of theses research that will culminate in summer graduation. 
    • Chancellor-Provost of Rutgers Francine Conway, Vice Chancellor Alex Perex, and SEBS Dean Laura Lawson, visited the COOLroom in December. It was great to see everyone in person, and we are looking forward to more visits this spring.
    • December and January are typically quiet times for our glider team, but this year we had four deployments off the NJ coast focused on right whale detection (Orsted), ocean acidification research (NOAA), and water quality measurements (NJDEP). 

     

    National

    • NOAA Science Advisory Board (SAB) Priorities for Weather Research (PWR) co-leads Scott Glenn (Rutgers oceanographer) and Brad Colman (Climate Corporation meteorologist) have entered the communication phase of the PWR Report.  So far in 2022, they hosted a community Town Hall (165+ attendees) at the American Meteorology Society (AMS) meeting and have presented to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology.
    • Hugh Roarty gave a webinar on “Multi-Mission Radar for the US Coast Guard” for 80 homeland security stakeholders.  The webinar series is sponsored by the Maritime Security Center, A Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence
    • The RUCOOL Education team has been working on the 4-H STEM Challenge for fall 2022, highlighting climate change research and gliders in three activities:
      • Ocean Robot Lab: In this activity, youth will test an ocean robot to understand how they work. They will look through data collected by ocean robots and scenarios where ocean robots are pivotal to study. Youth may take the glider apart and reverse engineer it to further explore how it works.
      • Ocean Expedition: In this activity, youth will compete in a board game to navigate their ocean robot around the world while learning key ocean concepts. Topics include aquaculture, climate change, innovation, human impacts, and the marine ecosystem. 
      • Ocean Communicator:  In this activity, youth will investigate four ocean challenges that ocean scientists, engineers, and technologists are currently exploring. Each challenge requires collective innovations, technical solutions, and strives to inspire public action.  

     

    International

    • Grace Saba was invited to participate in the Environmental Defense Fund-Bezos Earth Fund Open Ocean Blue Carbon Workshops focused on natural climate solutions in the open ocean: readiness of four proposed pathways to serve as a source of high-quality carbon credits. These workshops spanned three sessions from December 2021-January 2022.
    • Rutgers has been participating in the NSF’s Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) project at Palmer Station Antarctica for over 30 years. Graduate students Quintin Diou-Cass and Joe Gradone returned from a successful research season aboard the R/V Nathaniel Palmer which was offshore of the West Antarctic Peninsula. Now it’s time to get to work analyzing the data!
    • The RUCOOL team released the new Palmer LTER website. This website not only serves as the information portal for possible researchers, but also as a data archive for data acquired at Palmer LTER, since 1991.
    • Oscar Schofield coordinated the formation of a technology task team for the Southern Ocean Observing System.
    • Oscar Schofield joins the Resource Strategy Group for the international G7 Future of the Seas and Ocean Initiative, coordinating the development and deployment of the global Bio-Argo array. 
    • The Palmer LTER conducted its research expedition in December, that included a major 31 day cruise as well as deployment and recovery of gliders in Antarctica

     

    Newly Funded Research 

    • NJ Department of Environmental Protection, “Calibration Experiments for a Novel Clam Survey Dredge and Monitoring Carbonate Chemistry of Surfclam Habitat,” Daphne Munroe PI, Grace Saba co-PI ( $865,440, 1 year).
    • National Science Foundation, “OCB Fish, Fisheries and Carbon Workshop: An emerging research direction in the ocean biological carbon sink,” Grace Saba ($30,000, 1 year).
    • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Integrated Ocean Observing System (through University of Delaware MARACOOS), “MARACOOS Data to Model Comparisons,” Travis Miles ($143,000, 1 year). 
    • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Integrated Ocean Observing System (through University of Delaware MARACOOS), “IOOS Glider DAC,” Michael Crowley ($135,500, 1 year). 
    • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Integrated Ocean Observing System (through University of Delaware MARACOOS), “MARACOOS (Mid-Atlantic IOOS): Powering Understanding and Prediction of the Mid-Atlantic Ocean, Coast and Estuaries,”  Oscar Schofield ($1,108,577, 1 year). 
    • University of Puerto Rico, “Caribbean Coastal Ocean Observation System – CARICOOS,” Hugh Roarty ($51,000, 1 year).
    • NASA Rapid Response Program. 2022-2023. “Improving our understanding in situ carbon dynamics to ocean color in the Southern Ocean by adding bio-optical instrumentation to the SOCCOM Float-based Observing System” Oscar Schofield ($271,000, 1 year).
    • CODAR Ocean Sensors, “Wind Turbine Interference Mitigation,” Hugh Roarty ($25,000, 1 year).

     

    Papers Published: (**Current or Former Graduate Student or Postdoctoral Researchers)

    • Sipps, K., Arbuckle-Keil, G., Fahrenfeld, N., Walsh, K., Garzio, L., Chant, R., Saba, G. 2022. Pervasive occurrence of microplastics in Hudson-Raritan estuary zooplankton. Science of the Total Environment 817: 152812, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.152812.
    • Miles, T.N., D. Zhang, G.R. Foltz, J. Zhang, C. Meinig, F. Bringas, J. Triñanes, M. Le Hénaff, M.F. Aristizabal Vargas, S. Coakley, C.R. Edwards, D. Gong, R.E. Todd, M.J. Oliver, W.D. Wilson, K. Whilden, B. Kirkpatrick, P. Chardon-Maldonado, J.M. Morell, D. Hernandez, G. Kuska, C.D. Stienbarger, K. Bailey, C. Zhang, S.M. Glenn, and G.J. Goni. 2021. Uncrewed ocean gliders and saildrones support hurricane forecasting and research. Pp. 78–81 in Frontiers in Ocean Observing: Documenting Ecosystems, Understanding Environmental Changes, Forecasting Hazards. E.S. Kappel, S.K. Juniper, S. Seeyave, E. Smith, and M. Visbeck, eds, A Supplement to Oceanography 34(4), DOI: 10.5670/oceanog.2021.supplement.02-28
    • Russell, J. L., Long, D. G,  Chang, P., Cowell, M., Curchister, E., Dinniman, M. S., Fellows, C., Goodman, P. J., Hofmann, E. E., Jelenak, Z., Klinck, J., Lovenduski, N., Lofverstrom, M., Mazloff, M., Petroy, S., Polit, A., Rodriguez, E., Schofield, O., Stouffer, R. J., Wanninkhof, R., Weimerr, C., Zeng, X. 2021. Measuring Winds from Space to Reduce the Uncertainty in the Southern Ocean Carbon Budget: An Observing System Design Experiment and Proposed Mission. Geophysical Research Letters doi: DOI: 10.1002/essoar.10506276.1
    • Bascur M, Morley SA, Meredith MP, Muñoz-Ramírez CP, Barnes DKA, Schloss IR, Sands CJ, Schofield O, Román-Gonzaléz A, Cárdenas L, Venables H, Brante A, Urzúa Á. 2021. Interpopulational differences in the nutritional condition of Aequiyoldia eightsii (Protobranchia: Nuculanidae) from the Western Antarctic Peninsula during austral summer. PeerJ 9:e12679 DOI: 10.7717/peerj.12679
    • Kim, H., Bowman, J. S., Luo, Y., Ducklow, H. W., Schofield, O. M., Steinberg, D. K., Doney, S. C. 2022. Modeling polar marine ecosystem functions guided by bacterial physiological and taxonomic traits. Biogeosciences. DOI: 10.5194/bg-19-117-2022
    • Friedland, K. D., Miles, T., Goode, A.G., Powell, E. N., & Brady, D. C. (2022). The Middle Atlantic Bight Cold Pool is warming and shrinking: Indices from in situ autumn seafloor temperatures.Fisheries Oceanography,31(2),217–223. DOI: 10.1111/fog.12573
    • Wang, J., Fu, L., Haines, B., Lankhorst, M., Archers, M., Aragon, D., Bigorre, S., Chao, Y., Farrar, T., Kerfoot, J., Lucas, A., Meinig, C., Ray, R., Sandwell, D., Send, U., Sevadijan, J., Schofield, O., Stalin, S. 2022. On the development of SWOT in situ Calibration/Validation of the short-wavelength ocean topography. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic technology. DOI: 10.1175/JTECH-D-21-0039.1

     

    RUCOOL Meetings & Conferences 

    RUCOOL continues to lead/attend numerous virtual meetings. Here are some meetings which our team attended and/or presented: Hurricane Glider Hotwash (NOAA IOOS), Raritan River Consortium Meeting, US Navy Glider Hotwash (NOAA IOOS), Underwater Glider Usergroup Planning Meetings, Environmental Defense Fund-Bezos Earth Fund Open Ocean Blue Carbon Workshop, ​​Global OceanGliders Steering Committee Meeting, National Academies of Sciences U.S. Committee for the U.N. Ocean Decade meetings, NOAA Science Advisory Board Environmental Information Services Working Group meetings. 

     

  • Understanding penguin and whale behavior using GPS tags

    Posted on December 20th, 2021 Mike Crowley No comments

    Authors: Megan Cimino, Ross Nichols, Megan Roberts, Darren Roberts

    When we are not surveying from the large research vessel, we conduct our research from small boats (“zodiacs”) to either find whales or take us to islands with penguin breeding colonies. One of our main goals is to understand the foraging behavior of whales and penguin – where they go to find food, how deep they have to dive and how much time and effort they spend foraging. To do this, we use high-tech tags to measure time, depth and location, and some tags can even record video or measure ocean conditions like temperature.

    From left to right: Ross Nichols, Darren Roberts, Megan Roberts, Megan Cimino

    The process for tagging a whale and a penguin is very different but in both cases the tag is relatively small compared to the animal’s body size and so it causes little disturbance to the animal.

     

    A comparison of tag sizes in relation to a human hand

     

    Whales, despite being a mammal, have bodies that are mostly hairless and lack small appendages where a tag could be secured. Instead, we use suction cups to attach our tags to their smooth bodies which can stay on their bodies for more than a full day. To attach the tag, we stand at the front of a small boat on a specialized platform called a “pulpit”. From the pulpit we hold a very long pole with the tag clipped into the far end. As we approach a whale in the small boat, we stick the tag onto the animal’s back, holding the tag onto the animal’s body through suction. The tag then records the movement of the animal, the dive depths, as well as recording audio and video.

    After losing suction over time while on the whale, the tag eventually loosens and releases on its own, floating to the surface. The tag then sends us a GPS ping where we can go to recover the tag and download the data! This data is very exciting because we can view the video of the animal and their environment and see how that relates to their behavior.

    To tag a penguin, you first need to choose and capture an adult that has 1 or 2 chicks so that you can make sure the adult will return to the nest and you can get the tag back from the penguin in the same place where you found it. The tag is then attached to the penguins back with tape and zip ties. In a few days, we return to the penguin’s nest to remove the tag, and are then able to download the data! We are always excited to see where the penguin went (usually within 10 km of its colony) and how deep it dove (usually 20-50 meters).

  • Understanding seabird and whale distributions and populations from a big boat

    Posted on December 15th, 2021 Mike Crowley No comments

    Megan Cimino, Ross Nichols, Megan Roberts, Darren Roberts

    During this research cruise, the whale and seabird teams mainly spend the day on the ship’s bridge recording all seabird, seal and whale species. Because we are in Antarctica during the spring, there are very few hours of darkness, roughly midnight to 3 am. Therefore, the seabird team members – Megan and Megan – work in shifts, one person working in the early morning to midday and one member working midday to midnight. We have seen a variety of seabirds ranging from large albatross (the size of a small dog) to tiny storm petrels (the size of a hamster).

    When the ship is near important penguin breeding colonies, the seabird researchers take a small boat to shore to count the number of nesting penguins to understand how their populations change over time in response to environmental conditions. A few days ago, team counted nearly 10,000 penguins in 7 hours using hand clickers, which required hiking over 6 miles in snowy and windy conditions. At this time of year, the penguins are beginning to lay and incubate their eggs that will hatch in late December.

    When a feeding and slow-moving group of whales are spotted from the ship, this provides an opportunity for the whale researchers – Ross and Darren – to go out in a small zodiac boat to take pictures and other biological samples. Pictures of whale flukes allow scientists to identify individual whales because their fluke is similar to a human’s fingerprint- everyone is unique! This allows us to estimate individual animal movements and population size. Small samples of the animal’s blubber can be used to determine if a whale is male or female, and can also identify if a female is pregnant. By monitoring the ratio of males to females and the rates of pregnancy, we can assess the health and growth of whale populations.

    Identify a Whale! Can you tell these whale flukes apart?

    These observations and samples are important because seabirds, seals, and whales are the major predators in Antarctica. These indicator species can tell us a lot about the health of the ocean’s ecosystem. It is difficult to know how many fish and krill are in the Southern Ocean but we can learn a lot by studying the health of larger animals that feed on them. Changes in the health of the animals or changes in species observed can tell us how the ecosystem is changing, especially in the context of climate change. As temperatures are warming rapidly in this polar region, it is very important to understand how these animals are responding to these changes to learn more about the overall health of our oceans.

     

  • RUCOOL Updates: October-November 2021

    Posted on December 15th, 2021 Mike Crowley No comments

    And just like that, we are approaching the end of 2021. It was good to see students back in the classroom and labs, on beaches and boats, and even traveling south for summer research in Antarctica.  

    State 

    • Our 3rd cohort Masters of Operational Oceanography students have almost completed their first semester, which actually started in early August with software and glider training. This fall, in addition to classes and lab work, they have been on glider deployments and recoveries as well as HF-Radar site visits. 
    • The NJDEP Commissioner, Shawn LaTourette, along with Bob Schuster and Megan Brunatti visited COOL in October. Discussions focused on offshore wind development, climate resilience and improving coastal water quality. Shawn posted a video of his visit. 
    • The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) visited RUCOOL in November. The attendees are active in the state’s development of 7.5 GW of offshore wind, as part of its goal to have 100% clean energy by 2050. Several representatives from each agency participated on a career panel with students in the Topics of Marine Sciences class, discussing their diverse career paths that led to their current positions with the state, and the myriad ways that today’s students might play a role in New Jersey’s blue economy. 
    • Grace Saba organized and hosted a virtual workshop on November 19th focused on Developing a New Jersey Statewide Ocean Acidification Monitoring Network.
    • The R/V Rutgers engine issue was fixed by Captain Chip Haldeman. We expect the R/V Rutgers to head to Tuckerton for winter glider deployments and recovery support for Orsted and other projects.
    • Our glider team continued a very busy fall in Oct/Nov supporting 11 deployments from the Gulf of Maine to the Jersey coast all the way down to the Caribbean. These gliders swam over 5400 kilometers and supported grants from NOAA, NSF, Orsted, NJDEP and the Vetelsen Foundation. It will be a busy winter of data analysis.
    • The COOLroom and glider lab were once again open for visits and tours this fall, beginning in late October. Over 40 visitors from NJDEP, NJBPU, Bermuda, Chile, the NJ Wind Institute and Rutgers Open House toured COOL
    • RUCOOL welcomed back Dean Robert Goodman to the COOLroom for a ceremony adding a plaque in his name to our RUCOOL Wall of Fame. The plaque states “For acting on his vision of new academic paradigms, empowering generations of ocean explorers to build and apply ocean observing networks that advance our science and support a global community embarking on a new blue economy.” 

    National

    • Scott Glenn completed an active year co-leading the NOAA Science Advisory Board (SAB) efforts to meet its commitments to the U.S. Congress.  Scott Glenn (academic oceanographer) and Brad Colman (industry meteorologist) co-chair the SAB’s Environmental Information Services Working Group (EISWG) and the SAB’s decadal Priorities for Weather Research (PWR) study. The PWR report, now approved by the full SAB and forwarded to the NOAA Administrator for submission to Congress, was a year-long study involving over 150 subject matter experts to define Federal investment priorities in weather research and forecasting.  The PWR report identifies 11 priority areas, 33 high-level recommendations and 102 critical actions for investment that, taken together, will transform U.S. Earth System forecasting and promote a more Weather Ready Nation that includes historically underserved and socially vulnerable communities. The PWR report is now being used to help inform the largest increase in NOAA’s budget since its formation over 50 years ago. The EISWG’s 2021 annual Report to Congress (RtC) on NOAA progress implementing The Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 (“The Weather Act”)  was approved by the SAB and forwarded to the NOAA Administrator for submission to Congress.  The RtC includes the EISWG review of the NOAA Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program (HFIP) led by Scott Glenn.
    • The hurricane season came to a conclusion at the end of November. Through NOAA funding, our team was involved with numerous glider deployments and a US team measuring the impacts of the storms on the ocean and vice versa throughout not only the mid Atlantic, but the southeast coast, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean as well. Our HF-Radar team tracked the eye of Ida off NJ and Long Island, showing the National Weather Service’s estimated eye track was a few miles east of the true storm center. It will be a long winter of data analysis as we work to improve hurricane forecast intensity models. 
    • RUCOOL Post-doc Jessica Valenti presented her research “Microplastics in the Marine Food Web: Insights from a Larval Fish Collection at the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation virtual meeting (oral presentation) and the American Fisheries Society meeting in Baltimore, MD (poster). 
    • PhD student Emily Slesinger gave an oral presentation titled “​​Interaction between shifting fish distributions and migration distances on reproduction: a case study with black sea bass” at the American Fisheries Society meeting in Baltimore, MD.
    • The RUCOOL Education Team received $750,000 from NSF to develop online tools to help university researchers connect their research with society. Their new toolkit will support scientists, engineers and other researchers in planning and developing education and outreach projects that support and explain their work. 
    • Oscar Schofield reappointed to the Federal Advisory Committee overseeing the US Integrated Ocean Observing System

    International

    • Oscar Schofield Chaired a National Academy of Sciences and Medicine Study entitled “Mid-Course Assessment of NSF progress on 2015 Strategic Vision for Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research”.
    • Rutgers has been participating in the NSF’s Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) project at Palmer Station Antarctica for over 30 years. Graduate students Quintin Diou-Cass and Joe Gradone boarded the R/V Nathaniel Palmer to head to the West Antarctic Peninsula. We wish them all well for their summer Southern Ocean exploration.

    Newly Funded Research 

    • University of Delaware through NOAA IOOS, “Mid Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System,” Schofield & Crowley ($1,108,577, 1 year). First of two parts.
    • State of NJ Department of Environmental Protection, “Glider deployments for water quality monitoring,” Kohut ($84,464, 1 year).
    • CODAR Ocean Sensors, “Wind Turbine Interference Mitigation Data Backfill,” Roarty ($24,885, 1 year).
    • National Science Foundation, “Implementation and Evaluation of the ARIS Broader Impacts Toolkit,” McDonnell ($749,866, 3 years).
    • Rider University through the National Science Foundation, “Improving Undergraduate Scientific Explanations: Exploring the Role of Data Literacy Skills in Scientific Reasoning,” Lichtenwalner ($19,099 for 1 year). 

    Papers Published: (**Current or Former Graduate Student or Postdoctoral Researchers)

    • Miles, T., S. Murphy, J. Kohut, S. Borsetti, and D. Munroe (2021), Offshore wind energy and the mid-atlantic cold pool: A review of potential interactions, Mar. Technol. Soc. J., 55(4), 72–87, DOI:10.4031/MTSJ.55.4.8
    • Schofield, O. (Chair), Barger, A., Brunt, K., Clauer, R., Das, I., Detrich, W., Gooseff, M., Halanych, K., Halpern, M., Murray, A., Rignot, E., Shevenell, A., Takai, H., Wilson, T., Wolff, E. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Mid-Term Assessment of Progress on the 2015 Strategic Vision for Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. DOI: 10.17226/26338
    • Roarty, H. (2022), Measuring Currents with High Frequency Radar, Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book, 2022

    Public Media

    RUCOOL Meetings & Conferences 

    RUCOOL continues to lead/attend numerous virtual meetings. Here are some meetings which our team attended and/or presented: MARACOOS Board Meeting, Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation Meeting, American Fisheries Society Meeting, Supporting OA Action Planning and Implementation in the Mid-Atlantic Workshop, Integrated Ocean Observing System Annual Meeting, Hudson River Foundation Continuous Monitoring Practitioner Meeting, Underwater Glider International User Group Meeting, Cakefest PHP Meeting, NJ EDA Wind Institute Meeting.

  • Zoop Soup!

    Posted on December 14th, 2021 Mike Crowley No comments

    RUCOOL is working with the Virginia Inst of Marine Sciences on our National Science Foundation (NSF) Long Term Ecosystem Research (LTER) project in Antarctica.

    Who: The zooplankton team/members of Virginia Institute of Marine Science’s Steinberg lab

    What: The zooplankton team has begun to conduct MOCNESS tows

    When: December 2, 2021

    Where: The more southern part of ocean next to the Western Antarctic Peninsula

    Why: We perform MOCNESS tows to collect zooplankton from different depths. This lets us see how animals change as depth changes!

    Finally!! We were able to put the “MOCNESS” in the water! “MOCNESS” is not a sea monster! It stands for “Multiple Opening Closing Net and Environmental Sensing System.” It’s not as complicated as it sounds. It is basically nine nets in one. We send all the nets down at once and then slowly bring the net up. As it comes up, we open one net, collect the animals that are there, and then close the net. Then we open the next net and repeat the process. This lets us see what animals live at different depths. The MOCNESS collects animals as deep as 1000m and as shallow as 50m!

    Now what are these animals we are collecting? They are “zooplankton”! “Zooplankton” are any animal that cannot swim against the ocean currents. This can describe jellyfish, krill (shrimp-like animals), or larval (young) animals like crab and lobster. Zooplankton are everywhere and can come in all different shapes and sizes! In Antarctica the most common animals we catch are krill, copepods (think plankton from Spongebob!), chaetognaths (worms), and pteropods (snails). These animals are typically found shallow in the water column, so we can catch them in our simpler “Metro nets.” Metro nets are single nets that stay open all the time. We send them down to shallower depths and they collect the zooplankton they encounter.

    So, now you know why the MOCNESS tows are special – we get to go deeper and we know where the animal came from! Another bonus is that we see animals that would never show up in our simpler nets because they live in deeper waters. For example, in our MOCNESS tows we may see a lot of red and black amphipods (bugs), big jellyfish, and sea spiders!

    After we conduct Metro tows or a MOCNESS tow, we work as a team to identify, count, and measure the volume of every animal. We may also conduct experiments on the live animals!. One is a “fecal pellet production experiment” – essentially watching and waiting for the animals to poop! We place the animal in a bucket full of seawater, leave it for a few hours, and then collect its poop. We want to learn more about the carbon and nitrogen that goes to the bottom of the ocean when these animals poop! Our other experiment involves larval (or young) fishes. In this experiment we want to measure their “thermal tolerance,” or what is the hottest temperature they can survive at. The fishes in these experiments are typically not found in other parts of the world!

    About the Authors: Maya Thomas and Tor Mowatt-Larssen are graduate students at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and Meredith Nolan is a senior at the College of William & Mary. This is all their first time to Antarctica!

    Images: a. The zooplankton team admiring the Antarctic scenery before a net tow. (Left to Right: Maya Thomas, Meredith Nolan, Tor Mowatt-Larssen).  b. A Metro net coming out of the water with all the zooplankton that it has collected.  c. Maya Thomas with a large jellyfish from a Metro tow. These are rare to find in our nets!  d. An example of what a Metro net collects. The large, orange animals that look like shrimp are Antarctic krill!

     

                 

  • Phytoplankton and water chemistry (chemistry can be and is fun!)

    Posted on December 11th, 2021 Oscar Schofield No comments

    Who: The most excellent Van Mooy group from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution – with friends and collaborators from three other institutions!

    When: November 22nd to December 15th

    Where: We take samples from the top of the ocean to the bottom, to look at how phytoplankton are changing the water they live in and being changed by it.

    Why? While algae might seem tiny and like they are not as important as animals like whales, seals, or penguins, they are actually what cause many of the changes in the world’s oceans! Even more than that, they are the food all those bigger animals eat!

    My team looks at the ways that phytoplankton, which are tiny algae (a lot like plants), grow in the ocean. They need sunlight, so they are concentrated in the surface. However, they also need food, or nutrients, which they can use up quickly when there is enough light. My lab looks at the balance between things like nutrients and light, to see how phytoplankton change when those factors change.

    Putting bottles of seawater into the filter rigs. This is how we filter the water to find out how much phytoplankton and particulate organic carbon there is inside one to two liters of seawater.

    Not only can a single algal cell change how it’s growing, but the types of cells often change as they each are fairly particular in what they like. Think of them as picky eaters – they don’t stick around when their favorite dish isn’t at the table, or there isn’t enough of it – because someone else has pushed them out! This is what we refer to as a “niche”.

    My favorite thing about phytoplankton is that they are not only impacted by the water around them, but they also change that water, in a really beautiful circle. To understand how these tiny organisms function, you have to understand the chemistry of the water. And, you have to understand how they are changing that chemistry as they grow, live, and eventually die and sink, or are eaten. What happens to algae when they die is almost as important as how they live.

    Together, phytoplankton and the water they live in make up an ecosystem all on their own, which is beautiful all by itself. Then, you can add in how they are food for animals like krill, which feed penguins, seals, and whales. But really, it all starts at the most microscopic levels, and my goal with this research in Antarctica is to understand how phytoplankton are changing as the chemistry of the oceans change, and then how that might make a difference to those larger animals too.

    About the author: Shavonna Bent is a graduate student at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. This is her third research cruise.

  • Phytoplankton, Lords of The Sea!

    Posted on December 8th, 2021 Oscar Schofield No comments

    Wednesday, December 1st

    CURRENT PROGRESS: Happy Antarctica Day!

    Hey everyone, Quintin here! I’m a biological oceanographer with the LTER (Long-Term Ecological Research) project here on the Nathaniel B. Palmer (NBP). It’s another day of exciting Antarctic scenery here looking through the portholes on the NBP, since a large storm is hitting the Western Antarctic Peninsula! While that gives us a lot of high winds and cool waves to look at, it also means we have to shut down science until the weather is safe enough to drop our instruments over the side. This is definitely unfortunate, but it gives us all a great chance to make plans for the rest of the expedition and process data!

    So far we have made significant progress down the peninsula and have reached Adelaide Island, one of the major islands on the coast (and home to Rothera Station, an Antarctic research base owned by the British!). Now that we have come so far south and have completed nearly 60% of our expedition, we are making plans to do process studies at a couple locations along the coast. Unlike our previous sampling sights, we will stay at these process study locations for 2-3 days and sample every 12 hours or more! We do this so we can understand the differences in our respective focus areas (e.g., phytoplankton, bacteria, zooplankton, physics, etc.) over time and run experiments that require us to be in one location for an extended period. It should be an exciting time, and marks one of the final stretches of science before we start packing up and heading back to the US!

     

    PHYTOPLANKTON: The Grass Of The Sea

    For biological oceanographers, part of being out in the field on research trips like this one is to collect samples of the plants and animals that live in the ocean so we can gather data from them later. I and others in my lab are focused on collecting and studying the phytoplankton (microscopic plants) in the ocean, and that means lots of filtering water! Much like the grasses that cows graze on in farms or the grass in your front lawn, phytoplankton are essentially the grass of the sea. They are super tiny bits of plant, made up of a single cell, that are everywhere in the surface ocean. The only difference between the grass on your lawn and the algae (phytoplankton) in the ocean is that the algae are too small to see! Despite being so small, the phytoplankton are super important to the ecosystem, since they are the ones that harvest energy from the sun and make it available to all the larger critters like zooplankton that are eaten by whales, seals, and penguins. Because the phytoplankton are so important, we want to understand how much there is, how they grow over time, and what different kinds of phytoplankton exist in the water. This information can tell us a lot about the base of the food web and how we might expect it to change over time to impact all of the larger critters that thrive in the unique Antarctic areas!

    A picture of a diatom taken by a special camera called an Imaging Flow CytoBot. Diatoms are a type of phytoplankton that live all over the world, and there are many diatoms in the Southern Ocean near Antarctica.

    About the author: Quintin Diou-Cass is a graduate student at Rutgers University. This is his fifth research cruise.