Rutgers University
  • RUCOOL Update for October-November 2019

    Posted on December 18th, 2019 Mike Crowley No comments


    • Grace Saba conducted the first Delaware Bay field effort designed to observe zooplankton ingestion of microplastics and the effect on fecal pellet sinking rates. Experiments were conducted at the Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory.
    • Masters students attended the Urban Coast Institute’s Future of the Ocean Symposium where they met and learned from leaders in operational oceanography including the deputy administrator of NOAA, the president of Conservation Law Foundation, the deputy director of the Port Authority of NY & NJ, and the president of Orsted U.S. Offshore Wind.
    • In addition to participating in three glider deployments (one entirely student led) and an HF radar installation, students have been building their own ocean instruments (CTD) from scratch.
    • The R/V Rutgers completed 15 trips, hosting 150 passengers during October and November. These trips included support of glider deployments and recoveries, completing multiple experiments on marsh restoration and water quality, supporting seven undergraduate classes, and outreach cruises with citizen scientists and SEED (Students for Environmental and Energy Development).


    • With the exception of RU26 currently deployed off the coast of California, the 2019 underwater glider season was completed in November. During October and November, RUCOOL was involved with seven glider deployments and nine glider recoveries, taking our total glider deployments to over 500. These deployments include work supporting NOAA funded hurricane research, a MARACOOS Cold Pool study, NJDEP water quality research along the NJ coast, NASA investigations along the California coast validating data from a new sea surface height satellite, an NSF funded pH study in the Mid Atlantic, Vetelsen funded investigations of hurricane interactions with the ocean surface in the Caribbean, and piloting support of the first glider at Stony Brook funded by an NYDEC project.  It was a busy ending to a busy year, but next year we could see a 20-40% increase in glider work. Stay tuned!
    • RUCOOL attended the Coastal Ocean Modeling Testbed Meeting hosted by IOOS where Travis Miles presented on in situ measurements and data assimilation impacts on tropical cyclone forecasts. RUCOOL continues to be the national leader in improving both the ocean observation and modeling systems for hurricane research.
    • RUCOOL continues to work directly with the National Centers for Environmental Prediction (NCEP). Maria Aristizabal is working with the hurricane forecasting group to evaluate the ocean-initial conditions in the operational and experimental NWS hurricane forecasting system using the data from the glider fleet that was deployed around Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands this summer and fall. It has become clear that glider data assimilation has a significant impact on improving the accuracy of the initial conditions.
    • Hugh Roarty led sessions at the WTRIM (Wind Turbine Radar Interference Mitigation) meeting with federal partners (Dept of Defense, Energy, FAA, BOEM and NOAA) that focused on how to secure funding for mitigation of interference from offshore wind turbines on the mid-Atlantic HFR network.
    • The education team hosted four Ocean Data Labs Webinars ( geared for community college professors. Topics included designing effective learning experiences, designing lessons based around data, and training on why salinity changes and what causes anoxic events.  Additionally, the team completed a six minute movie entitled “Data as a Tool in Scientific Investigations”, which will be available publicly in December, but you can view it here.


    • Josh Kohut visited PLOCAN (Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands) and Puertos del Estado in Spain to assist with annual glider training, focused on the end user applications and science. This international collaboration focused on ocean education continues into its second decade.
    • Scott Glenn visited Palmer Station to install the only HF-Radar network in Antarctica, funded through the NSF. The project studies the foraging ecology of polar marine food webs and their connection to the ocean. The core research will occur January-March of 2020.
    • Oscar Schofield traveled to Barbados as he was invited to provide overviews on new ocean technologies for Hurricane forecasting to the Weather Prediction Ministers from the islands of the southern Caribbean. The meeting was organized by the Varysian group.
    • Oscar Schofield was invited to give two talks at Oceanology International. The first presentation was about the United States Integrated Ocean Observing System and a second was on evolving sensor technology for underwater autonomous robots.  During that visit he gave a third invited talk at the State Key Research Laboratory in Shanghai.
    • Members of the RUCOOL team attended the Marine Technology Society Meeting in Seattle, WA. The team chaired technical sessions, presented multiple talks on RUCOOL research, but more importantly had several focused meetings that are expected to lead to future research partnerships, collaboration with private companies on new sensor testing, and discussion with numerous potential future graduate students.

    Fall Semester Classes

    • Undergraduate: Freshmen Oceanography House (Glenn, Kohut, Schofield); Ocean Observatories Research (Glenn, Kohut, Schofield); Oceanographic Methods and Data Analysis: Biology/Chemistry (Saba); The Biology of Living in the Ocean: Water Column, Ecosystems & Processes (Saba).
    • Graduate: Integrated Ocean Observing 1 (Beaird); Field Laboratory Methods 1 (Beaird); Operational Ocean Modeling/Visualization 1 (Miles, Beaird); Integrated Ocean Observing – Software Bootcamp (Beaird).

    Student Awards

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

    • Julia N. Kobelt, William C. Sharp, Travis N. Miles, Colette J. Feehan (2019). Localized Impacts of Hurricane Irma on Diadema antillarum & Coral Reef Community Structure. Estuaries and Coasts. DOI:10.1007/s12237-019-00665-4.
    • Saba, G.K., Wright-Fairbanks, E., Chen, B., Cai, W.-J., Barnard, A.H., Jones, C.P., Branham, C.W., Wang, K., Miles, T. The development and validation of a profiling glider Deep ISFET pH sensor for high resolution coastal ocean acidification monitoring. Frontiers in Marine Science 6: 664, DOI:10.3389/fmars.2019.00664.

    RUCOOL Meetings & Conferences

    Meetings during this two month reporting period included: Coastal Ocean Modeling Testbed Meeting, Silver Spring, MD; American Wind Energy Association Meeting, Boston, MA; MARACOOS Annual Board Meeting, Baltimore, MD; Marine Technology Society Meeting, Seattle, WA; Wind Turbine Radar Interference Meeting, Travis Air Force Base, CA; National Centers for Environmental Prediction, College Park, MD; NJ Board of Public Utilities Meeting, Trenton, NJ; Oceanology International, Shanghai, China; Polar-ICE Polar Literacy Meeting, New Brunswick, NJ; IEEE Ocean Engineering Society, Seattle, WA; Weather Prediction Ministers of the Caribbean, Barbados; MARACOOS Strategic Planning Meeting, Lewes, DE; Monmouth University Regional Awards, West Long Branch, NJ; National Geoscience Education Meeting, Carlton College, Northfield, MN; Glider Training School, Canary Islands, Spain; Offshore Wind Transmission Workshop, Trenton, NJ; Polar CAP Kickoff meeting, New Brunswick, NJ.

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