Rutgers University
  • RUCOOL Updates: December 2019 – January 2020

    Posted on April 27th, 2020 Mike Crowley No comments


    • Our Operational Oceanography students presented their thesis proposals to the PIs in December and have begun thesis work. Second cohort student applications have arrived, doubling those from the first cohort.
    • The R/V Rutgers field season ended in November and the maintenance season began in December. There were no science cruises, but significant maintenance/repairs/additions have been completed supporting USCG inspections and preparing for the spring season ahead.
    • Carl Gouldman, Director of NOAA’s US Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) visited RUCOOL to view final presentations from our undergraduate research class. Carl Goldman shared his career experiences with the students, while they presented talks on typhoons and hurricanes in the Atlantic and Pacific, research on climate in Antarctica, and local studies of the Raritan River.


    • Janice McDonnell’s education team has and will continue to offer weekly video teleconferences for the Antarctic LTER program and Dr. Josh Kohut’s SWARM project. The virtual visits to our Antarctic summer researchers are reaching thousands of K-12 students during our winter.
    • The Ørsted ECO-PAM Marine Mammal project, a collaboration between Ørsted, RUCOOL, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the University of Rhode Island was formally announced. RUCOOL has ordered a new Slocum glider exclusively for the use of this project, with the first deployment anticipated this spring. This first beta project has the possibility of leading to a decade of glider whale tracking during wind turbine installations off NJ.
    • Grace Saba and graduate student Liza Wright-Fairbanks attended the Ocean Acidification Community Meeting in Miami, FL. Each presented aspects of their novel research using newly developed glider-based pH sensors to observe carbonate chemistry variability in dynamic coastal shelf systems. A recent article on Grace’s work is available at:
    • Josh Kohut and Joseph Brodie served as panelists for a discussion on international research in sustainability and climate change hosted by Rutgers Global.
    • The education team conducted three webinars for the Data Lab project ( including pedagogically focused programs by the project team, and webinars that were led by the previous workshop participants as we grow our core.
    • After offering a mini grant competition, the education team awarded 11 Data Lab Fellows to expand the use of NSF’s OOI data. You can learn more about the competition here:
    • The RUCOOL Hurricane glider team was granted access to NOAA supercomputers this winter. Maria Aristizabal is now charged with evaluating the accuracy of the NOAA/NCEP operational and experimental hurricane forecasting models in estimating the ocean’s response to Hurricane Dorian using a fleet of underwater gliders deployed in the Caribbean Sea.
    • Scott Glenn, a member of the Environmental Information Services Working Group (EISWB), attended the EISWG annual meeting at the NOAA Storm Center in Norman Oklahoma (Univ. of OK). Scott presented a talk on the impacts of oceans on hurricane forecasts. He will now lead the EISWG review of the NOAA Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program (HFIP) submitted in response to the Weather Research and Forecast Innovation Act of 2017.
    • Scott Glenn and Mike Smith attended the Understanding Gulf Ocean System (UGOS) collaboration meeting at the National Academy of Sciences Engineering and Medicine headquarters in Washington, DC. Mike presented a poster on HF-Radar data quality control and data management.


    • RUCOOL, the University of Delaware and University of Alaska Fairbanks have partnered on the Swarm project studying the ocean off the West Antarctic Peninsula. Swarm focuses on integrating multiple sensors and technologies to improve models of phytoplankton blooms, krill locations and maps of top predator locations off the West Antarctic Peninsula. Since December, Rutgers has and continues to operate 3 gliders and the only Antarctic HF-Radar station in support of this research.
    • Rutgers (Travis Miles) partnered with the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and Ifremer on a collaborative project focused on sampling particle fluxes and the dynamics of the Rhone River along the southern coast of France using an ocean glider.
    • Oscar Schofield served as Chief scientist for the 8 week 2020 expedition to Antarctica as part of the NSF funded Palmer Long Term Ecological Research program, which is conducting a long term study of how a changing climate will impact polar marine ecosystems along the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). The WAP is the fastest warming winter location on Earth. RUCOOL has documented major changes in the food web which is being driven by a changing ocean. The changes have ranged from the base of the food web and declines in the penguin populations.
    • Hugh Roarty visited with Erick Fredj from Jerusalem College of Technology in Jerusalem, Israel in January.  They discussed the state of the art for measuring and quantifying oceanic surface transport in the Mid Atlantic Bight.  They plan on conducting an experiment this coming summer looking to measure ocean dispersion with drifters and HF-Radar.
    • RUCOOL attended the NOAA Korean Institute of Ocean Science and Technology Joint Program Agreement Meeting in Busan, South Korea to continue work on the typhoon Soulik data set and to plan for the next joint glider deployment during the 2020 typhoon season.

    Newly Funded Research

    • Orsted 2020-2021, “Marine Mammal Real Time Automated Detection and Oceanographic Sampling Project”, ($1,109,786), Brodie, (2 years of funding).
    • Department of Homeland Security (Stevens Institute of Technology) 2020, “VTS Radar for Small Vessel Detection”, ($192,473), Roarty (1 of 1).
    • University of Puerto Rico 2017-2021, “Advancing Coastal Intelligence in the US Caribbean”, ($67,656), Roarty (4 of 5).
    • National Science Foundation Infrastructure Capacity for Biology 2019-2020: “Expanding the biological/physical sampling at Rutgers Marine Field Station at Tuckerton”, ($149,679), Schofield, Able, Grothues, Kohut, Saba.
    • Vetelsen Foundation (2020), “Support for improving hurricane prediction in the Caribbean”, ($100,100) Glenn, Schofield, Miles, Kohut, and Saba.

    Faculty Awards

    • Travis Miles received the RBR2020 Cohort Award. This award is open to early-career researchers and will bring together scientists from around the world to enable innovative ocean measurements through collaborative workshops, technical developments, demonstration programs, and SciComm mentorship.

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

    • Hudson, K., Oliver, M.J., Bernaerd, K., Cimino, M., Fraser, W., Kohut, J., Statscewich, H., and Winsor, P. 2019. Reevaluating the canyon hypothesis in a biological hotspot in the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Geophys. Res. Oceans. doi: 10.1029/2019JC015195.

    RUCOOL Meetings & Conferences

    Meetings during this two month reporting period included: Dupont Nature Center HF-Radar Meeting, Milford DE; MarineRTech Meeting, Lisbon; Ocean Best Practices Meeting, Brussels; Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology Meeting, Busan; American Meteorological Society Meeting, Boston; OOI Data Labs Workshop (moderators), Princeton; Jerusalem College of Technology, Jerusalem; Environmental Information Services Working Group Meeting, Norman OK; Understanding Gulf Ocean Systems Meeting, Washington DC.

    RUCOOL Visitors

    • Total number of visitors to RU COOL: 58