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  • RUCOOL Updates: April & May, 2020

    Posted on June 25th, 2020 Mike Crowley No comments

    Despite the COVID-19, RUCOOL remains active.  Core technologies (storm gliders and HF Radar) were deemed critical research tools based on national security requirements and continue to be supported. These activities are guided by an operations plan that maintains recommended COVID best practices.


    • On June 3, Rutgers scientists observed the ocean and atmospheric response to a derecho that passed through NJ.  The RUCOOL meteorological tower in Tuckerton NJ recorded a peak wind gust of 54 mph alongside a 21-degree temperature drop in only 15 minutes.  The Rutgers HF-Radar station detected a meteotsunami hitting New Jersey.
    • The 4-H STEM program continues to support summer learning with the STEM Blog and 4-H from Home programs.
    • RUCOOL took delivery of RU34, a new Slocum glider purchased for the Orsted ECO-PAM project. The glider is equipped with the passive acoustic sensor designed track vocalizing right whales in the area within and around Orsted’s Ocean Wind lease area off of NJ. The R/V Rutgers was formally approved by Orsted’s health and safety department and can now be used for Orsted-RU collaborative work.
    • Through NSF funding, We took deliver a multi-frequency active BioSonics system for continuously measuring fish and zooplankton at the RUMFS which will be coupled to a SubSea hydrophone to track marine mammals.
    • The first two Masters of Operational Oceanography have formalized their thesis.  One of the students has been hired by NOAA even before graduation.


    • The hurricane season is upon us and the RUCOOL glider team is organizing a fleet of glider deployments throughout the Mid Atlantic, funded by NOAA. Partners this year include UMass Dartmouth, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, the University of Delaware, SUNY Stony Brook, Monmouth University and the US Navy. RUCOOL will be deploying and recovering the Navy gliders.
    • RUCOOL presented overviews of Glider and HR-Radar to members of mid-Atlantic US congress (Senate and House). They reviewed the technologies and their critical needs to support NWS hurricane forecast improvements, USCG search and rescue, and the newly developed wave forecasts.
    • Scott Glenn joined Mark Abbott (Director and President of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) and John Delaney (Professor Emeritus, University of Washington) as new members of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) Ocean Studies Board (OSB). The NASEM OSB is the official U.S. Committee for the U.N. Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development is charged with coordinating the U.S. contributions to the U.N. Decade.
    • Scott Glenn began posting to the RUCOOL Hurricane Blog on May 15 for the 2020 hurricane season.  The blog site (link here) has been circulated within NOAA leadership circles and was distributed through the US IOOS Eyes-on-the-Ocean as one of their recommended data resources.
    • The RIOS program together with the Data Labs project team launched a new virtual REU program for 15 undergraduates from around the country in rapid response to COVID 19.  See
    • The RUCOOL Engagement and Outreach team is completing a four part professional development program for 8 early career polar scientists. They will create new curriculum for presentation to the Newark Public School District this summer as a summer enrichment program.  Our focus will be on building student’s polar literacy and data skills.  See


    • Travis Miles was invited to be on the steering committee for the Interagency Ocean Observing Committee Underwater Glider User Group. This team is slated to lead the international efforts on underwater glider operations, science, QA/QC, best practices, organizing international meetings and driving the future development of these gliders and associated instrumentation.
    • IOCARIBE, the Global Ocean Observing System’s (GOOS) Implementing Organization for the Caribbean Sea, voted to endorse the Caribe Corredores plan prepared by Scott Glenn, Doug Wilson of Ocean and Coastal Observing -Virgin Islands (OCO-VI) and Tony Knap of Texas A&M University as a component of their contribution to the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.  The plan proposes to implement the HF Radar and glider observational components contained in the Rutgers MacArthur pre-proposal.
    • Scott Glenn was asked to join the NOAA Global Ocean Monitoring and Observation (GOMO) Program, specifically to work on their Extreme Events Team. The team’s first task is to plan the integrated ocean/atmosphere hurricane experiment for the 2021 season.
    • NSF is moving ahead to grant the Rutgers Palmer LTER project a field season. Given disruptions associated with COVID, this will likely be one of the few field efforts in Southern Ocean this coming year supported by the United States.  Scientists will have to take a 2-week quarantine onboard the ship prior to the deployment.

    Student Awards

    • Congratulations to Michael Brown for his successful PhD defense.  His thesis was focused on the “Drivers of phytoplankton dynamics, and corresponding impacts on biogeochemistry, along the West Antarctic Peninsula”.  His thesis examined how the physics drives the phytoplankton dynamics and the consequences on the biogeochemistry.  Congrats to Mike for an excellent piece of work!
    • Emily Slesinger will receive $1000 from the George Burlew Scholarship program (Manasquan River Marline & Tuna Club).  Her research focus is on the optimal thermal and oxygen niches for black sea bass and use the information to better understand their potential population trajectories in the future.
    • Hailey Conrad is a member of the Rutgers Honors College. She began doing research her freshman year with DMCS by volunteering in the OOI Hydrothermal Vent Lab where she reconstructed time lapse video of hydrothermal vents. She working with the Schofield lab in Antarctica to monitor phytoplankton populations and working as an Arresty Research Assistant in the Pinsky lab fishery changes in the face of climate-induced range shifts.

    Newly Funded Research

    • NOAA IOOS Alaska Ocean Observing System, 2020-2021, “Gulf of Alaska pH Glider” ($73,838), Grace Saba.
    • New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, 2020-20201, “Creating a framework to support efforts of the New Jersey Coastal Management Program to address ocean acidification as an element of state coastal climate resilience planning, ($56,985), Grace Saba.

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

    • Chai, F., Johnson, K., Claustre, H., Xiaogang, X., Want, Y., Boss, E., Riser, S., Fennel, K., Schofield, O., and Sutton, A. 2020. Monitoring ocean biogeochemistry.Nature Reviews Earth and Environment. y.
    • Friedland K., Morse R., Manning J., Melrose D., Miles T., Goode A., Brady D., Kohut J., and Powell E.  Trends and change points in surface and bottom thermal environments of the US Northeast Continental Shelf Ecosystem. Fish Oceanogr. 2020;00:1–19.
    • Conroy, J., Steinberg, D., Thibodeau, P., and Schofield, O. 2020. Zooplankton diel vertical migration during Antarctic summer. Deep Sea Research II org/10.1016/j.dsr.2020.103324.
    • Lim, H., Miles, T., Glenn, S., Kim, D., Kim, M., Shim, J., Chun, I., and Hwang, K. 2020. Rapid ocean destratification by typhoon Soulik over the highly stratified waters of west Jeju Island, Korea. In: Malvárez, G. and Navas, F. (eds.), Global Coastal Issues of 2020. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 95, pp. 1480–1484. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.

    RUCOOL Meetings & Conferences

    Though there were no in person meetings due to COVID, there were plenty of virtual meetings during the last two months: MARACOOS Board Meetings (several meetings), Matos/ACT workshop, EISWG Steering Committee Meeting, MARCO Webinar, MARACOOS Portal Webinar for MARCO, Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program Meetings – Invited Talk, MARACOOS Congressional Briefing Ocean Observing Policy: HF-Radar, Improving Tropical Storm Intensity Forecasts with Real Time Data, Appropriations Supplemental Funds (IFAA) 2019-2020 Hurricane Gliders Workshop, MARACOOS Congressional Briefing Ocean Observing Policy: Gliders, MARACOOS Meetings with New USCG Leadership in the Mid-Atlantic, MARACOOS Strategic Planning roll out, TIMEly L3 Kickoff Meeting, Orsted ECOPAM Kickoff Meeting.