Rutgers University
  • RUCOOL Updates: February – March 2021

    Posted on April 16th, 2021 Mike Crowley No comments

    The spring semester is well underway as the team works on numerous research proposals for the coming year with April deadlines. We are all looking forward to the spring warming and the fully loaded summer field season ahead.



    • In support of the SEBS Virtual Learning Experience, Josh Kohut discussed offshore wind energy development in the Mid-Atlantic Bight, the important environmental considerations, how it will affect our ocean and planet in the short and long terms, and how Rutgers is involved in delivering high tech ocean solutions to the development of this state-of-the-art industry to the U.S.
    • Mike Crowley, as Technical Director of RUCOOL and the Mid Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS), represented MARACOOS and Rutgers on capitol hill visits with the offices of Senator Cory Booker, Rep. Mikie Sherrill, Rep. Frank Pallone and Rep. Chris Smith. Discussions focused on RUCOOL contributions to NWS tropical storm forecasting, NOAA fisheries bycatch mitigation, NJ offshore wind development and mitigating interference with right whale migrations during turbine installations, NJDEP water quality monitoring and K-16 education.
    • The RUCOOL ECO-PAM glider project with Orsted’s Ocean Wind project completed its fourth scheduled deployment off of New Jersey. Detections of the endangered North Atlantic Right Whale coincided with an oceanic front towards the edge of the continental shelf detected via satellite sea surface temperature and RUCOOL high frequency radar surface currents, an interesting and first-time finding. Glider deployments will resume this fall.
    • Late winter is usually a quiet time for the mid-Atlantic glider deployments, but this February and March we supported 5 deployments of gliders in the NY Bight that are doing water quality research for NJDEP, ocean acidification monitoring for NOAA, and tracking right whale migrations off of Atlantic City for Orsted. It promises to be a busy glider year ahead.
    • Operational Oceanography students have finally been able to participate in covid-safe field work through a return to research, gaining valuable hands-on experience in the field! Students are in the final stages of submitting their project abstracts to the student poster competition at the Marine Technology Society OCEANS conference, learning to effectively communicate their science.
    • Grace Saba presented an invited talk entitled “Ocean and Coastal Acidification in the Mid-Atlantic: The What, the Why, and the Risks” for the Hooked on Ocean Acidification Mini-Series sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Acidification Network (MACAN) and MARACOOS.
    • RU COOL faculty continue teaching seven courses including Oceanography Seminar, Topics in Marine Science, Operational Ocean Modeling, Polar Systems, Integrated Ocean Observations 2, Science Pseudoscience and Society, and Field Laboratory Methods 2.
    • During this semester, RUCOOL faculty are working with 8 interns including George H. Cook Honors students Noah Motz, Christina Schultz, Mollie Passacantando and Marissa Guzik, SEBS Honors students Miah Manning and Emma Huntzinger, and EBE students Kiernan Bates and Aviva Lerman.



    • Brad Colman, a meteorologist with the Climate Corporation, and Scott Glenn, an oceanographer from Rutgers University, have been selected by the NOAA Science Advisory Board to co-lead the Priorities for Weather Research (PWR) Report to Congress (RtC) due in December of 2021. They will assemble and lead a group from across the Weather Enterprise that will recommend priorities for the next decade of Congressional investments in observations & data assimilation, forecasting, and information delivery to improve weather forecasts and warnings through an Earth Systems, Social, and Behavioral Sciences approach.
    • The education and outreach team was involved with numerous activities including serving as a judge in the Youth Institute, acting as a rules judge in the 2021 Shore Bowl, teaching a Broader Impacts class on effective partnerships for the ARIS Center (Advancing Research Impacts in Society), and serving as panelists for the OOI re-siting of the Pioneer Array meeting, Additionally, the education team had 3 New Brunswick HS students selected to participate in the NJSTEM Month Communities Challenge -from our 4-H STEM Ambassador program. Alesha Vega on our team mentored these youth to present a project to 10 community judges including State Assemblymen. See
    • The education team posted the 3 more articles from our 2020 OOI Data Labs fellows, which showcase the lessons they developed using the OOI Data Explorations, and the lessons they’ve learned using these resources, which many found especially helpful for adapting to the pandemic. The OOI Data Labs project has truly become a national resource for ocean science educators as we have passed 150 members: Data Labs Community Map.
    • The education team began posting more new videos for the Polar Literacy Principles, specifically 1-location, 4-food & 6-humans.
    • PhD student Elizabeth Wright-Fairbanks presented a talk entitled “Glider-based observations reveal seasonal pH and aragonite saturation state variability in coastal U.S. Mid-Atlantic shellfishery management zones” at the National Shellfisheries Association annual meeting.



    • Grace Saba presented an invited talk entitled “Toward a better understanding of fish-based contribution to ocean carbon flux” for the Joint Exploration of the Twilight Zone Ocean Network monthly meeting.
    • Grace Saba was a co-presenter with Emma Cavan and Simeon Hill of an invited talk entitled “Fish, fisheries, and carbon sequestration” at the international symposium Delivering on climate & biodiversity targets through better fisheries management.


    Newly Funded Research

    • University of Delaware, “Transport of Freshwater on Antarctic Shelves,” Josh Kohut ($22,923).
    • Caribbean Coastal Ocean Observing System (CARICOOS, NOAA), “HF-Radar Site Support,” Hugh Roarty, ($60,000)
    • NASA Rapid Response Program. 2021-2022. “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 ($471,920)


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

    • Saba, G.K., Burd, A.B., Dunne, J.P., Hernández-León, S., Martin, A.H., Rose, K.A., Salisbury, J., Steinberg, D.K., Trueman, C.N., Wilson, R.W., Wilson, S.E. 2021. Toward a better understanding of fish-based contribution to ocean carbon flux. Limnology and Oceanography: doi:10.1002/lno.11709.
    • **Nardelli, S., Cimino, M., Conroy, J. A., Fraser, W., Steinberg, D., Schofield, O. 2021. Krill availability in Adelie and Gentoo foraging regions south of Anvers Island, Antarctica. Limnology Oceanography DOI: 10.1002/lno.11750
    • **Schultz, C., Doney, S. C., Hauck, J., Kavanaugh, M. T. Schofield, O. 2021. Modeling phytoplankton blooms and inorganic carbon responses to sea-ice variability in the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). Journal of Geophysical Research. Geosciences. DOI: 10.1002/essoar.10505538.1
    • **Brown, S., Bowman, J. S., Lin, Y., Cassar, N., Schofield, O. 2021. Low diversity of key phytoplankton groups along the West Antarctic Peninsula. Limnology and Oceanography. DOI: 10.1002/lno.11765
    • Bailey, K., Sipps, K., Saba, G.K., Arbuckle-Keil, G., Chant, R.J., Fahrenfeld, N.L. 2021. Quantification and composition of microplastics in the Raritan Hudson Estuary: Comparison to pathways of entry and implications for fate. Chemosphere 272: 129886, doi:10.1016/j.chemosphere.2021.129886.
    • Optis, M., Kumler, A., Brodie, J., Miles, T. (2021). Quantifying sensitivity in numerical weather prediction‐modeled offshore wind speeds through an ensemble modeling approach. Wind Energy. DOI: 10.1002/we.2611


    RUCOOL Meetings & Conferences

    RUCOOL continues to attend numerous virtual meetings. Here is a sample of meetings which our team attended and/or presented: National Academies of Sciences and Engineering 2021 Ocean Decade Summit,  Understanding Gulf Oceans Systems (UGOS) Summit 2021, National Shellfisheries Association annual meeting, IOOS Annual Spring Meeting, SEBS Virtual Learning Experience, Underwater Glider Users Group Bi-Monthly Meeting, Navy Glider Hotwash Meeting, Ocean Decade US Launch Meeting on the UN Decade, Responsible Offshore Science Alliance (ROSA) Meeting, and the OOI Pioneer Array resiting meeting.