Rutgers University
  • RUCOOL Updates: June-July 2021

    Posted on August 18th, 2021 Mike Crowley No comments

    As we start returning to the office, our team is now enjoying face to face discussions rather than through Zoom, Webex, Meets and Teams. Summer is always a busy time around here with coastal ocean research and summer RIOS students, and this summer is no different.


    • Josh Kohut joined a three person panel including Governor Florio for the NJ Spotlight News program focused on plans for offshore wind turbine installations along the NJ coast. The program was titled “Offshore Wind in New Jersey: Meeting the State’s Clean Energy and Economic Goals”.
    • Grace Saba joined co-PIs Robert Chant and Nicole Fahrenfeld and three summer undergraduate interns on a research cruise investigating microplastics and their consumption by zooplankton in the Delaware Bay.
    • Our second cohort of Operational Oceanography Masters students, Ted Thompson and Ailey Sheehan, both successfully defended their theses on back to back days in July. Congrats Ted and Ailey! There is no time to rest for our faculty and the 3rd cohort will arrive in early August for HF-RADAR, glider and programming school.
    • Through the ECO-PAM project, RUCOOL is partnering with Ørsted to monitor the local ecology and oceanography within and around the Ocean Wind lease area. The first deployment year was completed in July, with 4 successful glider deployments off of NJ that tracked local fish and marine mammals from the summer through the winter.
    • RUCOOL is working with multiple members of DMCS (T. Grothues, J. Morson, D. Munroe, D. Zemeckis, G. Saba, J. Kohut and A. Vastano) on the Ørsted Fisheries project preparation. The team is gearing up quickly for numerous fish surveys that will begin in the early fall.
    • RUCOOL was involved with 8 glider deployments in June and July. Geographically the gliders swam in waters that ranged from the Gulf of Maine, to the coast of NJ, to the Caribbean. Funding for our glider research came from NOAA and the Vetelsen Foundation. RU29 was attacked by a shark just west of Anguilla, but was recovered and will be redeployed in late August or early September.


    • This summer RUCOOL was happy to welcome 12 undergraduate students to SEBS for an in-person summer internship. Students based on the main campus in New Brunswick and our Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory completed authentic research experiences that ranged from undersea volcanoes, shellfish aquaculture, to offshore wind.  Our students spanned topics from our ancient ocean to present day and from the high Arctic to the coastal seas around Antarctica.  We thank the university support and all involved who helped ensure that these students could work in a safe and productive environment all summer.
    • Multiple members of the RUCOOL team attended and presented at the MARACOOS HF-Radar Installation ceremony in Lewes, DE. Attendees included US Senator Tom Carper, Director of the National Weather Service, Louis Uccellini, and Carl Gouldman, head of US IOOS.
    • RUCOOL tracked the ocean’s response to the passage of Tropical Storm Elsa as it moved through the mid-Atlantic. The storm was modelled in real time by the Rutgers Weather Research and Forecasting model (RUWRF).  For a complete article and animations of the storm, click here.
    • The RUCOOL education team was very busy this summer. Janice McDonnell taught our Icy Adventure program in Paterson Science and Technology Charter School to summer school students. Janice also completed several workshops for the ARIS Broader Impacts Professional Community in June. Carrie Ferraro and Janice taught a Climate Change Professional Development course for 28 teachers. Janice also served as a “spark” panelist and presenter for the OOI Pioneer Array workshop. Sage Lichtenwaner and Janice released the OOI Lab Manual 2.0. While the manual is designed to complement introductory oceanography courses, it is modular by design, so specific labs can be used in related courses as well. The manual will be pilot tested by 22 new faculty this fall.


    • In partnership with Texas A&M and several other partners from the US and Mexico, Rutgers submitted the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine proposal for Understanding the Gulf Ocean System. Should we be awarded, Rutgers’ part in this $19 million proposal is to act as the Data Management team and deploy several gliders in the Gulf of Mexico over the next 5 years with a major goal of improving tropical cyclone forecasts.
    • Scott Glenn is co-chair of NOAA’s Science Advisory Board Environmental Information Services Working Group (133 members). In July they completed the 3 month information gathering phase for the Weather Research Decadal Report that will be sent to the US Congress. In August they will move into the integration phase.
    • RUCOOL initiated the 2021 International Challenger Glider mission in the Caribbean with the deployment of RU29 from St. Thomas US Virgin Islands. The glider will sample the Windward Islands to collect critical ocean data in hurricane prone regions, while simultaneously building international partnerships.
    • Oscar Schofield was asked to serve on the United Kingdom BIOPOLE science advisory committee. The BIOPOLE is a EU program focused on determining how polar ecosystems regulate the balance of carbon and nutrients in the world’s oceans and through it their effect on global productivity and carbon storage.
    • Oscar Schofield was asked to serve on the International Strategic Visioning committee for the Charney School of Marine Science at the University of Haifa (Israel).
    • Travis Miles was an invited speaker by The Oceanography Society for their Exploring Ocean Instrumentation webinar series. He presented a talk on “Sediment Resuspension Observations from a Glider Integrated Sequoia Scientific LISST Particle Analyser.”

    Student Awards

    • RUCOOL students Schuyler Nardelli and Elizabeth (Liza) Wright-Fairbanks join two other EOAS graduate students in being selected as finalists to receive the 2022 John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship. These four students make the most awardees of any institution of higher education in the United States. Julia Engdahl, recent RUCOOL Masters in Oceanography graduate, won the NOAA Professional Excellence Award during her first year as a contractor for NOAA CO-OPS (Center for Operational Oceanographic Products and Services).
    • Emily Slesinger (Saba PhD student) received the John E. Skinner Memorial Award from the American Fisheries Society
    • Graduate Student Sam Coakley received the Bill Lapenta NOAA internship at NOAA’s Global Ocean Modeling and Observing Program.

    Newly Funded Research

    • Office of Naval Research, “Predictions of Acoustics with Smart Experimental Networks of Gliders”, Travis Miles ($396,241 over 3 years).
    • NJ Board of Public Utilities, “BPU Wind Resource Evaluation Modification”, Scott Glenn, Travis Miles, Joe Brodie, Josh Kohut ($576,346 for 15 months).
    • NOAA Ocean Acidification Program, “Ocean Acidification Synthesis Products for Northeast Fisheries Science Center State of the Ecosystem Reports”, Grace Saba ($16,326). (Additional amount pending: $62,673).
    • NJDEP,Development of a Statewide Acidification Monitoring Network in New Jersey”, Grace Saba, ($48,845).

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

    • Miles, T., Slade, W., Glenn, S. August 2021. Sediment Resuspension and Transport from a Glider-Integrated Laser in Situ Scattering and Transmissometry (LISST) Particle Analyzer. Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology. Volume 38. DOI: 10.1175/JTECH-D-20-0207.1
    • Kim, H. H., Luo, Y., Ducklow, H. W., Schofield, O., Steinberg, D. K., Doney, S. C. 2021. WAP-1D-VAR v1.0: Development and Evaluation of a One-Dimensional Variational Data Assimilation Model for the Marine Ecosystem Along the West Antarctic Peninsula. Geoscientific Model Development.
    • **Lin, Y., Moreno, C., Marchetti, A., Ducklow, H., Schofield, O., Chaffron, S., Delage, E., Eveillard, D., Cassar, N. Decrease in plankton diversity and biological carbon fluxes with a reduction in sea ice extent at western Antarctic Peninsula. Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-25235-w.

    RUCOOL Meetings & Conferences

    RUCOOL continues to lead/attend numerous virtual meetings. Here are some meetings which our team attended and/or presented: NOAA Integrated Ocean Observing System DMAC Meeting, OOI Pioneer Array Innovations Lab, MARACOOS Board Meeting, NOAA Science Advisory Board Meeting, NJ Spotlight News Offshore Wind Energy in NJ Broadcast, MARACOOS HF-Radar Installation Ceremony in Lewes DE, The Oceanography Society Webinar Series Exploring Ocean Instrumentation.