Rutgers University
  • RUCOOL Updates: June & July, 2020

    Posted on August 12th, 2020 Mike Crowley No comments

    Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, RUCOOL remains active.  Core technologies (storm gliders, HF-Radar and the Tuckerton meteorological station) 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.

    State

    • Working with Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, RUCOOL installed a wind LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) instrument alongside the causeway leading to RUMFS in Tuckerton, NJ. This fully autonomous sensor platform, owned and operated by Atlantic Shores, will provide observations of the atmospheric wind profile for the next several years, and provide vital information on the wind to stakeholders in the area.
    • RUCOOL continues to participate in the public comment actions of both BOEM and NJBPU to contribute our expertise on ocean and atmospheric related monitoring and mitigation as it applies to the implementation of the offshore wind industry along the New Jersey and Mid-Atlantic coasts.
    • The RUCOOL Education Team worked on the Virtual 4-H STEM Ambassadors program that supported 60 teens from Trenton, Union, Atlantic City, Passaic, New Brunswick, and Newark in an online summer program.
    • Glider RU34, a new Slocum glider purchased for the Orsted ECO-PAM project, was deployed on July 29. The glider is equipped with the passive acoustic sensor designed to track vocalizing right whales in the area within and around Orsted’s Ocean Wind lease area off of NJ. Within hours of deployment, the glider identified tagged marine animals.
    • On July 22, a catamaran flipped off the NJ coast, and was left to drift when the operators were rescued. The derelict boat became a drifting marine hazard. Operational Oceanography Graduate Student Joe Anarumo ran several drift simulations that predicted the current and future locations of the boat, guiding the recovery effort.
    • The first two Masters of Operational Oceanography students will be defending their theses in August! They have already acquired jobs as oceanographic data analysts at NOAA CO-OPS and a consulting company. The second cohort of students are preparing for classes this fall. Students will ‘adopt-an-instrument’ and follow the full life-cycle collection of data this fall for improved hurricane forecasting, ocean acidification monitoring, and offshore wind assessment.
    • The R/V Arabella, Rutgers’ flagship research vessel throughout the 90’s and early 2000’s, returned to service on May 20, 2019.  Progress has been made in recent months to enhance capabilities and meet specifications largely outside of typical operations, with a short term goal of qualifying as a support vessel for local, sustainable wind energy development offshore.  Bon voyage, Arabella!

    National

    • During the busiest hurricane season ever through July 31, the RUCOOL glider team organized 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. In July, RUCOOL, in partnership with Monmouth University, deployed two US Navy gliders along the NJ Coast. Additionally, RU33 was deployed in support of the NOAA Hurricanes project. These three gliders are the first in what is expected to be a fleet of 7-10 gliders in the mid-Atlantic this summer focused on studying the ocean physics that impacts hurricane intensity. Information on and data from these gliders can be accessed at https://oceansmap.maracoos.org/ and https://marine.rutgers.edu/cool/data/gliders/
    • RUCOOL maintains the high profile Hurricane Blog. It documents in real-time research findings focused on Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna and Isaias. The blog site (https://rucool.marine.rutgers.edu/blog/category/hurricanes/)is circulated by NOAA leadership and was distributed through the US IOOS Eyes-on-the-Ocean as a recommended data resource.
    • The RUCOOL Education team’s Polar Literacy project is creating replicable means of bringing polar education to informal learning environments, extending our understanding of how polar education initiatives can be delivered to youth, and designing a professional development model to improve the capacity for Polar Region researchers to craft meaningful broader impacts. This summer we are offering several virtual online weeklong programs for middle school youth including July 27-31 Ohio 4-H Program, July 27-31 The Franklin Institute, PA, August 3-7 NJ 4-H (Newark), August 10-14, NJ 4-H (Trenton).
    • Given the response to COVID, The NSF funded residential summer internship program, RIOS, had to be quickly reimagined.   Working with NSF  and the Data Labs project team, we were able to offer fully virtual experiences to an exceptions cohort of students across the country, including all time zones between Guam and Puerto Rico See https://datalab.marine.rutgers.edu/2020-virtual-reu/.
    • The Data Labs team, in partnership with Rutgers RIOS, hosted an 8-week Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program for 16 students across the country, including Alaska, Guam and Puerto Rico. The experience started with a 2-week workshop with daily Zoom sessions on working with large datasets, an introduction to Python programming, science communication and career and graduate student panels.  Students then spent 6-weeks working with mentors across the country on individual research projects. Their final posters are available on the project site, along with a map.
    • The Data Labs team continues to work with faculty partners on the Data Labs Notebook which will be pilot tested this fall by 15 faculty.  We are also continuing to work with our 2020 Fellows as they finalize their projects.
    • The Data Labs Blog continues to feature articles on Ocean Observing Education, Python tutorials and examples of Labs.

    International

    • Travis Miles joined Scott Glenn on the NOAA Global Ocean Monitoring and Observation (GOMO) Program, specifically to work on their Ocean Observing for Extreme Events (OOEE) Team. The team is coordinating glider, Argo and surface drifter deployments for the 2020 hurricane season. Response to Isaias was the first coordinated event.

    Student Awards

    • Congratulations to Jessica Valenti on being selected to receive a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Award. Using the Rutgers University Marine Field Station’s larval fish collection spanning the last 30 years, Jessica will investigate microplastic ingestion in larval fish from past and present to better understand the potential for microplastic accumulation in larval fish predators and examine larval fish characteristics that may influence microplastic ingestion. In addition, Jessica will help improve methods commonly used to identify microplastics, mentor undergraduate students on independent research projects.

    Newly Funded Research

    • US Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS), NOAA, 2020-2021, “Mid Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observation System” ($4,053,639), S. Glenn.
    • Office of Naval Research, 2020-2022, “Onboard Processing of Slocum Glider Velocity Profiles” ($545,809), T. Miles.
    • Consortium for Ocean Leadership (through NSF), 2020, modification to “OOI Educational Support and Synthesis Based on the Initial Phase,” ($20,000), S. Glenn.

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

    • Beaird, N. L., Shroyer, E. L., Juranek, L. W., Hales, B., & Goñi, M. A. 2020. Nutrient‐rich gravity current formed by upwelling in Barrow Canyon: High‐resolution observations. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 125, e2020JC016160. DOI: 10.1029/2020JC016160
    • Sherman, J., Gorbunov, M.Schofield, O., Falkowski, P. 2020. Photosynthetic energy conversion efficiency in the West Antarctic Peninsula. Limonlogy and Oceanography. DOI: 10.1002/lno.11562
    • Carvalho, F., Gorbunov, M., Haskins, C., Oliver, M. J., Kohut, J., Aragon, D., Schofield, O. 2020. Mapping variable chlorophyll fluorescence using autonomous underwater gliders. Limnology and Oceanography Methods. DOI:10.1002/lom3.10380PDF
    • Eichhorn, M., Aragon, D., Yuri A.W. Shardt, Hugh Roarty. August 2020. Modeling for the performance of navigation, control and data post-processing of underwater gliders. Applied Ocean Research Volume 101. DOI:10.1016/j.apor.2020.102191

    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), LTER Executive meeting, SCAR West Antarctic Working Group, Marine Technology Society Board Meeting, MAC Fish Habitat Workshop, Microrider Training 3 Day Workshop, Mid Atlantic Harbor Operations Meeting, USCG Wind Turbine Mitigation Meeting, Presentations to several local NJ Schools on various oceanography topics, Modeling, Prediction and Sensor Network for Coastal Flooding on the US East Coast, Weekly GOGO OOEE Meetings, Biweekly National Academies’ Ocean Studies Board meetings on the US Contribution to the Ocean Decade, and on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Ocean Sciences, Weekly NOAA Science Advisory Board (SAB) Environmental Information Services Working Group reviewing NOAA’s response to the Weather Act, Interagency Ocean Observing Committee (IOOC) meeting on the UN Ocean Decade, IOOS Data Management Monthly Call.
  • 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.

    State

    • 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.

    National

    • 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 https://datalab.marine.rutgers.edu/2020-virtual-reu/.
    • 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 polar-ice.org

    International

    • 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. https://doi.org/10.1038/s43017-020-0053- 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. https://doi.org/10.1111/fog.12485.
    • 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.

  • RUCOOL Updates: February to March, 2020

    Posted on May 15th, 2020 Mike Crowley No comments

    Despite the COVID-19, RUCOOL remains active and excelling.  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 self-distancing practices. In fact, RUCOOL has developed standard operating procedures for glider deployments leveraging social distancing requirements, which have been shared with multiple funding agencies and research partners. The operating guidelines are available upon request.

    State

    • In early April, the first operational oceanography Masters students will be submitting abstracts of their thesis to the Marine Technology Society OCEANS meeting. One of the Masters students has already accepted a job working for NOAA’s operational oceanography service following her degree.
    • RUCOOL initiated two projects with Atlantic Shores Offshore Wind, the joint NJ offshore wind project between EDF Renewables and Shell New Energies. One project is installing a vertically pointing wind lidar at the Rutgers Marine Field Station. The second is a modeling study of visibility conditions along the NJ coast.
    • RUCOOL hosted Commissioner Dianne Solomon of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities for a tour and discussion of offshore wind.
    • In March, 4-H launched a Virtual 4-H at Home Short Term Exploratory Program (STEP).  The program was entitled: Exploring Life in the Southern Ocean and consisted of three 1.5 hour classes geared towards 5th-8th grade students – see https://4hset.rutgers.edu/online-learning/. Young people from across the state participated in this inaugural program led by the RUCOOL education team.
    • To fill the gap of in person 4-H STEM learning due to COVID-19, the RUCOOL education team has joined a larger Rutgers group that has created a new 4-H STEM Blog to help kids connect to STEM activities from home: https://4hset.rutgers.edu/stem-blog/.

    National

    • Grace Saba presented an invited to Sea-Bird Scientific on the glider pH efforts and path forward for an industry-academic partnership. Grace runs the only two pH gliders in the world.
    • The RUCOOL Education and Science teams lead the authoring of a special issue for the National Marine Educators Association Journal called Current – https://polar-ice.org/nmea_current/https://polar-ice.org/nmea_current/
    • Hugh Roarty travelled to Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) Centers around the United States (Port of New York, Houston, Louisville and Port Arthur) to evaluate the Coast Guard use of HF radar to manage traffic in the ports. Existing microwave radars operated by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) do not provide reliable detection of small vessels.  Hugh will meet with Coast Guard personnel at the twelve MORE VTS centers and develop a needs analysis with respect to radar remote sensing.
    • For the NASEM HF-Radar work in the Gulf of Mexico, RUCOOL is improving CODAR ship detection software. Tests are being performed by comparing data acquired near two oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico and from the Sandy Hook NJ site, to the national Automated Identification System (AIS) ship tracking data.

    International

    • RU COOL scientists working on the NSF-funded Palmer LTER and Project SWARM connected with thousands of K-12 students this past winter in 10 live video teleconferences (VTCs) from Palmer Station, Antarctica. The education team recruited and prepared 25 teachers from 21 schools in 11 states (NJ, DE, NY, CT, VA, FL, AL, MN, AZ, OR, CA), reaching 1060 students directly and many more via the call recordings that are shared online.  The interaction helps build science identity as reported by teachers.
    • Several members of the RUCOOL team attended the Ocean Sciences meeting in San Diego in late February, which is the world’s largest oceanography conference, delivering 20 presentations (many are available on our website). Grace Saba co-chaired the town hall on Exploration of the Twilight Zone Ocean Network (JETZON), which published a piece in Nature last week
    • The RUCOOL team collected data for the last 30 years as part of the NSF funded Palmer Long Term Ecological Research program, that is conducting a long term study of how a changing climate will impact polar marine ecosystems along the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP). This year leadership of the Palmer LTER was transferred to Rutgers which is the principal institution running this multi-university long term effort.
    • RUCOOL lead a team partnered with the University of Delaware, Oregon State University, Old Dominion University, Polar Oceans Research Group, and University of Alaska Fairbanks to deploy a polar ocean observatory off the coast of Antarctica. COVID-19 provided a challenge with travel logistics as scientists and students were scheduled to arrive home in late March. The entire team arrived home safely in late March, thanks to a great deal of help, cooperation and communication between gov’t agencies, airlines and universities. It’s good to have them back.

    Student Awards

    • Kasey Walsh, Grace Saba’s undergraduate student, received the Undergraduate Research Excellence Award from the Department of Marine & Coastal Sciences.

    Newly Funded Research

    • EDF Renewable 2020-2021, “Atlantic Shores Visibility Modeling Study” ($15,489), Joe Brodie.
    • EDF Build 2020-2021, “RUMFS Atlantic Shores Lidar Deployment” ($68,885), Joe Brodie.
    • Stevens Institute of Technology, Department of Homeland Security, “VTS Radar for Small Vessel Detection” ($192,473), Hugh Roarty.
    • National Science Foundation 2020, “LTER Palmer, Antarctica (PAL): Land-Shelf-Ocean Connectivity, Ecosystem Resilience and Transformation in a Sea-Ice Influenced Pelagic Ecosystem”, ($1,134,426), Oscar Schofield.
    • National Science Foundation 2020, “REU Site: Research Internships in Ocean Sciences (RIOS)”, ($498,502), Josh Kohut

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

    RUCOOL Meetings & Conferences

    AGU Ocean Sciences, San Diego, CA; Schmidt Foundation, San Diego, CA; IOOS Annual Meeting, Washington, DC; USCG Meetings at Port of New York, Houston, Louisville and Port Arthur, TX; Swam Research, Palmer Station, Antarctica; Rhode Island Parks Conference, Rhode Island; Tropical Cyclone Operations and Research Forum, Lakeland, FL.

    RUCOOL Visitors

    • Total number of visitors to RU COOL: 75 (Lab was shut down for tours on March 6 due to COVID-19)
  • RUCOOL Updates: December 2019 – January 2020

    Posted on April 27th, 2020 Mike Crowley No comments

    State

    • 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.

    National

    • 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: https://rucool.marine.rutgers.edu/gliding-into-the-future-of-ocean-acidification-observing/
    • 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 (datalab.marine.rutgers.edu) 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: https://datalab.marine.rutgers.edu/2020-data-labs-fellows/
    • 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.

    International

    • 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
  • RUCOOL Update for October-November 2019

    Posted on December 18th, 2019 Mike Crowley No comments

    State

    • 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).

    National

    • 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 (datalab.marine.rutgers.edu) 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.

    International

    • 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.

  • Navy Gliders View the Cold Pool

    Posted on October 25th, 2019 Mike Crowley No comments

    Two Navy gliders were deployed in the Middle Atlantic Bight (MAB) between September 11 & 26, 2019. Their cross-shore trajectories were planned to capture the cold pool, a cold bottom layer of water that characterizes the MAB at this time of the year. There transects are shown below.

    In the figures below, the top figure shows the cross-shore temperature transect for glider ng618. In this figure the cold pool can be identified as the bottom water with temperature less than 10 degrees Celsius. The cold pool has important implications for the fisheries of the region and it can become a “fire extinguisher” for tropical cyclones by lowering the sea surface temperature through vertical mixing during the passage of a storm.

    The bottom figure shows the same ng618 glider trajectory from the Global Ocean Forecasting System (GOFS 3.1) that is a global operational ocean model run by the US Navy. The comparison between glider observations and the GOFS model are remarkably good.

  • RUCOOL Updates August-September 2019

    Posted on October 18th, 2019 Mike Crowley No comments

    Field Campaign & Science Updates

    State

    • Joseph Brodie served as a panelist at the third annual Time for Turbines Offshore Wind Conference, hosted by the Business Network for Offshore Wind and Jersey Renews. The panel addressed environmental concerns around offshore wind development, and included NJDEP Deputy Commissioner Debbie Mans as a panelist.
    • The RV Rutgers completed 12 cruises supporting 105 passengers. In addition to the cruises supporting DMCS research and glider deployments, these voyages included multiple undergrad classes that received training on plankton tows, water sampling/filtration, oxygen and chlorophyll measurements, and bacteria sampling.
    • The first fall semester of the new Master’s program in Integrated Ocean Observing is well underway. Students are engaged in the principles of ocean measurement, building their own sensors from scratch, and are getting hands-on experience with real-world operations with the COOL group including glider deployments, rescue planning, and side scan sonar observations
    • Masters students have and will continue to participate in national Marine Technology conferences and career networking events this fall.

    National

    • The RUCOOL Glider team was involved with five deployments in August and September. These deployments include work supporting NJDEP water quality research along the NJ coast, NASA research off of central California to validate a new sea surface height satellite, and NOAA and privately funded investigations of hurricane interactions with the ocean surface in the Mid-Atlantic Bight and Caribbean.
    • RUCOOL deployed two Navy gliders in partnership with the Navy, NOAA OAR, MARACOOS and Monmouth University. Within two weeks, both gliders called into the Navy pilots, indicating that there were leaks. RUCOOL scrambled vessels from NorthStar Marine to recover these gliders at 3am on Sunday, September 22, and at 2am on Sunday, September 29. Both were recovered approximately 100 nautical miles from shore, within 48 hours of the first notification of a problem. If not for the round-the-clock efforts of RUCOOL, these navy gliders would have been lost as the leaks were severe in both cases.
    • DMCS completed its work with the NSF funded REU program, RIOS. Students worked with mentors over a 10 week program that supported their research and provided weekly workshops that developed their career and research aptitude.  The program was coordinated by Josh Kohut, and additionally 3 other RUCOOL scientists directly mentored students, and two RUCOOL scientists supported the RIOS career workshop.  The summer program concluded in August with a science symposium in which the students shared their work and celebrated their research success.
    • RUCOOL hosted our fourth OOI Ocean Data Lab Professional Development Workshopin August at Western Washington University. Fifteen faculty from community colleges, primarily undergraduate institutions, and universities from Washington, Alaska, California, Oregon, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York joined us. Teachers learned how to use and develop their own educational resources from real-time an archived OOI data that they can take back to their classrooms reaching students who may not otherwise have any experience in ocean science. Workshop information is at the Data Labs Workshops
    • Grace Saba presented an invited talk at the Ocean Acidification Alliance meeting: Coast to Coast State Convening Regional Impacts of Ocean and Coastal Acidification and State-Led Efforts to Respond in Brooklyn, NY. As co-coordinator of the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Acidification Network, she will be involved in working toward ocean acidification action plans for Mid-Atlantic states, including New Jersey.

    International

    • Oscar Schofield lead the Principal Investigator meeting for the Palmer Long Term Ecosystem Research Program. This international program’s leadership is being transferred to Rutgers in Fall 2019.
    • RUCOOL attended the decadal OceanObs19 meeting in Honolulu. The OceanObs’19 conference was a community-driven conference that brings people from all over the planet together to communicate the decadal progress of ocean observing networks and to chart innovative solutions to society’s growing needs for ocean information. White papers, many of which were co-authored by RUCOOL, are available here: http://www.oceanobs19.net/community-white-papers/.
    • Oscar Schofield attended and presented at the Global Ocean Observing System General Regional Associations in Tokyo (August 5th– 8th 2019). He was representing the growing Southern Ocean Observing System.

    Faculty Awards

    • The Marine Technology Society made Josh Kohut an MTS Fellow based on outstanding contributions to the advancement of the Society’s objectives and who have distinguished themselves in their fields.

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

    • Filipa Carvalho**, Jessica N. Fitzsimmons, Nicole Couto**, Nicole Waite, Maxim Gorbunov, Josh Kohut, Matthew J. Oliver**, Robert M. Sherrell, Oscar Schofield. 2019. Testing the Canyon Hypothesis: Evaluating light and nutrient controls of phytoplankton growth in penguin foraging hotspots along the West Antarctic Peninsula. Limnology and Oceanography: 00, 1-16. DOI:10.1002/1no.11313Slesinger,
    • Cristina L. Archer, Joseph F. Brodie, and Sara A. Rauscher. Global warming will aggravate ozone pollution in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 58:1267–1278, 2019. DOI: 10.1175/JAMC-D-18-0263.1.

    RUCOOL Meetings & Conferences

    Third Annual Time for Turbines Offshore Wind conference, Atlantic City, NJ; OceanObs19, Honolulu, Hawaii; Ocean Acidification Alliance, Brooklyn, NY; 4DVar Workshop, College Park, MD; Offshore Wind Big Data Workshop, Boston, MA; GOOS Meeting, Tokyo; OOI Data Lab Workshop, Bellingham, WA; LTER Planning Meeting; SWARM Science Workshop, Rutgers.

  • Low Surface Salinity During Tropical Storm Karen

    Posted on October 3rd, 2019 Mike Crowley No comments

    During Tropical Storm Karen, there were 10 gliders deployed in the Caribbean (below). On Sep 24, the eye Karen passed over Navy glider NG278, just south of St. Croix.

    There is a good agreement in the vertical structure of temperature between GOFS 3.1 and the glider temperature (below).

    The GOFS 3.1 model, however, has a surface fresh layer (barrier layer) that is not as sharp as the observations show. This barrier layer gets even fresher and shallower during Karen (below). At the moment we are investigating if this freshening can be attributed to increased precipitation during the storm. If this is the case, this can be a mechanism that reinforces stratification during a storm and inhibits vertical mixing. We would like to investigate how important this possible mechanism is in controlling the storm intensity.

    The freshening that happened during Karen (Sep 23 – Sep 24) is not initially captured by any of the models (below).

    By Sep 26, the surface salinity in GOFS and Copernicus were much closer to the observations (both models assimilate data) but RTOFS still lags behind (below).

    Images of these daily comparisons, since the inception of the 2019 hurricane season, are available here.

  • There are a lot of gliders out there!

    Posted on October 1st, 2019 Mike Crowley No comments

    The 2019 hurricane season is in full swing in the Atlantic Ocean. Since the inception of the hurricane season on June 1, 42 ocean gliders have been deployed in the western Atlantic ocean by numerous academic, corporate and government partners. These gliders have acquired over 68,000 profiles of temperature and salinity to date. Some gliders also record data on water optics, oxygen, current speeds, pH, and wave heights. A distribution of the groups funding the deployments is shown below as well as a map of their locations.

  • Salinity Adjustment Ahead of Hurricane Dorian

    Posted on September 27th, 2019 Mike Crowley No comments

    Accurate ocean initial conditions in numerical models are necessary to improve hurricane intensity forecasts (see article). One way to improve the initial conditions in operational ocean models is to use data assimilation, a technique that allows a numerical model to ingest observational data to nudge the model predictions closer to reality. The goal of the comparisons is to evaluate how data assimilation is impacting the model performance and ultimately how ocean processes affect storm intensity. Images of these daily comparisons, since the inception of the 2019 hurricane season, are available here.

    For the daily comparisons we use three operational ocean models: Global Ocean Forecasting System (GOFS 3.1, Navy), Real Time Ocean Forecasting System (RTOFS, NOAA) and the operational Mercator global ocean analysis and forecast system (Copernicus).

    During Hurricane Dorian there were a total of seven gliders deployed in the Caribbean reporting to the IOOS glider data assembly center (IOOS Glider DAC). Once the gliders start reporting data to the IOOS glider DAC, the data is sent to the Global Telecommunication System (GTS) where it can be assimilated by ocean models.

    On August 29, Tropical Storm Dorian passed over three gliders: SG665, SG666 and SG668 (Figure 1).

    Figures 2a-2d below highlight the comparisons of the models to glider SG665. In general, the operational ocean models capture the temperature structure in the Caribbean (Fig. 2a and 2b), however, in this example, the models tend to underestimate salinity at the surface and subsurface salinity maximum around 200 meters in this area. The assimilation of glider data into operational ocean models plays a very important role in correcting the subsurface and surface salinity structure. An example of this correction is highlighted in figures c and d. GOFS 3.1 (red line) is shown in figure c on the first full day of the glider deployment. Figure d shows a shift of 0.4 psu after a week of assimilation, pushing GOFS 3.1 much closer to the reality of the salinity structure.