Rutgers University
  • Understanding penguin and whale behavior using GPS tags

    Posted on December 20th, 2021 Mike Crowley No comments

    Authors: Megan Cimino, Ross Nichols, Megan Roberts, Darren Roberts

    When we are not surveying from the large research vessel, we conduct our research from small boats (“zodiacs”) to either find whales or take us to islands with penguin breeding colonies. One of our main goals is to understand the foraging behavior of whales and penguin – where they go to find food, how deep they have to dive and how much time and effort they spend foraging. To do this, we use high-tech tags to measure time, depth and location, and some tags can even record video or measure ocean conditions like temperature.

    From left to right: Ross Nichols, Darren Roberts, Megan Roberts, Megan Cimino

    The process for tagging a whale and a penguin is very different but in both cases the tag is relatively small compared to the animal’s body size and so it causes little disturbance to the animal.

     

    A comparison of tag sizes in relation to a human hand

     

    Whales, despite being a mammal, have bodies that are mostly hairless and lack small appendages where a tag could be secured. Instead, we use suction cups to attach our tags to their smooth bodies which can stay on their bodies for more than a full day. To attach the tag, we stand at the front of a small boat on a specialized platform called a “pulpit”. From the pulpit we hold a very long pole with the tag clipped into the far end. As we approach a whale in the small boat, we stick the tag onto the animal’s back, holding the tag onto the animal’s body through suction. The tag then records the movement of the animal, the dive depths, as well as recording audio and video.

    After losing suction over time while on the whale, the tag eventually loosens and releases on its own, floating to the surface. The tag then sends us a GPS ping where we can go to recover the tag and download the data! This data is very exciting because we can view the video of the animal and their environment and see how that relates to their behavior.

    To tag a penguin, you first need to choose and capture an adult that has 1 or 2 chicks so that you can make sure the adult will return to the nest and you can get the tag back from the penguin in the same place where you found it. The tag is then attached to the penguins back with tape and zip ties. In a few days, we return to the penguin’s nest to remove the tag, and are then able to download the data! We are always excited to see where the penguin went (usually within 10 km of its colony) and how deep it dove (usually 20-50 meters).

  • Understanding seabird and whale distributions and populations from a big boat

    Posted on December 15th, 2021 Mike Crowley No comments

    Megan Cimino, Ross Nichols, Megan Roberts, Darren Roberts

    During this research cruise, the whale and seabird teams mainly spend the day on the ship’s bridge recording all seabird, seal and whale species. Because we are in Antarctica during the spring, there are very few hours of darkness, roughly midnight to 3 am. Therefore, the seabird team members – Megan and Megan – work in shifts, one person working in the early morning to midday and one member working midday to midnight. We have seen a variety of seabirds ranging from large albatross (the size of a small dog) to tiny storm petrels (the size of a hamster).

    When the ship is near important penguin breeding colonies, the seabird researchers take a small boat to shore to count the number of nesting penguins to understand how their populations change over time in response to environmental conditions. A few days ago, team counted nearly 10,000 penguins in 7 hours using hand clickers, which required hiking over 6 miles in snowy and windy conditions. At this time of year, the penguins are beginning to lay and incubate their eggs that will hatch in late December.

    When a feeding and slow-moving group of whales are spotted from the ship, this provides an opportunity for the whale researchers – Ross and Darren – to go out in a small zodiac boat to take pictures and other biological samples. Pictures of whale flukes allow scientists to identify individual whales because their fluke is similar to a human’s fingerprint- everyone is unique! This allows us to estimate individual animal movements and population size. Small samples of the animal’s blubber can be used to determine if a whale is male or female, and can also identify if a female is pregnant. By monitoring the ratio of males to females and the rates of pregnancy, we can assess the health and growth of whale populations.

    Identify a Whale! Can you tell these whale flukes apart?

    These observations and samples are important because seabirds, seals, and whales are the major predators in Antarctica. These indicator species can tell us a lot about the health of the ocean’s ecosystem. It is difficult to know how many fish and krill are in the Southern Ocean but we can learn a lot by studying the health of larger animals that feed on them. Changes in the health of the animals or changes in species observed can tell us how the ecosystem is changing, especially in the context of climate change. As temperatures are warming rapidly in this polar region, it is very important to understand how these animals are responding to these changes to learn more about the overall health of our oceans.

     

  • RUCOOL Updates: October-November 2021

    Posted on December 15th, 2021 Mike Crowley No comments

    And just like that, we are approaching the end of 2021. It was good to see students back in the classroom and labs, on beaches and boats, and even traveling south for summer research in Antarctica.  

    State 

    • Our 3rd cohort Masters of Operational Oceanography students have almost completed their first semester, which actually started in early August with software and glider training. This fall, in addition to classes and lab work, they have been on glider deployments and recoveries as well as HF-Radar site visits. 
    • The NJDEP Commissioner, Shawn LaTourette, along with Bob Schuster and Megan Brunatti visited COOL in October. Discussions focused on offshore wind development, climate resilience and improving coastal water quality. Shawn posted a video of his visit. 
    • The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) visited RUCOOL in November. The attendees are active in the state’s development of 7.5 GW of offshore wind, as part of its goal to have 100% clean energy by 2050. Several representatives from each agency participated on a career panel with students in the Topics of Marine Sciences class, discussing their diverse career paths that led to their current positions with the state, and the myriad ways that today’s students might play a role in New Jersey’s blue economy. 
    • Grace Saba organized and hosted a virtual workshop on November 19th focused on Developing a New Jersey Statewide Ocean Acidification Monitoring Network.
    • The R/V Rutgers engine issue was fixed by Captain Chip Haldeman. We expect the R/V Rutgers to head to Tuckerton for winter glider deployments and recovery support for Orsted and other projects.
    • Our glider team continued a very busy fall in Oct/Nov supporting 11 deployments from the Gulf of Maine to the Jersey coast all the way down to the Caribbean. These gliders swam over 5400 kilometers and supported grants from NOAA, NSF, Orsted, NJDEP and the Vetelsen Foundation. It will be a busy winter of data analysis.
    • The COOLroom and glider lab were once again open for visits and tours this fall, beginning in late October. Over 40 visitors from NJDEP, NJBPU, Bermuda, Chile, the NJ Wind Institute and Rutgers Open House toured COOL
    • RUCOOL welcomed back Dean Robert Goodman to the COOLroom for a ceremony adding a plaque in his name to our RUCOOL Wall of Fame. The plaque states “For acting on his vision of new academic paradigms, empowering generations of ocean explorers to build and apply ocean observing networks that advance our science and support a global community embarking on a new blue economy.” 

    National

    • Scott Glenn completed an active year co-leading the NOAA Science Advisory Board (SAB) efforts to meet its commitments to the U.S. Congress.  Scott Glenn (academic oceanographer) and Brad Colman (industry meteorologist) co-chair the SAB’s Environmental Information Services Working Group (EISWG) and the SAB’s decadal Priorities for Weather Research (PWR) study. The PWR report, now approved by the full SAB and forwarded to the NOAA Administrator for submission to Congress, was a year-long study involving over 150 subject matter experts to define Federal investment priorities in weather research and forecasting.  The PWR report identifies 11 priority areas, 33 high-level recommendations and 102 critical actions for investment that, taken together, will transform U.S. Earth System forecasting and promote a more Weather Ready Nation that includes historically underserved and socially vulnerable communities. The PWR report is now being used to help inform the largest increase in NOAA’s budget since its formation over 50 years ago. The EISWG’s 2021 annual Report to Congress (RtC) on NOAA progress implementing The Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act of 2017 (“The Weather Act”)  was approved by the SAB and forwarded to the NOAA Administrator for submission to Congress.  The RtC includes the EISWG review of the NOAA Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program (HFIP) led by Scott Glenn.
    • The hurricane season came to a conclusion at the end of November. Through NOAA funding, our team was involved with numerous glider deployments and a US team measuring the impacts of the storms on the ocean and vice versa throughout not only the mid Atlantic, but the southeast coast, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean as well. Our HF-Radar team tracked the eye of Ida off NJ and Long Island, showing the National Weather Service’s estimated eye track was a few miles east of the true storm center. It will be a long winter of data analysis as we work to improve hurricane forecast intensity models. 
    • RUCOOL Post-doc Jessica Valenti presented her research “Microplastics in the Marine Food Web: Insights from a Larval Fish Collection at the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation virtual meeting (oral presentation) and the American Fisheries Society meeting in Baltimore, MD (poster). 
    • PhD student Emily Slesinger gave an oral presentation titled “​​Interaction between shifting fish distributions and migration distances on reproduction: a case study with black sea bass” at the American Fisheries Society meeting in Baltimore, MD.
    • The RUCOOL Education Team received $750,000 from NSF to develop online tools to help university researchers connect their research with society. Their new toolkit will support scientists, engineers and other researchers in planning and developing education and outreach projects that support and explain their work. 
    • Oscar Schofield reappointed to the Federal Advisory Committee overseeing the US Integrated Ocean Observing System

    International

    • Oscar Schofield Chaired a National Academy of Sciences and Medicine Study entitled “Mid-Course Assessment of NSF progress on 2015 Strategic Vision for Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research”.
    • Rutgers has been participating in the NSF’s Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) project at Palmer Station Antarctica for over 30 years. Graduate students Quintin Diou-Cass and Joe Gradone boarded the R/V Nathaniel Palmer to head to the West Antarctic Peninsula. We wish them all well for their summer Southern Ocean exploration.

    Newly Funded Research 

    • University of Delaware through NOAA IOOS, “Mid Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System,” Schofield & Crowley ($1,108,577, 1 year). First of two parts.
    • State of NJ Department of Environmental Protection, “Glider deployments for water quality monitoring,” Kohut ($84,464, 1 year).
    • CODAR Ocean Sensors, “Wind Turbine Interference Mitigation Data Backfill,” Roarty ($24,885, 1 year).
    • National Science Foundation, “Implementation and Evaluation of the ARIS Broader Impacts Toolkit,” McDonnell ($749,866, 3 years).
    • Rider University through the National Science Foundation, “Improving Undergraduate Scientific Explanations: Exploring the Role of Data Literacy Skills in Scientific Reasoning,” Lichtenwalner ($19,099 for 1 year). 

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

    • Miles, T., S. Murphy, J. Kohut, S. Borsetti, and D. Munroe (2021), Offshore wind energy and the mid-atlantic cold pool: A review of potential interactions, Mar. Technol. Soc. J., 55(4), 72–87, DOI:10.4031/MTSJ.55.4.8
    • Schofield, O. (Chair), Barger, A., Brunt, K., Clauer, R., Das, I., Detrich, W., Gooseff, M., Halanych, K., Halpern, M., Murray, A., Rignot, E., Shevenell, A., Takai, H., Wilson, T., Wolff, E. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Mid-Term Assessment of Progress on the 2015 Strategic Vision for Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. DOI: 10.17226/26338
    • Roarty, H. (2022), Measuring Currents with High Frequency Radar, Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book, 2022

    Public Media

    RUCOOL Meetings & Conferences 

    RUCOOL continues to lead/attend numerous virtual meetings. Here are some meetings which our team attended and/or presented: MARACOOS Board Meeting, Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation Meeting, American Fisheries Society Meeting, Supporting OA Action Planning and Implementation in the Mid-Atlantic Workshop, Integrated Ocean Observing System Annual Meeting, Hudson River Foundation Continuous Monitoring Practitioner Meeting, Underwater Glider International User Group Meeting, Cakefest PHP Meeting, NJ EDA Wind Institute Meeting.

  • Zoop Soup!

    Posted on December 14th, 2021 Mike Crowley No comments

    RUCOOL is working with the Virginia Inst of Marine Sciences on our National Science Foundation (NSF) Long Term Ecosystem Research (LTER) project in Antarctica.

    Who: The zooplankton team/members of Virginia Institute of Marine Science’s Steinberg lab

    What: The zooplankton team has begun to conduct MOCNESS tows

    When: December 2, 2021

    Where: The more southern part of ocean next to the Western Antarctic Peninsula

    Why: We perform MOCNESS tows to collect zooplankton from different depths. This lets us see how animals change as depth changes!

    Finally!! We were able to put the “MOCNESS” in the water! “MOCNESS” is not a sea monster! It stands for “Multiple Opening Closing Net and Environmental Sensing System.” It’s not as complicated as it sounds. It is basically nine nets in one. We send all the nets down at once and then slowly bring the net up. As it comes up, we open one net, collect the animals that are there, and then close the net. Then we open the next net and repeat the process. This lets us see what animals live at different depths. The MOCNESS collects animals as deep as 1000m and as shallow as 50m!

    Now what are these animals we are collecting? They are “zooplankton”! “Zooplankton” are any animal that cannot swim against the ocean currents. This can describe jellyfish, krill (shrimp-like animals), or larval (young) animals like crab and lobster. Zooplankton are everywhere and can come in all different shapes and sizes! In Antarctica the most common animals we catch are krill, copepods (think plankton from Spongebob!), chaetognaths (worms), and pteropods (snails). These animals are typically found shallow in the water column, so we can catch them in our simpler “Metro nets.” Metro nets are single nets that stay open all the time. We send them down to shallower depths and they collect the zooplankton they encounter.

    So, now you know why the MOCNESS tows are special – we get to go deeper and we know where the animal came from! Another bonus is that we see animals that would never show up in our simpler nets because they live in deeper waters. For example, in our MOCNESS tows we may see a lot of red and black amphipods (bugs), big jellyfish, and sea spiders!

    After we conduct Metro tows or a MOCNESS tow, we work as a team to identify, count, and measure the volume of every animal. We may also conduct experiments on the live animals!. One is a “fecal pellet production experiment” – essentially watching and waiting for the animals to poop! We place the animal in a bucket full of seawater, leave it for a few hours, and then collect its poop. We want to learn more about the carbon and nitrogen that goes to the bottom of the ocean when these animals poop! Our other experiment involves larval (or young) fishes. In this experiment we want to measure their “thermal tolerance,” or what is the hottest temperature they can survive at. The fishes in these experiments are typically not found in other parts of the world!

    About the Authors: Maya Thomas and Tor Mowatt-Larssen are graduate students at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and Meredith Nolan is a senior at the College of William & Mary. This is all their first time to Antarctica!

    Images: a. The zooplankton team admiring the Antarctic scenery before a net tow. (Left to Right: Maya Thomas, Meredith Nolan, Tor Mowatt-Larssen).  b. A Metro net coming out of the water with all the zooplankton that it has collected.  c. Maya Thomas with a large jellyfish from a Metro tow. These are rare to find in our nets!  d. An example of what a Metro net collects. The large, orange animals that look like shrimp are Antarctic krill!

     

                 

  • RUCOOL Updates: August-September 2021

    Posted on October 20th, 2021 Mike Crowley No comments

    Students have started returning to campus as has the RUCOOL team, with our faculty teaching seven courses this semester. You will note from several of the highlights below, that it’s great to be back on campus.

    State 

    • Rutgers is working with the NOAA Weather Forecasting Office (WFO) Philadelphia to develop wave measurements from High Frequency radar (HF-Radar).  The HF-Radars traditionally provide surface current measurements that are utilized by NOAA and US Coast Guard.  Another measurement that is under development is wave height, period and direction.  Recently WFO Philadelphia utilized HF-Radar data to analyze the swell from Hurricane Larry and forecaster Nicholas Carr mentioned it in his rip current forecast discussion.
    • RUCOOL’s Joe Brodie and Josh Kohut, together with Doug Zemeckis of NJAES, issued the final report on the 2021 Partners in Science Workshop: Identifying Ecological Metrics and Sampling Strategies for Baseline Monitoring During Offshore Wind Development, sponsored by NJBPU. The full report is available at: https://go.rutgers.edu/PS-Report-2021.
    • Grace Saba is collaborating with NJDEP to organize a workshop focused on developing an ocean acidification monitoring network for the state of NJ. The virtual workshop is scheduled to be held in November.
    • R/V Rutgers Captain Chip Haldeman was able to save a flotilla of Rutgers Crew boats and docks from destruction during the Hurricane Ida Flooding. The full story of Chip’s heroics is here.
    • Zdenka Willis, president of the Marine Technology Society (MTS), visited RUCOOL in August to kick off the early semester for our new cohort of Masters of Operational Oceanography graduate students. Zdenka shared her history, career advice and benefits of joining the MTS Society with our students. In the following weeks, the students completed their glider and HF-Radar School as preparation for the fall semester.
    • On August 5, Rutgers President Holloway and School of Engineering Dean Farris hosted Congressman Frank Pallone and US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. They were introduced to glider RU33 while discussing RUCOOL’s history of state-of-the-art research with NOAA and others.
    • Oscar Schofield chaired the committee working on the reorganization of Rutgers Earth Ocean and Atmospheric Science Institute.

    National

    • The RIOS summer students completed their work in person at DMCS and Haskin Labs this August. The students 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.
    • Rutgers has been providing a leadership role on the NOAA led Hurricane Glider weekly meetings during this 2021 hurricane season. The team is charged with comparing in situ data with NOAA, Navy and university ocean models to evaluate which work best in different situations, with the ultimate goal being to improve hurricane intensity forecasts.
    • The RUCOOL Education Team posted new Data Labs widgets (ecosystems, profiles, update pH and pCO2).
    • The Education Team presented Icy Adventure to the 4H STEM ambassadors and 4H from Home The team also presented two sessions on robotics (gliders and drones) to the 4H STEM ambassadors group.

    International

    • Scott Glenn is co-chair of NOAA’s Science Advisory Board Environmental Information Services Working Group (EISWG). This group is focused on a congressionally authorized committee whose charge is to track NOAA progress on the Weather Research and Forecast Innovation Act.
    • Scott Glenn is co-chair  of the Priorities for Weather Research (PWR) study. This group of 149 subject matter experts is charged with creating a decadal report for future investments in NOAA to support better forecasts authorized by the 2021 Omnibus Appropriations Act.
    • RUCOOL completed the 2021 International Challenger Glider mission in the Caribbean with the deployment of RU29 from St. Thomas US Virgin Islands. The glider sampled the Windward Islands to collect critical ocean data in hurricane prone regions, while simultaneously building international partnerships. This was the first time an ADCP (currents) and Microrider (turbulence) were deployed on a glider in this region. The datasets will be a focus of study this winter.
    • Oscar Schofield Chaired a National Academy Sciences Study “Mid-Course Assessment of NSF progress on 2015 Strategic Vision for Antarctic and Southern Ocean Research”.  The public version of the report is being released in October.
    • Rutgers begins its next Antarctic field expedition in October. Rutgers is anchoring the Palmer LTER cruise, which is one of the only two ship expeditions by the United States this pandemic year for the Southern Ocean.

    Student Awards

    • RUCOOL Grad Student Schuyler Nardelli won the MTS Student Poster competition at this year’s Oceans 2021 meeting in San Diego.
    • Grad Student Liza Wright-Fairbanks won the Walter Munk Scholar award at OCEANS 2021 in San Diego. Established in 2019, the Award honors Walter Munk’s legacy of daring exploration and discovery through ocean scientific and technology research, ocean education or ocean conservation; open to those from any country or territory.
    • In addition to Schuyler and Liza, the NJ Student Section won the MTS award for outstanding Student Section at the Oceans 2021 San Diego meeting. This section includes student members from Rutgers, Stockton University, Stevens Inst. of Technology and Monmouth University.
    • Rachel Davitt (co-mentored by Grace Saba and Kim Thamatrakoln), along with two other students, won Best

    Student Poster Presentation for the Rutgers Research Internships in Ocean Science (RIOS), NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. Becca xx (mentored by Travis Miles) received runner-up.

    Newly Funded Research 

    • NASA, “Southern ocean carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling (SOCCOM) Rapid Response”, O. Schofield ($472,00 over 2 years)
    • Jet Propulsion Laboratory, “Surface Water and Ocean Topography”, O. Schofield ($502,584 over 2 years)
    • NSF, “GOALI: Generation v. Degradation: Striking the optimal balance for wind farm profitability via digitization, predictive and prescriptive analytics,” A. Ezzat (SOE), J. Brodie, M. Mousa (Cognite), ($225,000 over 3 years)
    • NSF, “SWIFT: Enabling Spectrum Coexistence of 5G mmWave and Passive Weather Sensing,” N. Mandayam (SOE), C.T. Wu (SOE), R.Q. Wang (SOE), J. Brodie, ($750,000 over 3 years)

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

    RUCOOL Meetings & Conferences 

    RUCOOL continues to lead/attend numerous virtual meetings. Here are some meetings which our team attended and/or presented: MTS Oceans 2021 San Diego, MARACOOS Annual meeting, Lewes Yacht Club MARACOOS OceansMap Meeting, RIOS 2021, Underwater Glider User Group (UG2) Meeting, LTER Annual Meeting, Global Ocean Biogeochemistry Array (GO-BGC) Annual Meeting, NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) Vulnerability Assessment Workshop, Montclair State University Clean and Sustainable Energy Summit 2021.

     

  • 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.

    State

    • 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.

    National

    • 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.

    International

    • 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. https://doi.org/10.5194/gmd-2020-375.
    • **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.

  • RUCOOL Updates: April-May 20201

    Posted on June 16th, 2021 Mike Crowley No comments

    Field Campaign & Science Updates

    The spring semester for RUCOOL was a success in the classroom as well as in the proposal, funding and research areas. Thanks to several successful proposals, it looks to be a very busy summer and fall along the NJ shore!

     

    State

    • The second cohort of the Operational Oceanography Masters Degree finished their final classes and are interviewing for jobs!
    • Operational Masters student Theodore Thompson submitted a code notebook to the NSF Earthcube Student Funding and Educational Opportunity. Ted is competing with students around the country in a call to “create an integrated environment for the sharing of geoscience data and knowledge in an open, transparent, and inclusive manner.” Ted utilized his training in the program to create an interactive notebook deploying ocean datasets to inform the recreational bone fishing industry in his native country the Bahamas.
    • RUCOOL contributed an ‘op-ed’ describing the Operational Oceanography Masters program to a book published in May titled “Preparing a Workforce for the New Blue Economy: People, Products and Policies” (editors Richard Spinrad, NOAA Administrator, and Liesl Hotaling, Marine Technology Society VP of Communications).
    • Mike Crowley and Kelly Knee (RPS Group) taught members of the Raritan Yacht Club to use the MARACOOS ocean data visualization website https;//oceansmap.maracoos.org. The Yacht Club learned that their Zoom account maxed out at 200 people! It was an overwhelmingly positive event that we will follow up on in the fall.
    • Grace Saba co-presented an invited webinar (with Megan Rutkowski at NJDEP) entitled “Ocean Acidification Action Planning in the State of New Jersey” sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Acidification Network (MACAN).
    • George H. Cook Honors students Mollie Passacantando and Marissa Guzik successfully completed and presented their Honors theses.
    • RUCOOL began hosting a monthly research update on offshore wind activities for the NJ Board of Public Utilities (BPU) and the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

     

    National

    • Our bi-monthly updates do not usually include updates on proposals, but these past two months were unlike any we can remember over the last few years. They were dominated by numerous proposal submissions, including ones to the Department of Energy (3), Orsted (2), NOAA (2), NJDEP (2), NSF (2) and the Simmons Foundation.
    • Josh Kohut and Grace Saba were planning team members for the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Forum session Innovative Technologies and Approaches for Understanding Ocean Changes, for which Josh was the moderator.
    • Grace Saba and Travis Miles were active members of the Rutgers University URGE (Unlearning Racism in the Geosciences) pod and served as deliverable leaders focused on Rutgers University hiring & graduate admissions policies. (Shouldn’t this be state as URGE is a University program)
    • Grace Saba and PhD student Emily Slesinger contributed to and are co-authors on the recently released NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s 2021 State of the Ecosystem reports for the Mid-Atlantic (https://apps-nefsc.fisheries.noaa.gov/rcb/publications/SOE-MAFMC-2021-508-Final.pdf) and New England (https://apps-nefsc.fisheries.noaa.gov/rcb/publications/SOE-NEFMC-2021-508-Final.pdf).
    • The RUCOOL education team posted the final set of Polar Literacy and Polar Scientist Spotlight videos. You can find them all at https://polar-ice.org/polar-literacy-initiative/. Additionally, in April they posted a series of essays on using Python from our Data Lab Fellows https://datalab.marine.rutgers.edu/blog/
    • Janice McDonnell provided hands-on training on the use of a suite of tools for Broader Impacts Training to professionals around the country, including most recently at the joint Broader Impacts Summit 2021, hosted by the NSF funded ARIS center and Broader Impacts Canada.
    • Grace Saba co-presented an invited talk (with Robert Chant, Nicole Fahrenfeld, and Georgia Arbuckle-Keil) entitled “Delaware Bay river plumes as a control on microplastic entry into the food chain” at the NOAA Marine Debris Program PI meeting. Grace also presented an invited talk entitled “Supplementing regional ocean acidification monitoring with glider-based measurements” at the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Forum: Innovative Technologies and Approaches for Understanding Ocean Changes.

     

    International

    • Oscar Schofield co-Chaired an international virtual meeting sponsored by the G7 Future of the Seas and Oceans Initiative (FSOI), which brought together stakeholders spanning from Fisheries Management, Ocean Carbon Budget Verification, and Environmental Forecasting and Modeling to assess what positive contributions BGC (Bio Geochemical Argo Floats) might provide. The goal was to develop a global array of 1000 BGC profiling floats, each carrying 6 new biogeochemical sensors.  The meeting was held in multiple time zones throughout the month of May and had 1008 attendees spanning over 15 countries.  The meeting entrained science ministers from across Europe (England, Germany, France, Italy) and from the United States the National Science Foundation, NASA, NOAA and the White House.
    • The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) Understanding Gulf Ocean Systems (UGOS) effort to deploy HF Radars in Yucatan and Cuba is spinning back up as COVID restrictions relax and some members of the team from Texas A&M University are allowed to travel to at least to Mexico.
    • Scott Glenn presented the NASEM OceanShot on Transformative Ocean Observing for Hurricane Forecasting, Readiness and Response in the Caribbean Tropical Storm Corridor (Caribe Corredores) to the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO’s Regional Secretariat for the IOCARIBE. The project was encouraged by member states to proceed as an international co-development pilot.

     

    Student Awards

    • Emily Slesinger (Saba PhD student) received the Rutgers University and Louis Bevier Fellowship Award.
    • Jessica Valenti (Saba post-doc) received the Rutgers University School of Graduate Studies Excellence in Leadership and Teaching Award.
    • Lauren Cook (Saba PhD student) was awarded the 2021 Con Edison Waterfront Scholar to attend the Waterfront Alliance’s annual Waterfront Conference.

     

    Newly Funded Research

    • NSF Long Term Ecological Research (LTER), “LTER: Ecological Response and Resilience to “Press-Pulse” Disturbances and a Recent Decadal Reversal in Sea Ice Trends Along the West Antarctic Peninsula” Oscar Schofield ($2,374,386 over 2 years).
    • 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” Schofield, Riser, Tally ($471,920)

     

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

    • Le Hénaff, M., Domingues, R., Halliwell, G., Zhang, J. A., Kim, H.-S., Aristizabal, M., Miles, T., Glenn, S., Goni, G.. (2021). The role of the Gulf of Mexico ocean conditions in the intensification of Hurricane Michael (2018). Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 126, e2020JC016969
    • Martin, A.H., Pearson, H., Saba, G.K., Olsen, E.M. 2021. Integral functions of marine vertebrates in the ocean carbon cycle and climate change mitigation. One Earth 4(5): 680-693.
    • Meredith, M. P., Stammerjohn, S. E., Ducklow, H. W., Leng, M. J., Arrrowsmith, C., Brearley, A. J., Venabkes, H. J, Barnham, M., Melchiorr, Wessem, J., Schofield, O., Waite, N. Local- and large-scale drivers of variability in the coastal freshwater budget of the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Journal of Geophysical Research. DOI: 10.1029/2021JC017172
    • Murphy, S. C., L. J. Nazzaro, J. Simkins, M. J. Oliver, Kohut, M. Crowley, and T. N. Miles (2021), Remote Sensing of Environment Persistent upwelling in the Mid-Atlantic Bight detected using gap-filled , high-resolution satellite SST, Remote Sens. Environ., 262, 112487, doi:10.1016/j.rse.2021.112487
    • Saba GK, Bockus, AB., Shaw, CT., Seibel, BA. 2021. Combined effects of ocean acidification and elevated temperature on feeding, growth, and physiological processes of Antarctic krill (Euphausia superba). Marine Ecology Progress Series 665: 1-18, https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13715. Selected as a Feature Article.
    • **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
    • Beaird, N., Glenn, S., Miles, T., Saba, G., Kohut, J., & Schofield, O. (2021). Case study: RUCOOL Operational Oceanography Masters—workforce development case study. Preparing a Workforce for the New Blue Economy. Elsevier, 2021.

     

    RUCOOL Meetings & Conferences

    RUCOOL continues to lead/attend numerous virtual meetings. Here are some meetings which our team attended and/or presented: National Ocean Science Board meeting (virtual tour of RUCOOL), Mid-Atlantic Committee on the Ocean (MACO) Ocean Forum, OceanGliders Best Practices Workshop (hosted and presented), Mid Atlantic Telemetry Observation System Annual Meeting, New York Environmental Technical Working Group State of the Science Workshop Culmination Webinar, Raritan Yacht Club MARACOOS Meeting, G7 Future of the Seas and Oceans Initiative (FSOI), Priorities for Weather Research (PWR) Report to Congress.

  • 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.

     

    State

    • 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.

     

    National

    • 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 https://www.southjerseysip.org/communitieschallenge.
    • 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.

     

    International

    • 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.

     

  • RUCOOL Updates: Dec. 2020 to Jan. 2021

    Posted on February 11th, 2021 Mike Crowley No comments

    University classes may have been closed for half of the reporting period, but as you will see, this has been a very busy time for the RUCOOL team in research, national strategic planning meetings, operations and in the virtual classroom.

    State

    • Three days, two thesis defenses: On December 14, Sarah Murphy presented her Master’s Thesis defense entitled “Coastal Upwelling and the Offshore Wind Environment”. On December 16th, Cliff Watkins wrapped up his PhD. with his dissertation presentation on “Mixed Layer Dynamics: Exploring the Impact of Storms in the Mid Atlantic Bight.”
    • Grace Saba attended the OA Alliance (International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification) U.S. State meeting as part of her efforts with Jeanne Herb (Rutgers, Bloustein) and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to develop an ocean acidification Action Plan for the state of New Jersey.
    • RUCOOL graduate student Emily Slesinger just published the second paper from her thesis, co-authored with Grace Saba. The paper is “Spawning phenology of rapidly shifting marine fish species throughout its range.”
    • RU COOL faculty completed teaching their seven courses in the fall and have begun seven new courses for the spring including: Oceanography Seminar, Topics in Marine Science, Operational Ocean Modeling, Topics Course in Polar Systems, Integrated Ocean Observations 2, Science Pseudoscience and Society, and Field Laboratory Methods 2.
    • Scott Glenn is serving as the faculty advisor to an Engineering Capstone Project team developing phone apps for underwater glider operators.
    • Beginning in January, the RUCOOL team has refocused on outreach by improving our web and social media presence. We have linked our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin pages through the web page to more efficiently get our story out to students, researchers, funding agencies and the public.
    • Josh Kohut and Joe Brodie attended the Time for Turbines (https://www.timeforturbines.org/) meeting. It was a 4th annual NJ focused offshore wind conference.  The meeting was a mix of panels, plenary and keynote sessions with RUCOOL well represented, including Joe who was an invited environmental panelist.
    • RUCOOL faculty met with Monmouth University marine science faculty with a goal of establishing connections between MU undergraduates and the RU Masters in Operational Oceanography program. Our second cohort of Masters of OO students completed their first semester, which included drafts of their initial thesis proposals that they presented at the weekly RUCOOL science meeting.

    National

    • In January, NOAA hosted a workshop entitled “Integrating Ocean Observations to Improve NOAA’s Hurricane Intensity Forecasts”. RUCOOL/DMCS faculty, staff and graduate students participated throughout the workshop, including presentations by John Wilkin on the “Current State and Future Plans of Modeling and Data Assimilation Efforts for Hurricane Intensity Forecast: ROMS ocean model and DA” and by Scott Glenn on “Observing the Upper Ocean During Hurricanes: The Value of Coordinated Ocean Observations,” in a session moderated by Travis Miles. The overarching goal for the 150+ attendees was to develop a framework for coordinated ocean observing in support of hurricane intensity science and forecasting.
    • Janice McDonnell and Sage Lichtenwaler were the lead authors on a chapter for the Ocean Observatories Initiative Science Plan released in January 2021. The chapter was entitled “Using Real-World Data from the Ocean Observatories Initiative in Teaching”.
    • In December, the RUCOOL Education Team wrapped up their first pilot test of lab manual, “Exploration the Ocean with OOI Data“, a collection of laboratory exercises featuring data from the Ocean Observatories Initiative. The pilot included 20 undergraduate faculty from around the country.
    • The Education Team completed training for deans/administrators from five Big 10 universities. They leveraged the Broader Impacts Wizard that they completed in January in partnership with the Center for Advancing Research Impact in Society (ARIS).
    • As part of a new NSF IUSE project with Rider University (Improving Undergraduate Scientific Explanations: Exploring the Role of Data Literacy Skills in Scientific Reasoning), Sage Lichtenwalner worked with faculty at Rider University to develop a series of new Data Explorations that will be pilot tested by students in the spring semester.
    • The Education Team rebranded the COSEE NOW YouTube channel to Rutgers Marine Sciences Education. We have posted the first two of 10 new videos that will promote Polar Literacy Principles and Polar scientists.
    • On Thursday, January 28, RUCOOL’s Josh Kohut and Joe Brodie co-hosted (with Rutgers Cooperative Extension) its 2021 Partners in Science Workshop: Identifying Ecological Metrics and Sampling Strategies for Baseline Monitoring During Offshore Wind Development. The workshop, sponsored by the NJ Board of Public Utilities, was attended by over 80 individuals representing federal and state agencies, the commercial and recreational fishing industries, the offshore wind industry, environmental groups, and academics throughout the region.
    • The NOAA Science Advisory Board’s Environmental Services Working Group (EISWG), co-chaired by Brad Colman from the Climate Corporation and Scott Glenn, continued to ramp up activities in support of the Congressional Weather Act. These include: (a) Joint meetings with the Climate working group on NOAA’s many service delivery programs; (b) Initiation of reviews of NOAA’s Seasonal to Subseasonal Forecast Plan and the Weather Radar Plan; (c) Follow up on its review for the Hurricane Forecast Improvement plan; (d) Restructuring of its annual Report to Congress procedure for 2021; and (e) Responding to a new request from Congress to, by the end of 2021, provide a report identifying future priorities for Congressional investment in the National Weather Service.
    • RUCOOL undergraduate student, Allison Proszowski, presented a talk at the American Geophysical Union’s fall meeting entitled “Assessing the Impact of Spatial Variability and Wake Effects on Power Prediction for NJ Offshore Wind Energy Area.”

    International

    • The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Ocean Studies Board (Scott Glenn is a member) that forms the U.S. Committee to define the U.S. contribution to the U.N. Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, reviewed the nearly 100 OceanShot submissions, engaged early career representatives, and developed the agenda for the February 2021 launch meeting for the U.S. response.
    • RUCOOL is one of the key initial partners in the proposed Caribe Corredores project to improve climate monitoring and hurricane forecasting in the Caribbean Corridor for the U.N. Ocean Decade. The proposal was submitted to the U.S. Committee as an OceanShot and to the U.N. Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission as a collaborative project from the Global Ocean Observing Systems Regional Alliance for the Caribbean. The Caribe Corredores project was accepted as one of the OceanShot posters to be presented at the U.S, launch.
    • Grace Saba was one of several collaborative experts that published a comprehensive assessment of the status quo and future of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean that surrounds it. See the press release from Alfred Wegener Institute (here) and the paper now published in Biological Reviews: https://doi.org/10.1111/brv.12679.
    • Grace Saba and Scott Glenn participated in the global OceanOPS OceanGliders Steering Committee as the leads of the Ecosystems Working Group and the Storms Working Group, respectively.
    • As lead of the SWARM Antarctica project, Josh Kohut hosted a series of virtual meetings entitled the SWARM Science Extravaganza that included several members of the RUCOOL team and numerous global partners. The 4 day meeting covered topics on Antarctic Physics, Phytoplankton & Mammals, Krill, and integrative science.

    Newly Funded Research

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

    • Slesinger, E., Jensen, O., Saba, G.K. Spawning phenology of a rapidly shifting marine fish species throughout its range. ICES Journal of Marine Science, doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsaa252.
    • Gutt, J., Isla, E., Xavier, J., Adams, B., Ahn, I.-Y., Cheng, C.-H., Colesi, C., Cummings, V., di Prisco, G., Griffiths, H., Hawes, I., Hogg, I., McIntyre, T., Meiners, K., Pearse, D., Peck, L., Piepenburg, D., Reisinger, R., Saba, G.K., Schloss, I., Signori, C., Smith, C.R., Vacchi, M., Verde, C., Wall, D. 2020. Antarctic ecosystems in transition – life between stresses and opportunities. Biological Reviews, doi:1111/brv.12679.
    • Literature Review: Miles, T., Murphy, S., Kohut, J., Borsetti, S., Munroe, D. Dec. 2020. Could federal wind farms influence continental shelf oceanography and alter associated ecological processes? Science Center for Marine Fisheries.

    RUCOOL Meetings & Conferences

    RUCOOL continues to attend numerous virtual meetings. Here is a sample of meetings which our team attended and/or presented: OceanOPS Ocean Gliders Steering Committee meeting, American Geophysical Union Meeting, UG2 Gliders Meeting, Hurricane Glider Hotwash, NYSERDA State of the Science workshop, OA Alliance (International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification), NOAA NEFSC State of the Ecosystem synthesis workshop, Integrating Ocean Observations to Improve NOAA’s Hurricane Intensity Forecasts, NJ Partners in Science Workshop. SWARM 4 Day Workshop, Time for Turbines, Partnership for Observation of the Global Ocean.

  • RUCOOL Updates: October & November 2020

    Posted on December 15th, 2020 Mike Crowley No comments

    As we near the end of the fall 2020 semester, our team remains healthy and productive having followed the Rutgers COVID-19 guidelines and our own procedures for staying safe. We wish you all a healthy and safe start to 2021.

    State

    • RU COOL faculty continue to be involved in teaching 7 classes this Fall term.  Courses include: Software Bootcamp, Ocean Observing, Ocean Modeling and Synthesis, Biological Oceanography, Waves and Sediment Transport, Undergraduate Ocean Observing, Freshmen Oceanography House.
    • Grace Saba gave invited presentations at the New Jersey Water Monitoring Council meeting hosted by NJDEP and the New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists annual meeting. Grace’s PhD student Emily Slesinger and undergraduate student Kernan Bates both presented a talk at the Mid-Atlantic Chapter American Fisheries Society meeting.
    • The second cohort of the Masters in Operational Oceanography program is wrapping up its first semester. In addition to successfully engaging with remote learning, the students led the remote operations of an underwater glider, deployed for 2 months in the Caribbean.
    • Operational Oceanography Program Alumna Julia Engdahl was recently recognized by NOAA for her paper “Bringing Sea Level Rise to Life with GIS and Python”. Julia created a code-based animation of sea level rise from NOAA stations which was recently incorporated into NOAA’s National GeoPlatform.
    • The Ørsted ECO-PAM glider, RU34, conducted its second mission from October 3 through November 5. During that mission, it detected 17 tagged fish, along with humpback whales on 5 days and fin whales on 23 days. The glider was redeployed for its third mission on November 19, and detected its first North Atlantic Right Whale the next day. (link: https://go.rutgers.edu/ECO-PAM).
    • RU COOL was invited to film a 5-minute documentary on its ECO-PAM project with Ørsted as part of the AGU TV series associated with the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union. The video featured footage of the glider team, and interviews with Josh Kohut and Joseph Brodie. (link to video: https://go.rutgers.edu/ECO-PAM-Video).

    National

    • Scott Glenn chaired the NOAA Science Advisory Board (SAB) Environmental Information Services Working Group (EISWG) Task Team for the review of NOAA’s Response to Congress on the Hurricane Forecast Improvement Program (HFIP). The HFIP Review was approved by EISWG for submission to the SAB, and the SAB approved it for submission to the NOAA Administrator and Congress.   Scott Glenn was commended for his use of external Subject Matter Experts to strengthen the review, an approach that set a new bar for EISWG and was subsequently adopted by SAB.  Scott was appointed Acting Co-chair of the full EISWG, pending his approval by the full SAB.
    • The RUCOOL Glider Team was involved in deploying, piloting or recovering 11 gliders in October and November for 5 funded projects that include research on hurricane intensity in the mid-Atlantic and Caribbean, and whale migrations and water quality along NJ. The R/Vs Rutgers and Arabella were used extensively for deployment and recoveries out of Tuckerton. Data from all of these gliders can be found here.
    • Travis Miles is the regional lead, coordinating the deployment of gliders during hurricanes and tropical cyclones. The team captured ocean upwelling and cooling ahead of and during tropical storm Isaias, which lead to widespread damage and power outages throughout New Jersey. Investigations of the oceans feedback on the storm are ongoing.
    •  The Rutgers Hurricane Blog finished the 2020 hurricane season with 50 entries contributed by Scott Glenn and Travis Miles. The regional distribution of hurricane blog entries reflects the extremely active hurricane season experienced in the Gulf of Mexico (58% of entries), and the many scientific investigations this season will launch. In the Mid Atlantic, Hurricane Isaias was identified as a third type of MAB hurricane resulting in rapid co-evolution of the ocean and atmosphere.  We now have Isaias as an onshore storm resulting in coastal upwelling and rapid ocean cooling possibly contributing to storm weakening, Irene as continental shelf storm resulting in rapid mixing, ocean cooling and storm weakening, and Sandy as an offshore storm resulting in rapid downwelling that leaves the sea surface warm and promotes intensification.
    • Oscar Schofield was elected to the Board of Trustees for the Consortium of Ocean Leadership (2021-2023).
    • The RUCOOL Education team completed their online after school program in Boulder, Colorado, which was focused on teaching 6th graders about polar science.
    • RUCOOL invites you to read our Education Team’s blog on Antarctica Week at https://polar-ice.org/2020/12/happy-antarctica-week-2020/.
    • The Education Team continues to work on the Broader Impacts Wizard and participate in an ARIS – Organization Research Impact Capacity (ORIC) Program with Purdue, Michigan State, University of Nebraska, U.C. Berkeley, and the University of Idaho.
    • The Data Labs Blog had numerous articles added that focus on Ocean Observing Education, storytelling with data, Python tutorials and examples of Labs.

    International

    • Oscar Schofield was chosen by NSF-NASA-NOAA to co-chair the G7 Global Biogeochemical Array International Virtual Meeting in 2021.
    • Scott Glenn and Travis Miles continue to build the Caribe Corredores international partnership for improved hurricane forecasting working with Global Ocean Observing System’s regional alliance IOCARIBE. An OceanShots proposal was submitted to the U.S. National Academies’ Committee for the U.N. Ocean Decade in preparation for the broader January submission to UNESCO.

    Awards

    • Emily Slesinger (PhD student, Saba) received the Best Student Oral Presentation Award at the Mid-Atlantic Chapter American Fisheries Society meeting. Congratulations to Emily and her mentor, Grace Saba!
    • The Rutgers 4-H STEM Ambassador Team received the SEBS/NJAES Team Excellence Award. Congrats to Janice McDonnell, Christine Bean, Alesha Vega and the rest of the team!

    Newly Funded Research

    • University of Delaware (NOAA-IOOS), “Mid-Atlantic Glider Support of Hurricane Intensity Forecasts”, T. Miles ($443,749).
    • National Science Foundation Supplemental, “Engaging Faculty and Students in Learning with OOI Data Explorations”, J. McDonnell ($98,000).
    • Woods Hold Institute of Oceanography “Wind Mapping from HF RADAR Measurements”, H. Roarty ($59,587).

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

    • Roarty, H., Glenn, S., Brodie, J., Nazzaro, L., Smith, M., Handel, E., Josh Kohut, Teresa Updyke, Larry Atkinson, William Boicourt, Wendell Brown, Harvey Seim, Mike Muglia, Haixing Wang, and Donglai Gong. (2020). Annual and seasonal surface circulation over the Mid-Atlantic Bight Continental Shelf derived from a decade of High Frequency Radar observations. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 125, e2020JC016368. DOI: 10.1029/2020JC016368
    • **Wright‐Fairbanks, E. K., Miles, T. N., Cai, W.‐J., Chen, B., & Saba, G. K. (2020). Autonomous observation of seasonal carbonate chemistry dynamics in the Mid‐Atlantic Bight. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 125, e2020JC016505. DOI: 10.1029/2020JC016505.
    • Seroka, G., Fredj, E., and Dunk, R. (2020). Analysis of Sea Breeze Types Using WRF and Lagrangian Methods: Update Using RU-WRF Configuration AquaWind, LLC
    • **Watkins, C., Daniel B. Whitt, D. (2020). Large-aspect-ratio structures in simulated ocean surface boundary layer turbulence under a hurricane. 2020. J. Phys. Oceanography 1–70. DOI: 10.1175/JPO-D-20-0134.1
    • Eichhorn, M., Aragon, D., Shardt, Y., Roarty, H. (2020). Modeling for the performance of navigation, control and data postprocessing of underwater gliders. Applied Ocean Research 101.
    • Yousefvand, M., Wu, C.-T. M., Wang, R.-Q., Brodie, J., & Mandayam, N. (2020). Modeling the Impact of 5G Leakage on Weather Prediction. In 2020 IEEE 3rd 5G World Forum (5GWF) (pp. 291–296). IEEE. https://doi.org/10.1109/5GWF49715.2020.9221472.

    RUCOOL Meetings & Conferences

    Though there were no in person meetings due to COVID, there were plenty of virtual meetings during the last two months which our team attended and/or presented: New Jersey Water Monitoring Council meeting hosted by NJDEP, New York Society of Cosmetic Chemists annual meeting, Mid-Atlantic Chapter American Fisheries Society meeting, MARACOOS Annual Meeting, MTS Global Oceans, AGU Ocean Sciences, RODA Fisheries and Offshore Wind Energy: Synthesis of the Science, NYSERDA Workshop: State of the Science on Offshore Wind – Cumulative Impacts to Wildlife.