Goodbye for now

Journey’s end… the NOAA Ship Ronald Brown at the US Coast Guard Seattle Base, June 7, 2016. Photo Credit: Meg Chadsey

Two days after our return to land, we wanted to give the 2016 West Coast Ocean Acidification Cruise blog a final send-off (‘we’ being the Leg 2 at-sea bloggers SpencerMeghan and Katie – aka ‘SMK’ – and shore-based editor Meg). It’s been an incredible experience to explore and learn along with the scientists on board, and we’ve greatly enjoyed sharing the experiences of this ship with you.  Continue reading “Goodbye for now”

A Preliminary View of the 2016 NOAA West Coast Ocean Acidification Cruise Results


The NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (OAP) West Coast Cruise was conducted in the coastal waters of Baja California, California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia during the spring of 2016 (5 May – 7 June; Figure 1). The oceanographic conditions during this cruise varied significantly from those observed in this region during our last NOAA ocean acidification cruise in the summer of 2013 Continue reading “A Preliminary View of the 2016 NOAA West Coast Ocean Acidification Cruise Results”

35 Sunsets Later: Closing thoughts

After 35 days at sea (replaying the following video 35 times will give you a rough idea), we thought we would ask each member of the scientific team what their experience was like, rather than write a one-sided view of an individual’s experience.

Continue reading “35 Sunsets Later: Closing thoughts”

Tracking ocean acidification across political boundaries: NOAA-Hakai Institute collaboration

The Pacific Ocean has no borders. However, tracking ocean conditions across political borders requires coordination and collaboration. The Hakai Institute’s two coastal ecological observatories are situated almost perfectly at the center of the British Columbia-sized geographical gap between Washington and Alaska. With scientific facilities on both Calvert and Quadra Islands in British Columbia, the Hakai Institute is uniquely placed to add a Canadian complement to NOAA’s ocean acidification monitoring in US waters. Continue reading “Tracking ocean acidification across political boundaries: NOAA-Hakai Institute collaboration”

Waxing poetic about science

If you’ve been following this blog for the last month as our intrepid group sails along the West Coast, you’ve probably read quite a few detailed posts describing our sampling procedures, measurement techniques, and experimental designs. Talking about our work is part of the job. Even so, sometimes we scientists can get a bit stuck in our ways, and when we are asked to step away from the tried-and-true journals, seminars, and scientific reports that we routinely use to talk about our research, funny things happen.  A few days ago, the blog team challenged our fellow scientists to a research haiku contest. It didn’t take long to discover that condensing our research into 17 syllables can be quite a task, yet our fellow scientists proved themselves worthy to the task. Continue reading “Waxing poetic about science”

What would you name the CTD?

You’ve seen the CTD in action in Ring around the Rosette and read about all the different types of samples we take. But for all the incredible scientific opportunities the CTD provides, we still don’t have a name for her (or him!).

The CTD posing majestically on the deck at sunset. Photo Credit: Meghan Shea
The CTD posing majestically on the deck at sunset. Photo Credit: Meghan Shea

We asked scientists onboard for their suggestions. Continue reading “What would you name the CTD?”

The Basics on Alkalinity

Ocean Acidification is not just about pH! In this post, you'll learn how it shifts the
Acidification is about more than just pH! This post will explain how seawater ‘alkalinity’ affects the balance of all of the carbon-containing molecules (aka ‘carbon species’) in this National Resource Council graphic.

If you’ve been following this blog, you’re probably pretty familiar with ocean acidification by now, but figuring out what’s going on with the ocean chemistry is not actually as simple as just measuring the pH. Continue reading “The Basics on Alkalinity”

Scoping out Copepods

Jonna Engström-Öst and Olivier Glippa examining net samples under the microscopes. Photo Credit: Meghan Shea

Among the biologists onboard the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown are Dr. Jonna Engström-Öst and Dr. Olivier Glippa from the Novia University of Applied Sciences in Finland. As we mentioned in another post, one of the zooplankton groups being examined on this cruise is copepods, small crustaceans of the subclass Copepoda. Continue reading “Scoping out Copepods”

Pterotomics: The Molecular Machinery of Pteropods

Kevin Johnson searches for pteropods in the sample collected from a net tow. Photo Credit: Meghan Shea
Kevin Johnson searches for pteropods in the sample collected from a net tow. Photo Credit: Meghan Shea

The nighttime bongo tows (see The Scoop from the Zooplankton Nets) provide a wealth of organisms for the biologists aboard the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown to study.  From krill and crabs to copepods and pteropods, researchers aboard the Brown are interested in one unifying question: How will ocean acidification change the distribution and abundance of these organisms? Continue reading “Pterotomics: The Molecular Machinery of Pteropods”

Harmful Algal Blooms: Why do we care?

Chlorophyll along the West Coast during July 2015–the largest Harmful Algal bloom on record. Chlorophyll represents both toxic and non-toxic species. Photo Credit:

By now, you’ve heard of harmful algal blooms wreaking havoc along the California Current system. But what are these algal blooms actually doing that is so harmful? Continue reading “Harmful Algal Blooms: Why do we care?”

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