Goodbye for now

WCOA2016_June7_USCG_SeattleBase
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”

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”

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

IMG_4525
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. 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?

NOAAView_chloro_july2015_610
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: NOAAClimate.gov

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?”

The Scoop from the Zooplankton Nets

http://faculty.washington.edu/jkeister/index.php
Image Credit: Keister lab, University of Washington

Along with the CTD action you saw in Ring around the Rosette, many of our stations also involve lowering zooplankton nets into the water. Zooplankton are an incredibly diverse group of animals that float freely with the ocean’s currents; they range from tiny, microscopic larvae to giant, 50-ft long jellyfish (this video captures some of their amazing diversity). Continue reading “The Scoop from the Zooplankton Nets”

Marine Bacteria in a Changing Ocean

'Starry starry....oceans?' It is estimated that there are 100 million times as many bacteria in the oceans (13 × 1028) as there are stars in the known universe
‘Starry starry…. oceans?’ These aren’t stars; they’re marine bacteria stained with a fluorescent dye that makes them glow in ultraviolet light. It is estimated that there are 100 million times as many bacteria in the oceans (13 × 1028) as there are stars in the known universe. Image Credit: Linda Rhodes
Bill Nilsson and Linda Rhodes smiling on the deck of the Ronald H. Brown. Photo Credit: Meghan Shea
Bill Nilsson and Linda Rhodes smiling on the deck of the Ronald H. Brown. Photo Credit: Meghan Shea

Linda Rhodes and Bill Nilsson are scientists from the Marine Microbes and Toxins Program at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center. Their focus on this cruise is the little guys: the bacteria! Continue reading “Marine Bacteria in a Changing Ocean”