Mission Scientist, Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean
Bio: I am a Research Scientist at the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO), a collaboration between the University of Washington and NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Lab (PMEL). I completed my Marine Biology master’s degree in Dr. Cochlan’s lab at San Francisco State University’s Romberg Tiburon Center, and my graduate training and professional research experience have been primarily in Biological Oceanography. There are three us former students of Dr. Cochlan’s on board for this cruise. Oceanography is a very small community!
I have been involved in marine science research and going to sea for nearly 20 years. Most of the projects I have worked on studied the physiology and ecology of marine algae, how they grow and respond to environmental conditions like nutrients, temperature and salinity, and sometimes form Harmful Algal Blooms and produce toxins. I grew up in Costa Rica and my work has taken me to places as far away as Antarctica, Alaska, Indonesia, Guatemala and Hawaii where I have had the good fortune to meet and work with dedicated scientists and mariners from diverse institutions and cultures. My current work is in support of the research conducted at PMEL by the Carbon Group where we measure and study the effects of anthropogenic carbon from fossil fuels on ocean chemistry.
Oceanography is an exciting field full of people with a shared loved of the sea and adventure resulting in close ties with colleagues, developed over short, but intense periods of collaboration. It can sometimes be difficult to be away, especially for our families and those of the mariners who make our research possible.
My son will have his 7th birthday while I am on this trip. Happy Birthday Kai!
How I’m involved with the 2016 West Coast Ocean Acidification Cruise: On the first leg of the cruise I was responsible for measuring Total Alkalinity along with a colleague, Dr. Jose Martin Hernandez Ayon. Now, on the second leg, I am the Co-Chief Scientist. This means that on the first leg I collected and analyzed seawater samples for 12 hours a day. On the second leg I help coordinate the activities of the scientists to ensure that we are able to meet the research objectives of the individual researchers and the overarching project goals within the constraints of the ship’s schedule.