Melissa Ward, UCD/SDSU

PhD student, UC Davis/San Diego State University Joint Program in Ecology

Bio: After graduating from UC Irvine in 2013, I entered the work force searching for a field where I could work on a globally significant problem while developing my skills as a marine scientist. Ocean acidification research quickly sparked my interest, and as a second year PhD student, I feel lucky to be a part of the unprecedented OA research and management efforts occurring on the West coast of North America. On the management side, I have been working with state agencies to implement key actions identified by the West Coast OAH Panel as steps we can take to lessen exposure to OA. On the research side, I study air-sea carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes in estuaries and coastal seas. I am also investigating possible local solutions to ameliorate estuarine water chemistry changes through the conservation and restoration of aquatic vegetation. As this is my first cruise on a large research vessel, it will provide me with a fantastic opportunity to scale up my OA research efforts to a global level, broaden my scientific skill set, and directly observe the ocean changes occurring under our rapidly changing climate.

What I’m doing on this cruise: Although I’m not a project lead on the cruise, I will be helping on deck with the CTD sampling, net tows, and generally helping record the variety biogeochemical data. Specifically, I am helping to collect the oxygen samples from the CTD, and filtering water to look for evidence of harmful algal blooms. I’m am also helping communicate what’s happening onboard to everyone offshore via photos, blog posts, and social media.