Synergy in the Near-Shore

Three federal agencies partnered to sample this section of the Olympic coast on June 1. Image Credit: OCNMS
Three federal agencies partnered to sample this section of the Olympic coast on June 1. Image Credit: OCNMS (click for a larger view).

Early Wednesday morning, the NOAA Ship Ronald Brown reached Station 120, within spitting distance (for a ship) of Cape Flattery, the northwesternmost point of the continental United States. After collecting samples by starlight, the ship swung round and headed south, back towards the wild stretch of Washington coastline that is recognized for its extraordinary natural history by three federal designations – the Washington Islands National Wildlife Refuges, Olympic National Park (ONP) and Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary (OCNMS). Continue reading “Synergy in the Near-Shore”

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Sampling the Columbia River Plume

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Ensign Lydia Ames captions our entry into the Columbia River. Photo Credit: Bill Nilsson

The Columbia River is particularly important to unraveling the dynamics of coastal ocean acidification in the Pacific Northwest because it brings waters with elevated temperatures and oxygen concentrations and lower salinities, pH values, and aragonite saturation states compared to open ocean waters into the coastal environment. Continue reading “Sampling the Columbia River Plume”

The crew of the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown: the people who make all this science possible

So far on this blog, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about the scientific work we’ve been doing day in and day out for the last few weeks. We love what we do (some days more than others), and are excited about sharing the results of our month of research in the Pacific.

However, there’s a group of people aboard the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown that our blog hasn’t talked much about, but who are vitally important to this project. They’re the folks who make this expedition possible, who keep the ship and its operations running smoothly behind the scenes, who feed us, and who make sure we stay safe and healthy while aboard. I’m talking about the ship’s crew, without whom we would be a group of dedicated marine scientists who couldn’t make it out of the harbor. Continue reading “The crew of the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown: the people who make all this science possible”

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”

The Beginnings of Ocean Acidification Studies in Mexican Waters

The 2016 West Coast Ocean Acidification (WCOA) cruise is the fifth of its kind, and the research we are performing aboard the NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown has been over a decade in the making. It has been eleven years since NOAA PMEL scientists Dr. Richard Feely and Dr. Chris Sabine organized the first planning meeting in 2005 for the 2007 West Coast Ocean Acidification cruise. Continue reading “The Beginnings of Ocean Acidification Studies in Mexican Waters”

Oxygen, that thing we all need to breathe…

OxygenWe all do it subconsciously. Breathe in… Breathe out… We probably only really notice we are doing it when we get to the top of a flight of stairs, or when we go up in altitude and realize that the oxygen availability has changed, but we all know that oxygen is critical to life. Continue reading “Oxygen, that thing we all need to breathe…”

Farewell San Francisco!

The NOAA Ship Ronald Brown left the Exploratorium dock Monday afternoon. Our collaborator Bill Cochlan shared these photos of the ship leaving the Bay, and the new at-sea blog coordinators Spencer Showalter and Meghan Shea put together a short video that perfectly captures the excitement of young scientists heading to sea!

Daytime Visitors- Dolphins, Whales, and More Critters in Nets

After our previous post, ‘Creatures of the Night,’ we thought we would share with you some of the creatures we found during the day. Given we could see much better, these may be considerably more exciting than the plankton that turned up in our nighttime net tows (although I personally find the bizarre, microscopic world far more interesting). But I will let you be the judge!

Continue reading “Daytime Visitors- Dolphins, Whales, and More Critters in Nets”