Richard Feely, NOAA PMEL

NOAA PMEL Senior Scientist Richard Feely is ready to assume command of the mission! Photo: Meg Chadsey

Chief Scientist, Leg 2, NOAA 2016 West Coast OA Cruise

Bio: I am a Senior Scientist and leader of the NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory Carbon Group, which studies the ocean carbon cycle and how it is changing as a result of human activities, such as fossil fuel combustion and deforestation, that are increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and oceans. I’ve been studying this problem for more than 35 years (now that I’m actually a grandfather, I’ve stopped objecting when people call me “the grandfather of ocean acidification”). Though I’d never even seen the ocean before leaving the midwest for graduate school at Texas A&M University, since joining NOAA in 1974, I’ve logged more than 1,000 days at sea on more than 50 scientific expeditions, including all 5 West Coast Ocean Acidification cruises.

Dick Feely setting up one of the pH sensors entered in the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health X-Prize competition. Photo: NOAA PMEL
Setting up one of the pH sensors entered in the Wendy Schmidt Ocean Health X-Prize competition to advance pH sensor technology. Photo: NOAA PMEL

With my NOAA and academic colleagues, I have conducted research demonstrating the ecological damage to marine life from human-generated carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, and participated in the development of international ocean acidification observing network to track the effects of these emissions on the marine environment. I’ve also worked hard to make policymakers aware of the consequences, and helped contribute to federal legislation to support OA research and adaptation.

What I’m doing on this cruise: Simone Alin and I have been Co-Chief Scientists of this NOAA Ocean Acidification Program research cruise, of Leg 1 and Leg 2 respectively.  The Chief Scientist helps the scientists get the samples and data they need to complete their studies of the impacts of ocean acidification and a warming climate on marine organisms. Throughout the cruise, we will collect data and samples for physical, chemical and biological measurements from approximately 138 stations from Mexico to Canada.