Monthly Archives: June 2017

Kevin Ryan leaving for USGS internship

Stubbins Lab graduate student Kevin Ryan will leave this month for a one-year internship with the U.S. Geological Survey in Vermont.

The internship is designed to engage a motivated NSF Chemical Oceanography-funded graduate student in professional development activities and high quality research within an established freshwater USGS research program. Kevin will work with a USGS host and collaborators in a research watershed in northeastern Vermont to develop transferable job skills and advance understanding of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) dynamics. The project will entail in situ instruments and frequent sampling of stream and terrestrial hydrologic fluxes (e.g. shallow groundwater and overland flow) and will generate a high spatial and temporal resolution record of the quantity and quality of DOC moving off the landscape into the stream.

The expectation is that Kevin will gain valuable skills and experience in the areas of fieldwork, data analysis, and science communication relevant to scientific jobs at USGS and similar organizations.

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Marathon organizers present check to Associates of Skidaway Institute

The organizers of the 2017 Skidaway Island Marathon recently presented a donation of $600 to the Associates of Skidaway Institute.

Dan Pavlin from Endurance Race Services presents a check to Skidaway Institute interim director Clark Alexander

Endurance Race Services organized the March 25th race which had both its start and finish lines on the UGA Skidaway Marine Science Campus.

A runner crosses the finish line in the 2017 Skidaway Island Marathon.

The marathon organizers support a number of area non-profits from the proceeds from the race. This was the third year the Skidaway Island Marathon was based out of the Skidaway campus.

Skidaway grad students participate on glider team cruise 

From May 31st to June 5th, Skidaway Institute graduate students Kun Ma and Lixin Zhu joined a science cruise on the R/V Savannah off Cape Hatteras, N.C. The cruise was led by Jeffrey Book from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). The main objective of this cruise was to test and demonstrate the use of gliders together in teams and assimilate the data into ocean forecast models. The cruise was 22 days in total, divided into 3 legs. Kun and Lixin were part of the third leg.

Kun Ma cocks Niskin bottles on the CTD.

Kun is a new Ph.D. student at Skidway, working mainly on the MoDIE project with Jay Brandes and Aron Stubbins. This was her first science cruise and she collected some particular organic matter and dissolved inorganic carbon samples. She also helped Skidaway Institute researcher Bill Savidge by collecting some chlorophyll samples in order to calibrate the chlorophyll sensor on the CTD instrument.

Lixin Zhu in immersion suit during safety trainning

Lixin is a visiting Ph.D. student in Aron Stubbins’ lab. He collected filtered water samples on the cruise. He will analyze the color/fluorescence dissolved organic matter, and dissolved black carbon concentrations. In addition, Lixin performed solid phase extraction aboard and collected high-resolution real-time CDOM data using a S::CAN sensor coupled with the underway SCS system on the ship. Eventually, he will combine these data with other field data collected in the South Atlantic Bight area to see the overall dynamics of dissolved black carbon.

Four of the six gliders

“I really appreciate Dr. Jeff Book for having us on this amazing cruise,” Lixin said. “I am glad that we overcame seasickness, and it’s really cool to see that the glider team controlled six gliders at the same time aboard.

(l-r) Pierre-Yves Passaggia from UNC, Ian Martens, Ana Rice, Silvia Beatriz Gremes and Jeffery Book from NRL, Lixin Zhu, Santiago Carrizosa from the Navy, and Kun Ma

“Furthermore, their working approach and decision making process, based on real-time data, modeling and satellite results, impressed me a lot. Getting some samples from such a dynamic area definitely made me really excited.”

 

Two NOAA staffers honored

Two Skidaway Island-based NOAA staffers were recently recognized with prestigious awards from NOAA. Reed Bohne and Marybeth Head were presented the awards on May 23rd in Washington, D.C.

Bohne was awarded the NOAA Distinguished Career Award for “exceptional contributions to the management and growth of the National Marine Sanctuary and National Estuarine Research Reserve systems.” Bohne supervises six of the system’s 13 national marine sanctuaries, including Gray’s Reef.

NOAA Corps Ensign Head, who also serves as the Vessel Operations Coordinator at Gray’s Reef, received the NOAA Bronze Medal Award, the highest award granted by the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere. Ensign Head was recognized for “rapid integration and deployment of Autonomous Surface Vessels for hydrographic use aboard the NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson.”

Harvey lab spends May in Norway

Elizabeth Harvey and her research team traveled to Bergen, Norway in early May for a month’s worth of experiments at the Norwegian National Mesocosm Centre at the Espegrend Marine Biological Station.

l-r Kyle Mayers (Univ of Southampton), Thais Bittar, Sean Anderson and Karrie Bulski

In addition to Harvey, the team included Thaiss Bittar, Karrie Bulski, Patrick Duffy and Sean Anderson. They and their colleagues blogged about their adventures at: https://fjordphytoplankton.wordpress.com/

Kneeling (l-r) Anna Schrecengost (Haverford College), Patrick Duffy, Sean Anderson. Standing (l-r) Kyle Mayers (University of Southhampton), Karrie Bulski, Thais Bittar, Elizabeth Harvey, Kristen Whalen (Haverford College)

Symposium highlights UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant impacts

When Hurricane Matthew washed away 30 percent of Georgia’s sandy coastline last October, UGA was ready.

With funding from Georgia Sea Grant, the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography already was studying sand resources and creating an inventory of sand deposits along the coast. Researchers are using that inventory to identify areas where sand was available to replenish the coastline that was lost during the storm. Replacing the lost sand is important to protect lives and property, as well as critical habitats, from coastal hazards.

Clark Alexander presents at the symposium.

“The sand resources in our state waters are the most poorly known of all the states along the east coast,” said Clark Alexander, interim director of Skidaway Institute. “This research enables us to create maps identifying offshore areas that are suitable for beach nourishment and habitat restoration projects. With these data, we can know where suitable sand exists if we need it in the future after major storms.”

Alexander was one of many researchers across Georgia who presented a project during the Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant Research Symposium in Athens on June 1.

Marc Frischer discusses his research into black gill in shrimp.

The annual symposium provides an opportunity for researchers to share their Sea Grant-funded work, network with others in the scientific community and look for collaborative ways to tackle the latest issues impacting the coast.

“Case studies presented during the symposium aptly illustrated Georgia Sea Grant’s success in elevating awareness of coastal issues, increasing local communities’ resilience to the effects of a changing climate and developing models that can be replicated to improve conditions on a global scale,” said Paul Wolff, chair of the Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant Advisory Board.

Jay Brandes discusses his work with microplastics on the Georgia coast.

From projects that look at how to get local seafood into inland markets to those that measure the productivity of Georgia’s expansive salt marshes, Sea Grant-funded research spans a variety of topics and emphasizes the importance of multidisciplinary, collaborative research and outreach to effectively enhance coastal communities and ecosystems.

Research proposals submitted to Georgia Sea Grant are expected to include an education and outreach component to ensure that results reach beyond the research community and are delivered to a diverse audience. Education and extension faculty and staff at Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant work to incorporate Sea Grant-funded research into public programs, workshops and curricula targeted to pre-k through college age students, resource managers, decision makers, the seafood industry and beyond.

Kayla Clark describes the Georgia Sea Grant intern program.

“We received a record number of research funding preproposals this year and many of those submitting full proposals attended the research symposium,” said Mark Risse, director of Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant. “Being able to learn from projects that have proved successful should strengthen research efforts and allow us to support projects that move rapidly to application and impact.”

Other presenters from the Skidaway Marine Science Campus included Jay Brandes, Marc Frischer, Anne Lindsay and Kayla Clark.

 

Gray’s Reef joins GPB for “Live Exploration”

Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, in collaboration with Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB), created a livestream virtual dive event on May 10th from the UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium. More than 35,000 viewers from as far away as Romania tuned in from their homes, schools and offices to dive into a 30-minute virtual field trip of Gray’s Reef.

GPB host Ashley Mengwasser, GRNMS Superintendent Sarah Fangman and UGA research scientist Scott Noakes discuss Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary during the livestream. Photo M. Riley/GRNMS

The virtual expedition included underwater surgery on a fish to insert a tagging transmitter and beautiful views of the vibrant and abundant marine life found at Gray’s Reef. Viewers learned how Gray’s Reef was formed, how the seafloor serves as a habitat and how they can help protect the reef from major threats.

The sanctuary’s communications coordinator, Michelle Riley, worked with GPB’s Education division in Atlanta to create the event using underwater footage of Gray’s Reef and featuring sanctuary superintendent Sarah Fangman and UGA researcher Scott Noakes as experts. Emily Woodward and her colleagues at UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant provided substantial support to the event, and aquarium staff updated the tanks with a colorful new interpretation of Gray’s Reef. UGA’s Skidaway Institute of Oceanography provided technical assistance, utilizing the expertise of senior system administrator Wayne Aaron.

Targeted to students, the livestream included a question-and-answer session with Fangman and Noakes, during which viewers submitted more than 1,000 questions. The event was accompanied by supplemental materials tailored to Georgia Department of Education standards for K-12. GPB had hoped for an audience of 3,000 – 5,000, and was pleased that the participation level was substantially higher than originally expected.

To view the archived event, go to http://www.gpb.org/education/explore/grays-reef.