Tag Archives: skidaway institute

Frischer black gill paper published

Marc Frischer recently had a new paper on black gill published in the Journal of Shellfish Research. Dick Lee, Tina Walters, Karri Bulski and Ashley Price were among his co-authors.

Frischer M.E., Lee R.F., Price A.R., Walters T.L., Bassette M.A., Verdiyev R., Torris M.C., Bulski K., Geer P.J., Powell S.A., Walker A.N. and Landers S.C. (2017). Causes, diagnostics and distribution of an ongoing penaeid shrimp black gill epidemic in the South Atlantic Bight, USA. Journal of Shellfish Research. 36: 487-500. doi: 10.2983/035.036.0220

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Glider partners come to the rescue during Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma presented an interesting problem to Catherine Edwards and other glider operators in the Southeast. They had several gliders deployed off the east coast as the hurricane approached, including Skidaway Institute’s glider, “Modena.” Catherine and the others were confident the gliders themselves would be safe in the water, but the computer servers that control them would not.

Catherine working on “Modena”

The gliders are equipped with satellite phones. Periodically, they call their home server, download data and receive instructions for their next operation. It was expected that Skidaway Institute would lose power for at least several days (as did happen.) However, Skidaway’s back-up partner at the University of South Florida’s marine science facility in St. Petersburg, Fla. was also directly in the storm’s projected path.

“In the week before she hit, Irma sort of blew up our hurricane emergency plans,” Catherine said.

Several other options, including Teledyne Webb’s back-up servers and Rutgers University were not feasible for technical reasons. Glider operators at Texas A&M University came to the rescue. Catherine was able to instruct Modena to switch its calls over the Texas A&M server. No data was lost and Modena continued its mission.

According to Catherine, two big lessons emerged from the experience.

“First, most of us rely on nearby or regional partners for emergency andback-up support, but disasters are regional by nature, and the same Nor’easter or hurricane can take down you along with your backup,” she said. “Second, there aren’t a lot of glider centers that can absorb several gliders on a day’s notice, and there are some compatibility and operations issues involved, so it is best to identify our potential partners and build out these steps into our emergency plans well in advance.”

Frischer lab attends international conference

arc Frischer, Tina Walters and Lauren Lamboley attended the 3rd Symposium on Molecular Analysis of Trophic Interactions in Upsalla, Sweden in mid-September. They made several presentations.

FrischerGroupSwedenSelfie 650p

Lauren, Marc and Tina shoot a selfie at the cathedral in Upsalla.

Frischer, M.E., Walters, T.L. and Price, A.R. (2017). Distribution, Ecology and Role of a Parasitic Ciliate on Commercial Penaeid Shrimp in the US Southeast Atlantic: Insights Gained Using Molecular Interaction Tools. 3rd Symposium on Molecular Analysis of Trophic Interactions. 13-15 September 2017. Upsalla, Sweden.

Lamboley, L.M., Walters, T.L. and Frischer, M.E. (2017). Quantitative Significance of Different Prey Types in the In Situ Diet of Dolioletta gegenbauri. (2017). 3rd Symposium on Molecular Analysis of Trophic Interactions. 13-15 September 2017. Upsalla, Sweden.

Walters, T.L. and Frischer, M.E. (2017). Molecular Gut Profiling of Dolioletta gegenbauri in the South Atlantic Bight Shelf: What Are They Eating? 3rd Symposium on Molecular Analysis of Trophic Interactions. 13-15 September 2017. Upsalla, Sweden.

Following the symposium the three spent two weeks at the University of Bergen (Norway) testing a new technology called digital drop PCR.

“It worked great and was a great learning experience, especially for Tina and Lauren,” Marc said.

New faces at Skidaway Institute, NOAA

LuLu Lacy is a new intern in Marc Frischer’s lab. She is a UGA ecology major with a minor in studio art. She has a wide range of experience outside of the classroom, including an independent research project at UGA’s Costa Rica campus; working as a landscape arboretum fellow for Trees Atlanta; and tending crops on an organic farm. She is a founder of the Athens Free School – an initiative to create a monthly calendar of free classes taught by volunteers in the Athens community on various subjects from bread making to bike maintenance.

Katherine “Kat” Scheuering is a communications intern at Gray’s Reef. Kat is a senior English/ Professional Communications major at Armstrong State University and is due to graduate in December. Kat is originally from Goshen, New York; a small town about an hour and a half outside New York City. “Close enough to commute but far enough that there were horse farms down the street,” she said. Kat chose to intern at Gray’s Reef because, she said, she is passionate about the environment and conservation. “I’m actually the president of the ‘Go Green’ club at Armstrong and we usually do a beach clean-up once a semester,” she said. “I’m looking forward to exploring my options once I graduate but I think ideally I’d like to find something where I can use writing and creative skills to campaign and raise awareness for environmental causes.”

Priests Landing site of movie production

Priests Landing was the scene of a major motion picture shoot on Friday, Nov. 3.  The feature film, The Front Runner, is based on the story of Gary Hart’s 1988 presidential campaign. Hart’s presidential ambitions were derailed with his extra-marital activities became known. The Priests Landing dock was used to shoot scenes on the yacht “Monkey Business” which was at the center of the Hart story. For more information on the film, click here. 

Clark Alexander named director of UGA Skidaway Institute of Oceanography

Clark Alexander, a scientist with a long history of fostering collaboration and excellence in research, has been named director of the University of Georgia Skidaway Institute of Oceanography.

Alexander is a professor in the department of marine sciences, part of UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, and has served as interim director of the Skidaway Institute for the past year. As director of the Skidaway Institute, he will continue to oversee its personnel, budgets and facilities and report to the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.

“The Skidaway Institute of Oceanography plays a vital role in training scientists and conducting research that address critical economic and environmental issues that affect our state and world,” said Provost Pamela Whitten. “Dr. Alexander’s longstanding commitment to deepening the impact of the institute while building bridges with partners on and off campus makes him uniquely qualified to take on this important leadership role on a permanent basis.”

Alexander’s research explores how physical processes such as erosion and sedimentation impact coastal and marine environments. His work has been supported with nearly $6 million in external funding from agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Geological Survey and the Georgia Coastal Management Program. He has participated in more than 60 field programs in 13 countries and has been the chief scientist on nearly 30 expeditions. Alexander has been the recipient of several honors, including the Preservation Achievement Award from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

He joined the Skidaway Institute’s faculty as an assistant professor in 1991 after earning his doctorate and master’s degrees from North Carolina State University and two bachelor’s degrees from Humboldt State University in California.

“Since 1968, Skidaway Institute faculty and staff have worked to create new knowledge and produce highly trained students in the marine sciences,” Alexander said. “Through new program initiatives within the department of marine sciences and new collaborations with other colleagues at UGA and throughout the University System of Georgia, we are building on that legacy to enhance research and education statewide. I am grateful for the opportunity to lead the institute during this exciting time in our history.”

The UGA Skidaway Institute of Oceanography is a multidisciplinary research and training institution located on a 700-acre campus on Skidaway Island, southeast of downtown Savannah. Its primary goals are to further the understanding of marine and environmental processes, conduct leading-edge research on coastal and marine systems, and train tomorrow’s scientists. For more information on the Skidaway Institute, see http://www.skio.uga.edu/.

NOSB national winners visit Skidaway campus

The winning team of the National Ocean Science Bowl visited the Skidaway campus in July. The four-person team from Santa Monica High School (California) was awarded a week-long trip as first prize.

Marine Superintendent John Bichy explains Skidaway Institute’s marine operations to the NOSB winners.

The four high school students spent the morning of July 18th visiting the aquarium. After lunch they walked across campus to Skidaway Institute, where Mike Sullivan gave them an overview of the institute. Brian Binder, from the UGA Department of Marine Sciences, described the marine science program at UGA. The team toured the campus and visited several labs. John Bichy showed them through the R/V Savannah. The afternoon wrapped up with research presentations from Liz Harvey and Cliff Buck.

An interdisciplinary ocean science education program of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, the NOSB tests students’ knowledge of ocean-related topics, including cross-disciplines of biology, chemistry, policy, physics, and geology. To qualify for NOSB finals, the 25 competing teams first had to win their regional competitions. The regional competition for Georgia and South Carolina was held at Savannah State University in early February. In total, approximately 392 teams, made up of 1,960 students representing 33 states, participated.