The NOAA Ship Bell M. Shimada came into port in San Francisco last Saturday (July 1) for a science crew change and is now back out resuming science operations. The ship’s crew, along with some new scientists joining the survey and a few scientists that stayed on from Leg 1, are all very excited to get back out to the open ocean and continue the important science of the Survey. A NOAA Teacher At Sea (TAS) is also joining the science party on this leg. The NOAA TAS Program “offers educators a unique opportunity to join NOAA scientists aboard an ocean research vessel as a member of the science team”. Leg 2’s Teacher At Sea is Lisa Carlson, an elementary school teacher from Virginia Beach, VA. Stay tuned here and on the Teacher At Sea blog for updates from her!
Science operations resumed right where Leg 1 of the Survey left off, just north of Morro Bay, California. Scientists continue to collect acoustic and biological data to estimate the biomass of Pacific hake off the west coast of the U.S. and Canada. Starting on Leg 2, we will also be tracking phytoplankton dynamics in the California Current Ecosystem using the Imaging Flow CytoBot (IFCB), a new piece of equipment that came aboard in San Francisco. The IFCB is a robotic microscope that automates identification of phytoplankton using flow cytometric and video technology to capture high-resolution images of suspended particles and transmit them to shore in near real-time. This instrument allows us to quantify phytoplankton and its toxins to provide critical information in support of fisheries management, ecosystem modeling and assessment, and to provide early warning of harmful blooms.The IFCB will continue to collect data for automatic phytoplankton identification for the remainder of the Bell M. Shimada portion of the Survey.
Everyone is excited to do more great science on Leg 2!