The NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette set sail Tuesday, August 13th, to pick up our field camp biologists. They have spent the summer researching Hawaiian monk seals and sea turtles in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The Sette will travel the entire Hawaiian Archipelago, covering over 1,500 miles from Hawaiʻi Island to Kure Atoll. You can follow this journey on our story map.
In the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, the Sette team will also conduct projects that help protect the delicate environment of this special place.
Field Research Camps
Every year, NOAA’s Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center establishes camps to study Hawaiian monk seals and Hawaiian green sea turtles in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. We count animals, mark them with flipper tags or numbers on their fur or shells, and perform life-saving interventions. Monk seal biologists rescue seals from entanglements and treat infected wounds. Sea turtle biologists save nesting females which become entrapped, collect priceless samples for genetic studies, monitor the temperature of nests, determine the success of hatchlings emerging from nests, and track the movement of the nesting beach sand over the season. After three months out in the field, these biologists are going to appreciate hot showers and cold ice cream when they embark the Sette!