MBARI engineers Brian Kieft and Thomas Hoover were two miles offshore on the R/V Paragon launching a long-range autonomous underwater vehicle when they received an emergency call from the Coast Guard Thursday afternoon. A kayaker had fallen out of his boat, and since his boat was flooded and awash, time was of the essence.
Since World War II, US nautical charts have shown seven “chemical munitions dumping areas” along the Pacific Coast between San Francisco and the Mexican border. However, little or no information is available about the amount, location, or nature of the materials that were dumped at most of these sites.
Marine scientists want to know what the increasing levels of human-generated carbon dioxide in the ocean mean for the ocean’s ecosystems and inhabitants. Last week, Jim Barry’s research group collected 12 tanner crabs from the seafloor to get a better understanding of how ocean acidification affects the behavior of sea animals.
MBARI was honored to host this year’s David Packard Distinguished Lecturer, James R. McFarlane, the founder and president of International Submarine Engineering, Ltd (ISE). McFarlane contributed to MBARI’s formative years as a critical advisor to David Packard and as a participant in several engineering reviews.
This month, the Monterey County Committee for the Employment of People with Disabilities will honor MBARI for the institution’s work with people having disabilities. Our Director of Human Resources Norm Steinberg commented, “From the employer side, we are hiring individuals who want to do a good job, and can consistently be counted on. It’s always easier to work with people who enjoy being here. This positive energy has a contagious effect on others.”
Scientists are extremely interested in the Arctic seafloor because it has undergone very dramatic changes due to climate change. In collaboration with Canadian colleagues, MBARI researchers led by Charles Paull embarked on a Canadian icebreaker, the CCGS Sir Wilfred Laurier, to explore the unique undersea geology of the area.
MBARI’s underwater robot, Tethys, just came back from two continuous weeks at sea, where MBARI scientists used it to study harmful algal blooms as part of the Fall 2013 CANON experiment. When the researchers pulled the long-range autonomous underwater vehicle (LRAUV) from the water, they discovered large scrapes on its sides.
The Sampling and Identifying Marine Zooplankton (SIMZ) project of Senior Scientist Robert Vrijenhoek’s laboratory aims to further understand the ecology and genetic diversity of marine zooplankton. MBARI team members and outside collaborators sampled from the R/V Rachel Carson to target subsurface chlorophyll layers in northern Monterey Bay.
Many deep-sea animals such as anglerfish use parts of their body as lures to attract prey. Some deep-sea squids may use this strategy as well. In a recent paper, researchers associated with MBARI describe a deep-sea squid that appears to use a different method to lure prey—its tentacle tips flap and flutter as if swimming on their own.