Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
Press Room
News from MBARI — 2007
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View MBARI research stories and researcher web pages grouped by topic.
 
News Brief — 3 Dec 2007:
New report describes sources of carbon dioxide in the U.S.

MBARI oceanographer Francisco Chavez served as one of two lead authors on the Coastal Ocean chapter of the recently released State of the Carbon Cycle Report.
^The First State of the Carbon Cycle Report tallies up U.S. sources and sinks of carbon dioxide.

News Brief — 16 Nov 2007:
A new generation of robotic explorers

Autonomous robots that can "think for themselves" will soon be exploring and monitoring the dark depths of the ocean as well as the frontiers of outer space.
^MBARI's Dorado autonomous underwater vehicle explores beneath the Arctic ice.

Feature story — 3 Oct 2007:
Changes in the deep

Abyssal plains—vast expanses of flat seafloor 3,000 meters to 6,000 meters deep—make up almost half of the earth's surface. Because the physical environment of the deep sea doesn't change very much over time, it's easy to assume that communities of deep sea animals don't change much either. However, a recent paper by MBARI postdoctoral fellow Henry Ruhl shows that the number and sizes of deep-sea animals can change dramatically from year to year.
^One common sea cucumber on the abyssal plain off California is this beautifully colored species called Psychropotes longicauda.

Feature story — 12 Sept 2007:
All in a day's work

The crews of MBARI's research vessels are some of the institute's unsung heroes, often spending long hours at sea helping researchers recover expensive instruments or bizarre sea creatures from the ocean depths. During a recent cruise, however, the crew of the Point Lobos came ashore with an unexpected "by-catch"—four cold, tired kayakers.
^The research vessel Point Lobos returns to Moss Landing Harbor on a relatively calm afternoon.

News Brief — 5 Sept 2007:
New exhibit on MBARI research opens at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Starting on September 15, 2007, visitors to the Monterey Bay Aquarium will be able to experience the thrill of deep-sea exploration in a new exhibit, Mission to the Deep.
^The new "Mission to the Deep" exhibit allows aquarium visitors to run simulated research dives in the deep sea.

News Brief — 31 Aug 2007:
Inking in the dark

Many shallow-water octopuses and squids release ink when disturbed. In the pitch black environment of the deep sea, such releases might seem like a waste of effort.
^A deep-sea squid releases ink for MBARI's video cameras.

News Release — 24 July 2007:
Humboldt squid on the move

Over the last five years, large, predatory Humboldt squid have moved north from equatorial waters and invaded the sea off Central California, where they may be decimating populations of Pacific hake, an important commercial fish.
^Two Humboldt squid stalk a small fish in Monterey Bay.

Feature story — 11 July 2007:
Highlights of MBARI's 2007 Open House

On Saturday, June 30, MBARI opened its doors to the general public for its annual Open House. Over 100 MBARI employees and other volunteers, including scientists, engineers, machinists, ROV pilots, and ships' crews, shared their excitement about MBARI research. Two of MBARI's research ships were at the dock for public viewing, along with remotely operated vehicles, autonomous underwater vehicles, and the deep-sea benthic rover.
^Kids of all ages enjoyed making and testing their own remotely operated vehicles in wading pools set up in the MBARI parking lot.

News Release — 3 July 2007:
Scaling a scientific Tower of Babel

Two new reports recommend that in order to increase interconnectivity between oceanographic sensors and data-processing systems, the designers, manufacturers, and end users of these systems must connect with one another to find areas of agreement and work toward common goals and standards.
^As more and more instruments are hooked up to ocean observatories, ocean engineers must find new ways to get these instruments to work together.

News Release — 21 June 2007:
Antarctic Icebergs: hotspots of ocean life

According to a new study in this week’s journal Science, Antarctic icebergs—some as large as a dozen miles across—are having a major impact on the ecology of the ocean around them, serving as “hotspots” for ocean life, with thriving communities of seabirds above and a web of phytoplankton, krill, and fish below.
^New research shows that the waters around drifting icebergs support an abundance of marine life.

News Brief — 30 May 2007:
MBARI 2006 annual report highlights exciting new research

Many people think of annual reports as pages of legal jargon punctuated by long tables of financial information. MBARI's annual reports, however, provide much more interesting fare, since they contain detailed descriptions of some of the most exciting research to come out of MBARI during the previous calendar year.
^The cover of MBARI's 2006 annual report highlights the use of genetic material to monitor marine microorganisms.

News Brief — 8 May 2007:
MBARI's ROV Ventana completes 3,000 science dives

MBARI's first remotely operated vehicle, ROV Ventana, reached a new milestone today with the completion of its 3,000th research dive.
^ROV Ventana being lowered into Monterey Bay.

News Brief — 26 April 2007:
Need a water sample? Send out the robot

In the near future, when MBARI scientists want to collect a sample of seawater, they won't have to go out in a boat—they'll just send out a robot submarine.
^MBARI mechanical engineering technician Larry Bird installs sampling chambers in the "gulper" AUV.

News Release — 4 April 2007:
Cable laid for new deep-sea observatory

On April 1, 2007 researchers completed an important step in constructing the first deep-sea cabled observatory in the continental United States. In a multi-institution effort managed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) and funded by the National Science Foundation, 52 kilometers (32 miles) of cable were laid along the seafloor of Monterey Bay.
^In one of the last steps in the cable-laying process, the trawl-resistant frame for the MARS observatory was lowered into Monterey Bay.

News Brief — 9 Mar 2007:
MBARI researchers perform first DNA analysis in the deep sea

In a culmination of seven years of work, MBARI researchers this week performed the first automated analysis of genetic material in the deep sea.
^MBARI electrical engineer Scott Jensen prepares the environmental sample processor for its first deep-water sampling mission.

Feature story — 7 March 2007:
A worm like no other

It sounds like a junior high school riddle—"What lives 3,000 feet below the ocean surface, is about the size of a marble, and looks like the back side of a pig?" MBARI biologist Karen Osborn and her co-workers recently came up with an answer to this riddle by combining modern DNA analysis with traditional methods of scientific observation.
^This is a worm? Chaetopterus pugaporcinus typically drifts in the "midwater," about 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) below the ocean surface.

News Brief — 22 Feb 2007:
New species of hagfish found near hydrothermal vent

While diving near hydrothermal vents on the East Pacific Rise in the human-occupied submarine Alvin, MBARI marine biologist Joe Jones spotted a hagfish swimming along the seafloor. It turned out to be a new species, which was recently named Eptatretus strickrotti, after Bruce Strickrott, the pilot who captured it.
^The newly named hagfish swimming over pillow lava on the East Pacific Rise.

News Brief — 16 Feb 2007:
MBARI researchers discuss ocean-observing systems at AAAS conference

This week, several MBARI researchers are speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Francisco.
^The surface buoy of MBARI's Shepard Meander ocean observatory.

News Release — 5 February 2007:
Methane bubbling through seafloor creates undersea hills

According to a recent paper published by MBARI geologists and their colleagues, methane gas bubbling through seafloor sediments has created hundreds of low hills on the floor of the Arctic Ocean. These enigmatic features, which can grow up to 40 meters (130 feet) tall and several hundred meters across, have puzzled scientists ever since they were first discovered in the 1940s.
^This conceptual drawing shows how underwater hills ("pingo-like features") may form as methane gas bubbles up from underneath the Arctic seafloor.

News Brief — 19 Jan 2007:
MBARI president addresses women's science conference

On January 10, 2007, MBARI president and CEO Marcia McNutt spoke at a conference for women leaders in science, technology and engineering at the Arab Organizations Headquarters in Kuwait.
^MBARI president and CEO Marcia McNutt.

Last updated: Apr. 22, 2009