Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

2010 projects

Institute initiatives

The Ocean in a High CO2 World

Project Manager: Ed Peltzer
Lead Scientists: Peter Brewer, Jim Barry
Lead Engineer: Bill Kirkwood
Project website

The inevitable association of higher CO2 levels with climate change and lower oxygen levels, and the consequential cascade of ocean policy issues will bring additional complexity that only a team effort can address. This project coordinates efforts within the Ocean Chemistry and Benthic Ecology labs to develop systems and methods for small-scale perturbation experiments in the laboratory and at sea. These experiments expose marine animals to the conditions that will likely represent the ocean of the late 21st century. The project team plans to communicate these findings to policy makers and make these systems and knowledge available to users world-wide.

Free Ocean Carbon Dioxide Enrichment (FOCE)

Project Manager: Bill Kirkwood
Lead Scientist: Peter Brewer
Project website

The team will begin pursuing a shallow-water version of the FOCE system: a chamber that simulates the high-CO2 ocean of the future, that will allow multiple replicate experiments at a nearshore site that targets biological communities on sand or mud seafloors at depths less than 20 meters. Advantages of this redesign are the reduction of costs, quicker results, and an increased relevance to the external science community. Meanwhile, modest changes will be made to the current deep-water design to make it fully operational, with real-time experimental control from shore via the MARS cable.

Modification of In-Situ Respirometers for Ocean Acidification Studies

Project Manager: Bob Herlien
Lead Scientist: Jim Barry, Bruce Robison
Lead Engineer: Craig Okuda

In this final year of development, upgrade and testing of MBARI’s respirometers will be completed to allow perturbation experiments on midwater and benthic animals under controlled levels of CO2 enrichment. More chambers allow for an adequate number of controls for experiments, and gas impermeable materials will be substituted to prevent contamination. The new design will reduce the cost of ship time to get the same amount of information. Electrical and mechanical injector and extraction pumps allow reagents to be added to the chambers and samples to be extracted. The project team will also complete the design and construction of toolsled add-ons for deploying the midwater system on ROV Doc Ricketts and elevator add-ons for using the benthic system with ships of opportunity.

Biodiversity Initiative

Lead Scientists: Jim Barry, Steve Haddock, Charlie Paull, Bruce Robison, Ken Smith, Bob Vrijenhoek, Alexandra Worden
Lead Engineer: Duane Edgington

A group of MBARI researchers are undertaking a feasibility study for an MBARI initiative in biodiversity. Early efforts will focus on mining the Video Annotation and Reference System (VARS) database for baseline information and insight and use of models and hypothesis testing to guide how many different time series sites to select and where to place them.

Controlled, Agile, and Novel Observing Network (CANON)

Project Manager: Francisco Chavez
Lead Scientists: Francisco Chavez, Sergey Frolov, Kanna Rajan, John Ryan, Steve Ramp, Chris Scholin, Bob Vrijenhoek, Alexandra Worden
Lead Engineer: Jim Bellingham
Project website

These MBARI researchers are pursuing an institute initiative to improve understanding of complex physical and biological processes that lead to ephemeral features in the ocean, such as harmful algal blooms. In this first year, developments in AUVs, adaptive sampling/control, sensors, samplers, drifters/moorings, and models will be united into major spring and fall field programs.

Last updated: Feb. 04, 2015