Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

2011 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 and with MBARI engineers to design, build, and deploy devices for controlled experiments on the effects of CO2 on the ocean. In addition, MBARI staff will work with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Hopkins Marine Station, the Naval Postgraduate School, and other local organizations in planning the Third International High CO2 Ocean Conference to be held in Monterey in 2012.

Free Ocean Carbon Dioxide Enrichment (FOCE)

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

The FOCE science and engineering team continues work on a deep water FOCE (D-FOCE) and expanded efforts on shallow-water versions of FOCE (S-FOCE) systems: a chamber that emulates the predicted high-CO2 / low pH ocean of the future. The FOCE systems will allow a wide variety of experiments at targeted sites to study impacts on biological communities located in diverse ocean environments from depths as shallow as a few meters to thousands of meters. We are in the planning phase of shallow-water FOCE experiments in Monterey Bay to determine engineering specifications, prepare a concept layout, and conduct a concept review. The Monterey Bay experiments, both deep and shallow, include input from Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station, the Center for Ocean Solutions, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and MBARI.

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.

Controlled, Agile, and Novel Observing Network (CANON)

Project Manager: Francisco Chavez
Lead Scientists: Francisco Chavez, Kanna Rajan, John Ryan, Chris Scholin, Ken Smith, 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. Field experiments in 2011 will build on lessons learned in the 2010 field programs, as well as further developments in vehicles, adaptive sampling and control, and modeling.

Using Learned Models to Improve Decision Support in CANON

Project Manager: Thom Maughan
Lead Scientist: Maria Fox

This project builds on MBARI Adjunct Maria Fox's innovative approach to modeling ocean phenomena of interest to the CANON initiative, such as intermediate nepheloid layers, fronts, and eddies. These models will use data from many of MBARI's past missions in a novel form of hidden Markov model to support decision-making and anomaly detection.

Deep Ocean Change Feasibility Study

Project Manager: Bruce Robison
Lead Scientists: Steve Haddock, Charles Paull, Ken Smith, Bob Vrijenhoek
Lead Engineer: Duane Edgington

These MBARI researchers will work with Video Lab staff to develop and improve visual data collection protocols (e.g. to correct for inconsistencies such as ROV speed, areas sampled, time spent at various depths). They will continue to explore external tools for visualizing, mapping, modeling, and analyzing, using MBARI archival data to characterize and understand the changes taking place in the deep ocean.

Last updated: Sep. 02, 2014