During the past decade, oceanographers have become much more aware of
the fact that most oceanic cycles are not steady state processes. Instead,
many marine biogeochemical cycles are driven by short-term and sporadic
events. Such events include storms, periodic upwelling, and blooms, that
are difficult to observe with traditional coarse-resolution methods. These
phenomena can best be observed by continuous in situ measurements over
extended time periods. The further understanding of these non-steady state
processes requires autonomous in situ instrumentation capable of long-term
deployments. Although a variety of such instruments exist for measuring
physical and optical characteristics (which are sometimes used to calculate
biological properties), there is a distinct lack of such instruments for
the direct monitoring of dissolved and particulate chemical concentrations.
Such basic detection systems are needed to make direct observations of
the chemical links between physical forcing and biological responses within
the ocean, as well as to monitor the natural temporal variability of important
biogeochemical tracers. These instruments, therefore, have a wide area
of applicability in oceanography; from monitoring estuaries, to open oceans,
to pore waters, as well as other aquatic environments. Monterey Bay provides
an ideal environment for developing and using such instruments as well
as for studying sporadic highly variable events, while MBARI offers the
unique situation to develop, use and export these technologies.
My long-range objectives include the continued development of novel
chemical analyzers and samplers for reliable determinations of dissolved
chemicals in seawater, and their use in studying biogeochemical cycles.
During the past several years, my efforts have primarily focused on the
development and use of long-term osmotically pumped analyzers (OsmoAnalyzers),
which are currently deployed on eight moorings in the Pacific and Atlantic
Oceans. Recently, however, I have significantly expanded my work by further
developing long-term osmotically pumped samplers (OsmoSamplers) for the
continuous monitoring of pore fluids in sediment and rock. I also started
a cooperative venture to design and build solid-state chemical analyzers
based on silicon-wafer. I envision these novel analyzers as a vehicle to
bring many more complex chemistries, including bioassays, into the ocean,
thereby putting MBARI on the cutting edge of environmental chemistry.
I plan to continue working with colleagues by developing and using these
instruments to test scientifically relevant hypotheses, and to take advantage
of opportunities, both within and outside MBARI, that combine scientific
needs with technological solutions.
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