Skidaway Institute graduate students Kun Ma and Lixin Zhu recently joined a science cruise on the Research Vessel Savannah off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. The cruise, which ran from May 31-June 5, was led by Jeffrey Book from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory. The main objective of this cruise was to test and demonstrate the use of gliders together in teams and to assimilate the data into ocean forecast models. The cruise was 22 days in total, divided into three legs. Ma and Zhu were part of the third leg.
Kun Ma cocking the Niskin bottles on a Conductivity-Temperature-Depth array.
Ma is a new University of Georgia doctoral student at Skidway, working mainly on a National Science Foundation-funded photochemistry project with professors Jay Brandes and Aron Stubbins. This was her first science cruise and she collected some particulate organic matter and dissolved inorganic carbon samples. She also helped Skidaway Institute researcher Bill Savidge by collecting some chlorophyll samples in order to calibrate the chlorophyll sensor on the CTD instrument, an instrument used to collect water samples and measure those samples’ properties, such as Conductivity (a proxy for salinity), Temperature and Depth.
Lixin Zhu in immersion suit during safety trainning
Zhu is a visiting doctoral student in Aron Stubbins’s lab from East China Normal University. He collected filtered water samples on the cruise. Zhu will analyze the color and fluorescence of dissolved organic matter, and dissolved black carbon concentrations. In addition, Zhu performed solid phase extraction and collected high-resolution real-time data on colored organic matter with the underway scientific computer system on the ship. Eventually, he will combine these data with other field data collected in the South Atlantic Bight area to see the overall dynamics of dissolved black carbon.
“I am glad that we overcame seasickness, and it’s really cool to see that the glider team controlled six gliders at the same time aboard,” Zhu said. “Furthermore, their working approach and decision making process, based on real-time data, modeling and satellite results, impressed me a lot.”
A group of local high school students got an up-close look at oceanography through a special program at UGA’s Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. The students were participants in the Savannah Science Seminar, a nine-month-long program designed to promote an understanding and appreciation for science through informative, participatory presentations and hands-on workshops in the fields of engineering, technology, mathematics and the medicine.
Julia Diaz profiles some of her research.
Their March 27 visit to Skidaway Institute exposed them to some of the topics studied and techniques used in marine research.
Skidaway Institute scientist Julia Diaz organized the evening’s program. After an introductory talk by researcher Jim Sanders, the students were split into three groups that rotated among three science stations.
Physical oceanographer Catherine Edwards explained the workings of autonomous underwater vehicles.
Catherine Edwards describes an AUV.
Graduate students Patrick Duffy and Sean Anderson demonstrated the new LIME imaging lab.
Patrick Duffy (2nd from right) and Sean Anderson (far right) introduce the students to cutting edge microbial imaging instruments.
Diaz and grad student Sydney Plummer discussed eutrophication and phytoplankton blooms.
UGA Skidaway Institute scientists Elizabeth Harvey (l) and Sasha Wagner ready to greet visitors at Earth Day celebration.
A team from Skidaway Institute participated in Savannah’s Earth Day celebration in Forsyth Park on Saturday, April 15. Manning an information booth, the group interacted with hundreds of visitors at the event and passed out copies of Skidaway Campus Notes newsletters and Skidaway Institute stickers. The participants included Elizabeth Harvey, Sasha Wagner, Lee Ann Deleo, Aron Stubbins, Thais Bittar, Dana Savidge, Julia Diaz, Christina Codden and Mike Sullivan.
Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary, in collaboration with Georgia Public Broadcasting, created a livestream virtual dive event on May 10 from the UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium. More than 35,000 viewers from as far away as Romania tuned in from their homes, schools and offices to dive into a 30-minute virtual field trip of Gray’s Reef, located approximately 20 miles off the coast of Georgia’s Sapelo Island. The virtual expedition included underwater surgery on a fish to insert a tagging transmitter and beautiful views of the vibrant and abundant marine life found at Gray’s Reef. Viewers learned how Gray’s Reef was formed, how the seafloor serves as a habitat and how they can help protect the reef from threats.
GPB host Ashley Mengwasser, GRNMS Superintendent Sarah Fangman and UGA research scientist Scott Noakes discuss Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary during the livestream. Photo M. Riley/GRNMS
The sanctuary’s communications coordinator, Michelle Riley, worked with GPB’s Education division in Atlanta to create the event using underwater footage of Gray’s Reef and featuring sanctuary superintendent Sarah Fangman and UGA researcher Scott Noakes as experts. Emily Woodward and her colleagues at UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant provided substantial support to the event, and aquarium staff updated the tanks with a colorful new interpretation of Gray’s Reef. UGA’s Skidaway Institute of Oceanography provided technical assistance, utilizing the expertise of senior system administrator Wayne Aaron.
Targeted to students, the livestream included a question-and-answer session with Fangman and Noakes, during which viewers submitted more than 1,000 questions. The event was accompanied by supplemental materials tailored to Georgia Department of Education standards for K-12. GPB had hoped for an audience of 3,000 – 5,000, and was pleased that the participation level was substantially higher than originally expected.
To view the archived event, go to http://www.gpb.org/education/explore/grays-reef.
The organizers of the 2017 Skidaway Island Marathon recently presented a donation of $600 to the Associates of Skidaway Institute. Endurance Race Services organized the March 25 race, which had both its start and finish lines on the UGA Skidaway Marine Science Campus. The marathon organizers support a number of area nonprofits with the race proceeds. This was the third year the Skidaway Island Marathon was based out of the Skidaway campus.
Dan Pavlin (l) from Endurance Race Services presents a check to Skidaway Institute interim executive director Clark Alexander.
UGA Skidaway Institute professor Jay Brandes is a collaborator on a recent publication focusing on the roles of methane, iron and microbes in regulating the temperature of the primordial ocean. The research team was led by Georgia Tech Ph.D. student Marcus Bray. An article describing the project, can be found here.
UGA’s Skidaway Institute of Oceanography launched its new website in April. Keeping the old URL, www.skio.uga.edu, the new site is more functional and visually appealing. The site was designed by Heideldesign, a Savannah-based firm, and the content was created by the Skidaway Institute’s staff.The new site is easily navigable and uses photography from the Skidaway Institute campus. It utilizes a blue color pallette and wave graphics to reflect the institute’s focus on the ocean world.
The main site content is divided into the research center’s four disciplinary areas, allowing visitors and prospective and current students to dig in deeper to the study area of their choice. Faculty members have their own profile pages as well as lab pages, and each faculty member can log on to the site and add information, files, videos and photos. In addition, the site provides a wealth of content, including images and videos, on Skidaway Institute research, operations, outreach and resources.
The new site is powered by the content management system WordPress, which means administrators can also easily add news releases, publications and other information, keeping site content fresh and up to date.