- Today the Leg 2 science party disembarked from the NOAA Ship Nancy Foster for various locations (for most, a 7-hour drive home to Harbor Branch), after completing a very successful expedition. See the upcoming final blog by Chief Scientist John Reed that will summarize the whole cruise.
Immersion in Ocean Sciences
An important part of CIOERT’s mission is education. Both legs of the FLoSEE Expedition II included graduate students, the second of a series of CIOERT “Ocean Discovery” cruises that will increase “hands-on”, at-sea, multi-disciplinary opportunities for university students in the CIOERT region, with each cruise focused on one or more of CIOERT’s themes. The goal of this program is to facilitate students to become successful scientists through active participation and immersion in a multi-disciplinary ocean sciences research and monitoring cruise, followed by a rigorous, laboratory-based oceanographic research course. This year’s cruise is a preface to a course, Immersion in Ocean Sciences, which is being taught this fall at HBOI-FAU, with Dr. Dennis Hanisak as the lead instructor. Each student will do a project initiated on FLoSEE II, work with one or more of the CIOERT faculty as mentors, submit a written research paper, and present a scientific poster in our CIOERT Student Symposium in December.
What better way to learn about the expectations for this educational opportunity then to introduce this year’s six Immersion in Ocean Sciences students?
Jennifer Grima, M.S. Student, Department of Biological Sciences, FAU; Major Advisor: Dr. Shirley Pomponi, HBOI-FAU
Four FAU graduate students on Leg 1 of FLoSEE II (from left to right): Noelle Notarnicola, Drew Krupski, Jenny Grima, and Courtney Kehler. (Photo Credit: CIOERT)
I graduated from FAU in the summer of 2009 and began working as a lab technician for Dr. Shirley Pomponi at Harbor Branch. As a lab tech, my main goal in my research was to enhance techniques for developing a continually diving sponge cell line. Since I became a graduate student, I have been working on a project that still pertains to my main goal, but in a more concentrated area dealing with one specific sponge that produces a compound that has been found to have antitumor activity. I was premed as an undergrad and have always been interested in the medical field. It’s been motivating and humbling knowing that my work may be a stepping stone towards developing and enhancing the production of drugs used for cancer. Besides working on my project, Dr. Pomponi has given me so many rare opportunities such as travelling to Spain and Panama for sponge workshops, I was able to be a part of the CIOERT cruise last year and went down in the submersible, and this year I was able to join the rest of the crew on FLoSEE II. Being at sea is an experience like no other. It gives you the chance to learn new techniques, meet new people, be a part of some really amazing projects, and add some more adventure to life!
Courtney Kehler, M.S. Student, Environmental Sciences Program, FAU; Major Advisor: Dr. Brian Lapointe, HBOI-FAU
I am a second year master’s student doing my thesis project on alkaline phosphatase activity in reef macroalgae of South Florida. I am on board the FLoSEE cruise as part of my graduate class Immersion in Ocean Science. This is my first research cruise.
Andrew Krupski, M.S. Student, Ocean Engineering, FAU; Major Advisor: Dr. James Van Zwieten, Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center
Three FAU graduate students on Leg 2 of FLoSEE II (from left to right): Richard Mulroy, Noelle Notarnicola, and Courtney Kehler. (Photo Credit: CIOERT)
I am working on my Master’s degree in Ocean Engineering. On this cruise, my major responsibility was the deployment of a Bluefin Spray glider AUV. Working with Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) was the focus of my undergraduate studies at the University of Rhode Island, and I had been trying to get out on a research cruise for a long time, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity for me. I became an Ocean Engineer because I love the ocean, so it’s been a great experience to get to see the living side of it, as opposed to the physical and engineering aspects I’ve been studying. These types of hands-on operations are my favorite part of being an engineering student, but unfortunately sometimes they can be few and far between. That is why I feel very fortunate that I was able to come on the FloSEE II cruise, and I’ll be the first to sign up the next time I get a chance to go to sea again.
Bethany Lieuwen, M.S. Student, Biological Sciences, FAU; Major Advisor: Dr. James Hartmann, Department of Biological Sciences
Being only a couple weeks into my Masters program at Florida Atlantic University, I was apprehensive doing a cruise like this. I am relatively immature in my research and experience in research at sea; I don’t even know what my master’s thesis research is going to be on! I chose to do a class like this for an experience I have never been presented with before. This is my first research cruise and my first taste of real scientific research. I am not quite sure what my research focus is going to be on this cruise, although I’m hoping it is going to be fish-focused. I am kind of a nerd about fishes, although I haven’t had the opportunity to study them as thoroughly as I would like to.
Richard Mulroy, M.S. Biological Sciences Student, FAU; Major Advisor: Dr. Paul Wills, HBOI-FAU
I am currently a graduate student at FAU, researching aquaculture at HBOI. I will be working with a team at HBOI on an integrated multi-trophic aquaculture system. In this type of system, multiple species of organisms, feeding at different trophic levels, are raised in same system. Species such as fish and shrimp are fed a prepared diet and other species, such as oysters and macroalgae, extract nutrients from the “waste” of the fed species. I have taken many courses in aquaculture, marine biology, and marine science at HBOI. This course, Immersion in Ocean Science, was a unique opportunity for adventure and education on-board a working research vessel. Everything has been new and exciting, from viewing deep-sea coral habitats via the ROV to identifying sponges and gorgonians by viewing their spicules through a microscope. My project for this course will be to compare data of the water quality at the sites we visit that was collected by the CTD.
Noelle Notarnicola, M.S. Biological Sciences Student, FAU; Major Advisor: Dr. Tammy Frank, NOVA Southeastern University
I am an FAU Master’s student working under the guidance of Dr. Tammy Frank of NOVA Southeastern University. My Master’s project is a quantitative assessment of zooplankton in the Gulf of Mexico focusing on copepods, chaetognaths, and fish larvae. I will be using the MOCNESS to collect plankton samples at various depths in the water column on this trip to use for my Master’s thesis. I am also out on this cruise as a student in FAU-HBOI’s Immersion in Ocean Science graduate course. I am a former FAU-HBOI Semester By The Sea student and this is my fifth research cruise.
Want to know more about FLoSEE?
See: http://cioert.org/flosee/blog/immersion-in-ocean-sciences/ to read about our Immersion in Ocean Sciences students on our 2010 Florida Shelf Edge Exploration (FLoSEE).