AOML's Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division


OCED News

August 17, 2015


Ocean Carbon Cycle

● The paper "The Reinvigoration of the Southern Ocean Carbon Sink" was accepted for publication in Science:
Landschützer, P., Gruber, N., Haumann, F.A., Rödenbeck, C., Bakker, D.C.E., van Heuven, S., Hoppema, M., Metzl, N., Sweeney, C., Takahashi, T., Tilbrook, B., Wanninkhof, R., 2015. The reinvigoration of the Southern Ocean carbon sink. Science accepted.

"Several studies have suggested that the carbon sink in the Southern Ocean - the ocean's strongest region for uptake of anthropogenic CO2 - has weakened in recent decades. Here, we demonstrate on the basis of multi-decadal analyses of surface ocean CO2 observations that this weakening trend stopped around 2002 and that by 2012, the Southern Ocean had regained its expected strength based on the growth of atmospheric CO2."


Coral Health and Monitoring

● A paper by OCED researchers Ian Enochs, Derek Manzello, Graham Kolodziej, Lauren Valentino, and Renee Carlton entitled "Shift from coral to macroalgae dominance on a volcanically acidified reef" was reported on by several news organizations last week after it was published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article31082493.html
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150810123706.htm
http://gizmodo.com/this-is-what-the-ocean-might-look-like-in-100-years-1723279241
http://www.iflscience.com/environment/volcanic-vents-reveal-bleak-future-oceans
http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060023403


● "Volcano may predict health of reefs" was a front-page story in the Miami Herald on Sunday (15-Aug). The story, totaling 30 column-inches, described work headed by Ian Enochs and published in this week's Nature Climate Change. The work examined coral reefs at Maug Island, in the Marianas, where natural sources of CO2 provide a natural setting for the effects of elevated CO2 predicted for the world's oceans. Ian is quoted extensively in the story (http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article31082493.html).


● The Coral Reef Early Warning System (CREWS) station (engineered by OCED researchers and contractors) at St. Croix was installed April, 2002 and went live for near real-time data transmission in June, 2002. It was then re-installed with a new architecture on September 23, 2006. Throughout that time, the station has continued to transmit data and produce ecological forecasts, while the Coral Health and Monitoring Program (CHAMP) team worked to help ensure quality data were collected and forwarded to NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program. The station continued to operate through several storms, though in its latter years, a CTD exploded and ruptured part of the pylon, compromising the integrity of the station. The station was operational for nearly twelve years, and for almost eight uninterrupted years in its current form. During August 12-13, 2015 the station was decommissioned and removed by John Halas of Environmental Moorings International, Inc., and Mike Shoemaker of OCED, both of whom were both involved in its original installation. Hopefully the pylon will be replaced in the future by a buoy (funding uncertain) of the latest CREWS design.



Ecosystem Assessment and Modeling

● Lindsey Visser is out conducting the August survey of juvenile sportfish in Florida Bay. Temperatures and Salinity in July were record breaking with temperatures as high as 38°C and salinities over 65. Hopefully, these salinities and temperatures will decrease due to the recent rainfall over south Florida.


August 11, 2015


Coral Health and Monitoring

● Ian Enochs, Derek Manzello, Graham Kolodziej, Lauren Valentino, Renee Carlton, and collaborators from CRED, Scripps, the Bigelow Laboratory, and BECQ in Saipan published a paper entitled Shift from Coral to Macroalgae Dominance on a Volcanically Acidified Reef in the journal Nature Climate Change. This paper describes the carbonate chemistry of a volcanic CO2 seep at Maug Island, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) which closely mimics that predicted to occur globally by the year 2100. The gradient in acidified water at the site is correlated with a shift from a coral-dominated to a less-desirable, algae-dominated community and indicates a possible outcome for US coral reefs in the future. Ref: I.C. Enochs, Manzello, D.P., Donham, E.M., Kolodziej, G., Okano, R., Johnston, L., Young, C., Iguel, J., Edwards, C., Fox, M., Valentino, L., Johnson, S., Benavente, D., Clark, S.J., Carlton, R., Burton, T., Eynaud, Y., Price, N. (2015) Shift from coral to macroalgae dominance on a volcanically acidified reef. Nature Climate Change.


● Along with other OCED researchers, Ian Enochs visited the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) on Little Cayman from August 3-6. There he met with Drs. Carrie Manfrino, Kristi Foster, and Tom Frazer about developing collaborations at the institute as well as presented his research on the effects of ocean acidification on coral reefs to both NSF REU students and visiting scientists.


August 3, 2015


Land Based Sources of Pollution

● Lew Gramer's Turbidity project is now using in-water measurements to calibrate and validate satellite estimates of turbidity for reefs. For this purpose, Coral Health and Monitoring Program partners Mana Amornthammarong and Mike Shoemaker developed an instrument which can measure turbidity in continuous autonomous operation for up to two weeks in shallow waters (Figure 1). The instrument was deployed on July 30 off of the Port of Miami with the assistance of NOAA Corps officers Michael Doig, Ben Vandine, Marc Weekley, and James Europe. Generally, in situ turbidity instruments can foul rapidly, but short data records (days to weeks) are used by CHAMP collaborators at the USF to improve reliability of longer term turbidity tracking using MODIS and other remote sensing tools. The results are high-resolution maps, historical time series, and quantitative near-real time alerts of turbidity events that may affect living marine resources. Target sites for future field measurements in the project are being evaluated.


Coral Health and Monitoring

● On July 28 a team consisting of Derek Manzello, Renée Carlton and Mike Jankulak visited the Cheeca Rocks MApCO2 buoy just off the coast of Islamorada in the Florida Keys. This is part of a series of visits to repair extensive damage to the buoy that occurred at the end of May, possibly in a misguided attempt to moor a boat. After the visit they expect the buoy's pCO2 systems (both seawater and air) and CTD (with add-on fluorometer and optode) to be fully functional.

● Xaymara Serrano (OCED) recently traveled to Little Cayman's Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI, Figure 2), as part of OCED's lecture series to summer REU (Research Education for Undergraduates) students conducting research at CCMI. Xaymara gave a well-received hour talk entitled Coral reef symbiosis, connectivity and impacts of thermal stress and nutrient pollution on early life stages. Xaymara also had the opportunity to meet individually with students and dive at their field study sites. She also met with Kristi Foster and Tom Sparke from CCMI, and with researchers Dr. Karstein Shein (NOAA) and Dr. Steffen Hetzinger (GEOMAR, Germany), to discuss project ideas and potential research collaborations.


July 20, 2015


Ocean Carbon Cycle

● The following paper was published: Patsavas, M.C., Byrne, R.H., Wanninkhof, R., Feely, R.A., Cai, W.J., 2015. Internal consistency of marine carbonate system measurements and assessments of aragonite saturation state: Insights from two U.S. coastal cruises. Mar. chem. 176, 9-20. This paper, led by Mark Patsavas and Robert Byrne of the University of South Florida, employed data sets from the Pacific, Gulf and East coasts. The primary conclusion was that calculations of in situ aragonite saturation states (ΩA) near the saturation horizon exhibited differences on the order of ±10% between predictions based on the (DIC, TA) pair of measurements vs. the (pH, DIC), (fCO2, DIC), or (fCO2, pH) pairs. Differences of this magnitude, which are largely attributable to the imprecision of ΩA calculated from the (DIC, TA) pair, are roughly equivalent to the magnitude of ΩA change projected to occur over the next several decades due to ocean acidification. These observations highlight the importance of including either pH or fCO2 in saturation state calculations.


Coastal Oceanography

● On July 15, a sensor package developed by Natchanon Amornthammarong and Michael Shoemaker at AOML for in-situ measurements of turbidity was deployed in the nearshore coastal waters (25°44'57.3"N, 80°7'59.0"W) for a 2-week period (Figure 1). The resulting data will allow calibration and validation of an algorithm to estimate nephelometric turbidity unit (NTU) time series from the ocean color data in key areas of the ocean, across the full data period of MODIS Aqua (2002-present). The work is part of a Lew Gramer's three-year project Turbidity sensor for in-situ measurement of sediment on reefs and adjacent coastal areas funded by NOAA CRCP to monitor turbidity over shallow reef waters in southeast Florida, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.


● The penultimate Numeric Nutrient Criteria cruise was conducted on the R/V Hildebrand on July 13 and 14 (Figure 2). The Crew included our two NOAA Corps officers Ben Vandine, Marc Weekley, with NOAA employees Joe Bishop, Jack Stamates and Tom Carsey, CIMAS employee Maribeth Gidley, and intern Aaron Hale from the University of Miami. The cruise went well with excellent weather. The final cruise of the project will take place in September.


July 6, 2015


Environmental Microbiology

● Scientists from the Broward County Environmental Monitoring Laboratory visited AOML (29-June through 2-July) to participate in further training on methods for molecular microbial source tracking (MST) conducted by the AOML microbiology program. This is part of AOML's ongoing technology transfer efforts for these MST techniques to better help other agencies, academic institutions, resource managers, policy makers, stakeholder groups, and the private sector to detect and track land-based sources of pollution and to help guide remediation efforts.


June 29, 2015


Coral Health and Monitoring

● Jim Hendee has teamed up with Karsten Shein of the National Centers for Environmental Information (NESDIS/NCEI) and researchers from the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) to examine local scale variability of temperature and light structures over the coral reefs surrounding Little Cayman Island. Collecting and analyzing these important data will allow enhancement of NOAA's coral reef ecological forecasting tools (e.g., Bleaching Alert, http://coralreefwatch.noaa.gov/satellite/index.php) as well as understanding the sufficiency of regional-scale observations to monitor for environmental threats to the reefs. The data also are assisting researchers from Germany and Japan in reconstructing paleoclimate records from nearby coral cores - records that will ultimately inform future global climate scenarios; researchers from Florida Atlantic University who are connecting water conditions to algal growth on the reefs, and CCMI researchers who are investigating why some reefs are more resilient than others over small distances. Lastly, this project is providing an NSF-funded research experience for an undergraduate student, Miranda Camp, from Stetson University in Florida.





June 22, 2015


Coral Health and Monitoring

● Xaymara Serrano visited the Little Cayman's Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) June 25-29th as part of AOML's lecture series aimed at introducing undergraduates conducting summer research at the Institute to AOML's research, as well as establishing new and potential collaborations. Xaymara's talk was entitled is Synergistic Effects of Eutrophication and Elevated SST in the Early Life Stages of Two Caribbean Corals.


Environmental Microbiology

● Chris Sinigalliano and Maribeth Gidley and their interns have been quite active with Ocean Sampling Day (http://oceansamplingday.blogspot.com.) on June 21-22. On the 21st they sampled the waters of Tampa Bay, on the 22nd their group sampled the waters near Pt. Everglades on the R/V Hildebrand with MAST intern Emma Bennett, in the afternoon they were at Long Key in the Florida Keys. Ocean Sampling Day was initiated by the EU-funded Micro B3 (Marine Microbial Biodiversity, Bioinformatics, Biotechnology) project to obtain a snapshot of the marine microbial biodiversity and function of the world's oceans. It is a simultaneous global mega-sequencing campaign aiming to generate the largest standardized microbial data set in a single day. This will be achievable only through the coordinated efforts of an Ocean.


June 15, 2015


Awards

● Kelly Goodwin, Chris Kelble, and Rik Wanninkhof have each been selected to receive a "Certificate of Appreciation" award from the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs at the Department of State for their contributions to the World Ocean Assessment Review Process (www.worldoceanassessment.org) earlier this year. The award ceremony is scheduled for June 29 in the George Marshall Center, Washington DC.


Ocean Carbon Cycle

● Charles Featherstone attended the NOAA Ocean Acidification Workshop in La Jolla, CA, June 1-4.


Environmental Microbiology

● Christopher Sinigalliano and Maribeth Gidley attended a meeting of the American Society of Microbiology in New Orleans (May 31-June 4). They presented research from their NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Project in a presentation entitled Utilization of 16S Metagenomic Analysis and Molecular Microbial Source Tracking to Characterize the Microbial Diversity and Potential Influence from Land-Based Sources of Pollution for Sentinel Coral Reefs in Southeast Florida.

● The Microbiology Program Summer Student Interns are starting their summer internship at AOML today. We welcome Michael Goldberg, an undergraduate student from Emory University, Kristina Thoren, an undergraduate from University of Miami, and Casey Almendarez, a High School student from Miami Lakes Educational Center. We also have Daniel Morales as a continuing student intern this summer, who is now a freshman undergraduate student with Miami-Dade College. All of our interns will be participating in a summer microbiology research program focusing on molecular water quality assessment and metagenomic characterization of microbial communities from coastal and oceanic ecosystems. This includes projects analyzing molecular data for the Coral Reef Conservation Program, global Ocean Sampling Day, and bather exposure studies at local beaches.


Ecosystem Assessment and Modeling

● Chris Kelble was in Dallas/Ft. Worth to participate in the Gulf of Mexico Regional Coordination Team Meeting as the OAR representative on June 1-4. The meeting's aims were 1) Discuss expectations for future Team function and individual engagement; 2) Revisit and refine the team's mission and goals; 3) Identify and prioritize strategic regional themes for FY16 and beyond; 4) Consider how national level NOAA activities and priorities impact the region; and 5) Discuss desired team form, function, and activities in light of identified goals and themes.


Coral Health and Monitoring

● OCED's ACCRETE (Acidification, Climate and Coral Reef Ecosystems TEam) lab (Derek Manzello, Ian Enochs, Renee Carlton, Graham Kolodziej, Lauren Valentino, Paul Jones) successfully established the final of three sentinel climate and ocean acidification monitoring sites at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. ACCRETE completed the ambitious suite of OA eco-response activities owing to the exemplary work of the team and quiescent seas. The eco-response metrics include CaCO3 budget surveys, measurement of benthic ecosystem calcification and productivity utilizing the BEAMS (Benthic Ecosystem Acidification Monitoring System) system developed by Wade McGillis via support of NOAA's coral program, taking coral cores for historical growth and calcification, and deployment of ARMS, CAUS (Calcification Accretion Units), and BMUS (Bioerosion Monitoring Units). Sixty coral cores were obtained from Orbicella faveolata, Siderastrea siderea, Diploria strigosa, Colpophyllia natans, Porites astreoides, and Montastraea cavernosa. These cores will be analyzed in the new CT scanner being installed at AOML.

● Derek Manzello and Ian Enochs traveled to Wood's Hole Oceanographic Institute to attend the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program PI meeting that was held on 12 June.

● Derek Manzello was a co-author on a paper entitled Coupled chemical and biological monitoring to understand the impact of ocean acidification on coral reef ecosystems (Sutton A, Manzello DP, Gintert B, Oceanography 28(2):12-13, 2015) The paper offers a brief presentation of CO2 buoy data from ten coral reef sites around the world and how NOAA?s National Coral Reef Monitoring Program is working to document the progression of ocean acidification and its ecological impacts (Figure 5).


May 18, 2015


Environmental Microbiology

● Kelly Goodwin will be a keynote speaker in a professional development course developed by NOAA for educators, scientists, policy makers, and the interested public. The lecture, Marine Molecular Microbiology to Explore and Understand Biodiversity and Ecological Function, is part of a free, on-line course offered May 4 - 22 2015 at http://www.coexploration.org/oe2015/. In addition to learning about the importance of marine microbial diversity and how Citizen Scientists can participate in Global Ocean Sampling Day on June 21, 2015, participants have the option to earn one graduate credit from Ashland University during the first 3 weeks of the workshop. Kelly will present Ocean Sampling Day (June 21st) and other Nifty Marine Metagenomic Projects at the Northern California Water Quality Workgroup Meeting on May 14 and at the Southern California Water Quality Workgroup Meeting on May 20, 2015. On May 12, 2015, Dr. Goodwin lectured on Environmental Molecular Microbiology in an undergraduate-level Bioinformatics course (BILD94) at the University of California San Diego.


Ocean Carbon Cycle

● Kevin Sullivan and Rik Wanninkhof are co-authors of The An ammonium enrichment event in the surface ocean: Wind forcing and potential ramifications, authors K.A. Fanning, R.T. Masserini Jr, J. Walsh, R. Wanninkhoc, K. Sullivan, J.I. Virmani, and C.A. Heile, Marine Chemistry 174, 2015, pp 26-34, doi:10.1016/ j.marchem.2015.03.018. The paper describes the evolution of ammonia in surface water on the West Florida shelf in a deliberately injected inert tracer patch. The tracer component was led by K. Sullivan. The work was funded by ONR


Florida Area Coastal Environment

● The FACE team conducted their May Numeric Nutrient Criteria cruise in the coastal ocean off of Miami-Dade and Broward counties on May 19-20. On board were Mike Doig, Marc Weekley, Jack Stamates, Tom Carsey, Chuck Featherstone, Joe Bishop, and Maribeth Gidley (Figure 1 and 2).

● The following papers were published: Stamates, S.J. and T. P. Carsey, Measuring chemical loadings through inlets: Hillsboro and Boca Raton inlets (Florida, USA), Current, Waves and Turbulence Measurement (CWTM) Meeting, 2015 IEEE/OES-11, March 2-6 2015. doi: 10.1109/CWTM.2015.7098118. Carsey, T., J. Stamates, J.-Z. Zhang, F. Bloetscher., D. Meeroff. C. Featherstone, 2015, Point Source Nutrient Fluxes from an Urban Coast: the Boynton (Florida) Inlet, Environment and Natural Resources Research 5, 81-94. doi 10.5539/enrr.v5n2pxx.


May 11, 2015


Coral Health and Monitoring

● Ian Enochs recently published a paper in PloS One in which he has identified heterotrophy as a mechanism of resilience to ocean acidification stress in the endangered Caribbean coral Acropora cervicornis. Citation: Towle, E. K., I. C. Enochs, C. Langdon, 2015. Threatened Caribbean Coral Is Able to Mitigate the Adverse Effects of Ocean Acidification on Calcification by Increasing Feeding Rate. PLoS ONE 10(4): e0123394. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0123394

● Rubin Van Hooidoik's paper Projections of climate conditions that increase coral disease susceptibility and pathogen abundance and virulence (citation: Maynard, J. ,R. van Hooidonk, C. M. Eakin, M. Puotinen, M. Garren, G. Williams, S. F. Heron, J. Lamb, E. Weil, B. Willis and C. D. Harvell, 2015, Nature Climate Change doi:10.1038/nclimate2625) has been highlighted in Cornell University's Cornell Chronicle (http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2015/05/scientists-expect-more-coral-disease) as well as in the Coral List for May 5, 2015.

● Graham Kolodziej and Ian Enochs conducted work in Puerto Rico associated with the Coral Reef Conservation Program's National Coral Reef Monitoring Plan. Together with colleagues Dr. Daniel Moses Holstein and Viktor Brandtneris from the University of the Virgin Islands, they installed three subsurface temperature recorder (STR, Figure 1) arrays at Vieques, Culebra, and Isla Palominos. Kolodziej and Enochs installed an additional two arrays off of Arecibo and Jobos Bay, in northern and southern mainland Puerto Rico, respectively. A final array will be installed in Rincon in the coming weeks. Each STR array consists of high-accuracy Sea-Bird temperature loggers, deployed by divers at 1m, 5m, 15m, and 25m depth. Temperature is recorded every five minutes over a three-year period, at which point instruments will be replaced. At Jobos Bay, Kolodziej and Enochs worked closely with Angel Dieppa, the reserve's scientific coordinator, who provided field support and advice concerning site location. Following instrument deployment, they received a tour of the park's laboratory capabilities and monitoring programs, as well as the diverse ecosystems present there.

● The project entitled Synergistic effects of eutrophication and elevated sea surface temperatures in the early life stages of two Caribbean reef corals, led by Xaymara Serrano, Jim Hendee, Margaret Miller and Andrew Baker (UM/RSMAS) was selected for a second year award from the "Protect Our Reefs" Grants Program. This grant is funded by the sale of coral reef specialty license plates (Figure 2) and administered by Mote Marine Laboratory.

● Derek Manzello and Renee Carlton returned from a successful voyage to the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean in collaboration with the Living Oceans Foundation. Manzello and Carlton obtained coral cores and seawater chemistry measurements to establish ocean acidification baselines for this remote area with almost no human impacts, as well to determine if there have been any recent declines in coral growth that may be attributable to acidification. During the course of the mission, mass coral bleaching was observed on many reefs, primarily impacting tabulate acroporid corals, as well as corals in the genera Pocillopora and Seriatopora (Figure 3). Seawater temperatures were warm the entire trip, ranging from 29 to >31°C at all 54 reefs surveyed. Sea conditions were very calm, exhibiting doldrum-like characteristics of little wind. This likely contributed to bleaching via enhanced penetration of light into the water column.


Ocean Carbon Cycle

● The ocean carbon group contributed observations to the annual assessment Global Carbon Budget 2014; Wanninkhof is one (of many) co-authors to the manuscript. Le Quere, C., R. Moriarty, R.M. Andrew, G. P. Peters, P. Ciais, P. Friedlingstein, S. D. Jones, S. Sitch, P. Tans, A. Arneth, T. A. Boden, L. Bopp, Y. Bozec, J. G. Canadell, L. P. Chini, F. Chevallier, C. E. Cosca, I. Harris, M. Hoppema, R. A. Houghton, J. I. House, A. K. Jain, T. Johannessen, E. Kato, R. F> Keeling, V. Kitidis, V. Goldewijk, C. Koven, C. S. Landa, P. Landschützer, A. Lenton, I. D. Lima, G. Marland, J. T. Mathis, N. Metzl, Y. Nojiri, A. Olsen, .T. Ono, S. Peng, W. Peters, B. Pfeil, B. Poulter, M. R. Raupach, P. Regnier, C. Roedenbeck, S. Saito, J. E. Salisbury, U. Schuster, J. Schwinger, R. Seferian, J. Segschneider, T. Steinhoff, B. D. Stocker, A. J. Sutton, T. Takahashi, B. Tilbrook, G. R. van der Werf, N. Viovy, Y. P. Wang, R. Wanninkhof, A. Wiltshire, and N. Zeng, 2015. Global Carbon Budget 2014. Earth Syst. Sci. Data 7, 47-85. 10.5194/essd-7-47-201544.



Coastal Oceanography

● Lew Gramer was in Silver Spring for the 3rd Annual Ecological Forecasting Roadmap meeting last week. Scientists and operational experts from across NOAA met with representatives from NASA, EPA, and FDA to talk about NOAA's research ecoforecasts, and paths forward to operationalize them for the benefit of the nation. He also spent several days talking with the reef prioritization

● A turbidity sensor will be deployed by NOAA divers just south of Miami channel this week (Figure 4). The sensor package, assembled by Mana Amornthammarong and Mike Shoemaker, will provide data to calibrate an algorithm for monitoring shallow-water turbidity using satellite ocean color. The work is a part of Lew Gramer's NOAA Coral Program project.


May 4, 2015


Ocean Carbon Cycle

● P16N Cruise Update - Jessica Cross, Chief Scientist, and Samantha Siedlecki, Co-chief Scientist on the P16N cruise on the Ron Brown, report that on May 1 the ship have crossed the equator on their way to Hawaii and will arrive in Hawaii on May 14. The tracks of the Repeat Hydrography cruises are shown in Figure 1. A blog from the cruise can be viewed at http://goship2015leg1p16n.blogspot.com. More information on the U.S.Repeat Hydrography program can be found at http://ushydro.ucsd.edu. A ten-year review of accomplishments of the program can be found at http://www.us-ocb.org/publications/USRepeatHydrographyReport-Final.pdf.



● The following paper was published: Ballantyne, A. P., Andres, R., Houghton, R., Stocker, B. D., Wanninkhof, R., Anderegg, W., Cooper, L. A., DeGrandpre, M., Tans, P. P., Miller, J. B., Alden, C., and White, J. W. C.: Audit of the global carbon budget: estimate errors and their impact on uptake uncertainty, Biogeosciences, 12, 2565-2584, doi:10.5194/bg-12-2565-2015, 2015.

Ecosystem Restoration Assessment and Modelling

● Chris Kelble's work in Florida Bay received front-page coverage in the Miami Herald, Local & State ("B") section, on Monday 4-May. The article, entitled Dry Winter, slow glades progress put Florida Bay at risk, written by Jenny Staletovich of the Herald, includes quotes from Chris concerning the impact of elevated salinity in Taylor Slough (which flows into the bay) due to a second unseasonably dry winter, and how that effects the entire ecosystem. The 38 column-inch article also includes quotes from Susan Gray, the South Florida Water Management District's chief environmental scientist, University of Miami fisheries scientist Jerry Ault, Jerry Lorenz of Audubon Florida, and Tylan Dean, the Everglades National Park biological branch chief. The article is available at http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article20128902.html.


April 27, 2015


Environmental Microbiology

● AOML was visited on 24-April by representatives and staff from the Broward County Environmental Monitoring Lab to learn more about setting up a molecular microbial source tracking laboratory. Chris Sinigalliano from the AOML Molecular and Environmental Microbiology Program is serving as an advisor to help Broward County develop and establish their own molecular source tracking lab for microbial water quality testing. As part of AOML's technology transfer process, Chris and his microbiology staff are currently involved in advising and training members of Broward County and the City of Fort Lauderdale on how to set up such a microbial source tracking facility and conduct quantitative PCR assays for water quality assessment and troubleshooting of contamination. AOML will conduct training projects with Broward County throughout the summer.


Outreach

● AOML was visited on 27-April by Peter Tuddenham and Kristina Bishop, along with a film crew, from the College of Exploration. Peter describes the College as "a global learning network. We work with partners around the world on innovative and exploratory learning programs about our environment, the earth, the ocean, technology, leadership, learning and creativity. We are organized as a collegium concerned with programs about our understanding of, and our relationships with and between, our inner and outer worlds." Peter has an environmental literacy grant from the NOAA Office of Education, and one aspect of this is to document the global Ocean Sampling Day for the public and utilize OSD as an opportunity to improve public environmental literacy on ocean science. Since AOML serves as a hub for OSD in Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean, Peter?s film crew will be filming various activities, sampling, and research related to Ocean Sampling Day here at AOML for public education videos and other educational products for NOAA.


Ocean Carbon Cycle

● A scientist in the Ocean Carbon group is sailing on the RCCL ship Equinox (operated by Celebrity) sailing from Fort Lauderdale to Lisbon to sample for carbon and ocean acidification parameters on this trans-Atlantic voyage. The Equinox is the latest ship outfitted with underway CO2 measurement capability in coordination with RSMAS and funded by the NOAA's Climate Observation Program.


April 20, 2015


Ocean Carbon Cycle

● Rik Wanninkhof attended the joint OOPC/GOOS/IOCCP meeting April 12-18 at Aoba-ku University, Sendai Japan. He is a member of the scientific steering committee of IOOCP and represented IOCCP at the meeting. The meeting was focused on synergies between the three projects that NOAA is closely involved with to lay out a strategy and science objectives for sustained ocean observations for the next decade. The topic addressed the NOAA strategic theme Climate Mitigation and Adaptation.


Coral Health and Monitoring

● Recently Lauren Valentino had the opportunity to work on reefs that surround the islands of the largest no-take MPA on the planet, Chagos archipelago (Figure 1 upper left). There, she collected in-situ pH and pCO2 data and deployed a SeaFET Ocean pH Sensor to evaluate carbonate chemistry dynamics of benthic reef environments. Additionally, she collected coral cores (Figure 1 upper right) to be analyzed using computed tomography scanning (CT scan) to determine growth rates over time. The surface conditions were glassy and temperatures averaged a cozy 30-32°C. Due to its isolation and lack of human impact, dense coral cover spans across the reef and fish populations are booming. There were times she could not see her dive buddy as huge schools of fish surrounded them. It was an amazing experience overall and inspiring to see what a positive impact conservation has had on the region. Through April and May, Derek Manzello and Renee Carlton will be participating in the second leg of the Chagos archipelago mission for the ACCRETE lab's 13th trip aboard the M/Y Golden Shadow (Figure 1 lower right) with the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation (http://www.coral.noaa.gov/collaborations/lof.html)


April 13, 2015


Environmental Microbiology

● Kelly Goodwin is now a member of the Fast-Track Action Committee on Mapping the Microbiome (FTAC-MM) which was established by action of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), Committee on Science (CoS), Life Sciences Subcommittee (LSSC). The purpose of the FTAC-MM is to identify areas of current Federal investment, research needs, and resource gaps for the development of an integrated Federal plan for microbiome research, and to identify priority areas for Federal agency coordination and cooperation on achieving a predictive understanding of microbiomes and their function. The committee will soon execute their first task which is a data call to federal program managers to collect information on microbiome research investment.

A microbiome is the assemblage of microorganisms that live in a particular environment. They have been shown to play a dynamic and essential role in human health, environmental processes, and agriculture. In recent years, Federal investments have led to extraordinary growth in understanding of the components and dynamic nature of microbiomes in human, plant, and animal environments. Microbiomes are emerging as important influences in all Earth habitats, governing an astounding array of biological processes, ranging from nutrition and disease in humans to nutrient acquisition and stress tolerance in plants and stability of soil and aquatic environments.


April 6, 2015


Coral Health and Monitoring

● The recent paper by Ruben van Hooidonk with J. A. Maynard, Y. Liu and Sang-Ki Lee in Global Change Biology, Downscaled projections of Caribbean coral bleaching that can inform conservation planning, was featured in Sunday's Miami Herald, under the title Study: Climate change will hit some Florida reefs sooner than expected, might trigger annual bleaching. The article can be seen at http://hrld.us/1P7LKPf.


● Dr. Kenrick Leslie, Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (C5), met with Jim Hendee on April 2 to discuss current challenges to finishing the first stage of the implementation of the CREWS/C5 Network extension to include Belize, Barbados, Tobago, and Dominican Republic. Also, Dr. Leslie pledged to support up to $1M maintenance costs and in an expansion of the CREWS Network beyond the current sites with new funding from the European Union. The new sites would likely include Cuba, Turks & Caicos, Martinique, San Andres, and other sites yet to be determined.


March 30, 2015


Coral Health and Monitoring

● Xaymara Serrano is the recipient of one of 18 Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowships awarded in 2015 nationwide. These postdoctoral fellowships are awarded in a national competition administered by the National Research Council (NRC) to individuals who, in the judgment of the review panels, have demonstrated superior academic achievement, are committed to a career in teaching and research, show promise of future achievement as scholars and teachers, and are well prepared to use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students. Overall, Xaymara plans to use these funds to support another year of her postdoctoral research aimed at investigating coral reef responses to climate change and land-based sources of pollution.


March 23, 2015


Florida Area Coastal Environment

● Thomas Carsey, Jack Stamates, Joe Bishop, Chuck Featherstone, Maribeth Gidley, and Natchanon Amornthammarong completed the March Numeric Nutrient Criteria Study cruise off of Broward and Miami-Dade Counties in the R/V Hildebrand in beautiful weather and calm seas on March 18-19.


March 16, 2015


Sea Grant

● Pamela Fletcher, the UF/IFAS Florida Sea Grant Regional Extension Coordinator at AOML spent the first week of March in Nicaragua. Pamela led a group of University of Florida students who chose to spend their spring break volunteering to promote marine life conservation. Volunteers typically have no background in marine science, but actively participate in mangrove reforestation and monitoring (Figure 1) and sea turtle conservation activities. Since 2012, students from UF have planted over 30,000 mangroves alongside nature reserve staff, local youth groups, an ecotourism cooperative, and the indigenous community. Volunteers also repair and paint structures on the nature reserve property as part of an eco-tourism project. For the past two years, the US Embassy in Managua has participated in the plantings. This year, Martha Youth, the Deputy Chief Mission, and two of her staff joined the volunteers (http://goo.gl/eAxoNM) (Figure 2). She provided an overview of the Department of State, the mission in Managua, and her career experiences to help students learn about Department of State activities abroad. Throughout the week-long program, student volunteers learn about marine life conservation, leadership, service, and get to experience the culture of Nicaragua. What do student volunteers have to say about the trip? "I had always been really interested in marine life conservation and this experience has taught me so much and enabled me to get a chance to pursue that passion." "This trip has not only helped me grow as a leader, but also learn so much about a new culture and experience things I never thought I would." "Even though the service was challenging, I never stopped having fun".


March 10, 2015


Coral Health and Monitoring

● Lauren Valentino is participating in the British Indian Ocean Territories - Chagos Archipelago leg of the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation Global Reef Expedition. The Chagos Archipelago is the largest no-take marine reserve on the planet and 95% of the reefs have been unexplored. This lack of anthropogenic influence provides an ideal context for the ocean acidification research activities being conducted by members of the Acidification, Climate, and Coral Reef Ecosystems (ACCRETE: http://www.coral.noaa.gov/research/accrete.html), a subunit of the Coral Health and Monitoring Program (CHAMP: http://www.coral.noaa.gov/). This is the 11th mission of the Global Reef Expedition that ACCRETE team members have participated in where they have amassed an unprecedented ocean acidification and coral growth dataset spanning the Pacific and Indian Oceans. For further information on the Chagos Archipelago see here: http://www.livingoceansfoundation.org/where-we-work/indian-ocean/biot/.


Florida Area Coastal Environment

● Jack Stamates attended the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers 11th Currents, Waves and Turbulence Measurement Workshop in St. Petersburg, Florida (March 2-6) (www.cwtm2015.org/index.cfm). Jack will give a presentation on Tuesday entitled Estimating Nutrient Loading to the Coastal Ocean Through Tidal Inlets. Thomas Carsey is the co-author.

Sea Grant


March 2, 2015


Coral Health and Monitoring

● On February 27th the Coral Health and Monitoring Program (CHAMP) released a redesigned web site to the public (Figure 1). With this release the site takes on a cleaner, more modern look and becomes smartphone- and tablet-friendly, adapting its menus, image sizes and page organization seamlessly to accommodate the size of the visitor's browser window. An informal survey of web sites across NOAA suggests that at present only CHAMP and PMEL have web sites that are smartphone-friendly to this degree. Unlike the previous site redesign in 2010, which was commissioned from an external web developer, the present overhaul was completed entirely in-house by CHAMP's Mike Jankulak. Among other upgrades the site features expanded personnel bios of CHAMP team members and highlights the activities of the newly-christened Acidification, Climate, and Coral Reef Ecosystems TEam (ACCRETE). The CHAMP site can be found at: http://www.coral.noaa.gov.


Nutrient Biogeochemistry

● The AOML nutrient laboratory, headed by Dr. Jia-Zhong Zhang, has completed analysis of nutrient reference seawater samples in the 4th International Inter-Comparison Exercise for 2015. Nutrients have been amongst major key variables in various international global ocean observation programs such as the Geochemical Ocean Sections Study (GEOSECS) in the 1970s, the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) in the 1990s, and the on-going Climate Variability and Predictability (CLIVAR, GO-SHIP). The Exercise is sponsored by the International Ocean Carbon Coordination Project (IOCCP) and Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMATEC). As with the previous inter-comparison studies organized by international nutrient community, the aim is to improve the quality of nutrient analysis by developing certified reference material and exchange knowledge between participating laboratories. A total of 112 nutrient laboratories worldwide participated in this excises. Website is www.ioccp.org/nutrients/2-uncategorised/74-2014-inter-comparison-study- of-certified-reference-material-for-nutrients-in-seawater.


Environmental Microbiology

● Maribeth Gidley presented the talk Future Health Concerns Associated With a Changing Climate at the Empowering Capable Climate Communicators training series at the University of Miami on 28-February. She also participated in an interview with journalism students at FIU on the topic.


Ocean Carbon Cycle

Ocean acidification along the Gulf Coast and East Coast of the USA has been accepted for publication in Continental Shelf Research. The paper of record describes measurement and patterns of aragonite saturation state (ωAr) along with attribution based on the second Gulf of Mexico and East Coast Carbon Cruise (GOMECC-2). The ωAr is a critical indicator of health of calcifying organisms and is decreasing as a result of ocean acidification. Comparison with ωAr data from GOMECC-1 shows that the large-scale patterns in ωAr are dominated by changing ocean currents in the domain. Citation: R. Wanninkhof, L. Barbero, R. Byrne, W.-J. Cai, H. Z. Zhang, M. Baringer, and C. Langdon, 2015. Ocean acidification along the Gulf Coast and East Coast of the USA. Cont. Shelf Res. Accepted Feb 2, 2015.


February 23, 2015


Ocean Carbon Cycle

● On January 21, Kevin Sullivan returned from the last research cruise of the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line's Explorer of the Seas. Over the past 12 years, the ship has provided surface CO2 measurements along the East Coast of the US and throughout the Caribbean. This data was critical in determining sea-air CO2 fluxes and trends in ocean acidification in coastal waters and the Intra-Americas Seas. The 400 voyages (Figure 1) yielded over 600,000 data points and were the basis of numerous publications with four of the more significant ones listed below. The sustained observations in this region will be continued with a recently installed automated CO2 system on the Celebrity Cruise Line's Equinox. This effort is in collaboration with and strong support from the University of Miami/RSMAS and the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Funding for the CO2 component is provided by the Climate Observation Division of the NOAA Climate Program Office, the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program, and AOML/OAR. The following are four key publications resulting from the surface CO2 measurements on the Explorer of the Seas:

  • Gledhill, D. K., R. Wanninkhof, F. J. Millero, and M. Eakin, 2008: Ocean acidification of the greater Caribbean region 1996-2006. J Geophys. Res., 113, C10031, doi:10010.11029/12007JC004629.
  • Olsen, A., J. Trińanes, and R. Wanninkhof, 2004: Sea-air flux of CO2 in the Caribbean Sea estimated using in situ and remote sensing data. Remote Sensing of Environment, 89, 309-325.
  • Park, G.-H., and R. Wanninkhof, 2012: A large increase of the CO2 sink in the western tropical North Atlantic from 2002 to 2009. J Geophys. Res., 117, C08029, doi:08010.01029/02011JC007803.
  • Wanninkhof, R., A. Olsen, and J. Trińanes, 2007: Air-Sea CO2 Fluxes in the Caribbean Sea from 2002-2004. Journal of Marine Systems, 66, 272-284.

● Rik Wanninkhof is a member of the recently funded International Space Science Institute working group on Earth Observation for atmosphere-ocean gas exchange (http://www.issibern.ch). The working group is sponsored by the European Space Agency. The purpose of this working group is to bring together key international researchers working in the field of atmosphere-ocean interaction and satellite Earth observation to 1) identify and formulate new multi-satellite, model and in situ data synergies towards improving our understanding of the pathways, sources, sinks and budgets of greenhouse gases, and 2) identify a roadmap/approach for routine long-term space-asset-based monitoring of the oceanic sink of CO2 which exploits the Copernicus Sentinels and international networks.


February 17, 2015


Coral Health and Monitoring

● Xaymara Serrano (OCED) was invited to serve as guest speaker and lead a paper discussion in the graduate seminar series of the Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences of Savannah State University (SSU) on February 18. The goal of this seminar class is to introduce SSU's new Master's students to a wide variety of marine research topics.

Florida Area Coastal Environment

● The R/V Hildebrand is currently undergoing repairs and maintenance in drydock at the Marina Road Boat Yard in Ft. Lauderdale (Figure 1).

Ocean Carbon Cycle

● Denis Pierrot will be driving to Port Canaveral this Friday (February 20) to meet Kevin Sullivan on the RCCL Explorer of the Seas. They will be offloading instrumentation from the ship.

● On Monday (February 23), Denis will oversee the installation of a new pCO2 system on the RCCL Equinox. The ship is scheduled to cross the Atlantic and the end of each April for summertime cruising of the Mediterranean, then return later in the year to sail the Caribbean in the winter.


February 9, 2015


Ecosystem Assessment and Modeling

● Kelly Kearney will be leaving CIMAS and AOML at the end of this week. She is moving to the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean at the University of Washington where she will be an assistant scientist working on an ecosystem modeling project that is a joint effort among University of Washington, the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, and the Alaska Fisheries Science Center. We wish her all the best on her new career endeavor.

● Chris Kelble is currently in La Jolla CA attending a review of the California Current Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (IEA) as the chair of the IEA Steering Committee and designated reviewer of the project (Feb 8-14). The review will take place at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center in La Jolla and aims to evaluate the scientific progress that the California Current IEA has made and determine how their experiences might be transferrable to other regional IEA program.

Coral Health and Monitoring

● A second site for a Dominican Republic CREWS station has been selected by CREWS Field Team contractors Jon Fajans (C-ARMS, Inc.) and John Halas (EMI, Inc.) through a collaborative effort between the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (CCCCC) in Belize, the National Council for Climate Change (ONAMET), and The National Authority for Maritime Affairs (ANAMAR), and AOML. The site chosen is at 19°50.007'N, 70°43.868'W. The first site chosen is at the Catuan Wreck site on the south side of the island, at 18°25.940'N, 69°34.792'W (Figure 1). Both buoys are being installed this week.

Ocean Carbon Cycle

● Rik Wanninkhof is attending a Surface ocean carbon mapping (SOCOM) workshop in Tsukuba, Japan \ this week (Feb 9-14).


February 2, 2015


Ecosystem Assessment and Modeling

● Chris Kelble will be attending The Lenfest Ocean Program's Second Fishery Ecosystem Planning Task Force meeting this Wednesday in New Orleans. The goal of the Lenfest Fishery Ecosystem task Force is to create a practical blueprint that managers can use to make ecosystem-based fisheries management operational. This is their second meeting to facilitate the creation of this blueprint within the next year.

January 26, 2015


Florida Area Coastal Environment

● The FACE / Numeric Nutrients cruise for January was conducted on January 20-21. On board were Paul Jones, Lauren Valentino, Joe Bishop, Charles Featherstone, Jack Stamates and Maribeth Gidley. A swap-out of an acoustic Doppler current profiler (ADCP) instrument off of Broward County is scheduled for Friday Jan 30, weather permitting.


Ocean Carbon Cycle

● Denis Pierrot, Kevin Sullivan and Robert Castle started the installation of an autonomous underway pCO2 system on board the Royal Caribbean Celebrity Cruise Line EQUINOX. This installation is a partnership with the University of Miami which has a TSG, a fluorometer and MAERI already running on the ship. The EQUINOX sails in the Caribbean during the winter and goes to the Mediterranean in the summer. This will be the replacement instrument for the RCCL Explorer of the Seas which has been outfitted with a pCO2 instrument for the past 12 years but is going to Asia in the spring.


Environmental Microbiology

● Kelly Goodwin presented a talk on January 22 entitled NOAA-CalCOFI Ocean Genomics Project (NCOG): Exploring 'Omics Technologies to Support Ecosystem Understanding and Fisheries Assessments to the Biodiversity Ad Hoc Group under the Interagency Working Group on Ocean Partnerships.


January 12, 2015


Ecosystem Assessment and Modeling

● NOAA has selected South Florida's Biscayne Bay as one of the next Habitat Focus Areas under NOAA's Habitat Blueprint. Habitat Blueprint offers opportunities for NOAA to partner with organizations to address coastal and marine habitat loss and degradation issues. It provides a framework, which builds upon existing programs, prioritizes activities, and helps users act strategically and preventively in order to sustain resilient and thriving marine and coastal ecosystems and resources. The initial focus on the Bay will be to further our understanding of increasing algal blooms (both pelagic and benthic) in the Bay and propose mitigation actions that can stem these increases and protect the benthic habitats of Biscayne Bay that are reliant upon clear water quality. Kelble will co-lead the implementation team with NOAA Southeast Fisheries Science Center's Joan Browder in hopes of identifying solutions to improve Biscayne Bay health, before it declines. With the help of NOAA's Habitat Blueprint, partnering organizations can develop assessments, experiments and analyses to ultimately protect, restore, and sustain Biscayne Bay's healthy ecosystem. More information can be found at the following web pages:

       http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/keynotes/keynotes_115_habitat_blueprint.html
       http://www.habitat.noaa.gov/habitatblueprint/southeast_caribbean.html.


Coral Health and Monitoring

● Science News interviewed Derek Manzello about his recent publication in Geophysical Research Letters. The article entitled Galápagos waters preview future for corals is online here: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/gal%C3%A1pagos-waters-preview-future-corals.


● The paper Ocean acidification enhances the bioerosion of a common coral reef sponge: implications for the persistence of the Florida Reef Tract (Enochs IC, Manzello DP, Carlton RD, Graham DM, Ruzicka R, Colella MA) was accepted for publication in the Bulletin of Marine Science. To test how future OA conditions will influence biologically-mediated dissolution (bioerosion) of coral by the common Caribbean boring sponge Pione lampa, a series of carefully controlled incubations were conducted and the changes in total alkalinity (TA) was used to calculate calcium carbonate dissolution. The data showed a positive relationship between seawater pCO2 and chemical bioerosion that predicts a 99% increase in chemical erosion before the end of the century, more than double the expected decline in coral calcification rate. To examine how OA-enhanced erosion will influence reef ecosystem persistence, this data and other data was incorporated into a carbonate budget model of 37 reefs along the Florida Reef Tract. Present-day reef-specific calcification would need to increase by 29.4% in order to compensate for projected end of the century OA-enhancement of total bioerosion. These findings show that OA may accelerate Caribbean and Atlantic coral reef degradation more rapidly than previously predicted.


December 15, 2014


Awards!

● Christopher Kelble, along with Michael Schirripa, Mandy Karnauskas and J. Kevin Craig (NMFS), were awarded the Bronze Medal Award "For advancing ecosystem-based management via the first comprehensive Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Status Report with over 140 ecological indicators" on December 9, 2014 by NOAA Administrator Dr. Kathy Sullivan (Figure 1).


● The AOML Microbiology team has just been awarded the EPA's 2013 Scientific and Technological Achievement Award, Level II for Scientific and Technical Achievement Supporting Implementation of EPA Method 1611 for Rapid Recreational Water Testing. This award arose from their work with the US EPA for multi-laboratory testing and validation of the EPA quantitative PCR methods for environmental detection and enumeration of Enterococcus and Bacteroidales fecal indicator bacteria. This work was conducted over several years in collaboration with EPA, USGS, and several academic partners, and is summarized in the publication Shanks et al., (2012) Inter-Laboratory Comparison of Real-time PCR Methods for Quantification of General Fecal Indicator Bacteria, Environ. Sci. Technol. 46:945-953. The letter from EPA read "I personally commend you on being a co-author for one of the winners in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 2013 Scientific and Technological Achievement Award competition for your research publications, Inter-laboratory Comparison of Real-time PCR Methods for Quantification of General Fecal Indicator Bacteria, MPN Estimation of QPCR Target Sequence Recoveries from Whole Cell Calibrator Samples, and Comparison of Enterococcus PCR Analysis Results from Fresh and Marine Waters on Two Real-time Instruments".


● K. Goodwin attended the 2014 CalCofi meeting. A poster (NOAA CalCOFI Genomics Project (NCOG): Microbial 'Omics in the Southern California Bight) was presented which highlighted a new project that implements cutting-edge metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analysis into the 65-year old CalCofi program (Figure 2).


NOAA Corps

● A farewell send-off was held for LT Rachel Kotkowski on Thursday (Dec 11, 2014). She has completed her land assignment at AOML and will be next serving as Operations Officer on the R/V Gordon Gunter out of Pascagula, LA.


December 8, 2014


Ecosystem Assessment and Modeling

● Lindsey Visser, Lauren Valentino, and Dr. Chris Kelble participated in a cruise aboard the R/V Walton Smith last week (Dec. 1-5) focused on surveying water quality in south Florida's coastal waters. They collected samples for nutrients, chlorophyll a, and dissolved inorganic carbon. This was the first cruise to resume sampling water quality in south Florida coastal water after a two-year hiatus due to a lack of funding. These cruises have an additional focus on lower trophic level dynamics downstream from the Shark River on the southwest Florida shelf.


Environmental Microbiology

● Maribeth Gidley was an invited speaker at a Science Cafe on Dec. 10, 2014 at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. The Science Cafe discussion concerned the impacts of Sea Level Rise and extreme weather events on individuals and communities; Dr. Gidley discussed the public health implications of these events.


Coral Health and Monitoring

● OCED researchers Ian Enochs and Derek Manzello had their abstracts accepted for oral presentations at the 2015 ASLO Aquatic Sciences meeting in Granada, Spain to be held in February. Manzello is also co-author on another oral presentation. All talks listed below. OCED researchers in bold:

Enochs I, Manzello D, Johnston L, Price N, Donham E, Golodziej G, Clark S, Young C. NATURALLY ACIDIFIED CORAL REEFS AT MAUG ATOLL: SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES WITH OTHER HIGH-CO2 SYSTEMS. Session #61, Global climate change: ocean acidification experiments at CO2 vents.

Manzello D, Enochs I, Bruckner A, Renaud P, Kolodziej G, Carlton R, Glynn P. GALÁPAGOS CORAL REEF PERSISTENCE AFTER ENSO WARMING ACROSS AN ACIDIFICATION GRADIENT. Session #61, Global climate change: ocean acidification experiments at CO2 vents.

McGillis W, Langdon C, Martz T, Hsueh D, Loose B, Takeshita Y, Donham E, Price N, Smith J, Manzello D. AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH TO ASSESSING CORAL REEF HEALTH AT SEVEN SITES AROUND THE WORLD. Session #38, Advances in flux measurements in aquatic environments using the eddy correlation technique.

The manuscript entitled "Galápagos Coral Reef Persistence after ENSO Warming Across an Acidification Gradient" was accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters. This paper shows that since the 1982-83 El Nińo-Southern Oscillation warming event, the persistence of reefs around the Galápagos Islands has differed across an acidification gradient. Reefs disappeared where pH < 8.0 and aragonite saturation state (Ωarag) ≤ 3 and have not recovered, whereas one reef has persisted where pH > 8.0 and Ωarag > 3. These results provide field evidence that the ability of coral reefs to persist with warming declines with acidification and this depressed resilience is likely reduced further by high nutrients. Based on current CO2 emission trajectories, the warming and acidification that eliminated coral reefs from the Galápagos Islands will occur for nearly all reefs by mid-century.

Citation (OCED researchers in bold):

Manzello D, Enochs I, Bruckner A, Renaud P, Kolodziej G, Carlton R, Glynn P. Galápagos Coral Reef Persistence after ENSO Warming Across an Acidification Gradient. Geophysical Research Letters. In press.


November 17, 2014


OCED Outreach

● Thomas Carsey presented the talk Just Beyond the Shore: Observations of Southeast Florida's Coastal Ocean at a meeting of the Key Biscayne Citizen Scientist Project, Key Biscayne, November 12, 2014.


November 10, 2014



OCED Outreach

● Xaymara Serrano (OCED) presented her doctoral research at the 7th NOAA EPP Biennial Education and Science Forum, held at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) from October 26-29. The goal of this forum was to showcase results of collaborative research and education projects between scientists and students at NOAA-EPP funded academic institutions and NOAA scientists, and to promote career opportunities for STEM graduates with academic, government and public/private sectors. Xaymara participated in this meeting along with a group of other graduate students and alumni whose graduate research was funded through NOAA's Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center (LMRCSC, www.umes.edu/lmrcsc).


Coral Health and Monitoring

● Lew Gramer attended a meeting last week in Honolulu on Coral Reef Resilience, sponsored by the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program. Resource managers from Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, US Federal, State, and territorial agencies in the Pacific and the Caribbean joined researchers from NOAA (including OAR, NESDIS, and NMFS) and from the Universities of Hawaii, Miami, Queensland, Virgin Islands, and Plymouth (UK). The goals of the meeting were to share information on incorporating metrics for larval connectivity, stress disturbance exposure, and ecosystem diversity into resilience assessments of reefs, and on how to apply these metrics for more effective resource management in the face of future short-term and long-term environmental change.


November 3, 2014

OCED Outreach

● LTJG Michael Doig and Erica Rule presented information about the NOAA Corps to students at South Broward High School on October 27 (Figure 1).


Coral Health and Monitoring

● Renee Carlton of OCED is participating in Living Oceans Foundation (LOF) Global Reef Expedition (GRE) to the Solomon Islands from October 27 to November 25, 2014 (Figure 2). Renee will collect seawater CO2 data and coral cores for calcification analysis as part of the ongoing collaboration between LOF and OCED to obtain baseline ocean acidification relevant data from remote coral reef locations across the Pacific Ocean. The Solomon Islands lie in the Coral Triangle, which is home to the greatest amount of marine biodiversity on the planet and is thus a priority area for marine conservation. There has been no ocean acidification research conducted in this vital region, making this a first-of-its-kind study. This is the 10th GRE cruise that OCED scientists have participated in since June 2012.

● Last week at Little Cayman Island in the Caribbean, the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) finished redeploying their buoy, which is part of the Coral Reef Early Warning System (CREWS) Network. The buoy was first deployed in October of 2013 and needs to be returned to land each year for cleaning, repainting and instrumentation swap-out. The buoy was towed from its deployment site on October 14th and returned to position on October 29th. OCED's Mike Jankulak worked remotely with CCMI personnel to update the buoy's programming and develop procedures for instrument configuration. As of October 31st all data feeds from the buoy to AOML and NDBC had fully resumed. Data can be viewed at http://ecoforecast.coral.noaa.gov/index/0/LCIY2/station-home.


October 27, 2014


Coral Health and Monitoring

●Derek Manzello attended the workshop entitled Prioritizing Coral Restoration Sites hosted by Florida Fish and Wildlife at Nova SE University on October 22-23. This was the first of a 3-part workshop that will generate a spatially-explicit model to highlight the best locations for reef restoration based on both physical and biological factors.


●Renee Carlton, Graham Kolodziej, and Lauren Valentino traveled to the Cheeca Rocks NCRMP sentinel climate change and ocean acidification monitoring site where they collected zooxanthellae samples from 99 colonies of the ESA listed coral Oribicella faveolata over three fixed monitoring sites. Graham Kolodziej, Lauren Valentino, and NOAA Corp officer Mike Doig will return to Cheeca Rocks to collect 100 more samples from three different sites this week. OCED postdoc Dr. Paul Jones will work with Chris Sinigalliano to perform qPCR analysis to identify if certain zooxanthellae clades are associated with recovery of this critically endangered species. Carlton et al. also retrieved a temperature probe from Hens and Chickens Reef, downloaded the data and redeployed the unit. This site has the longest running temperature record for the Florida keys, extending back to 1975. This record was reestablished in Dec 2013 by OCED researchers as part of NCRMP. Research by OCED scientist Derek Manzello has elucidated a significant warming trend in this dataset. The 2014 warm-water bleaching event will be incorporated into this analysis to understand the significance of this recent thermal stress event over the past 40 years.


October 20, 2014


Environmental Microbiology

●The AOML microbiology team joined the FIU Southeast Environmental Research Center this past week to measure and document baseline nutrient and microbiological water quality conditions for a wide range of residential canals in the Florida Keys that are slated for either experimental remediation efforts or to be control canals for these remediation experiments. Chris Sinigalliano, Maribeth Gidley, and student intern Danny Morales spent the past week in the Florida Keys collecting and processing water samples from the experimental remediation and control canals, and will conduct microbial molecular source tracking analysis to establish baseline conditions and to document what improvements, if any, result from the canal water quality remediation efforts. It is hoped that these remediation efforts may led to more general improvement in the regional coastal water quality of the Florida Keys, and to improvement of community infrastructure resiliency in the face of anticipated impacts from climate change and sea level rise.


Coral Health and Monitoring

●The paper entitled Recent decade of growth and calcification of Orbicella faveolata in the Florida Keys: An Inshore-Offshore Comparison authored by OCED scientists Derek Manzello, Ian Enochs, Graham Kolodziej, and Renee Carlton was accepted for publication in Marine Ecology Progress Series. This study shows that calcification rates in this ESA-listed species were higher inshore vs. offshore over the past decade and also showed a marked resilience to both cold and warm-water stress. This fast growth inshore and high resilience to thermal stress is hypothesized to be one of the reasons for why the inshore patch reefs of the Florida Keys have maintained high coral cover relative to the reefs offshore.


October 14, 2014



Coral Health and Monitoring

● The Lao Lao Bay station in Saipan has been destroyed by "super typhoon" Vongfong which passed within 50 nm of the station on October 5th at 18Z and was then estimated at 90 knots of intensity (Category 2) (Figure 1). The islands of Rota, Tinian and Saipan suffered some damage to structures and experienced intermittent power outages but they appear to have escaped anything worse and the Governor's declared state of emergency had been lifted. Vongfong underwent rapid intensification after leaving the CNMI and is estimated to have become the most intense tropical cyclone of 2014 (Category 5). The fiberglass tube snapped close to the waterline (Figure 2) and the upper half, about 20 feet of tube filled with positively buoyant polyurethane foam, has not been found. The station had been offline but locally storing data since July 31st, when its cellular account was terminated. All data produced since July are believed to be unrecoverable. The station had been problematic for quite some time, as it had been difficult getting support for maintenance of the station. See http://llbp7-log.blogspot.com/2014/10/saipan-crews-station-destroyed-during.html.



October 6, 2014


Coral Health and Monitoring

● Graham Kolodziej, Derek Manzello, and Lauren Valentino of OCED conducted coral reef CaCO3 budget surveys off of Miami-Dade and Broward counties on 29-30 Sept and 3 October with the assistance of NOAA Corps officers Mike Doig and Rachel Kotkowski. These surveys are part of the CRCP funded project Coral growth and reef framework persistence of the Florida Reef Tract with accelerating ocean acidification: The SEFCRI region.


Ecosystem Assessment and Modeling

●Geoffrey Cook from OCED and David Enfield and Chunzai Wang from PhOD are co-authors on a manuscript entitled Evidence of climate-driven ecosystem reorganization in the Gulf of Mexico that was submitted to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. The manuscript analyzes over 100 indicators in the Gulf of Mexico. The indicators were found to be influenced by two primary factors. The first was the implementation of fishing regulations in the 1970s; the second factor was the influence of the Atlantic Multi-Decadal Oscillation (AMO). The AMO was correlated with everything from the pressures being exerted on the ecosystem to the ecosystem state to the ecosystem services being produced by the ecosystem.


Environmental Microbiology

● Kelly Goodwin participated in the US-EU Marine Working Group on October 1, 2014, held at the French Embassy in Washington DC. The Working Group is comprised of the following sub-groups: Marine Microbial Ecology, Ocean Acidification/Stressors, Ocean Literacy, Ocean Observation Systems, and Aquaculture. These groups are working to implement the 2013 Galway Declaration which calls for collaborative international research on the coupled North Atlantic-Arctic system. Dr. Goodwin helped Gabrine Guiu, the EU co-chair of the Marine Microbial Ecology theme, present a summary of achievements, opportunities, and challenges facing coordinated EU-US marine microbial ecology research.


September 22, 2014


Environmental Microbiology

● Chris Sinigalliano and Maribeth Gidley were invited participants at a special public outreach and education presentation at Key Largo this past Friday, the first of the 2014-2015 "Ocean Life" series. Hosted by Florida International University's School of Environment, Arts and Society and the Friends of the Key Largo Cultural Center, the series features interdisciplinary experts from the region on marine topics that affect the Keys. The primary speaker at this first presentation of the season was Dr. Henry O. Briceńo of the FIU Southeast Environmental Research Center on "Keys Canals: Your Backyard Swimming Pool ", which presented collaborative research by SERC and the AOML Microbiology Program on water quality issues in Florida Keys residential canals. This was followed by a public information question and answer session in which Drs. Gidley and Sinigalliano participated.

Coral Health and Monitoring

● Renee Carlton and Derek Manzello traveled to the Cheeca Rocks NOAA NCRMP sentinel climate and acidification monitoring site on 16-17 Sept 2014 where they worked with collaborator, Dr. Brooke Gintert of RSMAS/MGG, to document the ongoing Keys-wide coral bleaching event utilizing high-resolution landscape mosaic imagery. This will be a first of its kind dataset since no previous investigator has utilized this technique to document a coral bleaching event. Bleaching was severe at Cheeca Rocks (Fig. 1). The last major bleaching event to impact the Florida Keys was in 2005. Cheeca Rocks was studied by NCRMP collaborator, Dr. Marilyn Brandt of the University of the Virgin Islands, who upon seeing the recent pictures confirmed that this event was likely far more severe than 2005. Sea temperatures at nearby Molasses Reef were the hottest on record this summer, as well as this past winter (Fig. 2). Cheeca Rocks is one of the few sites that has been resilient to recent stress and maintained high coral cover. AOML coral scientists will be documenting the response of this coral reef to this thermal stress event.




● During the last week in August and the first week in September, Xaymara Serrano also took note of some extensive bleaching in the Keys while collecting coral larvae for her research:

8/29- Emerald reef:
Siderastrea/Millepora/Palythoa - really bleached or dead Agaricia - bleached
Orbicella faveolata/Montastraea cavernosa/Porites astreoides - ok, pale

9/2 Little Grecian Rocks:
Porites furcata - really bleached
Acropora palmata - partially bleached
Orbicella - pale

9/2 Horseshoe reef:
Agaricia/Millepora/Agaricia - really bleached
Siderastrea/Porites astreoides - some pale, some completely bleached
Orbicella - pale, some areas beginning to bleach



Ocean Carbon Cycle Group

● Betty Huss and Kevin Sullivan lead an effort to revamp the ocean carbon cycle group webpage. The concise, informative and visually appealing page of group activities and data holdings can be found at: http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/ocd/ocdweb/occ.html.

● The annual global carbon assessment by the global carbon program (GCP) was released yesterday. A world-wide-web highlight on the first utilization of data-based ocean estimates relying heavily on NOAA ship of opportunity CO2 data to determine flux variability is being created by Erica Rule and Monica Allen (OAR communications).

Synopses of GCP:
The Global Carbon Project's report each year incorporates data from multiple research institutes around the world on carbon dioxide emissions, carbon increase in the atmosphere, and land and ocean sinks for its annual assessment of the Earth's carbon budget. The Global Carbon Budget 2014, led by Prof Le Quéré, Director of the Tyndall Centre at the University of East Anglia, with 59 co-authors from 10 countries and 49 institutions, is published in the "living data" format to provide the highest transparency and traceability in the reporting of this set of key indicators and drivers of climate change. Le Quéré, C., Moriarty, R., Andrew, R.M., Peters, G.P., Ciais, P., Friedlingstein, P., Jones, S.D., Sitch, S., Tans, P., Arneth, A., Boden, T.A., Bopp, L., Bozec, Y., Canadell, J.G., Chevallier, F., Cosca, C.E., Harris, I., Hoppema, M., Houghton, R.A., House, J.I., Jain, A., Johannessen, T., Kato, E., Keeling, R.F., Kitidis, V., Klein Goldewijk, K., Koven, C., Landa, C.S., Landschützer, P., Lenton, A., Lima, I.D., Marland, G., Mathis, J.T., Metzl, N., Nojiri, Y., Olsen, A., Ono, T., Peters, W., Pfeil, B., Poulter, B., Raupach, M.R., Regnier, P., Rödenbeck, C., Saito, S., Salisbury, J.E., Schuster, U., Schwinger, J., Séférian, R., Segschneider, J., Steinhoff, T., Stocker, B.D., Sutton, A.J., Takahashi, T., Tilbrook, B., van der Werf, G.R., Viovy, N., Wang, Y.P., Wanninkhof, R., Wiltshire, A., Zeng, N., 2014. Global carbon budget 2014. Earth Syst. Sci. Data Discuss. 7, 521-610.


Florida Area Coastal Environment

● The FACE team completed their Numeric Nutrient Study cruise for September on the 22nd and 23rd. On board the R/V Hildebrand were Tom Carsey, Maribeth Gidley, Jack Stamates, Joe Bishop, Michael Doig, Rachel Kotkowski, and Lauren Valentino. Day 1 was calm and perfect; day 2 saw plenty of rain and windy weather. A waterspout was seen, as well as a sea turtle of unknown species. In addition to water quality samples, samples for microbiology and dissolved organic carbon were obtained at coral reef sites, inlets, outfalls, and background sites off of Miami-Dade and Broward counties.


September 15, 2014


Environmental Microbiology

● Chris Sinigalliano, Maribeth Gidley, and student intern Daniel Morales represented AOML microbiology research during a special session of Microbiology in the Coastal Zone at the 2014 Southeastern Microbiology Summit, a joint meeting of the Southeastern Branch and the Florida Branch of the American Society for Microbiology, on Sept 5-7, at Ponte Vedra, Florida. Chris Sinigalliano was an invited speaker giving an oral presentation on Urban Coastal Oceanography and NOAA Investigations of Microbial Water Quality Impacts from Coastal Inlets and Treated Wastewater Outfalls in the Southeast Florida Region. Daniel Morales presented a research poster covering summer research by AOML interns entitled Seaweed Wrack as a Potential Environmental Reservoir for Fecal Bacteria at South Florida Recreational Beaches.

● Chris Sinigalliano participated in a special training workshop on Environmental Microbial Genomics and Metagenomics in Walnut Creek, California Sept 7-12, hosted by the US Department of Energy's Joint Genome Institute.


Ocean Acidification

● Ruben van Hooidonk attended a meeting entitled Using Spatial Data and Analysis to Understand the Human Impacts of Ocean Acidification, along with Linwood Pendleton, Lisa Suatoni, Julie Ekstrom, Libby Jewett, Dwight Gledhill, Sarah Cooly, Chris Langdon, at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) in Annapolis, Maryland, September 9-10, 2014. Using projections of ocean acidification that he and Derek Manzello published (van Hooidonk, et al. 2014), several studies have been conducted to assess the risk and impact of ocean acidification on humans. These studies focussed on the impacts of ocean acidification on commercially important mollusks, fisheries and coastal protection by coral reefs, and should be submitted for publication in the near future.


September 2, 2014


● Renee Carlton, Graham Koldziej, and Derek Manzello installed temperature sensors at four coral reef locations at Biscayne National Park and at the Fowey Rocks lighthouse on 29-Aug-2014. These thermistors will provide in situ temperatures as part of the climate monitoring of the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP) of the Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP). During the surveys, extensive coral reef bleaching was observed at all the sites (see Fig. 1 and 2). The bleaching thresholds that were estimated and published for the Florida Reef Tract were exceeded in the past few weeks at Fowey Rocks and Molasses Reef (Fig. 3), thus the bleaching was expected. Sea temperatures at Molasses Reef C-MAN station are currently the warmest that they've ever been since the station's inception in 1988.



August 18, 2014


Coral Health and Monitoring

● The paper entitled Geographic differences in vertical connectivity in the Caribbean coral Montastraea cavernosa despite high levels of horizontal connectivity at shallow depths by X. Serrano, I. B. Baums, K. O'Reilly, T. B. Smith, R. J. Jones, T. L. Shearer, F. L. D. Nunes and A. C. Baker was published in the Journal of Molecular Ecology. In this study, the authors assessed vertical connectivity in 583 coral colonies of M. cavernosa collected from three depth zones (≤10, 15-20 and ≥25 m) at sites in Florida (within the Upper Keys, Lower Keys and Dry Tortugas), Bermuda and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Overall, this is the first work to demonstrate significant genetic differentiation by depth for coral populations in Florida.


August 11, 2014


● Undergraduate Hollings Scholar Daniel Coleman of Tulane University participated in research with mentor Lew Gramer, on periodic summer upwelling events in the northern portion of the Florida reef tract from May through July. Dan and Lew's poster entitled Summer cold-water anomalies on the Florida Reef Tract: Ecologically significant upwelling was presented by Dan at the 2014 NOAA Office of Education's Science and Education Symposium. The poster won the prize for "Best Poster of Session", (along with a $250 cash prize!) and the results of the work are likely to become part of an upcoming manuscript submitted for peer review this Fall.


Ocean Carbon Cycle

● The following paper was published: Rodgers, K.B., Aumont, O., Mikaloff Fletcher, S.E., Plancherel, Y., Bopp, L., de Boyer Montegut, C., Ludicone, D., Keeling, R.F., Madec, G., Wanninkhof, R., 2014. Strong sensitivity of Southern Ocean carbon uptake and nutrient cycling to wind stirring. Biogeosciences 11, 4077-4098.

● The following paper was resubmitted to the Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans: Kristene McTaggart and Rik Wanninkhof, Antarctic Bottom Water Temperature Changes in the Western South Atlantic from 1989-2014.

● The following white paper was published and received recognition from the CPO/COD program manager, David Legler and Acting OAR director, Craig McLean: Feely, R. A., L. D. Talley, J. L. Bullister, C. A. Carlson, S. C. Doney, R. A. Fine, E. Firing, N. Gruber, D. A. Hansell, G. C. Johnson, R. M. Key, C. Langdon, A. Macdonald, J. T. Mathis, S. Mecking, F. J. Millero, C. W. Mordy, C. L. Sabine, W. M. Smethie, J. H. Swift, A. M. Thurnherr, R. H. Wanninkhof, M. J. Warner (2014): The US Repeat Hydrography CO2/Tracer Program (GO-SHIP): Accomplishments from the first decadal survey. A US CLIVAR and OCB Report, 2014-5, US CLIVAR Project Office, 47 pp. Comments from Craig McLean (US Head of Delegation to the IOC/UNESCO and Assistant Administrator for Research, NOAA): Congratulations to all authors and contributors to this remarkable work. As I represent the US at the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), I find this global program a remarkable demonstration of coordination and alignment across governments and science institutions. As a NOAA person I am grateful to all collaborators and participants from across all organizations. This is a fine document, easy to read for persons beyond the science community and will bring valuable understanding to the policy community as well. Congratulations to all -- those who stood on deck, worked the samples, analyzed the data, and generated the report.

● Robert Castle met the NOAA ship RONALD H. BROWN in Newport, Oregon to reinstall the pCO2 underway system on the ship.


Ecosystem Assessment and Modeling

● Chris Kelble, chair of the NOAA IEA stering committee, attended the 2014 NOAA IEA Face to Face Meeting and ensuing IEA Steering Committee Meeting on August 5-8 at ESRL in Boulder, Colorado.


Coral Health and Monitoring

● Xaymara Serrano will be in Key Largo from August 8 to September 19 assisting during coral spawning (for the species Acropora cervicornis and Orbicella faveolata) and conducting experiments with newly settled recruits. This work will be done in conjunction with Dr. Margaret Miller from NMFS. The project is designed to assess the effects of increased nutrients and thermal stress on corals during the early life stages.

August 4, 2014


● Derek Manzello won 2nd place in the "Living Seas" category of the 2014 OAR Photo Contest with his photograph of a clownfish in Fiji (Figure 1). The winning photographs are shown in the OAR Weekly Update August 1, 2014.


July 28, 2014


● Pamela Fletcher completed her doctoral degree last week with participation from committee member James Hendee. Her thesis research included results from several NOAA funded projects including the Marine and Estuarine Goal Setting for South Florida project (http://sofla-mares.org/) and the coral reef and marine resource managers climate information needs assessment project. Pamela received her degree from the University of Florida's Soil and Water Science Department and the title of her thesis is Using participatory decision support to improve coral reef management.


Coral Health and Monitoring

● Renee Carlton, Mike Jankulak, Graham Kolodziej, and Derek Manzello traveled to the Florida Keys to conduct field work on July 21-23. They conducted calcium carbonate budget surveys at the Cheeca Rocks NCRMP class III climate and acidification sentinel site, as well as collected coral cores for growth measurements. Additionally, they downloaded pH data from the Cheeca Rocks acidification buoy to ensure the sensor is working properly.


● Jim Hendee and Karsten Shein (NCDC) participated as mentors in the NSF-funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at Little Cayman Research Center (LCRC) July 21 - 26, 2014. Jim spoke of the CREWS Network, the CREWS station at LCRC, how ecological forecasting works, and a bit on the newly proposed (by Kelly Goodwin and Chris Sinigalliano) Coral Microbiome Observing Network (CMON) and about Genomic Observatories (GO). The Director of LCRC, Dr. Carrie Manfrino, is seeking to re-write the LCRC/AOML MOU that has existed in the past for work with the CREWS station to now include AOML/OCED participation in the REU project for next year's students, as well as the proposed CMON/GO project. Other projects may also be included so that AOML has a broad collaboration with LCRC in the future.




July 21, 2014


Ecosystem Assessment and Modeling

● Rik Wanninkhof and Chris Kelble attended the 5th Annual NOAA/NGI Gulf Hypoxia Research Coordination Workshop July 14-16 at the Stennis Space Center (Mississippi). The workshop was designed to advance fisheries ecosystem management in the northern Gulf to inform efforts to assess and predict the potential ecological and socioeconomic effects of diversions and hypoxia. The workshop was designed to 1) provide a forum for strengthening communication and coordination between physical, biological, and socio-economic modelers of Gulf of Mexico hypoxia and Mississippi River diversions, and the users and stakeholders (e.g. Hypoxia Task Force, fisheries managers); 2) validate and refine key fisheries management and habitat conservation needs associated with ecosystem (including socioeconomic) effects of hypoxia and large-scale river diversions in the Gulf of Mexico; and 3) assess adaptive management needs for advancing ecosystem modeling of hypoxia and diversion effects on habitats and living resources in the northern Gulf of Mexico (Figure 1).

● A special volume of Ecological Indicators on Tools to Support Ecosystem Based Management of South Florida's Coastal Resources should be released this week. Chris Kelble is the managing guest editor for this special issue with Peter Ortner and Joseph Boyer also serving as guest editors. Most of the articles in the special volume present results from the Marine and Estuarine Goal Setting for South Florida (MARES) project. MARES had a number of OCED scientists serve as leaders, PIs, and participants, including Chris Kelble, Pamela Fletcher, Geoffrey Cook, Thomas Carsey, Jack Stamates, Jim Hendee, Chris Sinigalliano, Maribeth Gidley, and Michelle Wood. The special volume has the following five articles authored by OCED scientists:

1. The manuscript Using the Integrated Ecosystem Assessment Framework to Build Consensus and Transfer Information to Managers by Pamela Fletcher (SeaGrant/OCEd), Chris Kelble (OCED), William Nuttle, and Gregory Kiker was published in Ecological Indicators. The manuscript investigates how portions of the IEA framework were applied to build consensus on the focal ecosystem components and processes that are characteristic of a sustainable South Florida coastal ecosystem that is producing ecosystem services at the level society desires. Resource managers, researchers, academics, and non-governmental organizations participated in facilitated meetings and contributed to the synthesis of science and a myriad of science communications to transfer information to decision makers and the public. A proof of concept Bayesian Belief Network was developed to explore integrating the results of this assessment into an interactive management scenario evaluation tool. The four-year effort resulted in the development of a research and management coordination network in South Florida that should provide the foundation for implementing ecosystem-based resource management across multiple agencies (Figure 1).

2. The manuscript entitled Towards Marine Ecosystem Based Management in South Florida: Investigating the Connections among Ecosystem Pressures, States, and Services in a Complex Coastal System authored by AOML/CIMAS researchers Geoff Cook, Chris Kelble, and Pamela Fletcher was published in Ecological Indicators. Building upon the integrated conceptual ecosystem models developed during the MARES project, the manuscript explores the relative impact of 12 ecosystem pressures on 11 ecosystem states and 11 ecosystem services in coastal South Florida. The most pervasive pressures were Freshwater Delivery, Temperature Effects of Climate Change, and Impacts of Climate Change on Weather. The most at risk ecosystem states, as determined by cumulative impacts, were Protected Species, Fish and Shellfish, and Coral and Hardbottom Habitats. Similarly, the most at risk ecosystem services are Existence of Natural System, Pristine Wilderness Experience, and Non-extractive Recreation Opportunities (Figure 2). Through this exploration of the interaction among various ecosystem pressures, states, and ecosystem services, an understanding of how ecosystem services are impacted by multiple interacting pressures is derived. In so doing, a tool for resource managers to understand trade-offs and the possible impact on the production of ecosystem services that may occur when considering alternative management strategies is provided.

3. The manuscript Developing Integrated Ecosystem Indices by David Loomis, Peter B. Ortner, Chris Kelble, and Shona Paterson was published in Ecological Indicators. This manuscript investigates the need to develop consistent indicators for both the biophysical and social sciences. This consistency is necessary to allow integration between these indicators and quantify trade-offs among ecosystem services and ecosystem health. To accomplish this integration, the manuscript employs a "recursive relationship" approach that defines (and redefines) variables, indicators, and indices along a sliding hierarchy from measurable parameters to highly aggregated indices (Figure 3).

4. Two manuscripts detailing the selection and justification of waterbird indicators were co-authored by Pamela Fletcher and were published in Ecological Indicators. The first of these manuscripts developed a suite of conceptual models to investigate the niche of different waterbirds and select those that would make appropriate indicators. The second manuscript quantitatively scores the proposed indicators against a suite of pre-defined indicator criteria to justify their selection and proposes appropriate metrics to evaluate the waterbird indicators.


Environmental Microbiology

● Kelly Goodwin kicked off an intensive summer field campaign that will apply NOAA-developed Molecular Source Tracking (MST) markers to beaches in the vicinity of Los Angeles. In addition to MST, the project utilizes traditional and rapid detection of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) and pathogen analysis in order to evaluate the risks posed by degraded water quality and the efficacy of remediation strategies. The work is part of a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to support technology transfer.


Nutrients

● The paper entitled Carbon dynamics of Florida Bay: spatiotemporal patterns and biological control by Jia-Zhong Zhang and Charles Fischer was accepted for publication in Environmental Science and Technology. In this study, it was revealed that there are distinct CO2 source and sink regions in the bay and the seasonal variation of the CO2 sink was caused by cyanobacteria bloom. Based on the analysis of multi-year data, this paper provided the first estimate of ocean acidification trends and the annual CO2 fluxes to atmosphere from the bay in 2006-2012.

July 14, 2014


World Ocean Assessment

● Kelly Goodwin, Chris Kelble, and Rik Wanninkhof have been named official U.S. Government lead reviewers of chapters of the first World Ocean Assessment (WOA, www.worldoceanassessment.org), while Jim Hendee, Greg Foltz, Rick Lumpkin, olly Baringer and Gustavo Goni will act as science reviewers of select chapters. This is the first WOA, comprised of 57 chapters, designed to document trends in the state of the marine environment (including socioeconomic aspects). Subsequent WOAs will be generated every five years. The aim of the review process is to ensure technical and policy reviews of the WOA chapters, integrate these reviews with the public reviews received in response to a Federal Register Notice, and write and submit the integrated USG review to the UN Secretariat.


Coastal Oceanography

● Summer AOML student interns Danny Morales and Mishelle Rodriguez joined environmental public health physician Maribeth Gidley, and the crew (Joseph Bishop, LTJG Michael Doig, and Charles Featherstone) of NOAA's research vessel, R/V HILDEBRAND, to help collect water quality samples during this week's FACE-NNCS cruise. Samples collected will be analyzed for nutrients, microbial contaminants and source tracking markers of both coral and human health concern, and samples will be prepared for next-generation-sequencing and microbial community genomic analysis (as part of a NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program project).


Ecosystem Assessment and Modeling

● The manuscript Population connectivity shifts at high frequency within an open-coast marine protected area network authored by AOML/CIMAS researcher Geoff Cook, and Ed Parnell and Lisa Levin of Scripps Institution of Oceanography was accepted for publication in PLoS ONE. Combining otolith microchemistry with ADCP-derived simulation modeling, the authors reconstructed the population connectivity (via larval dispersal) patterns of damselfish inhabiting a marine protected area (MPA) network along the southern California coastline (Figure 1). For over two years, the study documented self-recruitment at two of six study reefs, one of which is a no-take MPA. On biweekly time scales, we observed directional variability in alongshore current data and saw concomitant shifts in microchemistry-derived larval dispersal trajectories and reef connectivity patterns. As one of the few empirical studies of population connectivity within an open coast MPA network, this work can inform the MPA design process, implementation of ecosystem based management plans, and facilitate conservation decisions.

● The manuscript Quantifying Florida Bay habitat suitability for fishes and invertebrates under climate change scenarios authored by AOML/CIMAS researcher Kelly Kearney, and Mark Butler (Old Dominion University), Robert Glazer (Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission), Christopher Kelble (AOML/OCED), Joe Serafy (NOAA/SEFSC), and Erik Stabenau (National Parks Service) was accepted for publication in Environmental Management. This study uses a combination of hydrological and ecological models to investigate how the suitability of habitat will change in Florida Bay for three key fishery species (Spotted Seatrout, Grey Snapper, and Spiny Lobster) and four common prey species (Mojarra, Rainwater Killifish, Goldspotted Killifish, and Pinfish) under a variety of climate change scenarios. The scenarios investigated included changes in sea level, temperature, rainfall, runoff, and evaporation. Changes in habitat suitability varied in both magnitude and direction across both scenarios and species, but were on average small; suggesting that the estuarine fauna of Florida Bay may not be that vulnerable to climate change (Figure 2).


Environmental Microbiology

● OCED scientists and summer students participated in the Ocean Sampling Day on June 21, the first global simultaneous sampling for microbes in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes waters. Over time, sampling will support international and NOAA missions to provide a snapshot of the diversity of microbes, their functions, and their potential economic benefits. Among other economic applications, microbes have been used for novel medicines, as biofuels, and to consume spilled oil. Organized and led by the European Union's MicroB3 organization, NOAA coordinated twelve sampling sites for Ocean Sampling Day 2014 within U.S. coastal waters. View images of the sample collection process in the following AOML photo gallery.

July 7, 2014


Corals

● The Coastal-Marine Automated Network (C-MAN) stations at Sand Key (SANF1) and Pulaski Shoal (PLSF1) were replaced by National Data Buoy Center technicians recently, after extensive outages. With the Long Key (LONF1) and Sombrero Key Light (SMKF1) stations repaired earlier this spring, we now have all five Florida Keys C-MAN stations operational for the first time in a few years. Meteorological sensors are operating for wind speed/direction, air temperature, and pressure at all stations. Dew point temperature and heat index are available for the Long Key and Sombrero Key Light stations, and sea surface temperature is available for the Long Key and Molasses Reef stations. Unfortunately, the ICON station at LaoLao Bay, Saipan, will soon terminate operations due to lack of funds and local maintenance work.

● NSU's Oceanographic Center will be hosting the free Dive In Summer Film Series and presenting the Changing Seas episode entitled Galápagos: Windows into the Future, which featured OCED's Derek Manzello. The film will commence at 6pm on Wednesday, July 9 and will be followed by a panel discussion featuring Dr. Manzello and other Galapagos experts. These screenings are free, but space is limited; anyone interested in attending MUST register in advance at Lcorinne@nova.edu or by calling 954-262-3678. The Changing Seas episode originally aired on local PBS stations on June 25 and can be viewed here:


Environmental Microbiology

● The microbiology team will be conducting a 3-day survey of microbial contamination at recreational beaches throughout the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary this week. As part of their summer student intern projects, they will be measuring fecal indicator bacteria, microbial source tracking markers, pathogens, and other microbial contaminants in the sand, seaweed wrack, and near-shore waters of beaches from Key Largo to Key West, basing their field operations out of the Keys Marine Laboratory at Long Key, Florida. Participating are Maribeth Gidley and Chris Sinigalliano, and summer student interns Alejandro de la Cova, Trina Malone, Danny Morales, Mishelle Rodriguez and Camilla Mirow. They will be conducting beach sampling out of the KML facility from July 9 through July 12.