Two underwater robots will be gliding throughout the western Lake Erie basin this week, as NOAA and its partners at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) test technology to autonomously monitor and measure the toxicity of harmful algal blooms in the Great Lakes.
Scientists from NOAA and the Monterey Bay Research Institute (MBARI) are teaming up on June 3-4, 2019 to conduct a complex mission which will integrate acoustic measurements and autonomous sample collection for analysis of environmental DNA (eDNA). Through these efforts NOAA scientists hope to develop faster and cheaper ecosystem assessment methods, ensure sustainable fisheries and broaden our understanding of life in the oceans.
NOAA Collaborates with Partners to Test Unmanned Underwater Vehicles which Record Harmful Algal Blooms in Lake Erie
In a collaborative effort between NOAA, the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, research merging robotics with biochemistry will give us a detailed, three-dimensional picture of harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie in near real-time and take water samples for genomic analysis. The end goal is a Harmful Algal Bloom forecast to help managers make decisions about environmental health and public safety pertaining to the lake. AOML’s own Dr. Kelly Goodwin is participating in the project to help with instrument and sample recovery.
Scientists found that microbes and their genetic material from land-based sources of pollution could be found in reef water and in tissues of corals. This could affect the genomics of the native microbial communities found in coral reefs, which can impact how corals thrive and survive. These new insights highlight an additional potential threat to corals from land-based sources of pollution in southeast Florida, where corals are already under existential threat from warming oceans and resulting coral bleaching, disease and mortality.
The California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI) cruise sampling was completed on April 21st aboard NOAA Ship Bell M. Shimada.
On May 13th, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy introduced the National Microbiome Initiative, an effort to support multi-agency research to help sample and better understand communities of microorganisms that are critical to both human health and the world’s ecosystems. As the nation’s premier ocean science agency, NOAA is leading interdisciplinary research to improve observation and assessment of marine microbiomes. To support this national initiative, NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) received nearly $2 million in funding this year to conduct a number of projects that integrate genetic sampling techniques and technologies to help advance the understanding of the ocean’s microbiomes.
NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory is teaming up with NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, National Marine Fisheries Service, and Integrated Ocean Observing System, as well as the J.C. Venter Institute and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography to enhance ecosystem observation programs by integrating genome-enabled techniques and technologies (i.e., ‘omics) into the California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI). CalCOFI is a multi-partner, long-term ecosystem and fisheries study off the coast of California. The first quarterly CalCOFI expedition that included ‘omics recently completed at the end of November.
Photos of AOML researchers and interns at Ocean Sampling Day sites in Ft. Lauderdale, the Florida Keys, and La Jolla, California
NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML) participated in 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.