A Better Understanding of Coral Reef Ecosystems

Pelagic predators such as these barracuda, Sphyraena qenie, are part of the coral reef ecosystem in the U.S. Line Islands (NOAA Photo by Kevin Lino).
A team of scientists have embarked from Hawai'i on a three-month survey of coral reef ecosystems at Johnston Atoll, the U.S. Phoenix Islands, the islands of American Samoa, and the U.S. Line Islands in the tropical Pacific Ocean. The overarching objective is to better understand the coral reef ecosystems of these areas, many of which are seldom explored. The research expedition is part of a regular monitoring program, conducted by the Coral Reef Ecosystem Division (CRED), headquartered in Honolulu, Hawai'i. The expedition is supported by NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program and involves extensive cooperation among NOAA scientists and research partners, including the University of Hawaii Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (JIMAR), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, San Diego State University, and the Papahānaumaokuākea Marine National Monument.

The research expedition will be carried out from February 27 to May 24, 2012 aboard the NOAA ship Hi'ialakai. Under the leadership of Chief Scientists Dr. Jill Zamzow, Dr. Bernardo Vargas-Angél, and Jamison Gove, a diverse team of researchers will be conducting multidisciplinary coral reef ecosystem surveys, assessing the status of fishes, corals, algae, marine invertebrates, and the oceanographic conditions in which these organisms exist. The scientific data collected during the three-month research expedition will enable informed and effective implementation of ecosystem-based management and conservation strategies for coral reef ecosystems, helping to ensure their protection for generations to come.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


The use of lines and knots has always been very important for sailors, campers, rock climbers and a variety of other people. But truth be told, everyone should know at least a couple of basic knots. They can very handy and in a pinch even save your life.

While on the ship and with the Oceanography team (O-team) we use lines and knots in a variety of ways. A splice is the joining of two pieces of rope by weaving the strands into each other.
For example, the O-team uses splices to create a strong hold between Sea Surface Temperature buoys and their anchors. These buoys are deployed for two years and a regular knot would easily unravel with constant wave action.

I could try to explain how to make a splice, but know that would probably confuse everyone. Therefore, I found a terrific link to a step by step page on splicing. 

1 comment:

  1. Great explanation!

    Such an incredible experience ! in the middle of the ocean a wonderful place, and the photos are very good ones! I would like to be there :)

    hello from Uk hoping the waves let you sleep better

    un gran abrazo