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.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

You don't have to go far

Guam is littered with history and one needn't go very far to find it.  For the past few days we have been tied up at one of the piers at the US Navy base in Apra Harbor, Guam.  Leaving the ship one is greeted by a huge anchor, originally belonging to a Japanese ship sunk off of Saipan and recently brought to Guam.
Not too far down the road is an anti-aircraft gun emplacement still waiting for incoming planes.  While many of the artifacts have been moved from their original positions, a few can still be found where they have stood for the past 60 years.  A harsh reminder of turbulent times.
Unfortunately WWII also served to obliterate much of Guam's prior history with entire towns wiped off the map either by the occupation or by the shelling and bombing which proceeded the recapture of the island.  Near the eastern end of the naval base, a partial cemetery with broken headstones is all that remains of Sumay town.Guam was also a way station for the original trans-pacific cable line linking the US mainland to her interests in the far east.  The relay station at Sumay was a prime target during the Japanese invasion, and the ruins are still pockmarked with bullet holes and mortar damage. For many of us, our knowledge of this era is limited by the black-and-white footage and photographs of the war years and it is sobering and yet beautiful to see these monuments set against the brilliant colors of the tropical pacific.

1 comment:

  1. Is there a lot of old WWii equipment