Posts

November 05, 2014

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6:37 PM | We don’t know the ocean
This is not the ocean: This is not the ocean: Indeed, even THIS is not the ocean: Before you start thinking that the folks at DSN are losing their marbles, bear with me!  The truth is that none of these three all-too-familiar and quintessentially marine images reflects the actual reality of what most of the […]
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6:37 PM | We don’t know the ocean
This is not the ocean: This is not the ocean: Indeed, even THIS is not the ocean: Before you start thinking that the folks at DSN are losing their marbles, bear with me!  The truth is that none of these three all-too-familiar and quintessentially marine images reflects the actual reality of what most of the […]
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4:33 PM | The rainbow-covered animal with a dark side
Watching animals eat is like my biology crack. I don’t need it, I don’t have to do it, I don’t even always like it, but there’s just something about critters noshing on one another that renders me wonderstruck. And nothing does it for me like the comb jelly Beroe: So let’s start with the obvious […]
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4:33 PM | The rainbow-covered animal with a dark side
Watching animals eat is like my biology crack. I don’t need it, I don’t have to do it, I don’t even always like it, but there’s just something about critters noshing on one another that renders me wonderstruck. And nothing does it for me like the comb jelly Beroe: So let’s start with the obvious […]
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6:51 AM | Tidal elevations and currents in Fowey, Cornwall
Tides in Cornwall. The other day we talked about a very simplistic models of tides in a glass, and how the high tide and low tide travel as a wave around an ocean basin. This isn’t really a news flash … Continue reading →

November 04, 2014

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7:07 PM | What do baseball and fishes have in common?
Here’s the third in our series of guest posts from California Academy of Sciences ichthyologist Dr. Luiz Rocha I am not going to lie to you, before moving to San Francisco I barely knew the rules of baseball. But during the mere three years that I have lived here, our local team (the Giants in […]
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7:07 PM | What do baseball and fishes have in common?
Here’s the third in our series of guest posts from California Academy of Sciences ichthyologist Dr. Luiz Rocha I am not going to lie to you, before moving to San Francisco I barely knew the rules of baseball. But during the mere three years that I have lived here, our local team (the Giants in […]
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5:50 PM | Exploring a Unique Biodiversity Hotspot In the Gulf of Maine
[php]  Cashes Ledge is a wild, special place in the heart of the Gulf of Maine. This underwater mountain range is home to a great diversity of life, with colors typically associated with a coral reef rather than a cold, northern environment. Its steep peaks reach almost to the ocean’s surface—a fact that historically made Cashes Ledge a dangerous place for fishermen, who could easily snag and rip or lose their nets on the jagged underwater mountaintops. As a result, the […]

November 03, 2014

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6:19 AM | Communicating climate change to young people
How do we talk about climate change in a way that will engage young people? I don’t know about you, but I sometimes get slightly tired of talking about climate change. It is a super important topic, one of the most important … Continue reading →

November 02, 2014

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4:03 PM | Guest post: Missing when you’re shooting at trouble
I am so very pleased to introduce my very first guest blogger: Emily T. Griffiths. I worked with Emily on the CalCurCEAS cruise earlier this month. We had adventures and misadventures and cookies. Lots of cookies. Emily’s background is in zoology and animal biology (undergrad) and marine biology (master’s). She worked as a research technician […]

November 01, 2014

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5:57 PM | These are a few of my favorite species: The Torpedo Ray
“Shields up! Phasers set to kill! Engage!” If the Pacific Torpedo Ray (Torpedo californica) had an inner dialogue whilst stalking delicious fishy snacks, I could imagine it would be something along these lines. In his literary masterpiece, Certainly More Than You Want to Know About the Fishes of the Pacific Coast,  Milton Love so rightly describes them as […]
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5:57 PM | These are a few of my favorite species: The Torpedo Ray
“Shields up! Phasers set to kill! Engage!” If the Pacific Torpedo Ray (Torpedo californica) had an inner dialogue whilst stalking delicious fishy snacks, I could imagine it would be something along these lines. In his literary masterpiece, Certainly More Than You Want to Know About the Fishes of the Pacific Coast,  Milton Love so rightly describes them as […]

October 31, 2014

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5:10 AM | Tides in a glass
A very simple experiment to show how waves can travel around an ocean basin. I wrote these instructions for a book project that I was lucky enough to get involved in at the very last minute and figured I could … Continue reading →

October 30, 2014

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11:09 PM | How much weight is the “Ocean Atlas” really carrying on its shoulders?
Artist Jason deCaires Taylor has teamed up with B.R.E.E.F. to create “Ocean Atlas”, the worlds largest underwater sculpture. Underwater reef, diverter of tourists from natural reefs and a new hub for underwater selfies, “Ocean Atlas” is a sculpture of a woman supposedly holding the weight of the ocean on her shoulders. Which of course led my tiny science mind to wonder…exactly how […]
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11:09 PM | How much weight is the “Ocean Atlas” really carrying on its shoulders?
Artist Jason deCaires Taylor has teamed up with B.R.E.E.F. to create “Ocean Atlas”, the worlds largest underwater sculpture. Underwater reef, diverter of tourists from natural reefs and a new hub for underwater selfies, “Ocean Atlas” is a sculpture of a woman supposedly holding the weight of the ocean on her shoulders. Which of course led my tiny science mind to wonder…exactly how […]
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5:18 PM | These are a few of my favorite species: almost zombie like brachiopods
The lowly brachiopod.  They make my list because they represent the antithesis of a charismatic organism. Today the attention they get is mostly by mistake. Brachiopods are often confused for mollusks because of their superficial resemblance to clams*. But if it wasn’t for that pesky Permian mass extinction, they might be kicking clam butt all over the place. 99% […]
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5:18 PM | These are a few of my favorite species: almost zombie like brachiopods
The lowly brachiopod.  They make my list because they represent the antithesis of a charismatic organism. Today the attention they get is mostly by mistake. Brachiopods are often confused for mollusks because of their superficial resemblance to clams*. But if it wasn’t for that pesky Permian mass extinction, they might be kicking clam butt all over the place. 99% […]

October 29, 2014

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8:08 PM | Interview with the Vampire Blennies
This is our second guest post from ichthyologist, tech diver and all-round good guy Dr. Luiz Rocha at the California Academy of Sciences.  You should follow him on Twitter When you hear “vampires” you usually think “Twilight”, “Vampire Diaries” or “True Blood”. However, a very interesting group of fishes have also taken up the name. […]
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8:08 PM | Interview with the Vampire Blennies
This is our second guest post from ichthyologist, tech diver and all-round good guy Dr. Luiz Rocha at the California Academy of Sciences.  You should follow him on Twitter When you hear “vampires” you usually think “Twilight”, “Vampire Diaries” or “True Blood”. However, a very interesting group of fishes have also taken up the name. […]
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6:35 AM | Assessing participation
One example of how to give grades for participation. One of the most difficult tasks as a teacher is to actually assess how much people have learned, along with give them a grade – a single number or letter (depending on where … Continue reading →

October 28, 2014

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10:06 PM | These are a few of my favorite species: Anything with an instrument on it
As a physical oceanographer I have a love-hate relationship with sea life. Ocean biology is totally cool….until it interferes with my measurements. I’m looking at you barnacles on my ADCP. But swimming animals that can measure where oceanographers fear to tread, I am ALL OVER THAT. So here’s my favorite species…the ones I can stick instruments/tracking devices […]
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10:06 PM | These are a few of my favorite species: Anything with an instrument on it
As a physical oceanographer I have a love-hate relationship with sea life. Ocean biology is totally cool….until it interferes with my measurements. I’m looking at you barnacles on my ADCP. But swimming animals that can measure where oceanographers fear to tread, I am ALL OVER THAT. So here’s my favorite species…the ones I can stick instruments/tracking devices […]
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4:43 PM | Stinkin' Seaweed Makes Tasty Food for Coastal Animals
[php]Most people try to avoid rotting kelp at the beach. The feeling of a floating piece of seaweed wrapping around an ankle is enough to shake even the most steeled swimmer, and then there's the strong smell! But in our research group, we go out of our way to find rotting seaweed at the shore so that we can study how kelp tissues change as they die and decompose.  While this may seem like an odd thing to care about, detached and decomposing kelp blades are actually a very important part […]
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12:19 AM | These Are a Few of My Favorite Species: Carnivorous Sponges
Most sponges, inspiration for dish cleaners and mess absorbers, feed by filtering water through those many holes and channels.  Their scientific name, Porifera, literally means pore bearer.  The channels are lined with special cells, chanocytes, each containing a flagellum that continuously beats.  This whirling action by the flagellum filters nutrients and small particles of food […]
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12:19 AM | These Are a Few of My Favorite Species: Carnivorous Sponges
Most sponges, inspiration for dish cleaners and mess absorbers, feed by filtering water through those many holes and channels.  Their scientific name, Porifera, literally means pore bearer.  The channels are lined with special cells, chanocytes, each containing a flagellum that continuously beats.  This whirling action by the flagellum filters nutrients and small particles of food […]

October 27, 2014

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4:16 AM | Sun dogs
More refraction of light. Recently I found myself on the ferry from Kiel to Gothenburg, watching the sun rise. Next to the sun, I noticed a piece of a rainbow. Now as we all know, rainbows are supposed to only … Continue reading →

October 26, 2014

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9:12 PM | These Are a Few of My Favorite Species: Spotted Porcupine Fish
As scientific mariners, we spend an inordinate amount of shore time on sleezy docks and seedy piers around the world, from the gritty shipyards of Callao, to the bustling ports of Capetown, and the rowdy embarcaderos of Barbados. These landings provide a chance to shake off the sea legs on tierra firma, and sample the […]
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9:12 PM | These Are a Few of My Favorite Species: Spotted Porcupine Fish
As scientific mariners, we spend an inordinate amount of shore time on sleezy docks and seedy piers around the world, from the gritty shipyards of Callao, to the bustling ports of Capetown, and the rowdy embarcaderos of Barbados. These landings provide a chance to shake off the sea legs on tierra firma, and sample the […]

October 25, 2014

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5:09 AM | Codeword Bacon? Piggy? Pork Belly?! Let me in!!!!
 As I am getting ready to leave on another cruise in a week, I need to recount the old stories before new ones pile on! This is a good one, well, it is a good one now, at the time it was rather frightening.   Late October 2011, the R/V Roger Revelle sat steady on the equator in the Indian Ocean south of Sri Lanka. Every ship from the American fleet of research vessels obeys the US Coast

October 24, 2014

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10:33 AM | Shark vs. CTD. Shark 1, CTD 0.
There is a common saying amongst oceanographers, “if you put something in the water, there is no guarantee you will get it back.” I’ve been in that situation before and it sucks. Unlike these guys, I’ve never had to actively fight the ocean to get an instrument back. What appears to be just ordinary shark fishing is actually an […]
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