Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

Ocean Life, Planet Health

May 2010 eNews

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Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
May 13, 2010


Last fall, with funding from the National Science Foundation, Bigelow Senior Research Scientist Dr. Paty Matrai and her collaborators from the United States, Canada, and Germany successfully deployed the first in a series of instrument platforms—called O-Buoys—designed to be an autonomous, ice-supported atmospheric chemistry measurement system in the Arctic Ocean. The first O-Buoy was stationed in the Beaufort Sea at approximately 76N, 138W, where it is still operational. Two additional O-Buoys were deployed this spring in Hudson Bay and the Canadian Arctic, with funding from the Canadian International Polar Year Program. The autonomous, ice-tethered buoys are equipped with chemical sensors and, for the first time, allow scientists to continuously monitor the composition of the atmosphere from the sea ice over the Arctic Ocean. The O-Buoy’s chemical sensors measure atmospheric ozone, bromine monoxide, and carbon dioxide -- key indicators of greenhouse gas levels and the oxidation capacity of the atmosphere -- in addition to weather conditions over the Arctic Ocean. O-Buoys are designed to operate with minimal direct human interaction and to survive harsh conditions during the shifting of Arctic Ocean sea ice. On-board computers transmit data daily by satellite back to the laboratory for analysis; data are shared weekly with the international community. More information and video footage of the first O-Buoy deployment are available on Dr. Matrai’s webpage.

Photo courtesy of Paty Matrai.

May 18 Marine Science Careers Night
Is someone you know thinking about a career in ocean science?

Photo courtesy of Rick Wahle.

The Laboratory invites high school students and their parents to an informal discussion of career options in marine science and oceanography, ocean science academic programs at Maine colleges and universities, and education programs at Bigelow Laboratory, on Tuesday evening, May 18, 2010, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Dining Commons at Lincoln Academy, 81 Academy Hill Road in Newcastle, Maine.

The evening will feature brief presentations by ocean scientists from Maine colleges and universities, along with information about science programs and college admissions at several Maine institutions, including the University of Maine, Maine Maritime Academy, the University of Southern Maine, the University of New England, Southern Maine Community College and others. Information will also be available about Bigelow Laboratory’s five-day BLOOM Program for high school juniors and its ten-week Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program for college students.

This event is free and open to all high school students and their parents.

Maine College Students Join Laboratory’s Oceanographic Research Expeditions to the Amazon Plume and the Costa Rica Dome

Photo by Jane Gardner.

Working with Dr. Joaquim Goés and his research team, Colby College senior Ali Brandeis, junior Courtney Beaulieu, and Bowdoin College senior Kelly Keebler will work as interns on two National Science Foundation-funded oceanographic expeditions this spring and summer. Brandeis (above, center) and Keebler (above, right) will be aboard a research ship off the coast of Costa Rica, helping scientists study grazing and iron controls of diatom blooms. Originally, this cruise was to take place in the Arabian Sea, but concerns about piracy required relocation to the Costa Rica Dome (an area in the Pacific Ocean 500 to 800 miles west of Costa Rica), which has a similar upwelling system as the Arabian Sea and where phytoplankton blooms are constrained by both iron limitation and microzooplankton grazing. Beaulieu (above, left) will be aboard a research vessel at the mouth the Amazon River, where scientists will investigate the ability of diatoms and other plankton communities within the surface ocean to act as significant exporters of carbon in the Amazon River plume.

Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences ...exploring the world’s oceans, from microbes to global ecosystems


BLOOM Class of 2010
We are very pleased to announce that the following Maine high school juniors have been selected to be part of the 21st annual Keller BLOOM Program at the Laboratory, May 16 though 20, 2010:

Samuel Albert
Fort Kent Community School

Kaitlyn Alley
Jonesport-Beals High School

Alyssa Beaupre
Lewiston High School

Maureen Blanchard
South Portland High School

Alison Clift
Bonny Eagle High School

Paul Elish
Presque Isle High School

Morgan Forni
Sumner Memorial High School

Hailey Gossard
Traip Academy

Marissa Heikkinen
Home Schooled

Blaise Jenner
Isleboro Central School

Kristina Kelley
Belfast Area High School

Mariam Khan
Waterville High School

Sophie Oullette
Wisdom Middle/High School (Frenchville)

Zachery Shaw
Morse High School

Kristin Trenholm
Mt. Abram High School

Wade Valleau
Mount Desert Island High School

Criteria for selection included academic record, demonstrated aptitude in science, level of interest, communication skills, and letters of recommendation.

Sixteen students are selected to participate each year. The Laboratory provides chaperones and room and board. BLOOM (Bigelow Laboratory Orders Of Magnitude) is a five-day, intensive research experience that includes data collection in the field, laboratory analysis, and public presentation of experimental results.

Particle Analysis
with Vision

Fluid Imaging Technologies, Inc. Receives Exporter of the Year Award

Fluid Imaging Technologies, Inc. of Yarmouth, Maine has received the 2010 Maine International Trade and Investment Award as “Exporter of the Year.” The company was established to provide instrumentation and imaging services using FlowCAM® technology developed at Bigelow Laboratory for rapid, automated monitoring of phytoplankton. FlowCAM® combines the capabilities of flow cytometry (a technique for counting and examining microscopic particles, such as cells, suspended in a stream of fluid that passes through an optical detection system) with digital imaging microscopy. The company manufactures and markets the automated FlowCAM® particle imaging and analysis system, which takes hundreds of high-resolution, digital images of individual particles and cells in a fluid in seconds; measures their size, shape, and dozens of other parameters in real time; and uses proprietary image management software to save the resulting images and data for analysis. Exports of this technology topped 60% of FlowCAM® revenues for the year and the patented particle analyzer is currently in operation in 30 countries. It is also being currently used aboard the three-year Tara Oceans expedition. The award will be presented on June 3, 2010 by the Maine International Trade Center.

FlowCAM® image from the Tara. Photo by Michael Sieracki.

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