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NOAA Ocean Exploration and Research Program Launches Lophelia II 2009: Deepwater Coral Expedition: Reefs, Rigs, and Wrecks Expedition

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  • BBracey@aol.com
    ... 230 G Street SW Washington, DC 202-484-0554 cell 202 285-3343 [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 26, 2009
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      >
      >
      > This is an electronic news update about the NOAA Ocean Explorer Education
      > Program. To learn more about these news updates and how to be put on the
      > distribution list, please read the instructions at the end of this email.
      >
      > ***************************************************************************
      >
      >
      > Educators:
      > NOAA Ocean Exploration and Research Program Launches Lophelia II 2009:
      > Deepwater Coral Expedition: Reefs, Rigs, and Wrecks
      > August 19 - September 12, 2009
      >
      > The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ocean
      > Exploration and Research Program (OER) has launched the Lophelia II
      > 2009: Deepwater Coral Expedition: Reefs, Rigs, and Wrecks Web page on
      > its Ocean Explorer Web site.
      > http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/09lophelia/welcome.html.
      >
      > In the second year of a four year study, and the third cruise in a
      > series of four expeditions to the Gulf of Mexico, Lophelia II 2009 is
      > taking place on board the NOAA Ship Ronald H Brown. This expedition is
      > using one of the most advanced remotely operated vehicles (ROV) in the
      > world, the Jason II from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. With many
      > facets to this study, a multi-disciplinary team of scientists from some
      > of the leading institutions in the world are working together to
      > accomplish a number of goals. The most basic goal of this study is to be
      > able to predict deep-water coral distribution in the Gulf of Mexico. The
      > NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) and the U.S.
      > Minerals Management Service (MMS) are interested in this question to
      > better protect these fragile habitats as human activities extend
      > offshore into deeper and deeper waters.
      >
      > Using high-resolution multibeam bathymetry data collected during
      > previous cruises in the Gulf of Mexico, scientists were able make some
      > predictions regarding coral distribution and chose the sites for
      > detailed experiments that will take place on this cruise.
      >
      > The Lophelia II 2009 exploration team will head to a site off the west
      > coast of Florida to collect quantitative photographic and physical
      > samples of coral communities and genetic samples of the hard coral
      > Lophelia pertusa, black corals, gorgonian sea fans, and other associated
      > species. They will then move north to examine a never before explored
      > cliff face that runs over 1000 m from top to bottom. Stay tuned for the
      > results as the team crosses the Gulf from Florida to Texas.
      >
      > As the ship heads back to the central Gulf, more detailed work at known
      > coral sites will take place. The exploration team will visit Green
      > Canyon 852, the site of the coral gardens discovered during the 2007
      > mission to explore cold seeps in the Gulf. Here they will deploy
      > long-term measuring instruments. They will visit Mississippi Canyon 751
      > where many of live corals are growing near a cold seep site and Viosca
      > Knoll 906 where large mounds are made up of mostly dead coral. At the
      > Mississippi Canyon site a sediment/larval trap will be deployed to
      > collect samples that can be analyzed to determine how much food is being
      > delivered to the corals, how much they might get buried by sediment, and
      > how frequently larvae make it to the site. The final site of the first
      > leg is a visit to the largest known Lophelia reef in the Gulf: Viosca
      > Knoll 826. Here they will deploy a time lapse camera, as well as
      > additional measuring and collecting equipment. The collection will be
      > for community structure, genetics, and for the live corals needed for
      > experiments back in the lab.
      >
      > The second leg of the cruise will involve more investigations of the
      > ship wrecks in the area, some known to have large Lophelia colonies on
      > them, and some completely unknown! There will be a few artifacts
      > preserved from the wrecks, microbiological deployments made, and some
      > corals samples taken. Hopefully, this cruise will go a long way towards
      > helping predict coral distribution and teach us more about the biology,
      > ecology, and geology of these ecosystems.
      >
      > Educators working with scientists from the Lophelia II 2009: Deepwater
      > Coral Expedition: Reefs, Rigs, and Wrecks developed an Ocean Explorer
      > Expedition Education Module (EEM) for the mission. Designed for teachers
      > of students in Grades 5-12, the EEM offers an Expedition Purpose,
      > Lessons tied to the National Science Education Standards and the Ocean
      > Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts, Interactive
      > Multimedia Components for students, OceanAGE Career Connections, and
      > Other Resources and Links to help educators bring the excitement behind
      > this Deepwater Coral Expedition into their classrooms.
      >
      > Web logs, written by educators and scientists that capture daily
      > activities and discoveries, complete with compelling video and images,
      > will be posted within 24 hours of their receipt from the explorers on
      > the Ocean Explorer Lophelia II 2009: Deepwater Coral Expedition: Reefs,
      > Rigs, and Wrecks Web page. An "Ask an Explorer" feature will also be
      > available for students to submit questions to, and receive answers from,
      > the explorers during the expedition.
      >
      > Join us for a journey to the depths of the Gulf of Mexico - a world few
      > have ever seen!
      >
      > _______________________________________
      > Susan E. Haynes
      > Education Program Manager
      > NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research
      > www.oceanexplorer.noaa.gov
      > susan.haynes@...
      > (401) 289-2810
      >
      >






      230 G Street SW
      Washington, DC

      202-484-0554

      cell 202 285-3343


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