Florida News

Deepwater Horizon burning in April 2010. Image by US Coast Guard

What Did Scientists Learn from Deepwater Horizon?

.“Now we have a better sense of what we need to know,” Kujawinski says. “Understanding what these environments look like in their natural state is really critical to understanding the impact of oil spill conditions.”Additional authors of the review are chemist Ryan P. Rodgers (Florida State University), and microbiologists J. Cameron Thrash (University of Southern California, Los Angeles), David L. Valentine (University of California Santa Barbara), and Helen K. White (Haverford College)

(Image: MetOcean Telematics )

New Drifter Buoy Tracks Water Currents

MetOcean Telematics has developed the STOKES Iridium tracking drifter, a compact drifting buoy designed and tested in technical partnership with Florida State University (FSU) that tracks water currents at the surface.The small light-weight buoy is equipped with Iridium satellite telemetry, GPS positioning and a sea surface temperature sensor. Iridium satellite telemetry enables the buoy to provide vital sensor and geo-positional location data in real time. Iridium also allows the buoy to have bi-directional capabilities. This is a critical ability, for example, if the buoy enters a region of interest

Kraken's SeaVision 3D Underwater Laser Scanner integrated onto the Greensea Hull Crawler, with foam to maintain neutral buoyancy (Photo: Kraken)

Kraken, Greensea Partner to Advance Marine Robotics

and Greensea hardware products, including the newly developed Greensea Hull Crawler system. The first phase of this work was completed in February 2020, with the integration of Kraken’s SeaVision 3D RGB Underwater Laser Scanner into a prototype of the Greensea Crawler. The system was fielded in Florida and demonstrated inspections of a real-world vessel."The partnership we have signed is very significant. It is a relationship formed between the most disruptive, agile, and aggressive technology developers in the industry," said Ben Kinnaman, CEO of Greensea. “Greensea’s powerful

Photo: JW Fisher

JW Fishers Helps to Uncover History

In November of 2018, two  archaeological maritime discoveries were made near the Upper Florida Keys by individuals who federal scientists lauded for reporting, rather than disturbing, their finds. Jennifer Kerr, owner of Sailfish Scuba, mile marker 103.1, was exploring the Hannah M. Bell shipwreck near Key Largo when she noticed a cannon on Elbow Reef that is now believed to be nearly 200 years old. The find comes the same month that Homestead commercial trap fisherman Jose Antonio Lopez Ruiz was looking overboard from his vessel and spotted what turned out to be the wooden wreckage from an

SOI Executive Director Dr. Jyotika Virmani (Photo: XPRIZE)

Schmidt Appoints Virmani as Executive Director

and innovation make her an ideal addition to our team.”“We place the highest priority on finding the best talent, and we’ve found an exceptional leader in Dr. Virmani,” said Eric Schmidt, co-founder of Schmidt Ocean Institute.Virmani previously worked as associate director of the Florida Institute of Oceanography and as a senior scientist at the Met Office, the United Kingdom’s national weather service.She has a bachelor’s degree in physics from Imperial College London, a master’s degree in atmospheric and marine environmental science from the State University

Blue whale in the Pacific Ocean. Photo credit: Jessica Morten, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, National Ocean Service, NOAA

Study: How Changes in Shipping Patterns Affect Whales

rise, some whales are moving farther north to find food. These changes could expose them to new risks, including increased ship strike risk.  The locations of shipping lanes have been moved in the past to accommodate and protect endangered North Atlantic right whales as they migrate from Florida up to Canada. Redfern is excited about the tools she has developed to assess risks to marine species and looks forward to using them to solve conservation challenges on the East Coast

Photo courtesy of GlobalStar

Drifter Buoys Aid Seaweed Research

team built 20 buoys equipped with Globalstar's SPOT Trace trackers and placed them across the North Equatorial Recirculation Region (NERR) in the summer of 2019.Most surface ocean research projects use bulky 10-meter-deep drifters but when the Dutch research team heard about how Nico Wienders at the Florida State University used tiny SPOT Trace satellite trackers for oceanographic and oil spill research, they realized this was a more realistic option to mimic the drift of Sargassum on the surface of the sea.The buoys are made out of a 15cm PVC pipe which floats about 1cm above the sea. Each buoy is

A reefscape in the highly-protected Jardines de la Reina (Gardens of the Queen), Cuba provides habitat and feeding grounds for large numbers of fish, including top predators like sharks and groupers. (Photo by Amy Apprill, ©Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

How Microbes Reflect the Health of Coral Reefs

A comparison of protected and impacted reefs in Cuba and Florida KeysMicroorganisms play important roles in the health and protection of coral reefs, yet exploring these connections can be difficult due to the lack of unspoiled reef systems throughout the global ocean. A collaborative study led by scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and the Centro de Investigaciones Marinas - Universidad de La Habana (CIM-UH) compared seawater from 25 reefs in Cuba and the U.S. Florida Keys varying in human impact and protection, and found that those with higher microbial diversity and lower

Dr.  Jyotika Virmani and Dr. Marlon Lewis at OceanObs’19. Photo: OceanObs’19

OceanObs’19: Innovation Expanding Ocean Observations

focused on women’s instrumental role in ocean science, leadership, and mentorship. A panel of four leading women in ocean science offered insights from their own careers. Rosie Alegado from the University of Hawaii served as moderator and the panelists included Barb Kirkpatrick from the US, Nelly Florida from Indonesia, and Juliet Hermes from South Africa. They were joined by almost 40 more women in the field who served as ambassadors to answer questions and inspire discussion during a networking reception.The breaking waves event was just one example of how the OceanObs’19 program fostered

Hurricane Dorian races toward Florida

Hurricane Dorian is moving quickly through the Caribbean and heavy rains are expected in the Bahamas, Florida and the southeastof the US. this weekend, the National Weather Service has said. The National Hurricane Center said that Dorian’s winds currently have speeds of about 80 miles per hour and that the storm is moving northwest at 13 miles per hour and that the Category 1 hurricane could grow in strength to a major Category 3 storm before it potentially reaches Florida.Dorian is still moving away from Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and hurricane warnings and watches for those areas have

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