Alaska SeaLife Center divers Moorea and Terril Efird visited the Ocean Sciences Club to talk about scientific diving. First, we learned about the gear needed for cold water dives. Joel adorned Moorea’s down layers and dry suit to show how difficult it can be to move around suited up in full gear. We also learned several techniques of scientific diving, like biodiversity surveys, swath sampling to study density of invertebrates (modeled by Emma and Elena) and fish species identification. To finish off the evening, Terril shared photos from his dives around the world, from Australia to Antarctica.
This week we worked in teams to build 4 ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles). The challenge: construct an ROV that can pick up wiffle balls at the bottom of a tank. Each team had three motors with a controller, PVC piping, cable ties, weights and floats to create their vehicle. We will test them out in December!
Last week at Ocean Sciences Club we learned about buoyancy so we could understand more about ROVs. We talked about density, displacement, Boyle’s Law and experimented with each. The club tested their calculations and saw how much water clay cubes of different weights could actually displace. Finally, two club members got to pretend to be ROVs and the rest of the club tried to direct the ROVs remotely by camera.
Lots of exciting projects this fall in the ocean sciences club! Last week we met with Research Associate John Skinner to check out different data loggers and telemeters staff at the Center use to study marine mammals. Pictured here, Kjell, Roma and Jeremy and Anna try their hand at an egg dissection at this week’s meeting. Post Doc Researcher Katrina Edgar led the dissection and talked with the club about what sea duck research staff can learn from studying eggs.
Have you checked out our Club video yet!? Living in Seward we find that the ocean is a huge part of our lives, and an important one too! Listen to Ocean Sciences Club members share their connection to our ocean, and why it’s important that we care for its health in: The Health of the Ocean Matters To Me
Meet Lyra! Lyra is a harbor seal pup who stranded near Nikiski, Alaska in June 2013. She was rescued by staff from the Alaska SeaLife Center and is currently being cared for by the ASLC Rehabilitation team here in Seward. The Seward Ocean Sciences Club named Lyra (which come from the Greek word for Harp) after the small constellation that shares the name. You can follow Lyra’s progress towards release on the Alaska SeaLife Center website!
The ASLC Rescue and Rehabilitation Program is authorized by NMFS (National Marine Fisheries Service) and USFWS (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) to respond to marine mammal and bird strandings from the entire gulf coast of Alaska. The program includes a veterinary staff, interns, and volunteers trained to respond and care for marine mammals and birds.
What a fun potluck last week! The Ocean Sciences Club wrapped up the school year with dinner, games and a Skype connection with JOIDES Resolution, a research vessel conducting sea floor studies in the Gulf of Alaska.
We’ll keep you posted on the start date of club meetings again this fall! To be added to our email list please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
This week at Ocean Sciences Club our guests were Alaska SeaLife Center researchers John Maniscalco and Pam Parker from the Chiswell project. Chiswell is the longest running research project at the Center, observing Steller sea lions at the Chiswell Island rockery near Resurrection Bay. After learning about why the scientists are interested in studying sea lions students got the scoop on what’s been learned so far. Next, they went behind the scences to try their hand at operating the cameras and identifying individual sea lions.
This week at Ocean Sciences Club our topic was thermoregulation. Our guest presenter was Dr. Jo-Ann Mellish, a Marine Mammal Scientist at the Center. Everyone had a great time learning about what it’s like to do research in Antarctica, where Dr. Mellish spends her Antarctic summers studying Weddell seals. You can check out more videos from her project here: