An ocean-bottom seismometer launch from R/V Oceanus.

Marine Life Research Tools & Methods – Studying life in the ocean involves many different tools and methods. Here we will attempt to describe many of the resources for further study or use.

An ocean-bottom seismometer goes over the side of R/V Oceanus. It will record long-period, low-frequency seismic waves for up to a year before the ship returns to retrieve the instrument.

Woods Hole Oceanographic – Ocean Instruments (WHOI) – All about different ocean instruments, how they work, what they do and why they do it. Ocean science and engineering, glossaries and multimedia technologies including video streaming, audio packages, and searchable databases. Some examples:

  • Multiple Opening and Closing Net, with an Environmental Sensing System. (MOCNESS) – remote-controlled nets for catching zooplankton
  • Marine Magnetometer – measures magnetic field strength
  • Moored Profiler – measuring the entire water column
  • Ocean-Bottom Seismometer – earthquakes deep below the sea
  • Piston Corer – properties of sediment deep below the seafloor
  • RAFOS Float – velocity of currents

Monterey Bay Aquarium, California, USA

Monterey Bay Aquarium Institute – Marine Technology research – Engineers work with scientists at MBARI to plan, design, build, test, and deploy high-tech equipment and instruments with the goal of answering key scientific questions about the ocean. Instruments for environmental monitoring and chemical analysis. MBARI engineers have developed a variety of amazing instruments that can perform chemical analysis and even DNA analysis in the open ocean and the deep sea:

  • The environmental sample processor (ESP)
  • The laser Raman spectrometer
  • The in-situ ultraviolet spectrometer (ISUS)
  • The Monterey ocean-bottom broadband (MOBB) seismometer
  • The osmosampler

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOAA Ocean Service – promote safe navigation, support coastal communities, sustain marine ecosystems, and mitigate coastal hazards.

Meet and ocean researcher

  • Nicole Trenholm, Program Director/Field Operations Scientist, Ocean Research Project – I aim to contribute to society by researching the relationship between man and our planet’s oceans and encouraging sustainable solutions to nurture a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship. Plastic debris, a concoction of un-natural chemical pollutants, are peppered throughout Earth’s oceans and changing what was once a pristine watery wilderness. It is the toxicity absorbed in the material being exchanged between marine species to people and its impact on human health that scares me.

What’s the problem?
Design and build a Video Plankton Recorder (video 2:49) – an underwater video microscope system that that takes images of plankton and particulate matter, working aboard R/V Oceanus in the western North Atlantic.

  • Ask
  • Imagine – use aviation ideas to be able steer the recorder to vary the depth. Capture the information in real-time to know if you are getting the information you want to collect. Display the information in a visual format so it can be interpreted quickly and easily. Identify the specific type of plankton that are being viewed.
  • Design, Build – All the equipment has to be watertight, and maneuverable enough to load on and off the research ship. The instruments have to be rugged enough to work while the ship is at sea.
  • Improve

That’s engineering

  • fiber optic cable
  • maritime – on, near, or living near the sea; of or relating to sea navigation, shipping, etc.
  • biodiversity – the variety of life forms on Earth or in a specific habitat or ecosystem
  • continental shelf – the descending area of land around the edges of each land mass

Engineering ideas

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Do It
Challenges for you to work on…