Sea Technology

FEB 2017

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www.sea-technology.com February 2017 / st 59 Microbes Could Mitigate Oil Spills in Arctic The collaborative research project GENICE that partners the University of Calgary with the University of Mani- toba has been awarded $10.7 million as part of the Genome Canada 2015 Large-Scale Applied Research Project Competition. The research teams will combine their expertise in genomics, microbiol- ogy, petroleomics and sea ice physics to investigate the potential for natural microbial communities to mitigate oil spills, as warmer temperatures and melting sea ice usher in more Arctic shipping. With northern shipping increasing by 166 percent since 2004, and cruise ships and tourism increasing by 500 percent in the past five years, the pres- sures on the Northwest Passage are ris- ing. The soon to be completed Churchill Marine Observatory in Churchill, Manitoba, adjacent to Canada's only Arctic deepwater port, will support the technological, scientific, ethical, envi- ronmental, economic, legal and social research needed to guide safe marine transportation and oil and gas explora- tion and development in the Arctic. Kelp Resilient in California Heat Wave After a large-scale marine heat wave in the Pacific Ocean in 2014 produced the greatest temperature anomalies since recordkeeping began in the early 1900s, ocean researchers at UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) evaluated the sentinel status of giant kelp forests along the southern California coast- line as an indicator of climate change. They expected the kelp, known to be sensitive to temperature increases and the resulting low-nutrient conditions, to respond rapidly to a rise in water temperature. However, the kelp response turned out to be no different than what they'd seen in the temporal record. The val- ues were low but not necessarily low- er than during cool-water years. The researchers used kelp records from a 34-year time series of satellite data and analyzed kelp biomass from Santa Barbara to San Diego through time and related it to sea surface temperatures. This work may provide some insight into how these kelp for- ests would respond to future climate warming. Lockheed Martin Funds JSU STEM Program A $75,000 corporate gift to Jackson State University (JSU) will support se- lect students in Jackson Public Schools who will enroll in the Lockheed Martin STEM Academy at JSU for a summer training program. In this intensive four- summer, six-week academy, hands-on experience is a major component, and the target is students in Grades 6 to 8. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. will need 1 million more STEM professionals by 2022. The JSU program will prepare stu- dents for college STEM with math, computer science, problem-solving skills, introduction to engineering, physics and English. Rovco Secures Funding For 3D Modeling Tech ROV services company Rovco has secured Innovate UK funding to carry out extensive research and develop- ment activity and perform a full fea- sibility study into the advancement of underwater 3D modeling technology. Once developed into a real-time in- spection system, it has the potential to revolutionize the way energy compa- nies manage and inspect their subsea assets, potentially saving hundreds of millions of pounds in subsea inspec- tion costs each year. Manganese Nodules for Octopus Breeding Biologists discovered a new oc- topus species at more than 4,000-m depth that guard their eggs, likely for years prior to hatching, and use man- ganese nodules on the seabed as a breeding ground. The octopus deposits its eggs onto sponges that grow on the manganese nodules. This implies that the industrial extraction of resources in the deep sea must be preceded by thorough investigations of the ecologi- cal consequences. The virtually trans- parent deep-sea octopus was found February 2016 and named Casper by the web community. It became a so- cial media star after being discovered by the U.S. diving robot Deep Discov- ery, which detected the 10-cm marine creature off Necker Island, Hawaii, at a depth of 4,290 m, taking close-up video and publishing the footage on- line. Six months earlier, researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute, GEO- MAR, Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, and Centre for Marine Environmental Sciences filmed and photographed more specimens of this or similar species in the Peru Basin in the Pacific Ocean. China Gets OSIL Giant Piston Corer OSIL has produced a 30m Giant Piston Corer for China's First Institute of Oceanography (FIO), State Oceanic Administration (SOA). The corer and handling package was supplied to the FIO by JESSN Marine Equipment Co. Ltd. of Ningbo, China. The Giant Piston Corer is a rugged and reliable system that can take up to 60-m core samples in soft, cohesive sediments and muds. Western Pacific Biotwang Baleen Whale Call A sound in the Marianas Trench notable for its complexity and wide frequency range likely represents the discovery of a new baleen whale call, according to the Oregon State Univer- sity (OSU) researchers who recorded and analyzed it. Scientists at OSU's Hatfield Marine Science Center named it the "Western Pacific Biotwang". Lasting between 2.5 and 3.5 seconds, the five-part call includes deep moans at frequencies as low as 38 Hz and a metallic finale that pushes as high as 8,000 Hz. It was recorded via passive acoustic ocean gliders. "It's very distinct, with all these crazy parts," said researcher Sharon Nieukirk. "The low-frequency moan- ing part is typical of baleen whales, and it's that kind of twangy sound that makes it really unique. We don't find many new baleen whale calls." Baleen whale calls are often related to mating and heard mainly during winter, yet this new call was recorded throughout the year. The researchers hope to mount an expedition for fur- ther study. ST ocean research

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