Scientists and students from the California Current Ecosystem – Long Term Ecological Research (CCE-LTER) Program are participating in another experimental process cruise to assess mechanisms leading to pelagic ecosystem transitions in the CCE study area. The study site (32.9° N, -120.3° W) is located from just north of Pt. Conception down to San Diego, and out to about 200km offshore – a very productive coastal upwelled biome. The scientists will be using highly sophisticated equipment to help them locate sharp frontal gradients, areas of abrupt hydrological properties and community structure change, and will be measuring these variables with a wide variety of equipment and experiments at sea. Several 3-4 day “cycles” will be spent assessing the role of mesoscale features in CCE production, biomass accumulation, nutrient and trophic fluxes, and predator-prey interactions.
The Teacher at Sea (a NSF sponsored RET position) this year is Carmina Ramirez, from Calexico High School 9th grade campus, located in Calexico, CA. She will be posting a daily BLOG regarding the R/V Melville’s research activities, life onboard the ship, and explaining in more detail the equipment and ongoing experiments – as well as her participation in the overall CCE research. Stay tuned!