Displaying items by tag: marine science
#MarineInstitute - Canadian Ambassador to Ireland Kevin Vickers visited the Marine Institute in Oranmore this week to hear about the ongoing marine science and research collaborations between the Ireland and Canada.
These include a survey on the Celtic Explorer, which left St John's in Newfoundland last Wednesday 11 May with scientists from Ireland, Canada and the USA onboard to map a transect of the Atlantic seabed.
Ambassador Vickers also had the opportunity to meet local Transition Year students from Calasanctius Secondary School who were visiting the Marine Institute to learn about marine research, potential career opportunities and to promote ocean literacy. He talked to them about the longstanding links between Ireland and Newfoundland.
Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan commented: "Co-operation between our nations is key to improving our ocean wealth and promoting the sustainable management of its resources. It's hugely important for Ireland and brings us closer to achieving the goals of the Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation signed here at the Marine Institute Galway in May 2013 by the EU, USA and Canada.
"The current survey on the Celtic Explorer is called TRASNA [the Irish word for crossing] and is the fourth seabed mapping survey to take place under the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance," he added.
The Marine Institute is leading the Horizon 2020 funded project, the Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance Co-ordination and Support Action, to support the implementation of the Galway Statement.
Meanwhile, the visiting TY students were given an overview of the wide-ranging research areas within the institute by Dr Paul Connolly, director of fisheries ecosystems and advisory services.
The students toured the fish aging laboratories to learn how scientists use the otolith, or earbone, of a fish to discover its age and how this process is used for assessing fish stocks so that we know the sustainable limits for fishing.
They also learned about ocean acidification and how climate change is being affected by the increase of CO2 in our oceans with talk by Dr Triona McGrath.
The INFOMAR team demonstrated their work on seabed mapping using the latest technology, explaining the importance of topography, geology and seabed mapping using Ireland's first augmented reality sandbox.
#NoSoAT2016 - Postgraduate students (both MSc and PhD) of marine, atmosphere and climate-related sciences are invited to apply for a scholarship to join an international training survey on the RV Polarstern.
This is the second annual NoSoAT training transect and is a joint collaboration between the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), the Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training (SMART), the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO), the Nippon Foundation and AtlantOS.
The deadline for applications deadline to apply for the North South Atlantic Training Transect (NoSoAT 2016) is Monday 23rd May 2016 at 18:00 UTC.
Successful applicants will receive a scholarship to cover tuition, travel, subsistence and accommodation costs to Bremerhaven in Germany and from Cape Town, South Africa.
RV Polarstern (Hannes Grobe/Alfred Wegener Institute)
NoSoAT 2016 will investigate ocean, atmosphere and climate interactions on a transect from Bremerhaven to Cape Town from 12 November to 11 December 2016.
On the transect, postgraduate students will explore principles of oceanographic and atmospheric interactions and their impacts on climate. Investigations will focus on applied research techniques, supported by lectures, practical sessions and student presentations.
Participants will gain hands-on experience in the deployment and operation of scientific instrumentation, data and sample acquisition, post processing, and data analysis and interpretation.
Themes and topics for NoSoAT 2016 include:
- Oceanographic sampling and data acquisition
- Atmospheric lidar systems
- Remote sensing techniques
- Climate physics: processes and models
- Data analyses and dissemination
- Climate advocacy and governance
In 2015 eight students from universities and institutes of technology on the island of Ireland were among 32 successful applicants from 19 countries.
This is a fantastic opportunity to learn research skills in an international floating university led by leading researchers at the nexus of climate, marine and meteorological sciences and should not be missed.
Further information on NoSoAT2016 is available online HERE or by emailing [email protected] To get on board NoSoAT 2016, please go to the online application form HERE.
#BoatyMcBoatface - It's been confirmed that Britain's latest polar research vessel will not be named Boaty McBoatface despite that tongue-in-cheek moniker running away with the public vote in a controversial online poll.
Sir David said he was "truly honoured" by the decision to name the vessel after him, coming on the eve of his 90th birthday.
The move comes after UK Science Minister Jo Johnson stepped in to save face for the National Environment Research Council (NERC) when Boaty McBoatface, suggested by a radio DJ as a joke, secured the highest share of votes.
However, the public's choice will not go completely unrecognised, – as the name is set to be given to one of the vessel's remote operated vehicles, or ROVs, used for undersea exploration. The Evening Standard has much more on the story HERE.
Meanwhile, the head of the NERC faces a grilling by Westminster MPs next week over how the Name Our Ship competition took such a farcical direction, as the Guardian reports.
Taking place simultaneously over three evenings in May in Ireland, the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Canada, the USA, Brazil, Australia and South Africa, Pint of Science aims to encourage engagement with science beyond the lab or the lecture hall in the more approachable environment of a local pub.
The Oslo Bar in Galway city centre will host two evenings, one on the science of the human body on Monday 23 May, and a series of marine science topics from 7.30pm on Tuesday 24 May, MCed by Dr Nóirín Burke of the Galway Atlantaquaria.
Niall Keogh of GMIT will discuss the seabirds and cetaceans that populate Ireland's offshore waters, and Raissa Hogan of NUI Galway celebrates the diversity of Irish cold-water corals.
Representing INFOMAR and the Marine Institute, Oisín McManus will talk mapping the mountainous terrain that lies beneath the waves around Ireland, while Dr Tríona McGrath broaches the serious subject of ocean acidification.
#MarineScience - Dublin City University's St Patrick's Campus and the Marine Institute ran a pilot marine module with over 40 student teachers this week, giving them an opportunity to learn about teaching marine science and Ireland’s marine heritage.
Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan welcomed the collaboration with DCU to introduce themes relating to the marine environment into the science module.
“We recognise the unique position teachers have to help students develop an understanding of our amazing ocean resources," he said. "We hope these teachers will inspire curiosity among their students to learn more about the ocean and to develop an understanding of how we influence the ocean and how the ocean influences us.”
With a focus on a 'Marine Day' on 20 April on campus and in and the wider university, the oceans, seas and shorelines around Ireland present many opportunities to introduce marine themes into a range of cross curricular lessons,” explained Dr Thomas McCloughlin lecturer and lab manager of science at DCU's St Patricks Campus.
The Marine Institute provided a saltwater aquarium as well as a tidal tank for the modules, showing how bringing the seashore to the class provides an exciting way to learn about marine animals typically found on the seashore.
The programme was delivered to over 40 second- and third-year student teachers and included a field trip to the seashore and a range of interactive presentations in class.
“Student teachers get to explore the seashore through field trips as well as analysing specimens through examination and dissection in class. This allows them to integrate examining the biological themes of the marine as well as introducing social, physical-human and geographical influences relating to understanding and ocean resource,” said Dr Noirin Burke of the Galway Atlantaquaria, representing the Marine Institute’s primary school Explorers Education Programme.
Ireland has a seabed territory of approximately 880,000 sq km, 10 times greater than the size of the island of Ireland, making this one of the largest maritime member states of the European Union.
“Therefore, with Ireland being responsible for such a significant ocean resource, it is considered fundamental to teach Irish children, particularly as we are an Island nation, the historical and cultural values as well as the geographical and scientific backgrounds of our marine environment,” said Cushla Dromgool-Regan, responsible for the strategic development of education at the Marine Institute.
The pilot is supported by the Marine Institute and the Explorers Education Programme, which aims to build on Ireland’s marine and maritime heritage by increasing awareness of the value, opportunities and social benefits of our ocean wealth and identity.
The pilot was supported by Explorer Education Centres, Galway Atlantaquaria, Blackrock Education Centre and Sea Life Bray. For more information about the Explorers Education Programme see www.explorers.ie.
#CommOCEAN - Whether you're a marine scientist keen to be speed-trained in modern ocean science communication skills or a communicator, working for a marine institute, NGO or governmental body, the CommOCEAN International Marine Science Communication event is for you.
Following on from the successful IMSCC-1, organised by CIIMAR, Ciencia Viva & EMBCP in 2014, the Bruges-Ostend CommOCEAN event is a unique opportunity to make a major leap forward in communicating your ocean knowledge.
The organisers (VLIZ, EMB, EMBCP, UNESCO-IOC-IODE) are developing an inspiring, innovative and interactive programme consisting of two separate events: a two-day conference in Bruges (6-7 December 2016), followed by a one-day high-level training programme at the InnovOcean facilities in Ostend (8 December 2016).
The call for contributions (orals, poster, workshop) is now open for the two-day conference. The organisers encourage the submission of abstracts from all areas of science communication with a special focus on the ocean, marine and estuarine realm.
The four major sessions of the conference are:
- The fundamentals of science communication/reaching out to the public.
- Optimising impact.
- Social media and graphics.
- Think out of the box: new formats and creativity.
In terms of ocean topics, there will be a special (but not restrictive) focus on marine climate change, ocean plankton/microbiota, deep sea exploration and ocean observation.
Three presentation formats are applicable for CommOCEAN 2016:
- Oral presentation in the main plenary program (12'+3' Q/A).
- Workshop interactive sessions in parallel groups (60').
- Poster presentation, displayed at a central location.
Please make sure that you indicate your preference for one or more of the three suggested formats: oral, poster, workshop. If submitting an abstract for a workshop, please indicate the planned format and content, including any logistical requirements.
Abstracts can be submitted until 1 June 2016 at the latest. For any questions relating to abstracts, contact [email protected]
Read more about the venues, the scope and the tentative programme at CommOCEAN.org
#BoatyMcBoatface - Not so fast, Boaty McBoatface! Despite the public voicing their choice of name for Britain's latest marine research vessel, the UK's Science Minister has put the kibosh on that notion – to much disappointment online.
As reported yesterday on Afloat.ie, the head of the National Environment Research Council (NERC) was left with a dilemma after 'Boaty McBoatface' was the runaway winner in an public poll to name the £200 million (€253 million) polar research ship.
The online poll included nominations as worthy as Antarctic explorer Henry Worsley and renowned natural history broadcaster David Attenborough, and as smart-alecky as It's Bloody Cold Here.
But according to The Irish Times, the final decision rests with Science Minister Jo Johnson, who was diplomatic in saying that while the "imaginative" suggestions for names would be "reviewed", he favoured one that “captures the spirit of scientific endeavour”.
The reaction online has been swift, with the minister being branded an "anti-democrat, humorless spoilsport" for overruling the people, prompting some to call for the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron.
That's according to the Huffington Post, who also quoted former Royal Navy head Admiral Lord West on the 'controversy'.
“It’s the typical thing of Brits going mad," he said, "normally silly season, not at this time of year."
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, bosses at the National Environment Research Council (NERC) were left red-faced by the popularity of the tongue-in-cheek name, one of a number of witticisms nominated by the public in an online pills to name its latest £200 million (€253 million) research ship.
Now NERC chief executive Duncan Wingham, who holds final say on the naming rights, is left with the difficult decision of whether to go with the popular choice, or preserve the credibility of the advanced polar research fleet among the marine science community.
As it turns out, it's not the first time that marine science has had an awkward brush with the public online – as an effort by Greenpeace to draw attention to whaling in the South Pacific led to a humpback whale being lumbered with the dubious monicker Mister Splashy Pants.
However, as the AV Club reports, that name ended up being to the benefit of Greenpeace's campaign against Japanese whaling – a subject back in the news after confirmation of hundreds of whale kills on a recent Antarctic expedition.
#MarineWildlife - Sharks have been filmed devouring a whale carcass at the ocean's surface in waters close to Britain and Ireland for the first time.
The results of the documentary expedition were broadcast last Friday as part of the UTV series Britain's Whales, available for catch-up the rest of this week.
As the Plymouth Herald reports, the groundbreaking experiment was headed by West Country marine biologist Dr Nicholas Higgs along with presenters Ellie Harrison and Ben Fogle, who sailed out to the Celtic Deep between Ireland, Cornwall and Wales with the carcass of a humpback whale in tow.
Their documentary crew were then able to film an "unprecedented" feeding frenzy by hundreds of blue sharks before the carcass was sunk for further study to examine the various creatures, from sharks to tiny 'zombie worms', that thrive on dead cetaceans as they drop to the ocean floor.
"I would never have predicted that you'd have this many sharks eating this much of the whale at the surface," said Dr Higgs. The Plymouth Herald has more on the story HERE.
In other cetacean news, Japan has disappointed global authorities by confirming hundreds of whale kills on its most recent expedition to the Antarctic.
Some 333 minke whales, including pregnant females, were poached between since December and last Friday (25 March), according to the Guardian.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Ireland recently joined an international demarche expressing "serious concern" at Japan's decision to resume whaling for what it claims are scientific purposes, claims that are not supported by the International Whaling Commission.
#MarineNotice - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) advises that the German Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) and the University of Bremen will deploy three scientific deep-sea moorings at Goban Spur off the southwestern Irish shelf.
The work will be carried out by the German research vessel Maria S Merian (Callsign DBBT) and is expected to start on or around Sunday 3 April, lasting for approximately five days, weather permitting.
The top elements of all three moorings are yellow or orange in colour and carry flags as well as radio and Iridium beacons that only signal once the top element is at the surface. Scientific instruments are attached at different depths to ropes and chains. Sub-surface floatation bodies will keep the moorings upright.
As this is sensitive scientific equipment it is requested that fishermen and marine operators engaged in such activities as bottom trawling or laying of static gear avoid the locations concerned.