Technology & Discovery
OVOL and SNMREC Researchers Awarded DOE Grant for Marine Mammal Monitoring System
Researchers in HBOI's Ocean Visibility and Optics Lab (OVOL) and FAU's Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center (SNMREC) were recently awarded a $556,000 grant by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for a two-year project that will help to ensure the safety of marine animals near ocean-based projects. OVOL's Dr. Fraser Dalgleish is technical principal investigator and SNMREC's Susan Skemp is the business principal investigator. Together with their respective teams, they will develop and test an optical monitoring system for endangered and threatened species of marine mammals. The system will provide automated tracking and notification of the presence of managed animals within established perimeters, and will provide high resolution imagery of their behavior through a wide range of conditions. The technological innovation being proposed will address a high priority regulatory requirement to observe marine life interaction near marine and hydrokinetic projects. This technology aims to provide a cost-effective and automated solution, and improve resource manager confidence that any harmful interactions between marine animals and equipment can be avoided.
January 16, 2015
Ocean Discovery Day: Broadening the Spectrum for the Ocean Sciences
FAU Harbor Branch, in collaboration with the Florida Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) and Indian River State College (IRSC), recently co-hosted "Ocean Discovery Day." This event grew out of a key recommendation from the National Society Foundation-funded "Broadening the Spectrum" diversity workshop held two years ago, with HBOI represented by former Executive Director Dr. Margaret Leinen and Dr. Dennis Hanisak. That workshop focused on addressing the very low number of African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans in ocean and environmental science graduate programs and professional careers across Florida, despite the state's very diverse population.
Ocean Discovery Day was designed as a pilot to introduce more than 100 Upward Bound/Talent Search high school students in Indian River and St. Lucie counties to ocean careers and the importance of the ocean to Florida communities. The morning session was held at IRSC, followed by an afternoon session at HBOI with a focus on hands-on activities, mostly developed and led by "near-peer mentors" (graduate students or early career professionals in the ocean sciences and engineering). Drs. Dennis Hanisak and Jim Masterson joined forces with IRSC in this event, by bringing in their students from this year's Natural History of Indian River Lagoon course to do shoreline explorations, seining activities with the high school students and assisting with plankton and sea turtle interactive activities designed by some of the near-peer mentors, who came from the University of Miami, University of Central Florida, Savannah State University, and FAU. Other participants were from ORCA, the Marine Technology Society, Eidos Education, the Institute for Broadening Participation, and NOAA.
November 21, 2014