Spring Ecosystem Monitoring Survey off to a Good Start

The Henry Bigelow left from Pier 2 at the Newport Naval Station on Wednesday, May 23, under sunny skies to start the Spring Ecosystem Monitoring (EcoMon) Survey.  With good weather forecast for the remainder of the week we are heading offshore to survey at the stations along the outer edge of the continental shelf as we head south for the first part of this cruise.

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The Henry B. Bigelow at its berth on Pier 2 at the Newport Naval Station prior to departure. Photo by Jerry Prezioso, NOAA Fisheries/NEFSC

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Joseph Deltorto, our Chief Engineer, stands next to one of the two massive electric motors (blue box) that quietly propel the Henry Bigelow at better than 12 knots.  Photo courtesy of Joseph Deltorto

Cruising smoothly at 12 knots with its newly refurbished electric propulsion motors, the vessel is making excellent progress.  The time spent approaching our first station is completely taken up by a whirlwind of activities: setting up and testing gear, attending a welcome aboard orientation meeting, and having fire and abandon-ship drills.

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Justin Ellis, our Operations Officer, shows Susan Dee the correct way to don a survival suit.   Photo by Jerry Prezioso, NOAA Fisheries/NEFSC

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Crew members test fire hose output during fire drill after leaving port.   Photo by Jerry Prezioso, NOAA Fisheries/NEFSC

As is typical for these ecosystem monitoring surveys, we have a variety of researchers on board: a satellite specialist doing in-situ light measurements during satellite overpasses, a Canadian biologist from the Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans in Halifax, NS, a Maine Maritime Academy student volunteer, a NOAA Teacher-at-Sea from South Carolina, two seabird and marine mammal observers, and three scientists from the Northeast Fisheries Science Center.

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Susan Dee (left), our NOAA Teacher-at-Sea, learning how to run the ImagingFlowCytoBot, with Emily Peacock of WHOI.   Photo by Jerry Prezioso, NOAA Fisheries/NEFSC

Together we will gather as much data as we can on this voyage which will take us from southern New England to Delaware Bay, to Georges Bank and into the Gulf of Maine.

Stay tuned!

Jerry Prezioso
Chief Scientist
HB18-03 Spring Ecosystem Monitoring (EcoMon) Survey

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