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NAAMES-II Expedition: June 3, 2016 BONUS

By Kristina Mojica

Atlantic common dolphins. Photo: Susanne Menden-Deuer

Charismatic megafauna

The oceanographers amongst us are often hard pressed to distinguish ourselves from marine biologists. Whilst many in the general public like to imagine our work surrounded by dolphins and resembling something out of a Caribbean vacation, the reality of tracing global biogeochemical cycles and deciphering complex bio-physical interactions in a dynamic and rapidly changing ocean for some reason is less inspiring – though of course much more important. Oceanographers study the ocean as a system and the ocean has critters in them, more numerous than the stars in the heavens, so yes, we also study critters. Rarely the charismatic megafauna though. While some oceanographers do study mammals, on this NASA NAAMES mission the largest animals under consideration are fish. Nonetheless, when the call goes out that dolphins are in sight – most frequently spotted by Luis Bolanos (OSU) – many briefly drop their important atmospheric or oceanographic research and run out to see the dolphins playing with the waves generated by the ship or riding seemingly effortlessly on the bow wave. The other day 2 sprinted by the side of the ship, as the R/V Atlantis made almost 14 knots (16 miles/hr; 26 km/hr). It was cool to hear …read more

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NAAMES-II Expedition: June 3, 2016 BONUS


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