University of Massachusetts Professor Funded to Investigate Planktonic "Thin Layers"

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth professor has received funding from the Office of Naval Research for $162,075 to participate in the summer 2006 Layered Organization in the Coastal Ocean (LOCO) experiment on the California coast.

Reason for aggregation behavior a mystery. 

A University of Massachusetts Dartmouth professor has received funding from the Office of Naval Research for $162,075 to participate in the summer 2006 Layered Organization in the Coastal Ocean (LOCO) experiment on the California coast. This will be the second set of such experiments for the research team from UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science and Technology (SMAST) led by Professor Louis Goodman. The LOCO project involves colleagues from the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, BAE Systems, the University of Hawaii, and the University of California, Berkeley. 

The SMAST component of the LOCO program is to understand the relationship between ocean turbulence and the aggregation of phytoplankton and zooplankton into so-called “thin layers,” a phenomenon recently discovered by ONR scientists. These biological “thin layers” are typically several meters in thickness, and can extend for kilometers horizontally, persisting sometimes for days. Such a layer can contain more biomass than the entire surrounding water column. Dr. Goodman and his team from SMAST’s Marine Turbulence Laboratory will be carrying out field experiments using their unmanned vehicle T-REMUS from July to August 2006 in Monterey Bay


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