News 2020: Researchers featured in National Geographic series
Researchers featured in National Geographic series

Researchers at the School for Marine Science & Technology document their journey at sea in the National Geographic’s “A Gathering Storm” series, which airs this Saturday, August 29.

Cod captured with underwater video tech

What is like when scientists go out to sea to conduct research and discover ways to help protect our ocean ecosystems and marine life? 

The National Geographic’s “A Gathering Storm,” which began airing earlier this month, highlights the experiences of those who work at sea inside the major hurricane zones of the world. Episode 6, titled "Cold Ocean Killer" features SMAST technical associate Travis Lowery and will air Saturday, August 29. The series presents eye-witness accounts of the challenges researchers face as they seek answers that help protect our ocean environments, such as managing climate change and balancing sustainable fisheries with food security issues.

National Geographic cameras ride with the boats of America’s North East during an Atlantic fishing exploration. "We were given a GoPro camera on our November 2019 SMAST Video Trawl Survey to document what research we were conducting, including any changes we needed to make due to weather conditions,” says Travis Lowrey, who is a technical associate in the Marine Fisheries Field Research Group at UMass Dartmouth’s School for Marine Science & Technology (SMAST). 

Dr. Kevin Stokesbury, professor of Fisheries Oceanography at SMAST and head of the Marine Fisheries Field Research Group, says the group's research on marine biology, fisheries stock assessment, and environmental impacts is all collaborative with the fishing industries of New England and Atlantic Canada. “Our students and staff spend weeks at sea each year, as much as 200 miles offshore on these fishing vessels. So the weather of the North Atlantic and it’s changing mood is something we and the fishermen always watch closely,” says Stokesbury.

Check your local listing for airtime, or visit the A Gathering Storm website.