July 23, 2016
This cruise takes the ECOGIG team back to the Gulf of Mexico to continue their research assessing the ecological impacts of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident (Macondo oil well blowout). This cruise will allow ECOGIG researchers to collect water column and sediment samples from a number of research sites in the Gulf in order to track the impacts of anthropogenic oil and compare them to natural oil & gas seeps as well as control sites.
Two gliders were deployed on July 14th to record information about the conductivity, temperature, depth, bio-optics and oxygen at several ECOGIG research sites in the Gulf. Both of the gliders live in Georiga when not in use- the Salty Dawg lives at UGA (Athens), and Modena lives at Skidaway Institute of Oceanography (Savannah). One glider is rated for 200m (600ft) of water that will measure at at site named GC600, and one gliders is rated for 100m (300ft) that will move between control sites and other areas of interest. The gliders are currently reporting data from their positions every 5 hours, which is viewable here. The scientific party on the R/V Endeavor plans to recover these gliders during the cruise.
10 undergraduate students and 2 faculty, all participating in the STEM SEAS program joined ECOGIG's Dr. Joseph Montoya and several graduate students onboard the R/V Endeavor as it transited from Morehead City, NC to Gulfport, MS. The STEM SEAS students learned more about ECOGIG's research as well as general oceanographic research on the trip! You can catch up on their blogs from the ship as well as view photos from their trip on their facebook page.