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2010 RESEARCH CRUISE SUMMARY

Prepared by
Emma L. Hickerson
January 2011

RESEARCH CRUISES

DFH14 – ROV CRUISE
R/V MANTA
May 17-21, 2010

FGBNMS partnered with NCCOS, COIERT, and UNCW to conduct quantitative ROV surveys in the deepwater and coral cap habitats.  These surveys were in support of the management plan review and the proposed research area.

Three people watching a large screen monitor showing images from the sea floor.
John Reed, Marissa, and Emma sit in the galley of the
R/V Manta to watch a live feed of images from the ROV.
Photo: Schmahl/FGBNMS

For a detailed description of this cruise, please visit the 2010 Benthic & Fish Survey Cruise page.

DEEPWATER HORIZON OIL SPILL RESPONSE – SPMD DEPLOYMENT CRUISE #1A
R/V MANTA
July 30-31, 2010

FGBNMS research team installed initial semi-permeable membrane devices (SPMDs) at Sonnier, East and West Flower Gardens, and Stetson Banks as part of an ongoing response to the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Sediment samples were also collected as part of the effort.

For a detailed description of this cruise, please visit the 2010 NRDA Cruise #1 page.

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STETSON BANK LONG TERM MONITORING
R/V MANTA
August 8-12, 2010

The FGBNMS research team along with TAMUG and Moody Gardens AAUS reciprocity divers conducted the 21st Stetson Bank Long-Term Monitoring data collection effort. 38 stations were located and photographed, and 7 new stations were established.

View of a large sea turtle from behind.  All four flippers are visible, but the head is not.
A female loggerhead sea turtle with distinctive barnacles
on her carapace (shell).
Photo: Hickerson/FGBNMS

For a detailed description of this cruise, please visit the 2010 Stetson Monitoring page.

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FGBNMS LONG-TERM MONITORING
R/V MANTA
August 15-19, 2010

The FGBNMS research team, BOEMRE divers, and TAMUG AAUS reciprocity divers conducted the data collection.  The cruise was cut short due to high currents at West Flower Garden Bank, but data collection was completed at East Flower Garden Bank.

Bright orange algae amid a similar green algae.
Irridescent orange algae was sampled and sent off
for identification.
Photo: Hickerson/FGBNMS

For a detailed description of this cruise, please visit the 2010 East & West Bank Monitoring page.

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DEEPWATER HORIZON OIL SPILL RESPONSE – NRDA CRUISE #2A
R/V MANTA
August 22-26, 2010

The FGBNMS research team and TAMUG AAUS reciprocity divers conducted fish and benthic surveys at Sonnier and Stetson Banks as part of the ongoing Deepwater Horizon oil spill response effort. The SPMDs were retrieved and a new set were deployed at both sites. Sediment samples were collected.

Diver with clipboard taking note of bottom habitat using a grid laid on the seafloor
A TAMUG diver records data about the bottom habitat at the shallower peak of Sonnier Bank. Photo: Hickerson/FGBNMS

For a detailed description of this cruise, please visit the 2010 NRDA Cruise #2 page.

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CORAL SPAWNING CRUISE/NRDA CRUISE #2B
R/V MANTA
August 29 – September 1, 2010

The FGBNMS research team hosted ONMS Director Dan Basta and NOAA NRDA lead Tom Moore for the annual coral spawning event. University of Texas researchers, Sarah Davies and Eli Meyer were also along to conduct coral spawning studies.  The corals spawned as predicted--spectacularly.

A "snowstorm" of white pellets is suspended in the water in front of a scuba diver at night.Dan Basta observes coral spawn in the water column.
Photo: Schmahl/FGBNMS

For a detailed description of this cruise, please visit the Coral Spawning Cruise 2010 page.

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FISH AND BENTHIC SURVEYS – CRCP/NCCOS/FGBNMS
R/V MANTA
September 7-13, 2010

The FGBNMS research team, HBOI/FAU, CRCP, and NCCOS joined together to conduct fish and benthic surveys at East and West Flower Garden Banks in support of a research area proposed by the Management Plan Review process.  Water samples were collected as part of the long-term monitoring program and the beginning of a severe bleaching event was documented. 

Diver using a quadrat to assess benthic habitat
Laurie Bauer/NCCOS quantifies the benthic cover within
a one meter quadrat along a 25 meter transect

Photo: Hickerson/FGBNMS

For a detailed description of this cruise, please visit the 2010 Benthic & Fish Surveys page.

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ADDITIONAL R/V MANTA CRUISES

The R/V Manta was chartered by several different user groups during the 2010 research season.

TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY-GALVESTON - BUCH
June 5-6, 2010

TAMUG reciprocity scientific divers conducting training activities on board the R/V MANTA. The divers practiced conducting fish identification surveys.  Select divers are utilized for FGBNMS research and monitoring activities.

TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY - DiMARCO
June 13-16, 2010

FGBNMS Research Vessel R/V MANTA conducted an oceanographic research cruise in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico to estimate the areal extent and vertical distribution of dissolved oxygen concentration and hydrographic properties.  This cruise was cut short due to engine problems.  The crew was commended for facilitating as much data as possible regardless of the challenges.

TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY - DiMARCO
August 2-7, 2010

FGBNMS Research Vessel R/V MANTA conducted an oceanographic research cruise in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico to estimate the areal extent and vertical distribution of dissolved oxygen concentration and hydrographic properties.

TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY-GALVESTON - DELLAPENNA
September 23-27, 2010

Graduate students from the Dellapenna lab conducted mapping activities offshore from Galveston, Texas. 

HARTE RESEARCH INSTITUTE - SHIRLEY, TUNNELL
October 11-14, 2009

Researchers and doctoral students used ROVs to conduct biological characterization and ecology surveys of the South Texas Banks, including study sites at Southern Bank, North Hospital Bank and Baker Bank.

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Return to 2010 Research Summary web page.

Dowlnoad a copy of the full 2010 Research Report (65kb pdf)

Access other sanctuary Research Reports.

If you have any questions about the sanctuary's 2010 research activities or the 2010 Research Report, please contact Emma Hickerson.




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Orange, branching gorgonian (soft coral) anchored in a bed of sponges and other sea life.
   
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