Research aboard NOAA’s Bell Shimada

SHIMADA-Underway Save The Earth’s most recent project is to collaborate with Central California research institutes on a 9 day research cruise aboard the NOAA Ship Bell Shimada. In May 2015, this project will characterize fish, birds and mammals of Davidson Seamount; evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different marine mammal sampling techniques; and support the development of a Marine Biodiversity Observatory Network. Along with standard sampling techniques with human observers and nets, airplane drones will make remote observations and floating hydrophones will detect whale as well as human caused sounds (which can travel across the ocean). Environmental DNA will also be collected, as part of cutting edge research that will revolutionize how scientists and resource managers assess oceans. In a simple water sample, DNA from organisms that swam by can be used to assess what has been in the area. Keep an eye on our Facebook page and the media in mid-May for spectacular images and preliminary results.