CONCORDIA is the Latin word for “harmony” and the literal translation is “with (one) heart.” Here, the individual members of the CONCORDE team share their personal stories as they work together to expand our understanding of these natural processes.


A First Encounter with Local Fisher Folks

My First (Solo-ish) Interaction with Local Fisher Folks – Friday, March 24, 2017

CONCORDE is involved in more than just research, the program also has an outreach side that involves teachers and local fishermen.  Our role with local fishing communities is to build trust between them and the scientists.

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CONCORDE Hosts Third Fishermen-Scientist Bridge Building Workshop

On the 25th of February, CONCORDE hosted another training session for local fishermen. Held at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, this workshop was the first of the year and the third of four CONCORDE will host. The meeting served to introduce the fisher folk to new scientists, learn more about topics of concern to fishermen, in this case sediment and marine oil snow, and voice some of their concerns.

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Point Sur Updates from Ali, Carla, and Kelia

Dr. Alison Deary, Carla Culpepper, and Kelia Axler give a scientist’s-eye view of life aboard a research vessel. All photos taken by Culpepper unless otherwise indicated.

July 31, 2019–Meet the scientists!

When swapping at-sea stories with colleagues, we can all agree that who you share the boat with will easily make or break a research cruise. As a consortium project, there are 18 scientists representing four institutions on board the R/V Point Sur, all with different skill sets, levels of experience, and paths that brought them to the CONCORDE team. While it may seem a bit crowded for one boat, we all brag about how well everyone gets along. Not only has everyone shown great interest in each other’s projects, there has also been a lot of scientific discussion, shared information, and talk of future collaborations, especially among the early career scientists aboard the ship. When remembering that the term “Concordia” is Latin for harmony, this project could not have been more appropriately named. We feel very proud to be part of such a great consortium and are so excited to see the future careers of everyone coming from the CONCORDE team!

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Point Sur Updates from Ali

Postdoc Ali Deary provides technical updates of the research taking place on the Point Sur.

July 30, 2016

We are currently transiting back to port after a successful summer CONCORDE cruise! The cruise ended with the plankton team fishing one last time, ending with 100 neuston tows and 63 Mininess tows. The water team also deployed the CTD over 40 times!

Once the net samples were processed all of the various groups began cleaning and disassembling their gear to prepare for tomorrow’s DEMOB during the transit back to Gulfport. After a busy but rewarding cruise, we are looking forward to a relaxing evening in Gulfport.

Like always, such a research cruise would not possible without the dedication of our crew, which includes the scientists and the ship’s crew. As with all of our cruises, Kevin Martin’s expertise ensured that our equipment was in tip-top shape. Christian Briseño-Avena did an amazing job as Chief Scientist and we appreciated Alan Weidemann’s pertinent life advice as our principle investigator on the ship. I would also like to thank Kelia Axler and Carla Culpepper for their amazing work documenting our research activities as our part-time outreach representatives in addition to their full-time scientific duties.

 

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Point Sur Updates from Ali

Postdoc Ali Deary provides technical updates of the research taking place on the Point Sur.

July 29, 2016

Once the water stations were complete, we transited to the east of our WCORR process study to sample a parallel transect to the east. This area is deeper (~30 m) than our WCORR transect. Our time sampling here has been relatively uneventful but we did observe hypoxia below 25 meters. We captured a lot of fishes in our nighttime net samples but our daytime samples were very thin.

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Point Sur Updates from Ali, Carla, and Kelia

Dr. Alison Deary, Carla Culpepper, and Kelia Axler give a scientist’s-eye view of life aboard a research vessel. All photos taken by Culpepper unless otherwise indicated.

July 29, 2018–Hypoxia blog

During the process studies for the Fall and Spring cruises, we were interested in sampling stratification and freshwater plumes, respectively. We decided to change gears for our Summer campaign and for our current process study, we are looking to sample low oxygen areas, more commonly known as hypoxia. The northern Gulf of Mexico is infamous as the second largest hypoxic region worldwide with the areal extent of hypoxia sometimes being about the size of Massachusetts! For us at CONCORDE, we are interested in examining hypoxia during our process study because it can change the distribution of plankton in the water column. Some depths, especially near the bottom, do not contain enough dissolved oxygen to support many creatures. In addition, the extent of the hypoxic conditions can be influenced by the amount of freshwater added to our system, nutrients, and stratification. Aboard the R/V Point Sur, each of our research teams has ways to measure the oxygen in the water ranging from sensors mounted on our sampling gear to Winkler titrations in the wet lab. With today’s blog, we want to highlight the different methods we us to look at hypoxia during our CONCORDE cruises.

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Point Sur Updates from Ali

Postdoc Ali Deary provides technical updates of the research taking place on the Point Sur.

July 28, 2016

Today was our first 24 hours of the diel process study located at the southern end of WCORR. For net stations, we are taking samples near a water station along the corridor that has been sampled during this cruise as well as during the Fall and Spring research campaigns (W3). Since starting the process study, we have sampled the area around W3 three times and with each tow, we have observed a decrease in DO, particularly below 15 m (total depth ~23 m). Similar to the night ISIIS tow, Adam Greer and Christian observed a dense aggregation of shrimp in the hypoxic layer during the daytime ISIIS tow (centered around noon), which was also detected by the multibeam system. However, they noted that the shrimp had a consistent orientation with their heads facing down during the day, suggesting that we may have observed them during their vertical migration to depth.

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Point Sur Updates from Ali, Carla, and Kelia

Dr. Alison Deary, Carla Culpepper, and Kelia Axler give a scientist’s-eye view of life aboard a research vessel. All photos taken by Culpepper unless otherwise indicated.

July 28, 2016–Crazy Critters!

When the average person discovers that we are marine biologists, they typically assume that we study dolphins, whales, or large pelagic fish such as sharks. But for us CONCORDE biologists, the tiny critters that drift and float passively through the seawater are our charismatic creatures. While seemingly insignificant to most, these microscopic organisms, collectively termed “plankton,” are the base of the food chain and a critical source of nutrients for many larger aquatic lifeforms, such as the aforementioned fishes and whales. Plankton is made up of bacteria, algae, crustaceans, fish larvae, fish and invertebrate eggs, worms and so much more that pique our curiosity as researchers on board the R/V Point Sur. The CONCORDE biological division consists of graduate student Adam Boyette, who uses a FlowCAM to image phytoplankton; Dr. Adam Greer and Dr. Christian Briseño-Avena, who use the In Situ Ichthyoplankton Imaging System (ISIIS) to image zooplankton; and Dr. Ali Deary, Carla Culpepper, Sarah Muffelman, Kelia Axler, and Antonio Pliru, who use plankton nets to sample for larval fish and zooplankton and a microscope camera to photograph interesting critters. See below for a selection of images taken by the biological team’s FlowCAM, ISIIS, and microscope camera during the CONCORDE cruises.

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Point Sur Updates from Ali

Postdoc Ali Deary provides technical updates of the research taking place on the Point Sur.

July 27, 2016

The rough seas continued throughout the night and early morning, making it a tough night of sampling for our water team. Due to the sea conditions, which were probably 4-6 feet, we did not collect POGO samples along ECORR. However, our water team persevered and collected samples from five water stations along ECORR. They then collected water at an additional six stations along the barrier islands as we transited back to WCORR. In general, the water team did not observe vertical structure through the water column until we arrived to the northern head of WCORR. However, the water team were troopers as they sampled through the night and most of the day in less than ideal conditions as we transitioned from our passes of the corridor to our diel process study. One of the goals of the process study is to examine the effects of hypoxia on the vertical migration of planktonic organisms that change their position in the water column.

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Point Sur Updates from Ali, Carla, and Kelia

Dr. Alison Deary, Carla Culpepper, and Kelia Axler give a scientist’s-eye view of life aboard a research vessel. All photos taken by Culpepper unless otherwise indicated.

July 27, 2016–Point Sur Cuisine

One thing people might not realize about research vessels is how well fed we are while on board. Research on a boat can be very labor intensive and sitting down to a good meal can easily be the highlight after a long day of sampling. Here aboard the R/V Point Sur, Chef Alex Forsythe prides himself on preparing the traditional favorites while always creating a well-balanced healthy meal. He goes above and beyond to provide beverage and entrée options, but requests are always encouraged. No cruise is complete until we have had at least one Taco Tuesday. Some other favorites amongst the scientists are gourmet s’mores, hamburgers, steak, and tiramisu. He also makes a mean biscuit and gravy and there seems to be a never-ending supply of bacon. Full, happy scientists make for a full, happy cruise!

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