Glider Observatory Test Run

glider Salacia deployed

OOMG’s Slocum glider, Salacia, was deployed at Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Georgia on 16 September 2016. Gliders from University of South Florida, Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill concurrently deployed gliders along the U.S. southeast coast in a practice run for the spring 2017 season. Salacia was retrieved just before Hurricane Matthew hit the region. Wendy Woods is OOMG’s glider pilot, with Jennifer Warrillow assisting. Thanks to the crew of the R/V Sam Gray for help with the deployment and recovery.

glider Salacia onboard

In addition to her usual instruments to measure conductivity, temperature, and depth, glider Salacia wearing (fore to aft): remora-repelling mesh suit, Loggerhead Remora acoustic recorder, VMT, and belt of spatts to collect ambient domoic acid (an algal toxin), in collaboration with NCSU’s Astrid Schnetzer. Wings were attached before deployment.

Wendy Woods deploying glider

Wendy Woods deploying Salacia from the R/V Sam Gray.

OOMG Science Available to Teachers Via SciREN

SciREN @ NC MUseum

Lesson plans for elementary, middle, and high schoolers based on OOMG‘s CNAPS model are now available for free to the public through the Scientific Research and Education Network (SciREN). SciREN helps scientists make lesson plans from their current work, and helps teachers get current science into their classrooms. OOMG members Laura McGee prepared a lesson plan titled “Looking at Hurricanes in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean: Track, Characteristics, and Human Impacts;” Haibo Zong prepared a plan about the effects of a winter storm on the ocean; and Jennifer Warrillow prepared “Latitude Isn’t Everything (How the Gulf Stream Makes Europe Warm).” Jennifer and Laura presented the plans at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences at the SciREN networking event in September 2016.

These plans and many more are available through the SciREN portal. We’d love to hear your feedback if you use the plans, or if you’d like to see a particular topic made into a lesson. Contact us at

Zambon on UNOLS Deep Submergence Training Cruise

Atlantis cruise participants

OOMG Post Doc Joe Zambon participated in the UNOLS Deep Submergence Training Cruise this past summer from 26 July through 8 August.  His successful proposal was to utilize the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) Sentry, in conjunction with the Alvin submarine, to conduct an investigation of the near-bottom currents.  Using this novel approach, he will compare these deep ocean currents to models run daily at NC State to investigate larval transport.  In addition to his research, Joe assisted over two dozen other early career marine biologists, geologists, chemists, and engineers with their investigations.  The cruise was split into two parts linked by cutting-edge telepresence from the University of Rhode Island’s Inner Space Center.  While at sea, Joe discussed his research and answered questions via satellite to the NC Museum of Natural Sciences and classrooms across the country. Other MEAS participants included Post Doc Joanna Kinsey and Doreen McVeigh.

Atlantis cruise live feed interviewJoe Zambon and Joanna Kinsey onboard R/V Atlantis answering questions by live video feed to the NC Museum of Natural Sciences.

Joe Zambon and Robert BallardJoe Zambon and renowned oceanographer Robert Ballard discussing research objectives via satellite from the University of Rhode Island’s Inner Space Center to R/V Atlantis.

ice bucket after Alvin dive

 Joe Zambon “welcoming” back first-time Alvin divers Laura Bagge (Duke University) and Kevin Kocot (University of Alabama) with the traditional ice bath.

CNAPS Model Launched

CNAPS model output

The new Coupled Northwest Atlantic Prediction System (CNAPS) web site allows users to interact with the group’s ocean model of past, present, and three-day future ocean states. Expanding the domain of the SABGOM model, CNAPS covers the ocean from Nova Scotia to Venezuela and west in the north Atlantic, and includes marine weather, ocean waves, ocean circulation, and model validation. In the role of Virtual Oceanographer, users can “collect” real ocean data at all depths for a chosen point or along a user-defined transect, or release virtual particles into the ocean and watch their 72 hour routes. The concept of forecasting the ocean state, much like forecasting the weather, was highlighted in the NC State News and was the subject of Roy’s Coffee and Viz talk on Oct. 14, 2016.

OOMG Hosts SECOORA 2016 Annual Meeting

SECOORA meeting attendees in Hunt Library

OOMG hosted the three-day annual meeting of the Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA) in May 2016. Over 60 attendees, representing federal and state agencies, academia, industry/private sector, and the public, discussed SECOORA board business, big data, ecological interactions in the southeast U.S., and opportunities for collaboration. Board members Mitch Roffer, Rick DeVoe, Lisa Adams, Quinton White, and Michael Crosby were elected. Plans were made to establish a student fellowship, design targeted member benefits packages for different user groups, develop a new RCOOS plan, and consider hosting a panel on Understanding Ecological Interactions in the Gulf of Mexico. SECOORA’s data portal update was presented.

SECOORA is one of the 11 national Regional Associations of the Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS). IOOS is an inter-agency cooperative collecting data for rapid detection and timely prediction of changes in our nation’s ocean and coastal waters.

For more details, see SECOORA’s post.

Atlantis Cruise Finds Historic Shipwreck

shipwreck debris

Searching for a missing oceanographic instrument mooring off the U. S. Atlantic coast, scientists aboard the R/V Atlantis discovered instead the remains of a shipwreck probably dating from the American Revolution. The autonomous underwater vehicle Sentry was used to scan the sea floor for anomalies, which Alvin, with a crew of three, was later sent to investigate. OOMG post doc Austin Todd was aboard Alvin as it inspected the areas of interest for the scientific equipment. They found wooden ship timbers, glass bottles, a pottery jug, a metal compass, and other items. NOAA’s Marine Hertiage Program was notified. The mooring, deployed on a previous expedition in 2012, was never found.

Read more in the NC State News, LiveScience, and NBC. CNN put together clips from Alvin’s cameras.

NCSU people on Atlantis deckNC State’s Prof. Dave Eggleston, Dr. Austin Todd, Dr. Doreen McVeigh, and Dr. Joe Zambon in front of Alvin’s hangar onboard the R/V Atlantis.

Gordon Research Conference 2015

The Gordon Research Conference on Coastal Ocean Modeling in June 2015 was chaired by John Wilkin (Rutgers University), with Roy He as vice-chair. Attendees from OOMG included Xiangming Zeng, Roy He, Joe Zambon, and Ping Zhai. The University of New England (Biddeford, ME) provided a scenic backdrop.

Roy et al. by lighthouse

Dr. Kerry Emanuel visits OOMG

KErry Emanuel at OOMG

Dr. Kerry Emanuel (center), the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Atmospheric Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, visited OOMG on April 17, 2015. He was the invited speaker of “The Nature of Science: A Town Hall by Greg Fishel” program at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, and gave a presentation on North Carolina Hurricanes: Past, Present and Future on April 16. Visiting NCSU’s Department of MEAS on the 17th, he also gave a departmental seminar on Radiative-Convective Equilibrium and Its Instability: Implications for Weather and Climate.

from left to right: Xiangming Zeng, Jennifer Warrillow, Joseph Zambon, Austin Todd, Kerry Emanuel, Chuanjun Du, Ping Zhai, Zhiren Wang, Yanlin Gong, and Ruoying He

GoMRI Science Featured at the Bush Presidential Library and Museum

An interactive exhibit at the Bush Presidential Library and Museum, located at Texas A&M University, allows visitors to “Make Your Own Oil Spill.” Visitors can “spill” oil in the Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Bight by tapping a touch-screen display, then watch the program map the dispersal of the oil based on bathymetry, currents, and winds. The visualization is part of the exhibit “Offshore Drilling: The Promise of Discovery.”

go to site

Gulf of Mexico Integrated Spill Response (GISR) team: Ruoying He (North Carolina State University) and Oliver Fringer (Stanford University). Graphics and animation by Gene Cooper (Four Chambers Studio).

Funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI).

Nancy White, Director of CSI, Visits OOMG

Nancy White and OOMG

Dr. Nancy White, Director of the UNC Coastal Studies Institute, visited OOMG in January 2015. OOMG collaborates with the CSI on ocean wave energy research.

Present were (L to R): Roy He, Austin Todd, Nancy White, Jennifer Warrillow, Ping Zhai, Yanlin Gong, Xiangming Zeng, and Zhiren Wang.

Gulf of Mexico Deep Sea Survey, May-June 2014

Alvin being pulled out of the water as swimmers dive into the sea

Mooring Deployment aboard R/V Oceanus

May 2011, NSF SEEP Project Barbados Mooring Cruise. Dr. Roy He at far left.

OOMG Group Photo

OOMG members 7/2014

OOMG members (l to r): Xiangming Zeng, Yanlin Gong, Yizhen Li, Jennifer Warrillow, Roy He, Zuo George Xue, Austin Todd, Taylor Shropshire, Joe Zambon, and Zhigang Yao

Alvin Dive and R/V Atlantis cruise, Spring 2014

PI Roy He took a trip to the depths in Alvin, the small Human Occupied Vehicle (HOV) operated from the R/V Atlantis, in early summer 2014. He descended 2500 m into the Gulf of Mexico.

Both Alvin and R/V Atlantis are owned by the U.S. Navy and operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

View the photo gallery from the dive.

Debra Hernandez, Executive Director of SECOORA, visits OOMG

OOMG and Debra Hernandez

Debra Hernandez, Executive Director of the South East Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association (SECOORA), visited the OOMG in March 2014.

from left to right: Xiangming Zeng, Zhigang Yao, Austin Todd, Debra Hernandez, Ruoying He, Joseph Zambon, Yanlin Gong, and Yizhen Li. (not pictured: Zuo “George” Xue, Jennifer Warrillow)