Have you ever looked at the stomach contents of a shark and wondered “What has this shark been eating?” Yes, you could sit there and sort through the contents and hope that there’s enough of the “leftovers” to identify them. But did you know that scientists can also learn a good bit about sharks eating habits without having to sort through the stomach contents? In fact, from this alternative method the shark or other marine organism can even swim away afterwards. It’s called stable isotope analysis and it’s the topic for our latest Tool Talk.
A new publication by Dzwonkowski and colleagues from GoMRI funded Consortia CONCORDE and ACER shows that the input of estuarine waters to the Gulf can be important - and not just during high river flow.
Ever wondered how scientists estimate the stock size of our fisheries? Obviously, there’s no way they can catch and count every fish in the ocean so they’ve had to come up with other ways of estimating the numbers of individuals in the ocean. This process is called surveying.
The Dauphin Island Sea Lab celebrates 20 years of Discovery Day on Saturday, April 8. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the public is invited to visit the Sea Lab’s research laboratories, meet scientists and researchers, get a hands-on marine science lesson and learn more about ACER.
Are shorelines ever just straight lines? If you look at a Google Earth image of the Gulf coast, you notice many indentations reaching into the mainland and islands occurring just offshore. The indentations are our estuaries, the islands are barrier islands and together they create important habitats known as back bays or lagoons.
Dispatches of the Gulf shone a light on the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in Spring 2016. A year later, Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Marilyn and Hal Wiener are continuing the story with a look at the science born from the disaster.
Despite media reports immediately after the oil spill, the entire northern Gulf coast was not coated in oil. Some areas received heavy oiling, while others received little or no oil cover. In trying to assess the impacts of oil on coastal habitats, scientists need to know which areas were oiled. How do they know this? The answer is a SCAT map.
After a short break for the holidays, ACER’s Education and Outreach Team took the month of January to plan for the upcoming year and we have some exciting events planned that we wanted to share. One of ACER’s missions is to provide outreach informing and educating the public about the current research of our scientists. Toward that mission, the E & O team will be hosting a variety of programs in a casual setting with the goal of communicating and translating ACER science in a straightforward and fun manner.
ACER scientists are looking at the role that genetic diversity played in determining the response of coastal plant and animal species to the oil spill. How do they know individual plants or animals are genetically different? We have chatted previously about gene sequencing, but another technique they can use is SNP analysis.