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.
Have you ever wondered how they know what the atmosphere on Mars is made of? Did you ever doubt the nutritional information on the packaging of your favorite snack? If so, the tool that you would need to answer these questions is a mass spectrometer. Today’s blog provides a brief introduction to this tool, how they work and how ACER’s researchers are using it.
A few weeks ago we discussed food webs and introduced the topic of top-down and bottom-up control. Today we are going to dig a little deeper into those processes and look at some examples in the marine environment.