Archive for the ‘featured photo’ Category
This week marked the beginning of the semester at Moss Landing Marine Laboratory and also happened to be the start of a new year. January 23rd, 2012 was celebrated throughout the world as Chinese New Year. This year, the year of the dragon, is said to be the luckiest of the 12-year mathematical cycle of the Chinese Zodiac. So to all our blog readers out there, good luck and Happy New Year!
This sunglass-wearing fish skeleton thinks MLML is the coolest! When you come to the MLML Open House, be sure to take a stroll around the Ichthyology Lab. The fish skeletons reconstructed by MLML students are sure to impress you. The guy wearing the sunglasses is a giant seabass, while the large fish skull in the foreground is from a Hawaiian grouper. They hope you’ll say aloha in a couple of weeks!
This leatherback sea turtle wont actually be going anywhere. It’s part of the MLML Marine Ops Open House display! You’re looking into the bow of the Sheila B., one of MLML’s research vessels. The bow of the Sheila B. is a door that can drop down, a great feature for capturing leatherback sea turtles and bringing them aboard for research purposes.
Be sure to come on by Open House this year to see what Marine Ops has in store for you.
Sometimes we all need a break from the daily grind. What’s a good way to take a breather? How about taking some time for arts and crafts!
These MLML students are taking some time after-hours to paint the aquarium scene for the 2009 puppet show. MLML alumna Heather Hawk lent her expertise and drew the fantastic backdrop, then directed her peers to fill the corals in with the proper colors.
If you’d like to see the 2009 Open House puppet show featuring Harry Spotter, take a look here!
This octopus out of water is a strange sight, but it sheds a little light on the common name of the Flapjack Octopus, also known as the Flapjack Devilfish. These squishy deep-dwelling creatures are the flattest species of octopuses. You might not recognize her, but a related species of Flapjack Octopus was famously portrayed by the character Pearl in Finding Nemo. One of her tentacles might look a little shorter, but you can’t really tell if she twirls ‘em…
By Elizabeth McHuron, Vertabrate Ecology Lab
This harbor seal was captured in San Francisco Bay as part of several students’ thesis projects. One of these projects is looking at why harbor seals in San Francisco Bay are rusting (notice the red fur), and why some seals rust and others don’t. Some of the samples collected for these projects include blood, hair, morphometric (body) measurements, and nasal/rectal swabs. All seals involved receive two blue rear flipper tags and a PIT tag (microchip), so that they can be identified in the future.
By Brynn Hooton-Kaufman, Phycology Lab
I went to bed last night with plans to wake up and go snorkeling in Stillwater Cove at 8 am this morning. You might say those plans changed a bit when I got a phone call from my brother at 1:45 am. Well, actually it was five phone calls, because it took me that long to shake off the cobwebs of sleep and realize he wasn’t pocket dialing me. My thoughtful brother was up watching television, and had been alerted by the news to the disaster that had taken place in Japan. He called to let me know that a tsunami was headed toward the west coast with an arrival time of approximately 7:30 am, and he was concerned since we are residents of Monterey. Thankfully, we live high on one of the marine terraces in New Monterey, and I assured him that we would be safe from any floodwaters, and headed back to bed.
I immediately flipped on the television when I woke up this morning at 6, and started catching up on the news. The dramatic videos from Japan were chilling, and showed the ocean washing over agricultural land, pouring through city streets, and creating whirlpools that entrapped boats. The effects of the tsunami on Hawaii thankfully looked much milder, and the news didn’t report major damage from the flooding they experienced. As for our tsunami forecast, the news crews were predicting waves of a few feet high to hit around 7:45. I called my snorkeling buddy, updated her on the current events since she hadn’t seen the news, and we both decided that calling off the trip to Stillwater was a good idea.
I continued to watch the news, and when 7:45 rolled around, I was a little surprised not to see any changes on the beaches in the live-feed video. I even started to wonder if canceling the trip to collect seaweeds had been a mistake. But then I reminded myself, better safe than sorry. I don’t want to be the student with poor judgement who thought it was more important to collect materials for an exam than to heed tsunami warnings, and get swept out to sea. Besides, I reminded myself, tsunamis aren’t over in a blink of an eye; they can continue to have an impact for hours.
And it turns out that’s exactly what happened. Pretty soon on the news, boats and docks were getting ripped from their moorings in Santa Cruz harbor, and were barreling into anything in their way. MLML grad student Sara Hutto was high and dry, far from the dangers of the surge, but managed to catch these great photos:
As you can see, the current is moving quickly, and taking pieces of the harbor with it. The tsunami was really interesting to watch. It didn’t just move in once as a big surge, then drain back out, but instead it did this multiple times. It was kind of like watching a dramatic tide cycle, all happening in twenty minutes or so, and then starting all over again. (more…)
Learning to SCUBA dive can be a life-changing experience. The world it opens up and the rare sights you are able to see can change your life – it did for me. I remember practicing in the pool at UC Santa Cruz not knowing if I would enjoy such a strange and surreal experience. During my first dive I took a camera with me to document the adventure. I am still diving to this day, and I hope you read this and the next few blogs and consider getting certified. Here are the highlights: an otter nibbling my buddy’s fin, and my instructor, our very own Paul Tompkins, directing me down the float line.
Diving on the seafloor offers a delight for the eyes. Red seaweeds blanket rocks, and colorful invertebrates abound. But you can’t dive too deep and still enjoy a rainbow of colors! As light travels through the water, the longer wavelengths – reds, oranges, and yellows – are absorbed or scattered first, causing these colors to drop out. So when diving deeper, you’ll see the world in greens, blues, and violets. Don’t worry, you can still capture vibrant colors at depth with a camera, all you need to remember is your flash.