Geological Oceanography: Field Trip to Manresa State Beach

Kathleen Cieri_Starr Lab
Guest blog post from student, Kathleen Cieri, of the Fisheries and Conservation Biology Lab.
On Wednesday, September 27th, Professor Ivano Aielloo and GA Tyler Barnes lead the students of Geological Oceanography on an exploration of the fascinating sedimentary record at Manresa State Beach. It was a beautiful day for a beach adventure, and a pod of dolphins blessed the budding geologists with aerial displays.
After bushwhacking their way through invasive pampas grass and ice plant, the students were rewarded with a remarkable record of California’s coastal geologic history. The eager pupils got up-close and personal with the marine terraces in order to piece together the fascinating story of sea level rise and fall over the last 120 thousand years.

The students of Geological Oceanography gather at the base of a marine terrace at Manresa State Beach after a productive afternoon. (Photo Source: Kathleen Cieri).

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Aquacultural Methods for the Restoration of the Olympia Oyster ( Ostrea lurida) in Elkhorn Slough



Post by guest blogger, Daniel Gossard, a graduate student in our Phycology Lab.


VIDEO CAPTION: A compound microscope shows an up close and personal view of one of the Oly larva. After some time having developed within the mantle cavity of the mother, the mature oyster will spew a cloud of larvae into the environment. This larval stage, the pediveliger, is a free-swimming stage that actively feeds on phytoplankton. Quick movement of the ring of cilia, also known as the vellum, directs tiny plankton towards the larva’s mouth. This vellum also provides the pediveliger with the ability to move around in the water column. This stage also has a transparent shell protecting its delicate innards that the oyster can withdraw into after picking up environmental sensory cues. (Video Source: Daniel Gossard).

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The Hydrous


Collapsible kayak. Photo Source: Kenji Soto

This blog was written by guest blogger, Kenji Soto, of the Benthic Ecology Lab. 

It’s 6pm on Thursday August 25th and somehow I find myself in a sharply dressed gathering of people on the second floor of Steuart Tower in the financial district of San Francisco, one block away from the Embarcadero.  Making up the crowd are people from Autodesk, Google, 3D modelers, educators, artists, and scientists.  There’s a bartender serving beer and wine, a snack table filled with a variety of mini meat and vegan kabobs paired with corresponding dipping sauces, an assortment of focaccia samplers, and toast with even more sauces.  This is all too fancy for me, a humble jean wearing graduate student, and I feel a bit out of place even in my dressy-casual button up shirt that I luckily remembered to bring (I did however forget my jacket!). Continue reading

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A Season of Faith’s Perfection

That title was used in a movie to describe the hope that springs eternal at the start of a new baseball season and it has always stuck with me. Perhaps it comes from growing up in Cleveland, Ohio a city famous (until recently) for middling sports performance. And yet, every year, that first day of the season possesses a certain magic. The idea that this is the year, this is the year that it all comes together. On the first day of the season, teams and fan bases alike truly believes that they are headed to the World Series. That is the beauty of a season of promise, not yet touched by disappointment or shortcomings.

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Introducing, “What’s Up With Your Science, MLML?” a New Vlog Series

This year, MLML’s social media is introducing a new vlog (video blog) series called, “What’s Up With Your Science, MLML?”. These short video updates are your chance to learn about the MLML community and the roles we play to move our marine science endeavors forward.

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Collecting Kelp Data in Waves

What do you get when a wave hits a kelp bed? The attention of two different labs at MLML! To better understand wave behavior as it meets a kelp bed, graduate student Steven Cunningham from the Phycology lab is partnering with Physical Oceanography professor, Dr. Tom Connolly.

Cunninham wave instrument 1

Beautiful morning at Stillwater Cove to deploy a newly constructed instrument for measuring waves in a kelp forest. (Photo credit: Dr. Colleen Durkin)

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Taking Up Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures (ARMS)


This week’s post is written by Amanda Heidt of the Invertebrate Zoology Lab as summer field season gets underway here at Moss Landing.


JMM_What are you laughing at

Who else is happy for some invert-talk?

It’s been a bit…vertebrate-y on the blog lately, so today we’re going to hear about one of the ongoing projects of the Invertebrate Zoology lab here at Moss Landing! Our principle investigator, Dr. Jonathan Geller, is a coauthor on a recent paper to come out of our collaboration with the Infinite Diversity project, whose members include representatives from NOAA, the Smithsonian, San Diego State University, UCLA, and international scientists across Indonesia. With funding provided by the National Science Confutation, the ultimate goal of this project has been twofold: to foster international collaborations among marine scientists and to better understand marine biodiversity along geographic and anthropogenic (human-induced) stress gradients, with specific interest in tropical coral systems.

A thorough understanding of the ways in which we affect our environment and how these effects might play out under future climatic scenarios is of increasing importance, and it requires a method that is both standardized and tractable over time. So, let me tell you a little story. When I first started imagining this post almost a year ago, I had just spent a month at sea, diving at remote sites to collect field instruments that could then be brought back on board and analyzed. They were essentially stacks of PVC plates, held apart by small plastic spacers, which were anchored to the reef and left to “marinate” for years until they became nearly continuous with the reef itself. These pieces of equipment were ARMS (known in longhand as “Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures”), and they represent the answer to the question “How do we provide a systematic, consistent, and comparable method for analyzing biodiversity across broad scales?”


ARMS structure, deployment, and recovery after a few years out on the reef.

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