Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Braving the cold at Slaughter Beach!

Yesterday our team set off for our first AUV operation of the new year with an expedition down to Slaughter Beach DE in support of our new Sea Grant project on benthic hardbottoms in the bay. In a word it was cold! The first day of AUV operations is always challenging especially at a new site as the team figures out what works and what doesn't. We managed to get in a few mission lines before our frozen limbs told us it was time to go. Here are some highlights from the day. Many thanks to everyone involved!http://gallery.me.com/arttrembanis#100053

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Prepping for AUV Ops

Today I was joined in the lab by Adam, Hilary, and Nicole as we spent the day cleaning the lab and prepping gear and the AUV for our first field day this year down to Slaughter Beach tomorrow.

It was a full day starting with unpacking the new acquisitions from the Pilkey collection and then finding room and organizing all of our field supplies.  Many hands made for light(ish) work and also helped so that we could collectively remind ourselves of what things went where and how to assemble various pieces of equipment.  As always there are surprises and hurdles along the way but we managed to overcome and I'm looking forward to meeting Doug and others out on the beach tomorrow.

Here are some photos from the day

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Best Piece of Field Equipment

Without a doubt the single best piece of field equipment I have ever owned has been my pair of Vasque Hiking boots.  I know that may seem like a strange statement from an avowed techno-geek but I say that with no exaggeration these have been the best piece of field equipment I have ever owned.  Sure there is the nostalgic factor that these were the very first pair of dedicated all-terrain hiking boots that I purchased back in 1994 as I was preparing to head off for college but still these boots have been great.  I vividly remember getting them at our local Big-5 sporting goods store, they were on special sale because they were last years model, the green and brown color scheme was replaced with blue and grey in the new model as I recall.  No matter they were a steal and a much needed requirement for the upcoming 2-week wilderness orientation program I was about to embark on (Project WILD).  The boots managed to carry me not only through that trip but through my entire college and graduate career.  Every field trip and every single research cruise I have been on these boots made the journey.  When I worked for big oil in Houston and the Permian Basin these boots where there.  When I went off to Australia for a Fulbright year these boots were there.   A short and non-exhaustive lists of destinations for these prized Vasque boots includes: Australia, New Zealand, Panama, England, the Black Sea, the North Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific, 

Now it is true they pretty much lack any semblance of tread at this point and the soles now provide the kind of protection and support of a last years slippers but ugly as they are, like me they have survived.  The only thing I have ever had to do was replace shoelaces and I am up to set number 8 by last count.  The eyelets and the hooks are rusted and where the foot bends they have started to crack but like an old security blanket I just can't seem to give them up and I've not found a pair that are as comfortable as familiar anywhere.

So in this time of change and renewal I salute the one constant in all of my field efforts...my Vasque boots.  Hey maybe someday they'll bury me in them?!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

DORA now in Second Life!

Well, I'm pretty sure we had one of if not the first AUV ever in Second Life when in 2007 we put DOERRI there.  Now we have the first Gavia in SL this on the UD island with the RV Sharp in the background.  We have a bunch of educational outreach plans in mind for the AUV in SL.  Eventually we would like people to be able to configure the vehicle and even send it on missions from the beach or from the Sharp.  Imagine a student from a school hundreds of miles from the coast coming up to a terminal in SL and being able to launch and control the AUV and have it move a real AUV out in the field...telepresence in a Virtual World!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Google Earth Blog: New View of Ocean Floor in Google Earth

Have a look at the view in Google Earth they have added better coastal bathymetry.  Still just 2D but full 3D can't be far off...one hopes.

Google Earth Blog: New View of Ocean Floor in Google Earth

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Here's a link to the NZ GeolMast Study Abroad Blog.
Join us for the learning experience of a lifetime in W2010!
Kia Ora

CSHEL at DE Estuary Meeting 2009

Nicole and I attended the 2009 Delaware Estuary Science Conference the week of Jan 11th.  There we present posters related to 1) our new NOAA benthic hard-bottom habitat mapping project with Doug Miller, which will form the basis of Nicole's PhD and 2) a recent summary of the SG Bay mouth exchange project which Adam has been working on comparing HF Radar to ADCP current measurements.  We also brought along DORA our new Gavia AUV in a compact configuration to give attendees and some of our sponsors a sense of what the system looks like.
While I was only able to be there on Monday Nicole came back on Wednesday and gave a talk based on her Masters thesis.
All in all it was a really good meeting, I especially enjoyed the first session on climate change, there were great talks by Jeff Williams (USGS), Danielle Kreeger (PDE) and Mike Zabados (NOAA-NOS).
Looking forward to attending the meeting the next time around it was a nice excuse to visit Cape May.
Below is a link to the photos...enjoy!