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UMassD scientists join US-India collaboration
07.09.14 Prof._Amit_Tandon
UMass Dartmouth Prof. Amit Tandon (College of Engineering/SMAST) is leading a first-of-its-kind collaboration between the United States and India to support large-scale research on monsoon prediction.

Researchers from the two countries are working together to understand ocean processes in the international waters of the Bay of Bengal and their relation to the annual monsoon, which is a dominant factor in the lives of the population of the Indian subcontinent.

The Office of Naval Research is funding the participating U.S. scientists and contributing the resources of the R/V Roger Revelle. The ship made a call in the port of Chennai in mid-June, the first U.S. research vessel to call at an Indian port since the 1980s, and has since completed its first successful data-gathering cruise in the Bay of Bengal.

The bilateral team also includes Dr. Amala Mahadevan, WHOI senior scientist and SMAST adjunct faculty, Dr. Sanjiv Ramachandran, research associate in Tandon’s Upper Ocean Dynamics Lab, and scientists from 17 other U.S. and Indian institutions.

As part of the collaboration, Dr. Tandon and several U.S. colleagues have returned to India to conduct a two-week training workshop at the Indian Institute of Science Bangalore on upper-ocean dynamics in the Bay of Bengal. [Read full press release.]

Photo: Amit Tandon welcomes scientists aboard the R/V Roger Revelle in Chennai, India, as co-chief scientist Dr. Emily Shroyer from Oregon State University looks on.

Final port recovery plan released
07.03.14 press_conference
New Bedford Mayor John Mitchell and State Senator Mark Montigny visited SMAST on June 17 for a press conference to announce the release of the final "Groundfish Port Recovery and Revitalization Plan for the Port of New Bedford/Fairhaven.”

The study was conducted by an SMAST-led research team fronted by Prof. Dan Georgianna (Economics/SMAST). The report documents the recent decline of the regional groundfishery, assesses its effects on shoreside businesses, and makes recommendations for the revitalization of the fishery and improvements to the port.

"New Bedford is the nation's number one fishing port," said Mayor Mitchell, "and we intend to keep it that way for the next hundred years. … To do that, we need the best science in stock surveys and assessments—that is critical for both scallops and groundfish."

"I applaud the work of Dan Georgianna and his colleagues at the School for Marine Science and Technology at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, in compiling this report," said Senator Montigny, who was instrumental in securing funds for the study through the state legislature. "We must do all we can to maintain New Bedford's economic contribution as the highest value catch port in the U.S."

[Reposted from July 1, 2014]

SMAST modeling course tours Brazil
06.19.14 data_collection
SMAST Professor Avijit Gangopadhyay (right in photo), in Brazil on sabbatical as Distinguished Visiting Full Professor, is taking his classroom on the road this summer.

A pioneer in the techniques of feature-modeling of ocean circulation, Gangopadhyay will offer a course in "Synoptic Ocean Prediction and Process Studies Using Feature Models" at three leading Brazilian oceanographic institutions in June and July.

The intensive course will be taught at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul in the south of Brazil in June, and at the Oceanographic Institute of the University of São Paulo (IOUSP) and the Federal University of Ceará, some 2000 kilometers to the north, in July. The Brazilian Navy and several public and private scientific and consulting companies are sending students to attend the lectures.

Gangopadhyay is hosted at IOUSP by longtime collaborator Prof. Ilson da Silveira (left in photo), and funded by the Office of the Rector, University of São Paulo. IOUSP and SMAST jointly offer a dual Ph.D. degree program in marine science and technology.

Workshop to launch NOAA "data visioning"
05.13.14 data_collection
A two-day workshop next month will seek industry input on the future of NOAA's fishery-dependent data for the Northeast region.

SMAST researchers are part of a team helping NOAA to streamline, update and modernize its fisheries data systems. SMAST Prof. Steve Cadrin and post-doctoral researcher Cate O’Keefe are working with lead investigators from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) to collect information from external stakeholders and involve them in the development and testing of new data systems for commercial fishing and seafood distribution.

SMAST's specific contribution will be to engage harvesters from various Northeast fisheries—as well as seafood processors, dealers, marketers, and industry associations—to identify areas that need improvement in current data systems, and envision new data systems for implementation in the Northeast. The workshop will focus on results of industry interviews and discussions to move forward with new data systems.

The workshop will be held June 30-July 1 at the Waypoint Event Center in New Bedford, MA. Registration is required by June 13. (See invitation.)

Cruise to test new OMZ monitors
05.13.14 OMZ_monitor
SMAST Prof. Mark Altabet, Post-Doctoral Researcher Annie Bourbonnais, and graduate student Haibei Hu embark on a month-long cruise this week to field-test new oceanographic measurement technology.

Along with co-investigators Eric D'Asaro and Craig McNeil of the University of Washington's Applied Physics Laboratory, Altabet has been involved in the NSF-funded development of autonomous platforms for the study of oxygen minimum zones in the ocean.

OMZs make up less than one tenth of one percent of the ocean by volume, but play a disproportionately important role in the ocean's nitrogen cycle. And as the solubility of oxygen in water decreases with increasing water temperature, a warming climate may lead to the expansion of these zones, with presently unknown consequences.

Altabet and company will employ the new instrumentation to measure a range of physical and chemical parameters in OMZs on time scales impractical for shipboard studies.

[Reposted from May 7, 2014.]

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