Oceanographic Technology and Tools for Education and Research – OTTER  Yup, that is  how I spent last week.  The workshop was run by Discovery Hall Programs at Dauphin Island Sea Lab, and it was great.  Needless to say much of the technology had to occur indoors, we did some things out-of-doors, starting with the first full day.  Last Monday we boarded the research vessel Alabama Discovery for a full day on the Gulf water and in Mobile Bay.  I teach about the Chesapeake Bay, so it was really good for me to learn about another bay that has many similar characteristics.  Although there was lots of good tech stuff going on that day, what I had the most fun with was examining the organisms that were pulled up.  I took tons of photos, but here are some of my favorites:

Three kinds of starfish…

Brittle Star

and a clearnose skate

a moon jellyfish 

 and a bay squid 

All of those little dots on the squid kept on changing.  It was amazing.  But, really, the most amazing was this fish.  I believe that it is called a gaftopsail catfish.  It is a mouth breeder.  In its mouth are the babies which this guy really wanted to release.

and here is one of the babies with its tiny swim bladder distended.

It was a great day, and we also did tech stuff such as taking temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen measurements at various depths, learned about different kinds of sonar and watched as an AUV (autonomous underwater vehicle) was launched and then recovered.  And due to a hat and incredible amounts of sunscreen, I didn’t even get sunburned!


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  1. Pingback: DCMQG Bee | Tinking along

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