Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium

Chauvin, LA, United States

Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium

Chauvin, LA, United States
SEARCH FILTERS
Time filter
Source Type

McClain C.R.,Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium
PLoS Biology | Year: 2017

Arguably, the dissemination of science communication has recently entered a new age in which science must compete for public attention with fake news, alternate facts, and pseudoscience. This clash is particularly evident on social media. Facebook has taken a prime role in disseminating fake news, alternate facts, and pseudoscience, but is often ignored in the context of science outreach, especially among individual scientists. Based on new survey data, scientists appear in large Facebook networks but seldom post information about general science, their own scientific research, or culturally controversial topics in science. The typical individual scientist’s audience is large and personally connected, potentially leading to both a broad and deep engagement in science. Moreover, this media values individual expertise, allowing scientists to serve as a “Nerd of Trust” for their online friend and family networks. Science outreach via social media demands a renewed interest, and Facebook may be an overlooked high-return, low-risk science outreach tool in which scientists can play a valuable role to combat disinformation. © 2017 Craig R. McClain.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: HYDROLOGIC SCIENCES | Award Amount: 282.64K | Year: 2012

COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH:
ARE BURIED PALEOCHANNELS EFFECTIVE REACTORS FOR WATER AND
SOLUTE TRANSPORT IN THE DELTAIC SUBTERRANEAN ESTUARY?
Alexander Kolker, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium
Karen Johannesson, Tulane University
Jaye Cable, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Rivers deltas are one of the largest stores of minerals and organic-rich sediments on earth. Their low relief and close proximity to the ocean also make them one of the best systems to study how coastal ecosystems will respond to climate change and sea-level rise in the coming decades. A wealth of previous studies focused on the role deltas play in cycling carbon, nutrients, metals and other elements. However, very little of this research has investigated the subsurface connections between the main river and adjacent bays and wetlands. Hydrological models of coastal bays associated with river deltas suggest more freshwater is entering these systems than expected. This study will investigate whether this missing component is groundwater discharge through buried ancient channels in these deltas. Modern deltas consist of bays and bayous, sedimentary deposits, and marshes formed and abandoned as the river changed course throughout the Holocene. Over time, sandy-bottom bayous are buried and may leave only a trace of their former existence at the surface. These buried channels commonly retain a hydraulic connection to the main river, thus acting as a conduit for discharge to adjacent bays during the annual spring/summer high river stage. Within the Mississippi River Delta (MRD) system, this hydraulic connection may be enhanced by 20 to 40 ft as a consequence of flood control levees which may produce a river stage (i.e. head) as much as 15 to 22 ft above the adjacent bay water levels. The central hypothesis of this research is that buried ancient channels in deltas act as a vast network of subterranean estuaries, which play a critical role in the transport of groundwater, nutrients, and some metals to deltaic bays and ultimately the ocean. The research addresses several major questions: Is deltaic submarine groundwater discharge sufficient to satisfy current deltaic hydrologic and biogeochemical budgets? How effective are paleochannel networks in the delivery of water and elemental mass fluxes to the coastal ocean? These questions will be addressed using geophysical surveys that can produce images of the structure of the delta sediments and their salinity, as determined through sonars and electrical conductivity. These studies will be conducted in concert with studies of geochemical tracers (e.g. salt, radioactive and stable isotopes) and detailed a study of hydraulic gradients between the river and a paleochannel system (e.g. piezometers, pressure loggers, flow nets). Using the assembled understanding of hydrogeologic flow patterns and rates, we will estimate the biogeochemical mass fluxes associated with seasonal groundwater flow through this paleochannel/subterranean estuary network (e.g. N, C, P, Si, Fe). Results should improve the understanding of the role that the deltas geology plays in its hydrology and chemistry and how fluxes of water, nutrients and metals vary over space and time. This work will then add to the understanding of how deltas and other coastal ecosystems function, particularly in light of sea-level rise predictions for the next 50 years.

Rivers have long been recognized a playing an important role global chemical cycles. Despite this recognition, relatively little is know about how these chemical cycles function below the sea floor, and the implications this has for the chemistry of the coastal zone. The proposed study will examine these processes in the Mississippi River Delta. This delta sits at the mouth of the largest river in North America, and is the entry point to one of the most important economic pathways in the United States. The Mississippi River Delta also has a long history of scientific research, government water quality monitoring, and stakeholder involvement. This provides the team with excellent baseline information and opportunities to link findings to the needs of society. The work will contribute to the education of three graduate students and several undergraduate students. These students will study at leading research universities and have the opportunity to work at a marine laboratory.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: CHEMICAL OCEANOGRAPHY | Award Amount: 177.42K | Year: 2016

Ocean acidification (OA) refers to the lowering of ocean pH (or increasing acidity) due to uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). A great deal of research has been done to understand how the open ocean is influenced by OA, but coastal systems have received little attention. In the northern Gulf of Mexico (nGOM) shelf region, pH in bottom waters can measure up to 0.45 units less than the pH of the pre-industrial surface ocean, in comparison to the 0.1 overall pH decrease across the entire ocean. Carbonate chemistry in the ocean is greatly influenced by even small changes in pH, so these seemingly minor changes lead to much greater impacts on the biology and chemistry of the ocean. The researchers plan to study coastal OA in the nGOM, a region subject to high inputs of nutrients from the Mississippi River. These inputs of anthropogenic nitrogen mostly derived from fertilizers leads to increased respiration rates which decreases oxygen concentrations in the water column to the point of hypoxia in the summer. This study will inform us how OA in coastal waters subject to eutrophication and hypoxia will impact the chemistry and biology of the region. The researchers are dedicated to outreach programs in the Gulf and east coast regions, interacting with K-12 students and teachers, undergraduate/graduate student training, and various outreach efforts (family workshops on OA, lectures for the public and federal, state, and local representatives). Also, a project website will be created to disseminate the research results to a wider audience.

Increased uptakes of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) by the ocean has led to a 0.1 unit decrease in seawater pH and carbonate mineral saturation state, a process known as Ocean Acidification (OA), which threatens the heath of marine organisms, alters marine ecosystems, and biogeochemical processes. Considerable attention has been focused on understanding the impact of OA on the open ocean but less attention has been given to coastal regions. Recent studies indicate that pH in bottom waters of the northern Gulf of Mexico (nGOM) shelf can be as much as 0.45 units lower relative to pre-industrial values. This occurs because the acidification resulting from increased CO2 inputs (both atmospheric inputs and in-situ respiration) decreases the buffering capacity of seawater. This interactive effect will increase with time, decreasing summertime nGOM bottom-water pH by an estimated 0.85 units and driving carbonate minerals to undersaturation by the end of this century. Researchers from the University of Delaware and the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium will carry out a combined field, laboratory, and modeling program to address the following questions. (1) What are the physical, chemical, and biological controls on acidification in coastal waters impacted by the large, nutrient-laden Mississippi River?; (2) What is the link between coastal-water acidification, eutrophication, and hypoxia; (3) How do low pH and high CO2 concentrations in bottom waters affect CO2 out-gassing during fall and winter and storm periods when the water column is mixed?; and (4) What are the influences of changing river inputs under anthropogenic forcing on coastal water acidification?
Results from this research aim to further our understanding of the processes influencing ocean acidification in coastal waters subject to eutrophication and hypoxia both in the GOM and river-dominated shelf ecosystems globally.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ARCTIC RESRCH SUPPRT & LOGISTI | Award Amount: 299.24K | Year: 2010

ABSTRACT

02 June 2010
Proposal Number: 1013341
Institution: Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON)
PI: J. Malbrough
Co-PI: D. Guidry

The proposal requests funding for a fleet-wide group purchase of wire monitoring hardware and software to bring nine (9) vessels in the US academic research vessel fleet into compliance with Appendix A, of the Research Vessel Safety Standards (RVSS), March 2009 including the R/V PELICAN. Appendix A of the RVSS specifies minimum requirements for cable monitoring systems (tension recording and display rates, alarms, etc.) in order for the vessel to meet specific Safe Working Load (SWL) criteria; the lower the SWL, the more stringent the requirements. SWL requirements for oceanographic wires and cable are lower than standards used ashore in order to meet science equipment deployment requirements particularly at full ocean depths. This group purchase will improve safety and enhance science support capability by ensuring oceanographic wire monitoring systems are in compliance with the current safety standards and latest available technology.

Broader Impacts: The R/V PELICAN supports federally funded scientific research in the Gulf of Mexico in order to expand human knowledge of the ocean environment. During operations, the vessel routinely exposes graduate and undergraduate students to seagoing oceanography. Pubic outreach is also achieved through real-time satellite connectivity from ship to shore, open house events, educational cruises, and involvement in the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center which is an intern-based training program for marine technicians. The ships included in this group purchase support hundreds of NSF sponsored days in 2010.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: EDUCATION/HUMAN RESOURCES,OCE | Award Amount: 222.59K | Year: 2011

This award provides funding for a new Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON), located in Cocodrie, LA. The program will support six students per year during a ten week summer research program. Students will conduct independent research projects and participate in a series of seminars in marine sciences and career workshops. Student research projects at LUMCON will focus on the coastal zone environment that is being impacted by climate change and more direct human impacts, including fisheries, transportation, and industry. Coastal Louisiana may serve as an ideal model system to study these impacts because rates of environmental change here are substantially greater than many other coastal systems in the US and around the world. The goal of the proposed LUMCON REU site is to provide stimulating, challenging, and lasting research experiences for a highly qualified, diverse cohort of 6 undergraduate student participants from throughout the United States. In meeting this goal, specific objectives of the LUMCON REU program are to 1) expose students to a variety of research settings and
disciplines of coastal and marine science, 2) facilitate the design, implementation and completion of
individual, independent research projects, 3) train students in basic research skills in oral and written
scientific presentation skills, 4) expose participants to the diversity of career paths that exist in science as well as a diverse ensemble of role models, 5) teach participants about the linkages between scientific research and ecosystem management, and 6) develop a cohort of future scientists through a common
research experience and opportunities for both formal and informal exchange and communication between students and between students and mentors. NSF funding provides for student stipends, travel, room and board in the LUMCON dormitory, student research expenses and administrative costs.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Cooperative Agreement | Program: | Phase: SHIP OPERATIONS | Award Amount: 473.18K | Year: 2012

This award (OCE-1219704) will support two NSF funded sea-going programs by providing access to research vessel Pelican, operated by Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON). R/V Pelican as a designated UNOLS vessel adheres to all UNOLS safety standards, NSF inspections, and reporting requirements. Historically LUMCON has run an efficient and economical operation to support sea-going activities primarily in the Gulf of Mexico. This award represents the start of a new five-year cooperative agreement, and for each year of the cooperative agreement annual funding will be re-negotiated based upon the number of days at sea in direct support of NSF peer-reviewed research. This award is for platform support for NSF programs.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Continuing grant | Program: | Phase: OCEANOGRAPHIC TECHNICAL SERVCE | Award Amount: 56.93K | Year: 2013

Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) proposes to support technical services on R/V Pelican, a 116 foot, general purpose research vessel operated by the consortium as part of the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System research fleet. They request support for basic services only; they will provide one technician on each seagoing research project. In addition, the technical services group will maintain, calibrate and provide for qualified users items from their pool of shared-use research instrumentation. The budget included with this report is for the first year of a 4-year continuing grant.

In 2012, Pelican had no days for NSF. All other vessels in the Academic Fleet submitted proposals in 2012 for the first year of a 5-year continuing grant. For LUMCON, however, there was no award made in 2012. In order to keep all vessels on the same schedule with regards to the length of the technical services continuing grants, this award is proposed as the first year of a four-year continuing grant.

The Program received the proposal on 1/18/2013. As required, the proposal provided information regarding 2012 operations as well as outlining plans and a proposed budget for 2013. Research vessels in the Academic Fleet provide support for researchers from a variety of federal and state agencies, as well as some private sponsors. All users (or the appropriate funding agencies) share support for basic technical services on the vessel equally, via a day-rate, with each paying a share of the costs based on fractional usage of the vessel. The rates are negotiated annually with the NSF Program Manager.

Broader Impacts
The principal impact of the present proposal is under criterion two, providing infrastructure support for scientists to use the vessel and its shared-use instrumentation in support of their NSF-funded oceanographic research projects (which individually undergo separate review by the relevant research program of NSF). The support of maintenance and operation of shared-use instrumentation allows NSF-funded researchers from any US university or lab access to working, calibrated instruments for their research, reducing the cost of that research, and expanding the base of potential researchers.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTRUMENTATION | Award Amount: 80.69K | Year: 2016

A request is made to fund additional and back-up instrumentation for the R/V Pelican, a 116 foot Coastal vessel operated by the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) as part of the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) research fleet. The vessel is owned by the LUMCON and the mission of the ship is to support funded oceanographic research in the Gulf of Mexico. With this proposal, LUMCON provides technical descriptions and rationale for the acquisition of the following Oceanographic Instrumentation:

Knudsen Chirp 3260 Dual Channel Echosounder $80,690

Broader Impacts
The principal impact of the present proposal is under Merit Review Criterion 2 of the Proposal Guidelines (NSF 13-589). It provides infrastructure support for scientists to use the vessel and its shared-use instrumentation in support of their NSF-funded oceanographic research projects (which individually undergo separate review by the relevant research program of NSF). The acquisition, maintenance and operation of shared-use instrumentation allows NSF-funded researchers from any US university or lab access to working, calibrated instruments for their research, reducing the cost of that research, and expanding the base of potential researchers.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: ECOSYSTEM STUDIES | Award Amount: 92.59K | Year: 2011

This RAPID research project will examine ecosystem and biogeochemical impacts of a 200-year flood of the Mississippi River along a transect from the Atchafalaya River, which is receiving massive inputs of water from the Morganza Spillway in addition to already high flood waters, to the Atchafalaya River Delta Estuary, to the northern Gulf of Mexico. The researchers will focus on how an extreme event in a river system having extensive interaction with wetlands and floodplain swamps alters carbon quality, nutrients, and sediment transport to the Gulf, as well as how these biogeochemical changes affect ecosystem respiration and the food web.

The broader impacts of the research include contributions to human resource development and to management issues. The project will interface with an existing Research Experience for Undergraduates program, affording students an opportunity to gain first-hand experience studying an extreme event in a floodplain river. Because extreme events such as this are expected to become more common in the future, this study will provide important information to managers, who currently must make decisions about river and flood management based on limited knowledge of the ecosystem effects of this type of event.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: SHIP OPERATIONS | Award Amount: 205.80K | Year: 2016

A request is made to fund additional and back-up Shipboard Scientific Support Equipment for the R/V Pelican, a 116 foot Coastal vessel operated by the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) as part of the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) research fleet. The vessel is owned by the LUMCON and the mission of the ship is to support funded science research in the Gulf of Mexico. With this proposal, LUMCON provides technical descriptions and rationale for the acquisition of the following equipment:

1) Hawboldt SPRE-2244/RS Appendix A&B compliant CTD Winch $205,800

Broader Impacts
The principal impact of the present proposal is under Merit Review Criterion 2 of the Proposal Guidelines (NSF 13-589). It provides infrastructure support for scientists to use the vessel and its shared-use instrumentation in support of their NSF-funded oceanographic research projects (which individually undergo separate review by the relevant research program of NSF). The acquisition, maintenance and operation of shared-use instrumentation allows NSF-funded researchers from any US university or lab access to working, calibrated instruments for their research, reducing the cost of that research, and expanding the base of potential researchers.

Loading Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium collaborators
Loading Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium collaborators