Research Cruise Aboard Ocean Service Vessel Bold
From June 18 to 25, a team from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) and Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) will be on board the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Ocean Survey Vessel Bold to conduct research on seafloor habitats in state waters. Using state-of-the-art equipment and onboard laboratories, this team will collect and analyze seafloor data. Among other objectives, the assembled information on marine habitats will support implementation of the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan—a first-in-the-nation plan released in December 2009. To secure the ship time, CZM wrote a research proposal to EPA, which was selected through a regional competition.
While aboard the Bold—a 224-foot converted U.S. Navy ocean surveillance ship that is specifically designed to help EPA conduct a wide range of environmental monitoring activities and perform onboard data analysis—a scientific crew from CZM, DMF, and EPA will perform the research work. The team will take samples from the seafloor to analyze sediment type (e.g., cobble, mud, sand), identify and catalogue organisms found, and take video of the seafloor. This information will help validate the Massachusetts seafloor habitat maps. Accurate maps are essential for determining how to protect natural resources, such as kelp beds and cobble areas important for commercial fish species, during ocean permitting.
While aboard the ship, two CZM staff members will be writing a blog about their journey on this seafloor research cruise.
Project Review/Dredging Coordinator, Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM)
Bob, a fisheries biology graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, joined CZM in 2006 after a 25-year career in environmental testing as an aquatic toxicologist. He lives with his wife Susan in Topsfield, where he is also a firefighter and an EMT. When not at work or riding an ambulance, Bob can be found fly fishing for stripers with his son Alex (following in his dad’s footsteps as a marine biology major at the University of New Hampshire), talking emergency medicine with his daughter Ashley (in medical school and way more ambitious than her dad), discussing legal issues with his son-in-law Adam (a recent law school graduate), or hiking and cycling with his wife Sue.
GIS/Data Manager, Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM)
Dan has been sailing on or living by the ocean for the past 38 years. At CZM since 2003, he has performed spatial analysis and mapping using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) on wide range of issue areas, including coastal geology, seafloor mapping, and ocean management. He earned degrees in the life sciences and coastal environmental management from the University of New Hampshire and Duke University. Perhaps more than anything else, Dan enjoys exploring—whether on a boat, bike, or his own two legs.