Thursday, August 8, 2013

End of the season

Li Ling carrying out fish surveys
(Photo: T. DeCarlo)
Our last week of fieldwork for the foreseeable future finishes up today with a long journey back to Woods Hole. Over the past seven days we retrieved every instrument that we had deployed back in April, carried out several visual surveys of our coral reef study sites, and deployed some short-term acoustic recorders to complement the work we started earlier this year.

By the numbers:

We completed 31 dives and accumulated a total of 23.4 hours underwater. Tom covered 140 meters of the benthos with his surveys and Max and Li Ling collectively swam 690 meters enumerating fish species abundance. Between our long-term acoustic recorders, the short-term deployments we made over the last week, and the photos we took we collected over a terabyte of data.

Max completing a fish survey (Photo: T. DeCarlo)
Once back in Woods Hole we will have the much-needed opportunity to review all of the data we collected so that we can better understand how sound on coral reefs varies at different scales, and what it can tell us about ecosystem health, community-level biodiversity, and its applicability as a tool for monitoring large-scale geographic and temporal ecosystem shifts over time.

Big thanks are due to the helpful staff at our field station on St John - VIERS - and everyone back at WHOI who helped us out with the various aspects of this project. 


Tom returning one of our instruments to the surface
using a lift bag (Photo: M. Kaplan)

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