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Brooke Laboratory in the News

Oct 1 - 10, 2019: The HydroSMAC Mission

Hydrodynamics and Habitat Suitability for Meiofauna And Corals (HydroSMAC) Florida State's Coastal and Marine Laboratory is excited to announce that a few of our own faculty members embarked on an exciting research mission in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. From October 1st to 10th, a team of scientists from Florida State University (FSU), Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) and NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), sailed aboard the Research Vessel Point Sur and used the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Global Explorer to study benthic communities off the West Florida Escarpment (WFE).

Battle for the Deep Seafloor by Dr. Sandra Brooke

Human interest in the marine environment originally focused on the highly productive coastal zone, where food and energy resources were readily available. The deep sea was left in relative peace. Over time, we began to use up our coastal resources and started looking further offshore for unexploited fish stocks and oil reserves. This industry migration precipitated the need to understand the distribution and sensitivities of deep-sea ecosystems to prevent damage from human activities.

Diving into Science at FSU

Scientific Diving has been taught at Florida State University since the inception of the Academic Diving Program in the 1970’s. Thanks to the work of FSU faculty including Dr. William F. “Doc” Herrnkind, a training program evolved focused on enabling student, faculty and staff research diving operations. January 9th, 2019, marks the 3rd time the training will be conducted under Diving Safety Officer Christopher Peters in a workshop entitled Introduction to Scientific Diving.

Exploration of the Deep Eastern Gulf of Mexico

The Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory, on the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) coast in north Florida, is a beautiful place. It is not uncommon there to see ospreys and bald eagles eyeing the coastline, pelican formations flying low, dolphins churning the water in a feeding frenzy or sharks cruising the shallows seeking out their next meal. It is also a place where a clear view of the horizon when standing on the beach is the rule, rather than the exception.

Discovered: Giant Deep-Sea Coral Reef Off Atlantic Coast

FSUCML’s Dr Sandra Brooke is part of a research team that discovered a giant coral reef about 160 miles off of Charleston, South Carolina. The reef is a half mile below the ocean surface and is estimated to run for at least 85 linear miles. These corals could be hundreds of thousands of years old. “It’s kind of thrown my mental image of what the reef out here looks like for a loop” says Dr. Brooke. Dr. Brooke was among team members on Friday-8/24- who dove in the sub Alvin to see this new reef. She stated it was an “incredible” surprise to find so much live coral in the area. A reporter for the Huffington Post is aboard the R/V Atlantis. To read his article, click the title above to learn more about this amazing discovery. Also, to learn more about the ongoing research trip and live blogs from the scientists click here:

Deep Search 2018: DEEP Sea Exploration to Advance Research on Coral/Canyon/Cold Seep Habitats

From August 19 to September 2, 2018, FSUCML's Dr. Sandra Brooke is part of a research expedition sailing on the R/V Atlantis (Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst.) with the submersible ALVIN. The cruise is led by Erik Cordes (Temple University) and includes participants from several universities, the US Geological Survey, NOAA and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management as well as media representatives. The cruise will collect critical baseline data on deep-water coral, canyons and cold seep habitats offshore the Mid-Atlantic and southeastern US, to inform management and conservation of these sensitive deep-water ecosystems. At the link below, follow this expedition with daily mission logs and amazing pictures taken from ALVIN’s eyes on the seafloor.