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Oceans

In the Spring of 2015 Rockefeller University's Program for the Human Environment entered into a partnership with Monmouth University's Urban Coast Institute to create the Marine Science & Policy Initiative (MSPI).  The intent was to harness the resources of both institutions to conduct research and policy analysis, enhance student experiences in and out of the classroom, and support community stewardship of coastal and ocean ecosystems.

The effort is led by Jesse Ausubel, Director of the Program for the Human Environment, Paul Gaffney, Vice-Admiral (Ret.) US Navy and President Emeritus, Monmouth University, and Tony MacDonald, Director of the Urban Coast Institute at Monmouth University; advisors include
Michael Kubin, Rick Larrabee, Russell Pennoyer, Steve Ramberg, Howard Rosenbaum, and Bob Sculthorpe.

The MSPI currently encompasses three areas of study:

Aquatic DNA,. Analyzing “naked DNA” in water samples can reveal what animals are nearby. Aquatic environmental DNA (eDNA) promises to enable monitoring of fish and other aquatic animals more cheaply and easily than traditional methods with nets. We are testing this
emerging technology in marine and freshwater environments around New York City.

Ocean Exploration. The 2016 National Ocean Exploration Forum, held at Rockefeller University, brought together a range of stakeholders to help identify and harness new technologies for ocean exploration including the growing role of autonomous vehicles.

International Quiet Ocean ExperimentThe IQOE aims to establish a large-scale international effort to measure noise in the world’s oceans and better understand potential biological effects.  

Below are recent news items related to the MSPI:

 

17 February 2017

The Final Report of the 2016 National Ocean Exploration Forum (NOEF) has been posted on the updated NOEF website.  The site includes the reports of the small groups that developed plans for campaigns of exploration to the Arctic, Gulf of Mexico, and Southeast US Atlantic Bight as well as the slides from the orientation lectures about these regions, slides from the lectures about tools for geology, acoustics, biology, and telepresence, and the discussion papers prepared for the Forum. A short press release describes the Final Report.Thanks to Amelie Walker Yung for the great site redesign and to Alan Curry for overseeing the entire NOEF project.The Forum and its Report are fruits of the Monmouth University-Rockefeller University marine science and policy initiative.

26 October 2016

Dr. Robert Ballard’s inspiring speech about ocean exploration begins at the 16-minute mark in this video from the 2016 National Ocean Exploration Forum held at the Rockefeller University 20-21 October.   We also post the Op-ed for the Marine Technology Society by VADM Gaffney (ret.) summarizing the findings of the 2016 National Ocean Exploration Forum.

21 October 2016

A Press Release describes recent discoveries by ocean explorers and the 2016 National Ocean Exploration Forum, organized by Jesse Ausubel (Rockefeller University) and Paul Gaffney (Monmouth University). Thanks to the 110 participants and for great preparation by Alan Curry, Doris Manville, Karl Vilacoba, and Danica Simmons.News reports of the recent discoveries:

Remotely operated vehicles expand reach for ocean researchers
WorkBoat (blog)–Oct 20, 2016“A lot of the difficulty with ocean exploration since Ulysses is we move slowly at sea,” said Jesse Ausubel, director of the Program for the Human …

Strange purple sea creatures found in deep ocean trenches
BBC News–Oct 20, 2016 500 ‘Champagne’ Methane Seeps Discovered Off Pacific Coast
Live Science–Oct 20, 2016 Methane leak along the West Coast that could contribute to global …
Daily Mail–Oct 20, 2016 There’s an Enormous Natural Gas Seep Along the West Coast
Gizmodo India–Oct 19, 2016

29 September 2016

The slides from Jesse Ausubel’s lecture onMarine biodiversity revealed by extracellular DNA in seawater
are posted at the site of the conference celebrating the 70th birthday of Russia’s Shirshov Institute of Oceanology.  Thanks to Mark Stoeckle, who leads PHE’s eDNA work.

23 August 2016

On 20-21 October, our Rockefeller-Monmouth Ocean Science & Policy Initiative will host the 2016 US National Forum on Ocean Exploration. For more information, click HERE.  Attendance is by invitation only.

2 August 2016

Mark Stoeckle’s work using environmental DNA (eDNA) to detect fish in and around New York City is featured on NYU’s ScienceLine. By analyzing the tiny bits of DNA fish and other animals leave behind in the water, the eDNA approach gives a new way to monitor the fish and aquatic mammals including whales and dolphins in our local waters.

12 May 2016

Biological Sampling in the Deep Sea edited by Malcolm Clark, Mireille Consalvey, and Ashley Rowden presents a large fraction of what we know about this subject in 19 chapters and 472 pages. Published in April 2016 by Wiley-Blackwell (ISBN-10: 0470656743), the book emerged from the dozens of field projects in the deep sea organized under the flag of the Census of Marine Life.  The editors led the seamounts project of the Census and for this book attracted experts also on abyssal plains, vent & seep communities, and the continental margins and all the challenges involved.

Initial chapters cover habitats and fauna, survey and sampling design, and mapping. The heart of the book describes and analyses a panoply of approaches spanning trawls, longlines, epibenthic sledges, corers and grabs, landers (including baited cameras and traps), towed cameras, submersibles and remotely operated vehicles, and even seafloor observatories.  Later chapters address sorting, recording, preservation and storage, information management strategies, and data analysis. Concluding chapters ponder application of studies to governance and management and the future of biological sampling in the deep sea. The 50+ authors are a who’s who of deep sea biology and technology.

The book, carefully edited and attractively produced, is the first comprehensive compilation of deep sea sampling methods for the full range of habitats.  It is hard to imagine writing a sound and successful research proposal in deep sea biology without making use of its breadth and depth.  All the authors and especially the editors and their host institution, New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), merit thanks for a volume that advances our chances to excel individually and collectively.  Jesse Ausubel wrote the Foreword for the volume.

7 January 2016

We post “Ocean Past, Ocean Future: Reflections on the Shift from the 19th  to 21st  Century Ocean”, Jesse H. Ausubel, Michelson Memorial Lecture, 15 October 2015 United States Naval Academy, Annapolis MD.”

7 December 2015

Exciting preliminary results from our NYC/NJ Aquatic Environmental DNA (eDNA) project are posted on our updated webpage http://phe.rockefeller.edu/barcode/blog/nycnj-aquatic-vertebrate-edna-project/ The project aims to detect fish and other aquatic vertebrates by analyzing the traces of DNA they leave behind in the water. So far we have analyzed about a dozen water samples and successfully detected eDNA of 8 freshwater and 10 marine fish species, as well as a variety of birds and mammals. This project is part of a joint initiative in oceans research with Monmouth University.

2 November 2015

An interview with Jesse Ausubel appears in the 9th newsletter of the alumni network for the oceans of the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans, pp. 15-16.  Jesse teamed with Charles Kennel (then director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography) and Robert Gagosian (then director of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) to found POGO in 1999.

16 September 2015

The new children’s book, The Little Girl Who Walked on Water But Who Didn’t Know How to Swim written by our esteemed colleague and friend Francois Sarano and illustrated by Marion Sarano is now available.  Great book to introduce children to the oceans!

4 August 2015

The Science Plan of the International Quiet Ocean Experiment (IQOE) has been published and is available in pdf (see http://www.scor-int.org/IQOE/IQOE_Science_Plan-Final.pdf) and printed formats.   Thanks to Peter Tyack, George Frist, Ed Urban, Sophie Seeyave and others who contributed to this excellent document, now endorsed by the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) and Partnership for Observation […]

16 June 2015

Galatee’s Oceans film featured a haunting song by Bruno Coulais with lyrics by Gabriel Yacoub.  The song with images from the film is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3K1GnGEmPo Ocean Will Be Even though voices be quiet Slumbering in deep-sea trenches One can hear a rumbling thunder Merging into the endless skies Dancing for joy In a wind of […]

4 June 2015

The new 18″ video “Perspectives on Ocean Exploration” includes comments by Jesse Ausubel as well as Robert Ballard, Sylvia Earle, Paul Gaffney, Walter Munk, and others. Jerry Schubel of the Aquarium of the Pacific led the preparation of the video, aimed at school programs and other groups unfamiliar with ocean exploration.

2 January 2015

Oceanography magazine published its Supplement covering the 2013 field season of the Exploration Vessel Nautilus in the Caribbean.  Jesse Ausubel participated in the field season and is a co-author of the report on the Impact of Volcanic Eruptions on the Seafloor Around Montserrat, West Indies, pp 36-37 of the issue 27(1), March 2014.

25 September 2013

Ocean Exploration 2020, the attractive report of the July 2013 Forum on Ocean Exploration that we helped plan, is now available. Jesse’s short essay is on pp. 34-35. Thanks and congratulations to everyone involved, above all, Jerry Schubel, who made things happen, fast.

How should we think about the wealth of the oceans?  In earlier centuries, wealth from the oceans conjured images of gold doubloons pirated on their way to Spain, pearls retrieved by divers holding their breath as deep as 100 feet in the Red Sea, and cod harvested by fisherman on the Grand Banks for Friday dinners in France. And before kerosene, wealth conjured Yankees harpooning sperm whales and rendering lamp oil.

Looking forward, we must span themes of use, stewardship, and security, beginning with use, which typically converts wealth into cash. Use is the business not only of pirates, divers, and fishermen but stevedores, chandlers, and oilmen, too. Time has changed the relative magnitude of uses greatly since doubloons, pearls, cod, and whales dominated marine wealth and uses.

Stewardship requires careful and responsible management of the oceans entrusted to humanity. Both the practical desire for wealth in the long run and ethical obligation to nature encourage our stewardship of the seas.

After the use and stewardship of marine wealth, we must tend to their safety, making our lives, harbors, ships, pipes, and cables secure. Good sense requires defending ourselves and the trillions of dollars in infrastructure that we invested to use the oceans, defending it against sudden natural hazards like tsunamis and storms and slow ones like erosion and silt. We must also secure against enemies and crime. Finally, if the oceans are not to end dependent on the kindness of strangers, a steadfast system must cycle wealth from oceanic uses to its stewardship and defense.

Appreciating the importance of the oceans to the human environment, the PHE has a long history in marine research.  From 2000 to 2010, PHE Director Jesse Ausubel coordinated the Census of Marine Life, a 10-year scientific project to assess and explain the diversity, distribution, and abundance of marine life.  PHE continues to perform and promote ocean exploration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Ocean Exploration Program, as well as Jesse’s participation on the Nautilus, a vessel operated by the Ocean Exploration Trust under the direction of Dr. Robert Ballard.  The International Quiet Ocean Experiment (IQOE), a project developed in conjunction with the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) and the Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO) – an organization Jesse helped form – aims to quantify the ocean soundscape and show relationships between sound and behaviors of key marine taxa, and spur improvement of ocean observing systems.  Additionally, we are developing genetic techniques to ascertain what lives in the waters around New York City from extracellular DNA in local waters.  Many of these activities are carried out in collaboration with colleagues at Monmouth University and other New York area institutions, as well as the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where Jesse is a long-time member of the adjunct faculty.

About the icon – The Yeti Crab, a new species of crab identified as part of the Census of Marine Life in 2005.

Publications about Oceans

1163 JH Ausubel. SuBastian and the Roboats (PDF). Pp. 28-31 in Final Report of the 2016 National Ocean Exploration Forum: Beyond the Ships 2020–2025. 2017 (Slightly abridged version published in Sea Technology 58(1):7, January 2017.) SuBastian and the Roboats,

1164 JH Ausubel and PG Gaffney II. Final Report of the 2016 National Ocean Exploration Forum: Beyond the Ships 2020–2025. (PDF) [external link]. The Marine Science and Policy Series, Program for the Human Environment, The Rockefeller University, and Monmouth University 2017 Final Report of the 2016 National Ocean Exploration Forum: Beyond the Ships 2020–2025.,

1174 JH Ausubel. Ocean Past, Ocean Future: Reflections on the Shift from the 19th to 21st Century Ocean (PDF). Michelson Memorial Lecture, United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD, 15 October 2015 Ocean Past, Ocean Future: Reflections on the Shift from the 19th to 21st Century Ocean,

1151 S Carey, KLC Bell, S Sparks, A Stinton, JH Ausubel, BT Phillips, NA Raineault, N Siu, C Fandel, O Graham, H Ramsingh, R Blake, S Auscavitch, AWJ Demopoulos, K Rodrigue. Impact of Volcanic Eruptions on the Seafloor Around Montserrat, West Indies. Oceanography 27(1): 36-37, 2014 Impact of Volcanic Eruptions on the Seafloor Around Montserrat, West Indies,

1143 JH Ausubel. Ocean Exploration (PDF). The Report of Ocean Exploration 2020: A National Forum, Aquarium of the Pacific and NOAA, Long Beach CA 34-35, 2013 Ocean Exploration,

1140 Ausubel JH. Wealth from the Oceans: Use, Stewardship, and Security (PDF). Keynote address, 8th Annual Future of the Ocean Symposium, Monmouth University, West Long Branch, N.J., 26 October 2012 Wealth from the Oceans: Use, Stewardship, and Security,

1130 IL Boyd, G Frisk, E Urban, P Tyack, J Ausubel, S Seeyave, D Cato, B Southall, M Weise, R Andrew, T Akamatsu, R Dekeling, C Erbe, D Farmer, R Gentry, T Gross, A Hawkins, F Li, K Metcalf, JH Miller, D Moretti, C Rodrigo, and T Shinke.. An International Quiet Ocean Experiment (PDF). Oceanography 24(2): 174-181, 2011 doi:10.5670/oceanog.2011.37An International Quiet Ocean Experiment,

1114 MJ Williams, JH Ausubel, I Poiner, SM Garcia, DJ Baker, MR Clark, H Mannix, K Yarincik, PN Halpin. Making marine life count: A new baseline for policy [external link]. PLoS Biology 8(10): 2010 Making marine life count: A new baseline for policy, Census Marine Life

1124 JH Ausubel. A census of ocean life: On the difficulty and joy of seeing what Is near and far (PDF). SGI Quarterly April: 2010 A census of ocean life: On the difficulty and joy of seeing what Is near and far, Census of marine life

1134 JH Ausubel, DT Crist, and PE Waggoner (eds.). First Census of Marine Life 2010: Highlights of a Decade of Discovery (PDF) [external link]. CoML 2010 First Census of Marine Life 2010: Highlights of a Decade of Discovery,

1122 JH Ausubel. Broadening the scope of global change to include illumination and noise [external link]. SEED Magazine 23 Nov: 2009 Broadening the scope of global change to include illumination and noise, Census of Marine Life, illumination, noise

0109 JH Ausubel. On the limits to knowledge of future marine biodiversity (PDF). Electronic Journal of Sustainable Development 1(2): 19-23, 2008 On the limits to knowledge of future marine biodiversity, Biodiversity, marine life, fisheries, ocean

0108 JH Ausubel. Future knowledge of life in oceans past (PDF). In Oceans Past: Management Insights from the History of Marine Animal Populations, D. J. Starkey, P. Holm, and M. Barnard (eds.), Earthscan, London an xix-xxvi, 2008 Future knowledge of life in oceans past, Biodiversity, marine life, fisheries, ocean

1121 K Stoeckle, L Strauss. High school students track down fish fraud (PDF). Pacific Fishing September: 34, 2008 High school students track down fish fraud, barcode, dna barcode, barcoding, dna barcoding

0095 JH Ausubel. Inaugural speech, South American workshop on Marine biodiversity for the census of marine life (PDF). Gayana 67(2): 143-144, 2003 Inaugural speech, South American workshop on Marine biodiversity for the census of marine life, Biodiversity, marine life, fisheries, ocean

0088 JH Ausubel. The census of marine life: Progress and prospects. Fisheries 26(7): 33-36, 2001 The census of marine life: Progress and prospects, Fisheries, marine life

1125 JH Ausubel. The census of marine life and the role of aquariums . Bulletin de l’Institut océanographique, Monaco 20(1): 67, 2001 Bulletin de l’Institut océanographique, Monaco, n° spécial 20, fascicule 1The census of marine life and the role of aquariums , Census of Marine Life, aquarium

0076 JH Ausubel. Toward a census of marine life (PDF). Oceanography 12(3): 4-5, 1999 Toward a census of marine life, marine biodiversity