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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Washington
  • Kenneth P Sebens
  • (206) 616-0764
  • Jan Newton
  • Alexander Gagnon
  • Daniel Grunbaum
  • Billie J Swalla
Award Date:08/20/2014
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 349,889
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 349,889
  • FY 2014=$349,889
Start Date:09/01/2014
End Date:02/28/2018
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.074
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:FSML: Instrumentation at UW Friday Harbor Laboratories for Studies of the Biological Impacts of Ocean Acidification and Ocean Change
Federal Award ID Number:1418875
DUNS ID:605799469
Parent DUNS ID:042803536
Program Officer:
  • Peter McCartney
  • (703) 292-8470

Awardee Location

Street:4333 Brooklyn Ave NE
Awardee Cong. District:07

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:UW Friday Harbor Laboratories
Street:620 University Rd
City:Friday Harbor
County:Friday Harbor
Cong. District:02

Abstract at Time of Award

The UW Friday Harbor Laboratories (FHL) currently supports a fully functional NSF-funded (FSML) Ocean Acidification Experimental Laboratory and in-water mesocosm facility, available to researchers from any institution. Under the new award, FHL will install an instrument array to monitor local ocean changes, and to provide data to help design ongoing experiments. UW has already installed a submarine cable system (spring 2013) that will allow real-time monitoring and testing of scientific devices. The test-bed infrastructure includes two electro-optical cables, bundled together on the seafloor, extending 600 feet from shore, and a third shallower cable will be added in 2014. Instruments connected to each cable will provide unprecedented data access to scientists and the general public via the FHL and NANOOS websites. At the end of two cables (7m, 30m) FHL will install real-time instruments to monitor ocean chemistry, physics and biological processes in the water column. At the end of the other cable (40m), a shallow and a deep profiler of the UW OOI Regional Scale Node (RSN) system will be tested (UW School of Oceanography & Applied Physics Lab); the profilers will eventually be removed and UW will continue to use this cable and connectors as a test-bed facility for future instrument development. Ocean change, including ocean acidification (OA), poses an unprecedented threat to oceanic and coastal ecosystems and to the societies that depend on them. The scale and complexity of the OA problem requires new spatially distributed data collection, and an integrated programmatic approach to OA research. The Salish Sea region, fed by waters of the Northeast Pacific, is particularly vulnerable to OA events associated with ocean upwelling and is already experiencing pH ranges that other areas will not see for many decades; commercial fisheries and shellfish aquaculture already appear to be affected or at risk. OA is further complicated in estuaries such as the Salish Sea by local processes including respiration, production, anoxia and mixing, resulting in wide pH and pCO2 variation in time and space. Long-range plans for ocean change research at FHL focus on integrated ocean carbonate system observations, utilizing new advances in the development of ocean sensors and instruments, and incorporating biological response studies under laboratory and field conditions. Field conditions will be simulated using environmental and ecosystem modeling studies, and our findings will provide information for assessment of policy, and socio-economic responses. Societal needs will be fully integrated with our research, merging the relevance of the problem and the need for human adaptation to OA. FHL will engage in knowledge transfer, with data and information flowing to and from policy makers, affected communities, scientists, and the general public. The shellfish aquaculture community will benefit economically from the new data and tribal governments will accrue benefits that could help sustain traditional food sources. The public will benefit through targeted education activities that improve general understanding of ocean processes and especially ocean acidification. UW and FHL will train a workforce that is ready to discover and deal with the impacts of OA and to realize adaptive responses that will allow affected industries and communities to thrive in the presence of this threat. Users include groups engaged in marine resource-based economies, members of coastal tribes, managers of marine resources, researchers in academic and government laboratories, and both formal and informal educators. FHL education programs reach broadly, from high school teachers and their students to undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. At the graduate level, FHL will prepare students for careers inside and outside of academia. Under represented minorities (URM) are fully integrated into FHL activities, with the objective of increasing their representation in oceanography, biology, fisheries and other OA and ocean-related fields. We will leverage existing programs (UW IGERT in Ocean Change, FHL Blinks and REU site programs, FHL Research Apprenticeships, NSF BEACON at UW) and create new programs to recruit, mentor, and prepare a community of URM students both on and off the university campus. We will expand our ongoing engagement of Native American students in ocean change research and education, near their own college campus (NWIC) and with their own instructors, in a culturally respectful way.

Project Outcomes Report


This Project Outcomes Report for the General Public is displayed verbatim as submitted by the Principal Investigator (PI) for this award. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this Report are those of the PI and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation; NSF has not approved or endorsed its content.

This award provided funds to establish a Friday Harbor Laboratories Ocean Observatory (FHLOO) at the University of Washington's Friday Harbor Laboratories (UW FHL) on San Juan Island, WA. This set of instruments provide real time information on the local ocean (Salish Sea) conditions, and will provide information on changing conditions over the next decades. It will become a permanent part of UW FHL's mission, to collect and provide such data to resident and visiting researchers, students and the public. These instruments will monitor water column temperature, salinity, pH, pCO2, oxygen, turbidity, fluorometry (phytoplankton chlorophyll), current profiles, zooplankton and phytoplankton images. 

All FHLOO instruments were set up and tested at FHL during December 2017 to May 2018 in an indoor laboratory setting, then installed at the field sites in May 2018. One set of instruments is at the deep station, 25 m depth, off Cantilever Point on the FHL property. The second, shallow, set of instruments is at 2 m depth at the end of the FHL dock. Both sets of instruments send data via ethernet connections to computers and servers at FHL, and can be accessed remotely (Seattle campus, etc.). The deep site utilizes a fiber optics cable installed by UW Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in 2013, then connects to the FHL ethernet system. Both shallow and deep stations have instruments to measure conductivity, temperature and depth (Seabird CTD), pH, pCO2, oxygen, turbidity, fluorescence (SAMI), and current profiles (ADP, Acoustic Doppler Profiler, Sontek and Teledyne). Data will be collected at 30 minute intervals continuously, except when instruments are removed for servicing.

For phytoplankton imaging, an Imaging Flow Cytobot (IFCB) will be installed at the same dock station as the other instruments, but in a separate enclosure (being constructed at UW School of Oceanography). This instrument has been tested at the Seattle campus over the past year, following training provided by the manufacturer. We expect this installation to occur at FHL during summer 2018. Images will be stored on a server at UW Seattle, with copies at FHL. This instrument can be accessed remotely from Seattle, both for programming and downloading data. The autonomous zooplankton cameras developed by D. Grunbaum were tested successfully off the FHL dock for multiple time periods during 2017. Several more cameras have now been constructed, and will be added to each of the stations by divers during summer 2018. These cameras will be swapped out at regular intervals, and images will be downloaded and stored on a server at UW FHL, with copies at UW Seattle campus). D. Grunbaum has developed software to analyze zooplankton images.

Data generated from this system will be available to all potential users via the NANOOS online data system, and through UW FHL archived sources. It can and will be used by commercial, educational, and research efforts in the public and private sector. We are working on a database format that will allow remote access to all of our stored data, provided in a easily accessible format consistent with other online data sources from the oceanographic community (NetCDF CF). NVS Explorer - data from the FHLOO are being provided to the NANOOS Visualisation System, which has an app called NVS Explorer (E. Mayorga, APL). Specialized software had to be created to read output in real time and display it on the NVS site. This has been tested during December 2017 to May 2018, and should be online permanently as of summer 2018. We expect the data generated to be used for education at all levels including K-12, university undergraduate and graduate programs, and to educate the general public regarding the state of the oceans, and the Salish Sea in particular. Being able to see these data and compare them to past data sets could have a strong impact on perceptions of our changing environment.

Last Modified: 05/30/2018
Modified by: Kenneth P Sebens

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