MarineBusiness-World.com
 
 
News Home Cruising USA Cruising Int Photo Gallery
Sail-World.com : Calling all roving sailors - your chance to help a marine survey
Calling all roving sailors - your chance to help a marine survey


'Just lower it into the water until it disappears, and measure the depth - called the ’Secchi Depth’'    Richard Kirby

Here is your unique chance to make a difference in the marine scientific world, just because you are a sailor with a smart phone, and especially if you are sailing somewhere remote, helping with a plankton survey. The process is simple and fun and it's vital to our knowledge of the oceans and climate change.

This month the Secchi Disk study and the Secchi App project is just a year old, and Ocean Cruising Club members have been making their own difference by joining in as citizen scientists... but YOU don't have to be an OCC member, just keen to help the study of climate change.

What is the Secchi Disk study and the Secchi App project? It is the global Citizen Study by seafarers to study the marine phytoplankton and to help track the effects of climate change. (See Sail-World story.) The Ocean Cruising Club were one of the first organisations to promote the study.

Secchi disk - simple to make at home. -  .. .  


If you didn't find out about it the first time, read on to find how you can help while out sailing. After a year, and although it is still early days in terms of a long-term study, the project organisers are already excited by the extent of the data collected. Dr Richard Kirby, the project's leader, told Daria Blackwell of the Ocean Cruising Club, 'We hope to soon be able to start some analyses on the role of Citizen Science in marine biology, which will hopefully lead to a publication to acknowledge all your efforts so far. The project is a long-term study however, and the database improves continuously as ocean coverage increases and successive years of Secchi depth data accumulate.'

It was all started when a study by a team of Canadian marine biologists reported that the phytoplankton in the oceans had declined by 40% since the 1950s due to climate change. The phytoplankton are microscopic plant-like cells that float at the surface of the sea from where they underpin the whole marine food chain. Knowing the amount of phytoplankton in the sea, and whether it is changing, is very important therefore, since their abundance determines the number of creatures at every step above them in the marine food web; this includes the amount of fish in the sea to the numbers of sharks, whales, penguins, and polar bears.

However, other scientists didn't agree and the problem was that the oceans are a vast place and there aren't enough marine biologists to study them, and so this is where you, by becoming a Citizen Scientist, can help.

The Citizen Science project relies upon sailors and other seafarers, anglers and divers, knowing about its existence and taking part. They are especially keen to reach out to sailors cruising in the remoter Southern Hemisphere.

Secchi free app for iPhone or Android -  .. .  


Finally, as the project team anticipated at the start, sailors have been remarkably ingenious with the variety of materials they have used to make their 30 cm white Secchi Disk. The more unusual materials include a Vinyl LP, an aluminium road sign, a Frisbee, and a disk cut from a ship's toilet seat.

So what is a Secchi Disk and how do you make it?

A Secchi Disk apparatus is a weighted, 30 cm diameter white disk attached to a tape measure. The Secchi Disk can be made from fibreglass, plastic, metal or wood, the only restriction on its design is that it must be 30 cm in diameter and matt white.

When the Secchi Disk is lowered vertically into the water from the side of a stationary boat, the depth below the surface at which it just disappears from sight is called the Secchi Depth. Away from estuaries, the Secchi Depth reflects the amount of phytoplankton in the water column.

The amount of phytoplankton in the water column will vary seasonally, from place to place and annually. You may choose to set up a sample site and measure the Secchi Depth twice or more a month, or you may choose to make recordings on your travels. In whatever way you decide to take part, your help will help the scientific team to understand the Ocean's biology much better. It is planned for the Secchi Disk study to run for many years to come to create the world's biggest plankton survey.

In order to take part in the project you need to make the very simple DIY Secchi Disk and download the free Secchi app to your smartphone or tablet - you will need a smartphone or tablet that can receive a GPS signal. You can follow the data you collect, along with that of others, on the project website.

For more information go to the website

Sail-World Cruising would like to thank the world-wide Ocean Cruising Club for their contributions to this article.


by Lee Mylchreest


  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=119526

11:34 PM Sat 22 Feb 2014GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.







Cruising Canada







Springtime Greening: Boaters Tips for Earth Day by BoatUS Foundation/Sail-World Cruising,








How sailors really do have a voice in the future of our oceans by Sandra Whitehouse, Sailors for the Sea,


Message-in-a-bottle record - 102 years by AFP/Sail-World Cruising,










Canadian solo sailor rescued north of Auckland by Sail-World Cruising round-up,


















Free online fuel spill course - how much do you know? by BoatUS Foundation/Sail-World Cruising,












Life-shattering event sends 'rookie' couple sailing the world by Asia News Network/Sail-World Cruising,








3,200-year-old boat found in Croatian waters by Haemus/Sail-World Cruising,


Product of the Week: the LineGrabber
Mediterranean Mooring - How to moor stern-to to a dock or quay
Canadian storm bomb threat - sailors advised: get off the water!
Carbon monoxide poisoning - is it possible on YOUR boat?
Sailing family condemmed for taking 3-year-old on circumnavigation
New contract-free plan for satellite communicator on your smart phone
Yacht of the Week: The Dashew creation: no sails, but eco-friendly
No laughing! Sailing mistakes I don't want to make
Destination: From Moscow Sea to the White Sea
Land sailors of India on adventure across the Rann
A Paint App to (almost) replace your marine store assistant
Air warms but water slower - be careful, sailors, of hypothermia
Volunteer Canadian rescue team homeless - any offers?
Hilary Lister and Nashwa Al Kindi set a new trans-ocean record
How to anchor and 'never utter a word'
Non-pyrotechnic flares for my boat - Can I or can't I?
Health benefits of sailing
Cruising in the Maldives - some nuts and bolts
ISAF Guide to Offshore Personal Safety for Racing and Cruising
Halyard Tension - a video
Winchrite - for lazy days or extra muscle-power   
Researcher examines 'current leaks' that may change the way you sail   
Paris off to attempt to circumnavigate the world again   
Need a tow from that helicopter? - watch the video and don't laugh   
Certain oil spill products shown to be ineffective and toxic + Video   
The Constrictor: a powerful 'Queen' of sailing knots!   
Boat painting - simple but best tips   
'It's never just one thing' - Swedish sailors rescued   
Book of the Week: From the Galley of...   
Two brave women to sail India to Oman across Arabian Sea   
Rhode Island's Classic Yacht Symposium - Registration opens   
Another rescue for second-time unlucky solo sailor   
New York to San Fran record attempt - Maserati reaches the Horn   
Finally the book:HMS Bounty, Disaster and Survival in Superstorm Sandy   
Yachts impounded in Mexico - the agony goes on...   
Students achieve robot boat Atlantic Crossing - but not as planned   
Solar vessel nominated for Engineers Prize   
Endurance Award for cruising sailors, new worldwide award for 2014   
It's coming. Dodgers/biminis to be solar power producers   
New Maldives rule - yachts can stay six months   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  



















 
Our Advertisers are committed to our sport, please support them!
This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia Pty. Ltd and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.

Photographs are copyright by law. If you wish to use or buy a photograph you must contact the photographer directly (there is a hyperlink in most cases to their website, or do a Google search.) with your request.

Please do not contact Sail-World.com as we cannot give permission for use of other photographer’s images.

Only if the photographer named on the image is Sail-world.com, Powerboat-world.com, Marinebusiness-world.com or NZBoating-World.com.
Contact us .
Ph: +61 2 8006 1873 or complete our feedback form    Contact us .
   View our Privacy Policy.    [Go Home]     [  Banner Advertising Specification]    [Bot Archive ]

Customised news feeds -Marine Industry companies, Clubs and Associations have their own customised version of our news feed on their website.
Look_here_to_see_examples

X6XL WAS Cru CA