sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video 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.







News - USA and the World







International Moth Worlds - Mothballed on day 4 + Video by Mark Jardine / YachtsandYachting.com,




Gladwell's Line: A change of direction needed in the America's Cup *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,
























Anna Tunnicliffe set to compete at the CrossFit Games by Anna Tunnicliffe, Pittsburgh, PA
























Final day shakes up standings at Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek by Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Race Week 2014,








2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Waiting game on Day 3
International Moth Worlds: Thunderstorms delay racing on Day 1
Fuerteventura World Cup - Impressive tricks on day 1
2014 Governor's Cup - Two former winners in the finals
America's Cup: Iain Murray explains reasons for Australian withdrawal *Feature
Wilson and Roble remain number one match racers in U.S.
2014 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship - Set to start
PWA Pozo World Cup - Moreno twins dominate home spot
ISAF Youth Worlds - Record breaking regatta in Tavira + Video
Melges 32 European Championship - Robertissima remains out front
Farr 40 West Coast Championship - Italians take one-point lead
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 3 images by Carlo Borlenghi
New York Yacht Club Race Week - Marstrom 32 fleet off to anxious start
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 3 images by Max Ranchi
CYC Race to Mackinac - Cruising fleet sets sail in 106th edition
Team Alvimedica getting a touchup
PWA Pozo World Cup - Plenty of drama on day 5
ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship - Day 5 Videos
NYYC Race Week - High performance classes put on shoreside show
2014 Pacific Cup - 'Invisible Hand' the first boat to finish
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - B.C.'s Eric Holden skippers wins   
America's Cup: Updates on Team Australia withdraw   
J/70 North American titles - Brian Keane moves to top of leaderboard   
2016-2017 America's Cup - Team Australia withdraws   
VX One North American Championship - Chris Alexander takes charge   
America's Cup: Team NZ disappointed, but on track after Australians go   
America's Cup: Hamilton Island decides not to proceed with Challenge.   
America's Cup: Challenger of Record withdraws from Regatta   
WWA Wakeboard National Championships head to Waco   
Farr 40 West Coast Championship - Day 2   
RP52 Scarlet Runner sails in San Francisco   
2014 Governor's Cup - Nevin Snow and team on form   
ISAF Youth Worlds - Americans claim silver medals in Tavira   
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Day 1   
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 2 images by Carlo Borlenghi   
Windsurfing and Kiteboarding World Cup to take place on Fuerteventura   
ISAF Youth Worlds - Medals decided in thrilling Tavira conclusion   
7th Annual Swim for Cystic Fibrosis to take place July 21st   
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 2 images by Max Ranchi   
Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek, Day 2 - It just keeps getting better   


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  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT