September 15, 2009-January 31, 2012
Level of Access
The University of Maine's Darling Marine Center is awarded a grant to equip the 42-ft Ira C., the Center's largest vessel, with a well instrumented CTD, including optical sensors and a small array of sampling bottles plus a winch with conducting cable so that CTD work from the Ira C. no longer needs to depend on users bringing their own CTD and lowering by hand. This proposal is to expand the environments and variables within effective reach of the University of Maine's marine laboratory, the Ira C. Darling Marine Center (the Center) in midcoast Maine. The Center is within a day's access by sea of an unparalleled range of marine environments on the East Coast depths from intertidal to > 200 m and substrates from rocks to gravels to sand to mud. Environments within a day's reach include the coastal seas with the strongest latitudinal thermal gradients along the U.S. coasts and the largest seasonal range of temperatures. It includes the outflows of Maine's three rivers with the greatest volumetric flows, the Penobscot, the Kennebec and the Saco as well as several of the smallest. It is ideally poised to help investigators do process-, ecosystem- and species-level studies of Gulf of Maine and estuarine environments and biota in the context of environmental variability and climate change.
The Center has an outstanding group of faculty and scientists including some distinguished emeritus professors. The center also has a remarkable record of visiting scientists and students, drawing researchers from all over the U.S. and internationally. Clearly an attraction is the facilities (including a first rate library) and access to a unique spectrum of marine environments, biogeographically diverse populations of marine organisms, etc. The need for the proposed improvements is easily recognized. The authors describe how the facility is used for education and how the upgrades will increase users for both science and for education. The Center currently has NSF COSEE support, and the author proposes to leverage off this program for K-grey teacher training, undergraduate, and graduate and 'world-class' web-based educational outreach.
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Perry, Mary Jane, "Improvements to Sampling from the Research Vessel Ira C" (2012). University of Maine Office of Research Administration: Grant Reports. 329.