Jennifer Fry: March 24, 2012, Oscar Elton Sette

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jennifer Fry
Onboard NOAA Ship, Oscar Elton Sette
March 12 – March 26, 2012


Mission: Fisheries Study
Geographical area of cruise: American Samoa
Date: March 19, 2012

CTD data collection graphs

These charts show levels of salinity, temperature, density of the waters of American Samoa.
Teacher at Sea, Jennifer Fry, Survey tech, Scott Allen, NOAA scientists, Evan Howell, Megan Duncan, Aimee Hoover work on the CTD operations performing 8 casts in the day.
5.Once the crane operator lifts the unit out of the water, scientists guide the C.T.D. onto the deck.
6. The C.T.D. unit is safely back on the deck. Scientists collect an array of data including density, temperature, and conductivity using the C.D.T. unit.
4. Using a crane to lift and a hook to grab, the C.T.D. unit is guided onto the deck.
2. The C.T.D. is ready to be deployed into the ocean. Using a team of scientists, a crane, and crane operator the heavy unit is carefully guided into the water.
3. Once is determined safe, the doors on the side of the ship are opened to deploy the C.T.D. unit into the water.
1. The ocean’s depth is always checked prior to a C.T.D. operation to know how deep the unit can be deployed.

CTD Operations: Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth

The CTD Operations onboard the Sette are conducted by Evan Howell, Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center, Megan Duncan, Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research at the University of Hawaii, and Scott Allen, NOAA survey tech. The CTD platform, which resembles a giant wedding cake constructed of painted steel, contains multiple instruments that can measure water characteristics including pressure, temperature, salinity, oxygen levels, and chlorophyll concentration.

Jennifer Fry, Scott Allen, Evan Howell, Megan Duncan, and Aimee Hoover stand behind the CTD.

It takes 30 readings per second as it sinks towards the seafloor.

The CTD records data as it sinks and ascends, but only data from the downcast is used, insuring the instruments are recording data in an  uninterrupted “profile” of the water column.  All data collected helps capture ocean characteristics. The acquired data will be shared with the American Samoa Department of Marine and Wildlife Resources scientists and compared with the data they have collected previously.

Using prior data, current CTD data, and acoustic Doppler current profiler, a  type of sonar detecting water currents, scientists can determine patterns in the oceans of American Samoa and compare them.

Animals Seen:

Short-finned Pilot Whales

Dolphins, possibly Pacific Spinner

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