Scientists search for an elusive bird on land and sea
Julia Bingham launches a study of barnacle biology and culture on the Oregon coast.
On a typical low-visibility-day out among Oregon’s rocky reefs, scuba divers float in a murky, monochromatic world. Sunlight filtering through the algae-rich brine of near-shore waters casts a green patina on everything.
“The ocean remains a wonder to me. As an ecologist, I have worked on land, but I understand that the ocean — like forests, wetlands and grasslands — is vulnerable to disruptions and that we are just starting to understand its complexity and dynamics.”
The implications for the endangered blue whale (and, by extension, other marine predators) are clear. If they’re disturbed during intense, deep-water feeding, it could have consequences for their fitness, overall health and reproductive viability over time.
In May, the Endurance team recovered the rest of the components of the broken mooring. Over the summer, they will examine the evidence to pinpoint the cause of the failure. The buoy will be reconditioned and sent back to its post. It’s all part of the dance that oceanographers do to unlock the secrets of the sea.