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Environmental Science and Engineering Seminar

Wednesday, May 24, 2023
4:00pm to 5:00pm
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South Mudd 365
MINION floats: Robotic fleets to observe the ocean biological carbon pump
Melissa Omand, University of Rhode Island,

The ocean plays a critical role in the transport and sequestration of our planet's carbon. Carbon dioxide that is absorbed at the sea surface may be directly subducted or fixed into organic form and transported to depth via the biological carbon pump (BCP). To advance understanding of the ocean's role in the carbon cycle, new technologies are needed to quantify carbon fluxes and measure their variability with horizontal distance, time/season, and depth. I will describe our lab's development of a novel water-following float called MINION that will enable widely distributed observations of the BCP throughout the twilight zone of the ocean. The seminar will address the float design and life cycle, our results to date, and some experimental designs looking forward. Since the floats are expendable and can be deployed in large numbers, I will also discuss our development of ‘living' biopolymers that will rapidly degrade the plastic components of the floats at the end of their useful life.

For more information, please contact Bronagh Glaser by email at [email protected] or visit Environmental Science and Engineering.