Minutes of U.S. Southern Ocean GLOBEC Science Steering Committee Meeting

9-10 July 2002

NSF Headquarters, Arlington, VA


Participants: Bob Beardsley, Dan Costa, Eileen Hofmann, Peter Wiebe, Meng Zhou, Alice Doyle (RPSC),

Karl Newyear (RPSC), Polly Penhale (NSF), Deneb Karentz (NSF), Bernie Lettau (NSF),

Al Sutherland (NSF),  Robin Muench (NSF)



Tuesday, 9 July (Morning)

The fourth meeting of the Science Steering Committee (SSC) for the U.S. Southern Ocean Global Ocean Ecosystem Dynamics (SO GLOBEC) was started with a welcome from Eileen Hofmann. She introduced Meng Zhou from the University of Massachusetts-Boston who agreed to fill in for Jose Torres (SSC member) who was unable to attend the meeting.  She also mentioned that Robin Meunch would be sitting in on some of the SSC meeting since he was a SO GLOBEC science investigator prior to taking a position as a rotator for the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research.

The first topic on the agenda for the SSC meeting was overviews of the 2002 SO GLOBEC cruises, which included the mooring recovery/deployment cruise in February and the April-May survey and process cruises.  The first presentation, made by Meng Zhou, was on the L.M. Gould process cruise (LMG02-03).

Zhou gave an overview that was structured around the different process study sites that were occupied during LMG02-03.  He said that a high priority on this cruise was ensuring that the marine mammal and penguin work could be done.  As a result, the first study site was in Crystal Sound (north of Adelaide Island) which was an area where many seals and penguins were observed during the 2001 cruises. Following work in this area the process cruise occupied sites in Laubeuf fjord, at the shelf edge off of Adelaide Island, in George VI Sound, mid-channel at the entrance to Marguerite Bay, and in the inner part of Marguerite Bay.

Numerous activities took place at the process sites and Zhou briefly described these.  Details of the activities can be found in the cruise report from LMG02-03 (U.S. SO GLOBEC Report Number 5). Other special activities that took place during the cruise were directed at understanding vertical migration of Antarctic krill and inter-calibration of the acoustic backscatter measured by the Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) mounted on the Gould and that measured by the HTI system being operated by Kendra Daly and her group.

Zhou said that it became clear during the cruise that mesoscale flow structures such as eddies were important in determining the distribution of krill.  As a result, effort was placed into mapping these features with the ADCP and hydrographic measurements.  He noted that the predators (e.g., seals and whales) coincided with regions where krill were abundant and aggregated.  Krill under the sea ice tended to be more diffuse. 

Zhou said that for future cruises the Gould needs to be equipped with a better depth finder.  The current depth finder on the ship is not good in shallow water.  This caused problems when the Gould encountered rapidly shallowing topography.  Another part of the depth finding issue is to get better communication between the science groups and the bridge. The failure to do this resulted in one net tow during LMG02-03 sampling the bottom.  Zhou closed his presentation by thanking the Raytheon Polar Services Company personnel and the crew of the L.M. Gould for excellent support during LMG02-03. 

The next presentation, which was made by Peter Wiebe, was on the April-May survey cruise on the N.B. Palmer, NBP02-02.  Wiebe started by going over the cruise objectives, which are the same as from the two 2001 survey cruises.  He described the highlights of the hydrographic, meteorological and biological measurements made during the cruise and indicated that details for each study undertaken during the cruise are in the report from NBP02-02 (U.S. SO GLOBEC Report Number 6). Wiebe also said that a project funded by the NSF Office of Polar Programs outside of the core SO GLOBEC program participated in NBP02-02.  This project is designed to get quantitative information on backscattering target strength that will be used for calibration and analysis of acoustic backscatter data taken in Antarctic waters.  He indicated that this project was successful and that the preliminary results have yielded different target strengths for different types of animals.

Wiebe also said that SeaBeam data were taken during NBP02-02, edited by the cruise participants, and merged with the previous SO GLOBEC SeaBeam data.  The result is that a good description of the bottom bathymetry in the SO GLOBEC study area is starting to emerge.  Wiebe said that the intent is to include the SO GLOBEC bathymetry with other SeaBeam bathymetry data sets from the west Antarctic Peninsula shelf region. However, there has been some resistance to doing this from other researchers who have collected SeaBeam data in this region.  He asked the NSF program managers present about how to proceed with this. Polly Penhale said that the best approach would be to talk with Scott Borg who is the program manager for the Polar Marine Geology and Geophysics program.  Penhale said that she would ask Scott Borg to come to the SSC meeting to discuss this.

Bob Beardsley next gave an overview of the 2002 mooring recovery and redeployment cruise.  He said that all but one of the current meter moorings deployed in 2001 were recovered and that the data return from the moorings was good.  He said that three moorings were redeployed across the entrance to Marguerite Bay.  Beardsley said that two of the moorings deployed in 2001 (A2 and B2) had upward-looking sonar instruments that measure ice thickness.  He said that these worked well.

The passive acoustic moorings deployed in 2001 by the cetacean studies group (Hildebrand from Scripps Institution of Oceanography) were also retrieved and redeployed during the 2002 mooring cruise.  Beardsley showed results from one of the passive acoustic moorings that recorded calls from blue whales.  An initial interpretation of these data is that there are more blue whales in the Antarctic Peninsula region that previously thought.  Beardsley also said that the International Whaling Commission (IWC) cetacean observers on the mooring cruise sighted numerous animals and were able to obtain biopsies from many of them.

Beardsley next showed results from the two Automatic Weather Stations (AWS) that were deployed on islands in Marguerite Bay during the 2001 April-May survey cruise.  These weather stations are working well and the data return is good.  Comparison of the AWS winds to those measured at Rothera Station on Adelaide Island show that the two do not correspond well.  The winds at Rothera are affected by local land topography.  The winds from the Marguerite Bay AWS provide a better description of conditions in Marguerite Bay.

Beardsley described what he and colleagues have been doing to develop a bathymetry data set for the SO GLOBEC study region.  The bathymetry data available from the National Geophysical Data Center were obtained and merged with the Smith and Sandwell bathymetry data set (ETOPO2, 2-minute resolution).  This data set provided inaccurate bathymetry data for many parts of the study region.  SeaBeam bathymetry data have been collected on all SO GLOBEC cruises to date.  These data have been added to other bathymetry data obtained from various sources and the resultant data set has been used to produce a gridded bathymetry for the study region.  Beardsley mentioned that Carole Pudsey from the British Antarctic Survey had been very helpful in providing multi-beam bathymetry data from British Antarctic Survey cruises in the Marguerite Bay region.  In return, she has received the SO GLOBEC SeaBeam data sets.

The next steps are to finalize the bathymetry data for the study region and make a gridded data set that can be provided to program investigators.  Beardsley said that the intent is to also make special maps for some areas of interest, such as regions where there are numerous predators.  To date, the cost of preparing the data set has been absorbed by Beardsley's SO GLOBEC funds.  However, he mentioned that he has now submitted a supplemental request to NSF Office of Polar Programs to support the cost of finishing the bathymetry data base.

Beardsley said that the decision was made early in the SO GLOBEC program to make the bathymetry data base public, He said that this has made other investigators reluctant to have their bathymetry data included in the larger data set, even data sets that have exceeded the time limit set for public release set by NSF.  Penhale said that this is an issue to bring up with Scott Borg when he joins the SSC meeting.



The discussion following lunch focused on logistics for the upcoming August-September process and survey cruise.  The allocation of bunks on the two ships was the first item of discussion.  Alice Doyle mentioned that there would be no IWC observers on the August-September survey cruise.  She said the Debbie Thiele and John Hildebrand decided to not send people on this cruise for a variety of reasons.  The decision to pull the one remaining observer off of the Palmer was made about one week ago.  As a result, two bunks are open on the Palmer.

Members of the SSC expressed surprise at the decision to not send a cetacean observer on the cruise.  This is regarded as an important data set for the program and it is desirable to have it for all cruises.  Dan Costa said that he may be able to provide an individual from his laboratory to fill this position.  However, if one of the other members of his field team does not get medical clearance in time, he will need the extra person for his group.  He also mentioned that he could contact some of his colleagues in Chile and see if they could recommend/find someone to go on the cruise that has experience in cetacean observations.  The SSC encouraged Costa to go ahead with this.  Hofmann said that funds from the planning office could be used to cover expenses (e.g., travel, per diem in Punta Arenas) for a Chilean scientist to participate in the cruise.  She also mentioned that there have been several previous attempts to have Chilean scientists participate in the U.S. SO GLOBEC cruises that have not been successful.  This might be a way to have this happen.

Al Sutherland next mentioned that the Argentines have requested to send an observer on the SO GLOBEC cruises.  This is something they can do as part of the agreement that allows U.S. vessels to collect certain data sets while in Argentine coastal waters.  The initial request was for a berth on the Gould.  However, Sutherland said that he told the Argentines that this ship is full.  He said that if the SSC is agreeable he could offer a bunk on the Palmer.  The SSC agreed that this would be fine.  The SSC asked Sutherland to phrase the response to the Argentines to indicate that someone with skills in cetacean observations, hydrographic surveys or net towing would be most desirable and that an individual with skills in one of these areas could participate more fully in the cruise. Sutherland said he would do this. The remaining bunks and space allocations for the Palmer cruise were reviewed and found to be what was needed for the cruise.

Karl Newyear next went over berth allocations for the Gould.  He said that there will be two berthing vans on the north and south bound trips between Punta Arenas, Chile and Palmer Station.  There will be an empty van in the hold that can be used for diving preparations.

Doyle next urged everyone to remind their science party members to submit their TRW forms to the Raytheon travel department so that airline tickets can be issued.  These forms are due two weeks (minimum) prior to departure.  She also mentioned that there are still some people who have not been medically certified for the August-September cruises.  She said that this had to be completed within the next week or the people would not be able to go on the cruise.  The issue of medical clearance for the potential Chilean and Argentine scientists was raised.  Doyle said that if these people are certified by their own institutions, then Raytheon can accept this and allow them to go on the cruise.

Doyle discussed changes made to the Palmer during the ship yard period between the two 2002 SO GLOBEC field periods.  She said that the wet and dry labs had been redone with new furniture and racks, new wiring for computers was added, and the computer system upgraded.  The thermosalinograph was moved to the back wall of the hydro lab and the seawater system redone.  New fume hoods were installed in the labs. The AutoSals were moved to a new room in the back of the bio lab that should have better temperature control.  Also, a moon pool was added and the SeaBeam system replaced with a Simrad multi-beam system. The new bathymetry mapping system should minimize ping editing.  Several people expressed concern about getting the equipment working in time for the August-September survey cruise.  Doyle said that the Palmer is now undergoing sea trials.  She said that the modifications for the new multi-beam system were extensive and that the Simrad technical people were working on getting the system functional.  Doyle said everyone is hopeful that it will work in time for the NBP02-04 cruise.

In response to a message from Kendra Daly, the possibility of using the new moon pool for diving was brought up.  Sutherland and Doyle said this may be a possibility and it is something to consider.  Sutherland suggested that ROV deployments could be made through the moon pool. However, a crane would be needed to move the ROV in and out of the moon pool.  Doyle mentioned that the intake for the seawater system is now in the moon pool, which has circulating capability.  She said this should minimize clogging of the seawater system by sea ice. 

Doyle said that some equipment needed for the cruise is still outstanding.  However, she said that these items should still be able to be shipped so that they will arrive in Punta Arenas in time for the cruise.  She said that the Zodiac engines have been overhauled and that spare and new engines will be available before the cruise.  The deck incubators have been modified to be winter incubators so they should not freeze.  She said that people will be available during the port call in Punta Arenas to teach people how to do dissolved oxygen and salinity measurements.  She suggested setting up a training session during the port call.

Doyle said that the radiation van on the Gould has been upgraded so that it will not freeze.  Costa asked if the water pipes on the Gould had been fixed/modified so that they will not freeze.  He said that during the July-August 2001 cruise, they had lost time due to the pipes freezing and breaking.  Also, the Captain of the Gould did not want to risk going further south because of the problems with the pipes.  Newyear said that the Gould has just come out to dry dock, so the problem with the pipes may be fixed.  Doyle said she would check on this.  Sutherland said that part of the issue of freezing pipes is the low temperature for which the Gould is rated.  He said that this is about -30 C.

Wiebe mentioned that some of the equipment and supplies shipped back to the U.S. after the NBP02-02 cruise were just received by some of the investigators.  He said that this has caused problems with getting gear repaired in time for the next cruise. He asked if the reasons for the delay could be checked so that they can be resolved to allow more timely shipments.  Doyle said she would look into this.

The next issue discussed was scheduling a joint ship meeting during the port call in Punta Arenas, Chile.  The Gould is set to sail on 29 July; the Palmer on 31 July.  So, the joint cruise meeting will be on Sunday, 28 July and will be held in the Customs House at the end of the dock.  The decision is to hold the meeting at 1800 so that time will not be taken from loading and setting up during the day.  Hofmann said that she would send a message to all science investigators notifying them of the joint cruise meeting.

Doyle said that it would be good to make presentations at the joint ship meeting about what was found on previous SO GLOBEC cruises.  She said that there is a computer video projector on the Palmer and that she would bring this to the meeting so that PowerPoint presentations can be made.  Wiebe and Costa said that they would put together an agenda for the joint cruise meeting.  It was also suggested that there be a meeting between the Chief Scientists for the cruises (Wiebe and Costa), the Captains of the Gould and Palmer and the MPCs (Shepard and Newyear) for the two cruises in Punta Arenas.  Doyle said she would work on scheduling this meeting.

After a short break, Scott Borg from the Geology and Geophysics program joined the SSC meeting for a discussion of the bathymetry data for SO GLOBEC.  Beardsley briefly reviewed what had been done to date in constructing a bathymetry data set for the SO GLOBEC study region.  Sutherland said that all bathymetry data available on the Palmer that is more than two years post collection should be in the public domain. Wiebe said that this is his understanding as well.  Borg said that there can be exceptions to this policy, but that the science investigator has to request the exception from his/her program manager.  He has not received any such requests.

Wiebe said that the SO GLOBEC program is now trying to finalize the bathymetry data for the study region.  It would be desirable to include in the final product all of the available data.  However, this is not possible since some investigators will not give permission for their data to be included.  Wiebe stressed that the data will be in a merged and gridded data set and that this is the data that will be made public.  This is much different from releasing the original data that are used to create the gridded product. 

Beardsley said that he had submitted a supplement request to NSF to support finishing the development of a bathymetry data set for the SO GLOBEC program.  Borg said that his program currently is considering a proposal to develop a Center that will handle all of the multi-beam bathymetry data collected during N.B. Palmer cruises, over the entire Antarctic.  He requested that the SO GLOBEC bathymetry data be in a form that could go to this Center, if funded.  Borg asked that Beardsley provide an assessment of what data are now unavailable that would of use to the SO GLOBEC program.  Once he has this list, he can then contact individual science investigators and discuss release of the data sets.  Beardsley said that he would get this information to Borg. The SSC thanked Borg for his interest and input.

The next topic of discussion was the cruise plan that was developed during the SO GLOBEC science investigator meeting that took place in December 2001.  Wiebe started the discussion by showing the draft plan.  This plan was reviewed and discussed and everyone felt that it was a reasonable approach.  The sea ice in the study region is already extensive and this presents an unknown in trying to set up a cruise plan because some parts of the study region may be inaccessible.  The discussion led to the consensus that the time schedule would stay as planned, but that the sites picked for various process studies may need to move.  One suggestion was that the work in Matha Strait planned for the early part of the cruise include more mesoscale surveying by the Palmer to support the process site work.  All agreed that this would be a good thing to do and there seems to be time in the schedule to allow for it.  Wiebe said that he will present the cruise plan at the joint ship meeting in Punta Arenas.

Wiebe and others stressed that the extensive sea ice will require that the Gould and Palmer stay together more than was done during the 2001 winter cruises.  The extensive sea ice will also very likely require that station locations be modified. 

The issue of doing special science projects as time and opportunity allow during the August-September process and survey cruises was discussed.  Beardsley said that he would like for time to be dedicated to making microstructure measurements.  This is potentially an important data set for the entire program.  The need for mesoscale surveys around the Gould process sites was again discussed.  Costa said that he would like to revisit the Emperor Penguin colony on Dion Island.  He said that this is only colony of these birds that breeds on land.  During the visit last winter only 9 breeding pairs were observed.  The concern is that this colony may go extinct.  Another suggestion was to do a detailed study of a krill patch, if one of suitable size can be located.  The general consensus was that during the August-September cruises, the scientists should take advantage of whatever opportunities arise, even if this means delaying part of the survey for some time.

Beardsley asked about doing CTD casts on the Gould.  He requested that the Gould do multiple vertical CTD casts for a 24-hour period to about 200 m to get information for analysis of fine structure in the upper water column.  Costa said that they would try to make these measurements.

The SSC meeting was adjourned at 1715.


Wednesday, 10 July (Morning)

The SSC reconvened and continued discussion of the draft cruise plan for the August-September 2002 cruises.  Wiebe had done some calculations of steaming time and time on station for the survey cruise.  These show that it should be possible to do most of the survey grid.  Some of the inner shelf stations and those deep inside of Marguerite Bay will likely not be occupied because the sea ice will prevent reaching the stations.  This is what happened during the 2001 winter cruise and the sea ice conditions for this year are much worse. Wiebe said that he now has a slightly revised draft cruise plan. Hofmann said that she will send this to all of the science investigators so that they will have it prior to the joint ship meeting in Punta Arenas.

Hofmann said that the reports from all of the previous SO GLOBEC cruises can be put on CD and made available to each ship.  This will provide everyone with background on what has occurred on previous cruises.

Polly Penhale and Bernie Lettau (OPP program managers for SO GLOBEC) joined the SSC meeting for a discussion of follow-on funding for synthesis and modeling activities in SO GLOBEC.  The SSC stressed the need for continued funding to analyze the many data sets collected during the SO GLOBEC program.  The present funding for most of the science investigators covers the field activities and only limited analysis.  Penhale and Lettau said that they recognized the need for a synthesis and modeling phase for SO GLOBEC, similar to what has been done in other U.S. GLOBEC programs and in JGOFS.  The SSC indicated that a synthesis phase for SO GLOBEC should start in 2003, which will require proposals to be submitted to NSF Office of Polar Programs in June 2003.  Penhale requested that the SSC provide a two-page document describing the need for synthesis and modeling funding for SO GLOBEC. She and Lettau would then take this and work within their programs to identify funds for this effort.  Hofmann said that the SSC would have a document to Penhale and Lettau within a week. Penhale did say that an announcement for synthesis and modeling activities would have to be open to a community wider than just SO GLOBEC.  The SSC agreed with this and suggested that this type of announcement might provide a mechanism for analysis of historical data sets and for developing collaborations with SO GLOBEC investigators and Antarctic programs outside of the U.S. community.  For example, researchers from the British Antarctic Survey have been working in the Antarctic Peninsula region for many years.  Also, it was noted that there are no programs funded by the Office of Polar Programs to study the meteorology of the west Antarctic Peninsula region.  The meteorological data sets collected during SO GLOBEC could then provide a basis for a synthesis and modeling effort.  However, Wiebe said that for a synthesis and modeling activity to work the various data sets have to be made available, such as the data sets from the Palmer LTER program and those from the U.S. AMLR program.  The latter data sets can be obtained by contacting individual investigators.

Wiebe said that the synthesis and modeling activities that took place as part of the Georges Bank GLOBEC program were funded at a level of about $2 million per year for four years.  This is about half the cost of the funding for the field activities, exclusive of ship time costs. Penhale said that she and Lettau would work on a synthesis and modeling activity and keep the SSC informed of the progress.  The SSC thanked them for their efforts and input to the meeting.

The SSC discussed scheduling of the next science investigator meeting. Because this meeting would not require input from the NSF program managers and NSF logistics coordinators, the SSC decided that it could be held at a venue outside of the Washington, DC area.  Potential suggested venues were: 1) Raytheon headquarters outside of Denver, CO, and 2) Santa Cruz, CA.  Doyle said she would check into the feasibility of using the Raytheon meeting facility.  Dan Costa said he would check into venues around Santa Cruz.  Washington, DC was nominated as a back-up site if nothing else works out.  Doyle said that she would like to know the meeting venue by early fall so that she can make arrangements with the facility.  Raytheon will cover the costs for the SO GLOBEC science investigators to attend the meeting.

The timing of the science investigator meeting was discussed extensively. The general consensus was to hold the meeting prior to the writing of proposals for synthesis and modeling activities.  After trying several dates, 9-11 December was chosen.  Hofmann said that she will send a message to all science investigators within a day or so notifying them of the meeting.

The structure of the meeting was next discussed.  One possibility is to have a series of overview presentations and then break into smaller groups so that investigators can begin to analyze data sets and develop collaborative projects.  The exact structure of the meeting will be decided over the next few months.  Wiebe said that if we are going to work with data, it would be good to hold the meeting somewhere that has good internet capability so that participants will have access to data at their home institutions. 

The schedule for the special topics volume of Deep-Sea Research devoted to results from the first SO GLOBEC was discussed.  Hofmann said that the schedule has been finalized with Elsevier and that it is posted on the SO GLOBEC web page.  Manuscripts are due on 15 November 2002.  She said that reminders will be sent to all project science investigators.

There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned.