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Photo Contest Winners

From intrepid underwater shots to time-worn photos of vintage sensors, the day-to-day of marine science produces some arresting photography. People from around the globe submitted their best shots for their chance to win in 5 categories:

We closed the contest on April 30th 2021, then presented the anonymous entries to our team at Sea-Bird Scientific. Here are our chosen winners, plus our choice for the coveted title of “Best Overall,” alongside some background form the photographers themselves.

Best on Deck (or Dock) Deployments – Eduardo Ruiz Barlett

A team of scientists making CTD casts on a small boat in Potter Cove, Antarctica

This picture was taken on 19 February 2019 on the Potter Cove waters, in the 25 de Mayo Island (King George Island), South Shetlands Islands, Antarctica. In the background, to the left of the Tres Hermanos hill, the Base Carlini (ex Jubany), an Argentine permanent Antarctic research station (where I am right now) is located. We’re taking measurements of CTD SBE 19plus with a turbidimeter sensor and using a winch from a zodiac boat. The objective of these measurements is to determine the relationships between the physical-chemical parameters of seawater and the meteorological ones and their connection with climate change.

Most Beautiful Setting – Eduardo Ruiz Barlett

A CTD carousel deployed in Gerlache Strait, Antarctica

This picture was taken on 15 January 2017 in the amazing Gerlache Strait, in the Western Antarctic Peninsula, during the Antarctic Summer Campaign. We’re doing CTD measurements on board the motorsailer Dr. Bernardo Houssay (PNA) in order to study temporal variations of oceanographic and biological parameters during  the summers of the 2015-18 period. Just now I’m working with some data in a paper and in my doctoral thesis.

Best Vintage Shot – Phil White

An early CTD covered in ice on deck

Valentine’s Day 2008 on the NOAA Ship Miller Freeman in the Bering Sea near Bogoslof Island. Between stations, we stored the plumbing dry, but during deployment, seawater would freeze in the conductivity cells immediately upon hitting the water. We would yoyo the package between the surface and 40 meters until the water flowed freely through the plumbing before starting the profile. There were some very early 3 digit serial numbers on that package. The venerable Miller Freeman had “hero platforms” port and starboard amidships for CTD and plankton operations. It was exhilarating standing out over the Bering Sea with a belt and tether.

Most Biofouled Sea-Bird Scientific instrument – Samantha Clements

A heavily biofouled oceanographic pH sensor

Best Underwater shot, and Best Overall – Samantha Clements

An oceanographic pH sensor in a reef

The Dr. Jennifer Smith lab at Scripps Institution of Oceanography visits Palmyra Atoll annually to conduct coral reef habitat monitoring in partnership with The Nature Conservancy. Palmyra is a remote, uninhabited atoll that is part of the Northern Line Islands. In addition to benthic and fish surveys, this coral reef monitoring program uses instruments, including the SBE37 MicroCAT, to collect hourly measurements of pH, temperature, conductivity, salinity, and dissolved oxygen at 4 sites around the atoll. Collection of these seawater parameters at such a remote location allows us to understand the impacts of global factors, such as ocean warming and acidification, in the absence of local anthropogenic stressors. After a year, the sensors are highly fouled with crustose coralline algae (CCA), giving them a bubblegum pink outer coating that blends in with the surroundings. This program gives us an opportunity to see how relatively pristine coral reefs cope with the impacts of global climate change over time.

Congratulations to our winners! Thank you to everybody who participated in this contest.

May 28, 2021

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