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Great crowds attended the second annual SUBMERGE festival at Hudson River Park’s Pier 26.  The event was hosted by Hudson River Park and the New York Hall of Science and SoMAS was there to participate!  Over 6000 people were in attendance!

David Bowman, Jason Schweitzer and Mike Fogg were onboard the R/V Seawolf to give vessel tours of the work deck, galley, and wheelhouse.  Younger sailors even had an opportunity to steer the (docked) ship!  Tom Wilson and Chris Crosby from the Instrument Lab were in the ship’s laboratories.  Guests experimented with black magnetic sand, smelled sulfur and observed fool’s gold in a “black smoker” hydrothermal vent, held a foam cup crushed to miniature size by being immersed a mile deep in the ocean, and were invited to “please touch and handle” other scientific equipment and deep ocean samples.

Dr. Nils Volkenborn and students Molly Graffam, Ian Dwyer and Sam Gurr had two tables showing off the work in their lab.  One table demonstrated the lives of animals beneath the seafloor, in particular how those animals move water and sediment around, physically and chemically modifying the environment.  As Ian Dwyer explained, “antfarm aquaria were used to observe the animals visually and porewater pressure sensors detect the changes in water pressure that occur when the animals move, dig, feed, defecate, or pump water through their burrows.”

The second table demonstrated ecophysiology:  the study of how animals and their physical functions respond to the environment.  Sam Gurr indicated that heart rate is used to measure “how commercially and ecologically important shellfish (such as the bay scallop and eastern oyster) respond to hypoxia, which has proven to cause lethal and sub-lethal effects to many marine animals.”  The display showed off a novel approach that uses minimally invasive infrared sensors, glued to the shell, that are used both in the laboratory and in the animal’s natural habitat to record responses to natural stressors in the environment.

Dr. Mary Scranton and Dr. Tara Rider were also there to meet with graduate and undergraduate alumni that attended the event and were happy to see SoMAS!

Pictures from the event taken by Tom Wilson, Helen Wilson, Chris Crosby and Nils Volkenborn are available on Google Photos.  Content provided by Mary Scranton, Ian Dwyer, Sam Gurr, Tom Wilson and Mark Lang

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