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ACIDD: Across the Channel Investigating Diel Dynamics

The first ever grad-student led oceanographic research cruise in the Santa Barbara Channel. How does the ocean change over the course of a day?


Departing in December 2017

In January 2017, a group of graduate students at UC Santa Barbara were awarded ship time through the UC Ship Funds program aboard R/V Sally Ride to plan and execute a scientific field survey in the Santa Barbara Channel from December 16-22, 2017. 

Our cruise will address questions about diel biogeochemical links across trophic scales, from the surface ocean to the deep mesopelagic. We also received funding from the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative to include 3 artists aboard (a musician, illustrator, videographer), with the goal of bringing oceanography to the public eye through the mediums of art, music, photography, writing, and film. Our ‘ship-to-shore’ engagements will include pre- and post-cruise K12 activities, onboard ship operations to communicate with coastal and landlocked communities in creative ways, and post-cruise art exhibitions and science presentations in Santa Barbara. We thank the Associated Students Coastal Fund for their generous support in contributing to our post-cruise data processing. 


UCSB press covered our story here. See why we're excited to sail on the Sally Ride here!


Read about our new research directions following the Thomas Fire here!

From Coast to Post

When we went to sea, we brought along postcards students from our sister schools had sent us, full of questions for the artists and scientists aboard the expedition. Here are some of the great answers we got.

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Cruise Plan

Our central question is: To what extent do daily variations in top down processes shape biogeochemical cycling in the region?

To answer this question we plan to measure a number of physical, biological, optical, and chemical variables. We will be joined at sea by our collaborators from the University of Washington, Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, and University of California, Santa Cruz to investigate the daily happenings of phytoplankton and their predators. We will start every 24 hour cycle at the same station, and we will drift with the plankton in their physical environment each day while we sample both the organisms and their surroundings.


Sister Schools

Across the country, from Maine to Ohio to California, we have connected with elementary, middle, and high school teachers at “sister schools.” These educators are interested in helping their students to engage with science, art, and technology, creating a proximal connection to the ocean despite the distance of some of these communities from the sea. Through the collaboration with these sister schools, we hope to establish a small network of educators and students around the country interested in bringing ocean science to their classrooms, with pathways to exchange resources and ideas about joining oceanography with their science, art, technology, and shop classes.