Science Calls on Sailors with Secchi App

When a team of UK-based scientists learned that the population of the Earth’s marine phytoplankton had declined 40 percent since 1950, they set out to find the cause. Phytoplankton is the ocean’s primary producer, and a decrease in its population could mean trouble for oxygen production, food chain supply and climate regulation.
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0

When a team of UK-based scientists learned that the population of the Earth’s marine phytoplankton had declined 40 percent since 1950, they set out to find the cause. Phytoplankton is the ocean’s primary producer, and a decrease in its population could mean trouble for oxygen production, food chain supply and climate regulation. 

 A citizen science project: the Secchi App

A citizen science project: the Secchi App

The scientists quickly realized there weren’t enough marine biologists to cover the whole ocean, so they created a citizen science project—the Secchi App—and asked sailors around the world to help collect research. 

 With a homemade Secchi disk and a simple app, any sailor can become a scientist

With a homemade Secchi disk and a simple app, any sailor can become a scientist

Here’s how it works: sailors measure Secchi Depth (the clarity of seawater) using a Secchi disk (any round piece of white plastic, such as a bucket lid, attached to a measuring tape). They lower the disk into the water and note the depth at which the disk is no longer visible from the surface. Then, they upload results to Secchi, a free app, which tracks data to a central database. Eventually, these results will help research if—and why—plankton populations are changing. To get involved, visit secchidisk.org.

Related

01b-Over-Loch-Scavig

Cruising Across the North Sea

Conventional wisdom says sleeping in the V-berth while offshore is a bad idea. It can be like a diabolical amusement ride that tosses a sailor to and fro, inducing stomach-churning weightlessness. And yet, here I am, nestled in the tilted corner created by my berth and the ...read more

GG17-SAONA47-DX0796

Boat Review: Fountaine Pajot Saona 47

Here’s a riddle: What is less than 50ft long, has two hulls, three big cabins and four decks? Answer: The Fountaine Pajot Saona 47. In fact, it may even be five levels if you count the large engine rooms. This boat is a “space craft” in every sense of the word.DESIGN & ...read more

RichardBennettMIDNIGHT-RAMBLER3249x202

Storm Sails: Do you Need Them?

Many sailors embarking on ocean passages will take along the obligatory storm jib and trysail, with the vague idea that they may come in handy. Few sailors, however, have a real understanding of how and when to set them.It doesn’t help matters when we hear from seasoned sailors ...read more

IntheWater(1)

Boaters University Unveils Rescue Course

Boaters University has just announced its latest online course, Safety & Rescue at Sea, taught by Mario Vittone, whose name you might recognize from the pages of our sister publication, Soundings Magazine and his Lifelines blog.Mario Vittone is a retired U.S. Coast Guard rescue ...read more

IMG_20170920_132819

How to: Installing New Electronics

I had been sailing my Tayana 42, Eclipse, for a few years without any installed electronics on board. I’d gone pretty far up and down the New England and Mid-Atlantic coasts with paper charts, the Navionics app on my Android phone, a hand-bearing compass and the ship’s compass. ...read more

02-Douglas-Adkins---Coriolis---Orcas-Island-KevinLightPhoto

A Phoenix-like Concordia

Cutting a fine wake on the cobalt-blue waters of West Sound on Orcas Island, Coriolis sparkles like a diamond. Her lovely silhouette is offset by emerald forests that frame the ocean, within spitting distance of the border with Canada. Seen up close, this Concordia yawl is a ...read more

IMG_1051

The Latest Boat Trends from Dusseldorf

The world’s biggest boat and watersports show, held in Düsseldorf on the banks of Germany’s Rhine River each January, is the place to scope out emerging trends in the boat design and building.What would be the new trends for 2018 and beyond? Hint—sophisticated electronics figure ...read more