Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King announced today that the National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded $1,198,953 to Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay. The award will help fund a project titled, “Collaborative Research: Biogeochemical and Physical Conditioning of Sub-Antarctic Mode Water in the Southern Ocean.”
“Maintaining the health of our oceans is essential in order to protect our fisheries as well as the global ecosystem,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “This project will help the skilled scientists at Bigelow Laboratory gather important data to better understand some of the interconnected processes that are necessary to sustain marine life.”
This funding will support Bigelow Laboratory scientists’ detailed examination of a major water mass named the Sub-Antarctic Mode Water (SAMW). SAMW begins as cold surface water in the southern Indian Ocean, sinks to approximately 500 meters, and travels for thousands of miles before it resurfaces 40 years later near the equator. The nutrients contained by the SAMW are vital to plant and microbial life in the region.
The project will include two expeditions to the southeast Indian Ocean to identify, track, and study the SAMW. A high school teacher and science communication specialist will accompany researchers to share experiences from the ship with students on shore via social media and scheduled web interactions.
To read more about this project, click HERE.