It’s been a longtime coming, but we’re incredibly excited to report on our debut dive day with ARREE. In collaboration with OpenROV, our team was able to conduct dive operations concurrent with a Trident test flight in Stillwater Cove, Carmel, California. Stillwater Cove (SWC) sits within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is one of the best places to study kelp forest ecology.
In conjunction with the Edwards Lab’s focus on kelp forests community dynamics, we have been exploring the formation of sea urchin barrens, and the differences between these two systems. In order to aid in our understanding of the differences in processes between a community dominated by photosynthetic kelps, and those dominated by voraciously herbivorous sea urchins, we have been deploying experiments from Baja California to the Aleutian Archipelago in Alaska. Our experimental set up in SWC provided the perfect opportunity to collaborate with OpenROV and their Trident Drones.
We were thrilled to have OpenROV employees Zack, Mike, and Nicole join us as we explored the vibrant kelp forests and adjacent sea urchin barren grounds in SWC. With the help of our newest lab mate, ARREE the Trident, we will continue exploring and document the changes kelp forest communities are experiencing in an age of unprecedented social and ecological change.
Join us as we continue to explore autotrophic communities (those dominated by photosynthetic organisms likes sea grasses and algae) along the Eastern Pacific. We’ll be taking ARREE to Catalina Island this summer to explore fascinating algal communities called Rhodolith beds, and the human impacts to this fragile yet vital ecosystem.
Baron von Urchin (aka Pike)