About the Expedition

On January 21, 2010, scientists from the Coral Reef Ecosystem Division of the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (CRED/PIFSC), along with visiting scientists from the Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego State University, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and local agencies in American Samoa, departed on a three month expedition to Johnston Atoll, Howland and Baker Islands, American Samoa, Jarvis Island, Palmyra Atoll, and Kingman Reef aboard the NOAA Ship Hi'ialakai. This is the fifth biennial Pacific Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program (Pacific RAMP) expedition to American Samoa and the seventh to the Pacific Remote Island Areas. The expedition is sponsored by NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP) and is divided into three segment sequentially led by Chief Scientists Benjamin Richards, Rusty Brainard and Jamison Gove.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Getting ready to go

As our date of departure draws closer, each of the research teams is hurrying to finish their final preparations, organize their equipment and get it loaded aboard the Hi'ialakai. A steady stream of crates, pallets, Action packers, Pelican Cases, and 5-gallon buckets can be seem making their way from laboratories, to pickup trucks and then up the gangway and into the ship. Fuel trucks pass to and fro, cranes are lifting the heavy equipment from the pier to the ship, and the electronics technicians are running the last of the cables to connect the various computers and other pieces of equipment used to collect a variety of different measurements while we are underway.  Piles of equipment appear in various locations and then disappear almost as quickly as they appeared.  There is a constant flurry of activity and it looks like we might just get underway as scheduled.

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