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.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Cool Critters of the Reef

text and photographs by Erin Looney

One of the many benefits of conducting coral reef research is the cool critters we encounter almost every day. Whether it is something big, such as a shark, turtle or dolphin, or something small, such as a nudibranch, sea anemone or crinoid, these creatures are all amazing in their own way. Here are a few examples of what we're seeing. All of these organisms were seen in a reef environment between 10 and 20 meters (30 - 60 feet) deep. Enjoy!

Trapezia rufopunctata, Trapezid Crab

Amphiprion perideraion, Pink Anemonefish

Tridacna maxima, Giant Clam

Plerogyra sinuosa, Bubble Coral

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