2017 Eclipse: A KML perspective

Eyes in the Sky! We had a perfect day for viewing the Great American Eclipse at KML. Clear sunny skies and we were prepared with our official viewing glasses. 
 A few fun facts
KML location: (24.8257, -80.8143)
Eclipse start time: 1:37pm (13:37)
Eclipse max time: 2:58pm (14:58) 74.15% coverage
Eclipse end time: 4:21pm (16:21)
Weather: Clear skies, Wind East 18 knots
We had a monitoring station set up under an 80% shade cloth with a HOBO data logger recording air temperatures and light intensity every 5 minutes

The start: 1:37pm

Time: 2:20pm 14:20


little moon shadows through the gumbo limbo leaves!
5 minutes after maximum at KML: 3:03pm
Our logger shows a 5.6°C air temperature drop with the lowest temperature and light intensity recorded 12 minutes after maximum eclipse

And of course we were adding observations to  NASA GLOBE Observer!

R/V Opah joins KML fleet

New to the KML fleet and named after the large, deep-bodied pelagic ‘moonfish’ (Lampris spp), the R/V Opah (25' Parker) is sister ship to KML's R/V Mola Mola. She sports a center console, semi-V hull, and is powered by a 300hp Yamaha four-stroke engine.
The Opah is equipped with racks for 8 SCUBA cylinders, fresh water rinse down, large dive platform, sturdy dive ladder, and 2 live wells on board.

Capacity: 1692 pounds (captain plus 9 snorkelers or 5 divers with gear)
Cruising speed: 25 knots (20 gph)

Range: 150-gal fuel tank


Coral in situ Metabolism studies at Conch Reef.

Students from the IMaGeS Lab at Florida International University (FIU), under Dr. Mauricio Rodriguez-Lanetty, partnered with Dr. Alina Szmant and Dr. Rob Whitehead (University of North Carolina at Wilmington) to use newly developed Coral in situ Metabolism (CISME) instruments.

Divers briefing and preparing gear

Inspecting CISME units ready to deploy
These units will allow scientist to study coral metabolism and health in the reef environment without harming the coral.

Divers selecting a coral head to set up on

The IMaGeS Lab is working with NASA  astronauts this month at the FIU Aquarius Reef Base, Key Largo. Astronauts will be trained in the use of the CISME units for data collection, to simulate training activities for their NEEMO Mission.

Large coral head Orbicella faveolata at Conch Reef

University of Colorado Students at KML

Colorado Eco-Warriors picking up litter near Long Key State Park
Students from the University of Colorado, led by their professor, Dr. Heidi Souder, spent their spring break learning about the ecosystems of the Florida Keys. They were constantly amazed and appalled by the  litter everywhere and did their part to help clean up.

Derelict kayak and other debris removed from Bamboo Key
Assessing dune vegetation
 They kept to a busy daily schedule, traveling to Bahia Honda State Park to assess dune vegetation and study the physical and geological oceanography.

Survey techniques 

 These ambitious students also faced some new challenges collecting data in the marine environment. They learned the basic monitoring skills and species identification necessary for KML's Living Laboratory Benthic Monitoring Surveys.
Setting up a benthic survey grid

Locating a corner of the Living Lab grid

Students measured the direction and speed of the longshore current with fluorescein dye.
Dr. Souder and her class certainly packed a lot of activities into their week at KML and left exhausted but with lots of smiles!


Last Science Seminar of the season at KML

“Boating Activity in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary”

Preliminary results from an aerial survey of boaters and their activities in the Florida Keys

By Maria Cooksey - FWC/FWRI staff biologist

KML Winter Science Seminar #6
April 5th
Wed. 6:00-7:00pm
KML Classroom

Come join us!
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