On March 12, 2009, scientists from the Coral Reef Ecosystem Division of the NOAA Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (CRED/PIFSC), along with visiting scientists from San Diego State University and the University of Guam, departed on a three week cruise to Wake Atoll aboard the NOAA Ship Hi'ialakai. This will be the third biennial Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program (RAMP) cruise to isolated Wake, sponsored by NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP). The strategic goal of this research is to improve scientific understanding of coral reef ecosystems throughout the Pacific, and serve as the basis for improved conservation and resource management.The blog has a number of pictures and a few anecdotes about coral reef research. It is a good read, but I really wish they had posted every day. I can think of about 50 people living on Saipan alone that would eat up every single picture or word they post.
The recent designation of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, of which Wake is a part, highlights the importance of this research.
The cruise will terminate in Guam, where the Hi'ialakai and scientists from the Coral Reef Ecosystem Division will continue with two more RAMP cruises, first around Guam and the then on to the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI).
Hmm...maybe I could get on one of these cruises as their official blogger?