- Collecting short cores to determine what's building the reef in various places (e.g., corals, coralline algae, etc.). We've collected 4-inch or so cores at 2 different sites using a pneumatic drill and scuba tanks. Each tank lasts about 5 minutes, so the main effort is carrying tanks to the site and on the reef crest! Here’s a photo of Anne and Don coring on the reef crest at Reef Hotel.
- Sediment coring to determine how sediment production and distribution has changed through time. Originally, we were going to use a gas-powered hydraulic pump powering a vibra-corer designed by Anne’s undergraduate mentor Dennis Hubbard, but instead we tried a pneumatic vibrator powered by scuba tanks. Unfortunately, it’s not as powerful, so it’s difficult to use in water deeper than waist-deep and doesn’t collect cores as long as we had hoped.
- Deploying a video camera to observe life on the reef when we’re not there. We plan to use the video camera to answer questions such as: how much do urchins move around and how much of the day do pearl oysters spend
- Deploying temperature loggers to record water temperature right next to corals every 15 minutes for a year or more. We already had 9 deployed around the atoll and are deploying 6 more this year. Here is a photo of Anne deploying stakes to which we attach the temperature logger.
- Measuring depth of the sand below the Cargo and Fuel Piers to determine how the shoreline changes year-to-year. Our volunteers for the past three years have made this time-consuming endeavor possible and provided a lot of interesting information. At left is a photo of volunteer Seiji measuring the depth using a transect tape with a weight at the end.
- Collecting sea urchins and sea stars to help identify their skeletal fragments in the sediment. We collected this very cool fine-spined urchin Leptodiadema purpurem during a sediment collection dive.