AltaSea: Trending – December 9, 2020

A monthly round-up of news and trends important to the AltaSea community.


Live Chats and Webinars (AltaSea)


A Race Against Time to Rescue a Reef From Climate Change (The New York Times)

When Hurricane Delta hit Puerto Morelos, Mexico, in October, a team known as the Brigade waited anxiously for the sea to quiet. The group, an assortment of tour guides, diving instructors, park rangers, fishermen and researchers, needed to get in the water as soon as possible. The coral reef that protects their town — an undersea forest of living limestone branches that blunted the storm’s destructive power — had taken a beating.

These Stunning Miniature Sea Creatures Keep the Oceans in Balance (Gizmodo)

Never underestimate the power of one cell. That’s how many cells foraminifera—little sea creatures with striking shells—have. But boy can they do a lot with it. They’re the world’s tiniest geochemists, tinkering with the ocean.

These tiny creatures are found everywhere from coasts to the open ocean. But they do more than play the role of geochemists; they can also help us understand our ocean’s past so we can anticipate its future. It’s a fascinating paradox that single-celled protists can help us learn about the oceans, which are infinitely bigger than they are. Plus, they look rad.

Now it was their turn to help the reef, and they didn’t have much time.

New Chinese submersible reaches Earth’s deepest ocean trench (

China livestreamed footage of its new manned submersible parked at the bottom of the Mariana Trench on Friday, part of a historic mission into the deepest underwater valley on the planet.

The “Fendouzhe”, or “Striver”, descended more than 10,000 metres (about 33,000 feet) into the submarine trench in the western Pacific Ocean with three researchers on board, state broadcaster CCTV said.

Only a handful of people have ever visited the bottom of the Mariana Trench, a crescent-shaped depression in the Earth’s crust that is deeper than Mount Everest is high and more than 2,550 kilometres (1,600 miles) long.


Ocean Plastics – “You can’t manage what you can’t measure” (ArcGIS Blog)

Thanks to the integration of GIS with the sciences of remote and in-situ observation and measurement, we have a stronger understanding of ocean plastic pollution – its major sources, movement, impacts and ultimate destinations.

Recently, Environmental Emergency Response experts from USEPA and Ocean P3 Systems collaborated with Esri in development of a story map to better inform individuals and communities about the global ocean plastics problem and to provide options for taking action.

Salesforce-backed AI project SharkEye aims to protect beachgoers (AINEWS)

Salesforce is backing an AI project called SharkEye which aims to save the lives of beachgoers from one of the sea’s deadliest predators.

Shark attacks are, fortunately, quite rare. However, they do happen and most cases are either fatal or cause life-changing injuries.

Academics from the University of California and San Diego State University have teamed up with AI researchers from Salesforce to create software which can spot when sharks are swimming around popular beach destinations.


NASA Satellite To Measure Global Sea Level Rise (NPR)

A satellite which launched November 21st from California will measure sea level rise and provide other crucial data to scientists who study how global warming is affecting the Earth’s oceans.

Melting ice has already caused sea levels to rise by about 8 inches since 1880, and the trend is accelerating. The Earth’s oceans have soaked up the vast majority of the extra heat, and about one quarter of the extra carbon dioxide, that humans have generated by burning fossil fuels.

The new satellite, named Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich after the former director of NASA’s Earth Science division, will measure sea level around the globe for the next five years. At that point a second satellite of the same type will take its place, providing scientists with a full decade of reliable data about the Earth’s oceans. The mission is a collaboration between NASA and the European Space Agency.

L.A. Area STEM Organizations Join Mayor Garcetti’s Task Force to Offer Free STEM Education Courses to LA-Area Youth (The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation)

AltaSea is proud to be a participant in this effort as part of our Project Blue online education programs!

Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Task Force on Out-of-School Enrichment Time announced a city-wide partnership, with the support of the Broad Foundation, bringing together 26 of Los Angeles’s great STEM organizations to offer free STEM courses for LAUSD students this fall. Participating organizations range from major museums to universities and are working together with classroom teachers to coordinate lessons on topics such as oceans, space exploration, paleontology, robotics, and environmental sustainability – just to name a few. The courses are making use of the incredible resources each partner offers, including specialists who are meeting students in their virtual classrooms to offer thematic core instructional activities and enrichment experiences.

Mote Biologist Jasmin Graham on the Need for Diversity in Science (Sarasota Magazine)

Mote Marine Laboratory biologist Jasmin Graham specializes in elasmobranch ecology—the study of sharks, skates, and rays and their evolution. Graham, 26, is a member of Black Women in Ecology Evolution and Marine Science, as well as the American Elasmobranch Society, where she served two years on its Student Committee and interned with prestigious organizations such as the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Fort Johnson Marine Lab, and FWC Division of Marine Fisheries Management.


San Pedro’s Ports O’ Call was torn down. A new waterfront is finally taking shape (The Los Angeles Times)

AltaSea is featured in this great article about the future of the San Pedro Port. Check it out!


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