On Saturday July 5th 2014, over 250 people from the Saipan Community came out and got the chance to tour a NOAA research vessel and to learn about NOAA ships, the NOAA Corps officers and NOAA Wage Mariners who run them, and the recent research that was conducted by federal and local researchers who just returned from an expedition to the waters off the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) archipelago’s northernmost islands led by Chief Scientist Robert L. Humphreys Jr.
Scientists and crew of the NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette hosted guided tours that gave participants the chance to see the ship inside and out and learn about how the ship operates and how research is conducted. They were also given a chance to visit with the Chief Scientist and see some of the samples collected from their recent research.
The research conducted included deep-slope bottomfish bio-sampling, documentation of shark depredation/ interaction with deep-slope bottomfish operations, reef-fish bio-sampling, deploy and later retrieve archeological field researchers and supplies on Alamagan, and intertidal-shallow water benthic surveys and water quality sampling of Uracas, Maug, and Asuncion within the Marina Trench Marine National Monument (MTMNM) and Pagan, Guguan, Sarigan, and Anatahan within the CNMI. These projects are anticipated to provide samples to support additional research projects to evaluate latitudinal shifts in trophic relations via stable isotope analysis of tissue samples, and to evaluate genetic connectivity within the Mariana Archipelago.