Saipan Community tours NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette

NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette

NOAA Ship Oscar Elton Sette

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.

Chief Scientist Robert Humphreys talks with visitors about the fish on display and the value in understanding the life history of targeted fish species

Chief Scientist Robert Humphreys talks with visitors about the fish on display and the value in understanding the life history of targeted fish species

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.

Open house visitors tour the galley and enjoy refreshments as Jamie Barlow explains the galley operations.

Open house visitors tour the galley and enjoy refreshments as Jamie Barlow explains the galley operations.

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.

CNMI groupers (top to bottom) Seloptia powelli, Epinephelus retouti , Cephalopholis sexmaculata.

CNMI groupers (top to bottom) Seloptia powelli, Epinephelus retouti , Cephalopholis sexmaculata.

Bottom Fish of CNMI (top to bottom) Yellow Tail Kale Kale / Pristipomoides auricella,  Ehu/Etelis carbunculus, and Blue-lined Gindai/Pristipomoides argyrogrammicus.

Bottom Fish of CNMI (top to bottom) Yellow Tail Kale Kale / Pristipomoides auricella, Ehu / Etelis carbunculus, and Blue-lined Gindai / Pristipomoides argyrogrammicus.

Fish Specialist, Megan Sundberg shows a grouper to a future marine biologist.

Fish Specialist, Megan Sundberg shows a grouper to a future marine biologist.

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