P2.49 The NOAA Living Marine Resource Cooperative Science Center annual winter cruises: a mechanism for student training in fisheries research techniques

Friday, 13 November 2009
Todd Christenson, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, MD; and E. May

Beginning in January, 2005, the NOAA Living Marine Resource Cooperative Science Center (LMRCSC) has conducted, in cooperation with the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center, an annual 2-week winter research cruise in the Hudson Canyon and Mid-Atlantic Bight. Because the cruises were intended to provide undergraduate and graduate students with experience in the type of open ocean research conducted by NOAA Fisheries, students were involved in all phases of research under the guidance of LMRCSC and NOAA researchers including sampling, processing, data entry and, when possible, data interpretation. Some studies were conducted as discrete projects carried out on a single cruise (e.g. physiological response of dogfish to trawl net capture), others as components of on-going projects (e.g. Distribution and behavior of monkfish). Studies on the latitudinal variability of fish assemblages in the Mid-Atlantic and the benthic habitats of the Hudson Canyon have been conducted continuously since the inception of the LMRCSC cruise. All were designed to train students in techniques used by NOAA Fisheries. The cruise has also been used to conduct the laboratory component of a graduate level course (Special Topics in Biological Oceanography). Forty-one (41) students representing 9 institutions have participated in LMRCSC research cruises aboard the NOAA Research Vessels, Albatross IV or Delaware II, since January, 2005. Of these, 24 were undergraduate students and 28 were from under-represented groups. A post-cruise survey was created in 2007 which reflected a high degree of satisfaction with the cruise as an educational experience and one which may impact future career decisions.
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