R/V Sally Ride heads out this weekend with a full science party made up mostly of graduate students from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Chief Scientist Nick Huynh and Co-Chief Kelsey Bisson have been planning the cruise for over a year. The main purpose is to study plankton movements in the Santa Barbara Channel on a constant 24-hour per day basis. However, the science plans were amended last minute to accommodate sampling and experiments that will measure the effects of the wildfire in the coastal areas near Santa Barbara. This unprecedented opportunity will help us understand how wildfires that blow ash into the ocean change the ecosystem. 

An illustrator, videographer, and musician are also members of the science party. Follow along on the ship’s social media channels, and check back here for another blog post after the cruise returns to San Diego. 

Learn more about how the effects of the Thomas fire will be studied in this article

Learn more about the science plan and instrumentation being used in this article. 

The cruise website is here.

Artwork by onboard artist Celia Jacobs.