Marine mechanic Ethan Morris from oceanographer Uwe Send's Ocean Time Series Group services the Del Mar mooring three miles offshore of Del Mar. Photo by Cameron Wilkinson.
The mooring, which the lab has been operating since 2006, observes ocean conditions such as temperature, currents, oxygen concentration, chlorophyll abundance, pH, and acoustic backscatter from fish and transmits the data in real time.
The mooring also serves as a development platform for testing new moored sensor technologies, such as the Imaging Flow Cytobot, which takes pictures of plankton suspended in the water (in collaboration with Scripps Institution of Oceanography's Barton Lab and Heidi Sosik from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) and acoustic "fish tollgates," which use sound to monitor how many fish are passing through a particular area (in collaboration with David Demer from NOAA's Southwest Fisheries Science Center).
The mooring also is used for teaching the course Observational Techniques in Oceanography: At-Sea Practicum, where students learn observational oceanography skills in an at-sea class that includes servicing the mooring once per year.