Education Bullet
Education and Outreach

Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program Cruise sets out to Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

Divers conducting RAMP surveys at Gardner Pinnacles.
Divers conducting RAMP surveys at Gardner Pinnacles during past cruise. Credit: Jason Helyer/NOAA

On August 1, 2012, the Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program will embark on a research expedition to Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM) and World Heritage Site aboard the NOAA ship Hiʻialakai. The scientific party consists of staff from NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary Program, National Marine Fisheries Service Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center-Coral Reef Ecosystem Division, the University of Hawaiʻi, and Scripps Research Institute.

The team will visit French Frigate Shoals, Lisianski Island, Pearl and Hermes Reef and Kure Atoll to conduct various activities, including: rapid ecological assessments (REA) of reef fish, corals, other invertebrates, and algae; coral disease surveys to determine disease presence in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI); a bioerosion study to determine the growth and erosion of corals in the NWHI; and ecological acoustics research using underwater instrumentation.

In addition, an education and outreach team from the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology will be documenting research activities to produce education and outreach materials and conducting ship-to-classroom 'ask a scientist' sessions via email with public and Hawaiian charter schools.

Rapid ecological assessments have been conducted in the NWHI since 2000. Long-term monitoring of the abundance and distributions of reef fish, invertebrates, coral and algae are used to evaluate the status and trends of the health of these remote coral reef ecosystems. These activities improve our understanding of the region's marine systems and help us better manage the Monument.

Regular updates from the cruise will be posted on this page, as well as our Facebook site.

Expedition Log

Click on the date below to learn more about the daily events.

Aboard the NOAA ship Hiʻialakai. August 1, 2012
Welcome aboard the 2012 Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program (RAMP) research expedition!
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