Diurnal variation in robotic observations of carbon export in California coastal waters

Summer 2017

Beth Connors : Marine Science, Integrative Biology

Donor: Pergo Fund
Mentor: Jim Bishop

One of the most interesting components of the global carbon cycle is the movement of carbon from the atmosphere to the deep ocean, where it is deposited as particulates, a process called the Biological Carbon Pump (BCP). The BCP combines physical oceanography and biology, as the majority of the carbon dioxide that is pulled from the atmosphere into our oceans for biological processes in the photic zone, and then moves from the surface to the deep ocean as zooplankton excrement. Using robotic devices to monitor this chemical and biological cycle, I hope to better understand the diurnal fluctuations in the BCP from the atmosphere to the deep ocean, and therefore better understand how surface zooplankton contribute to carbon cycling on our planet. 

I am going to complete a senior thesis, thanks to the generous donation of the Pergo Fund. My experience was life changing. I was able to work directly with a faculty mentor and design my own experiment. It would not have been possible without the Pergo Fund, so thank you for your generosity!