MIT Sea Grant College Program
Newsletter: June 2010
Vol 1, Issue 1
Banner pics only
In This Issue
Sea Perch Institute Challenge
2010 Reseach Awards
Rapid Assessment Survey
Assessing Salt Marsh Habitat Quality
Marine Algae Biofuel Lab
Ocean Engineering Internships
List Visual Arts Center
Brenden Epps
Mirjana Milosevic Marden
Gayle Sherman
Julie Simpson
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ChrysI would like to introduce the MIT Sea Grant College Program's new e-Newsletter. Each month we will be keeping you informed on our latest research, events, trainings, conferences and publications.

There is further information on our program at the MIT Sea Grant website. We are undertaking a complete renovation of the website, and hope to be announcing its release in September; please stay tuned.

--Chrys Chryssostomidis, Director
Sea Perch Institute Challenge
SPI'10kidcrowdOn June 1st, 250 high school and middle students from Massachusetts and Rhode Island met at MIT to participate in the first annual MIT Sea Grant Sea Perch Institute Challenge. The students were presented with a complex problem to resolve using their Sea Perch vehicles: A cargo ship went down in Boston Harbor and the student groups had to respond using their Sea Perches for mapping, water quality analysis, and recovery if indicated. To simulate the challenge, a model ship with cargo was sunk in an MIT pool. The four schools worked progressively, cooperatively, and against the clock to complete this mission.

Sea Perch is MIT Sea Grant's signature underwater robotics educational program. The Sea Perch Institute is a one-year, advanced program culminating in a complex real-world challenge. For a full description of the event click HERE. For 25 terrific photos of the event, click HERE.
MIT Sea Grant 2010 Research Awards Announced
MIT Sea Grant is pleased to announce its 2010 Research Awards to the following lead principal investigators:

Changchen Chen, Robert Chen, Geoffrey Cowles, Cabell Davis, Scott Gallager, Franz Hover, Harry Hemond, Rodney Rountree, John Stegeman, Milica Stojanovic, and Alexandra Techet.

Fifth Rapid Assessment Survey of Marine Invasive Species Planned for July 24-31
Didemnum in hand

Dr. Judith Pederson of MIT Sea Grant is spearheading the fifth Rapid Assessment

Survey of Marine Invasive Species in collaboration with the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management. The assessment, stretching from Casco Bay in Maine to Rhode Island, will be conducted with taxonomic experts from Europe, South America and the U.S. who are familiar with native and non-native species.

The survey will last one week, from July 24th - 31st, and will provide information to improve the management and control of non-native species.

Assessing Salt Marsh Habitat Quality and Vulnerability to Sea Level Rise
Duxbury marsh

This summer, Dr. Juliet Simpson of MIT Sea Grant will be conducting surveys of salt marshes in Duxbury Bay to study habitat quality and vulnerability to sea level rise. The project is being undertaken in collaboration with the Massachusetts Bays Program and the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management. Both remotely sensed data and on-the-ground field assessments will be used to measure biodiversity, tidal restrictions, land use in adjacent terrestrial areas, and other factors affecting ecosystem health. This information will be used to make recommendations for land use planning, enabling coastal communities to more effectively allocate resources to mitigate and/or avoid climate related impacts to property and coastal infrastructure.

MIT Sea Grant Marine Algae Biofuel Lab Up and Running in Gloucester, MA
MIT Sea Grant is in the process of setting up a marine algae biofuel project at its Marine Education Center in Gloucester, MA. Led by Marine Educator, Sarah Hammond, the team is building an algae growing, conversion, and processing system to use as a demonstration of the creation of alternative fuels. The construction of the algal-based biodiesel project has involved modifying MIT Sea Grant's existing finfish hatchery equipment to accommodate growth chambers for the algae. The team will also construct a biodiesel reactor to process the algal product into biofuel.
High School Students from Cal. & Mass. Chosen for Ocean Engineering Summer Internships

Two Boston area high school students, Cole Kerr (Newton North) and Stephanie Liu (Phillips Andover Academy), and two from High Tech High in San Diego, Beth Lacarra and Jake Neighbors (pictured left), have been chosen for the MIT Ocean Engineering Summer Internships. The Internship Program is sponsored by MIT Sea Grant and the MIT Center for Ocean Engineering. The high school students will have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in a variety of marine science and technology fields. 

MIT Sea Grant Engineering Skills Now on View at List Visual Arts Center

A hand-blown glass remotely operated vehicle, the result of collaboration between  the MIT List Visual Arts Center artist-in-residence, Tavares Strachan, and MIT Sea Grant is now on view through July 11, 2010 at the List Visual Arts Center, in Cambridge, Mass. on the MIT campus.

MIT Sea Grant collaborates with artists and cultural organizations in order to amplify the themes of MIT Sea Grant's work. By collaborating with artists who use MIT Sea Grant technology, theory or research, we are able to reach audiences who might not otherwise come in contact with our work.

New MIT Sea Grant Staff: Brenden Epps
Brenden Epps

Brenden Epps is a postdoctoral research associate who is developing design and analysis tools for marine propellers and energy harvesting turbines. His current work focuses on two efficient computational tools: (1) a propeller lifting surface code for preliminary design and analysis, and (2) an advanced computational fluid dynamics code for detailed performance predictions. Epps also supervises graduate students in the design, construction, and experimental testing of propellers and marine turbines. Brenden received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from MIT, where he used experiment and simulation to study the propulsive forces generated by swimming fish and spinning propellers.

New MIT Sea Grant Staff: Mirjana Milosevic-Marden

Mirjana Milosevic Marden is an electrical engineer who is developing models and control systems of integrated power for an electric ship. As a former postdoctoral fellow at MIT Sea Grant in the Design Lab, Marden focused on an alternating current integrated power system, developing Matlab and Simulink models for components and their controllers.  She received her Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology where she focused on the control of distributed generation in power systems.

New MIT Sea Grant Staff: Gayle Sherman
Gayle Sherman

Gayle Sherman is Administrative Assistant for the Marine Advisory Services. For the past nine years she served as the Assistant for the Master of Engineering Program and Administrative Assistant in the MIT Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.She brings her organizational skills, experience in publishing and print design, and financial skills to the Marine Advisory Service. She lives in Cambridge and is active in the community.

New MIT Sea Grant Staff: Juliet Simpson
Juliet Simpson is leading our climate change outreach effort and contribute to our overall ecosystem health focus area. Simpson received her Ph.D. from U.C. Santa Barbara and was a post-doctoral research associate at Brown University where she studied the effects of climate change and water quality degradation on the global spread of invasive aquatic plants. She is particularly interested in the influence of human population growth and land use changes on aquatic ecosystems and has worked for a consulting company helping municipalities meet water quality standards for both waste water and storm water. 
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MIT Sea Grant e-Newsletter designed and edited by Nancy Adams.