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Sea-Bird Scientific Newsletter

Nutrients and Their Contribution to Harmful Algal Blooms

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) represent a major environmental problem in all regions of the U.S., and their occurrence is on the rise due to increased nutrient pollution. HABs have severe impacts on human health, aquatic ecosystems, and the economy.

Recently, harmful algal blooms clogged the St. Lucie Estuary in Florida, causing Governor Rick Scott to declare a state of emergency in Martin, St. Lucie, Lee, and Palm Beach counties. Thanks to data from Florida Atlantic University Harbor Branch's Indian River Lagoon Observatory Network of Environmental Sensors (IRLON), scientists were able to observe changing water-quality conditions in real time. IRLON consists of Land/Ocean Biogeochemical Observatory (LOBO) units from Sea-Bird Coastal at 10 sites throughout the Indian River Lagoon, including 5 sites in the St. Lucie Estuary.

While this is the most recent example of environmental problems related to HABs, there have been other recent incidents. In the summer of 2015, a large bloom stretching from central California to the Alaska Peninsula significantly impacted coastal resources and marine life, resulting in shellfish, crab harvesting, and fishery closures. In 2014, the city of Toledo, Ohio issued a two-day ban on drinking or cooking with tap water for residents due to a toxic algae bloom on western Lake Erie. Learn more about the HAB issue in Florida.

Available Soon! Recorded presentation:
Using real-time sensors to monitor nutrients and HABs.


New Sensors Integrated on Navis BGCi Profiling Floats

Sea-Bird Scientific delivered a new Navis BGCi sensor integration in June to key customers at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Australia. The new float configuration is comprised of the standard Navis BGCi platform (CTD + Oxygen + Fluorometer/ Backscattering) with a SUNA Nitrate Sensor and dual OCR radiometers mounted externally.

The dual radiometer sensors will allow researchers to measure the intensity of light penetrating into the water column and also measure how much light is being reflected upwards by phytoplankton and particles in seawater. This radiometric data, correlated with nitrate (SUNA), dissolved oxygen (SBE 63), and fluorometer/backscattering data are key to understanding complex interactions between light, nutrients, and microbiology in the ocean. This information will help scientists better understand ocean productivity and estimate the amount of carbon that is sequestered by the ocean annually.




Oceans 2016
Monterey, CA, USA
September 19 - 23, 2016

Sea-Bird University
Bellevue, WA, USA
October 3 - 6, 2016

Ocean Optics 2016
Victoria, BC, Canada
October 23 - 28, 2016



Buy Online
*Only Available in Canada and USA




National Park Service Employing SeaFET Ocean pH Sensors to Understand Impact of Ocean Acidification

National Park Service coastal ecologist Jonathan Jones with a SeaFET. Photo courtesy NPS.

In Southern California, Cabrillo National Monument and Channel Islands National Park are concerned about the impact of ocean acidification on their intertidal communities. They initiated an ocean acidification monitoring program using a network of SeaFET Ocean pH sensors. To help the National Park Service educate visitors on the effects of ocean acidification, the SeaFET team also provided a display unit for use in their public exhibit.

Read Now: Investigating Ocean Acidification in the Rocky Intertidal.


Training at Sea-Bird University

Sea-Bird Scientific offers regularly scheduled four-day training classes approximately two times per year at an off-site location near our office/factory in Bellevue, Washington (12 miles from downtown Seattle). Through our comprehensive training modules, we teach our customers how to get the most from their instruments. Training consists of operator training on major Sea-Bird products and software, and is hands-on in nature. The curriculum covers profiling instruments, thermosalinographs, and moored instruments, and includes theory and operation, data processing, and maintenance and repair. We encourage you to take advantage of our expertise and participate in our training classes.

Our next 4-Day training is scheduled for October 3 - 6, 2016. Visit Sea-Bird University for more details, or contact Payal Parikh ( to enroll for this class.


Tech Tip: Cable and Bulkhead Connector Maintenance

Underwater connectors and cables require proper care and maintenance to prevent possible damage and loss of data. Without the correct maintenance, connector contacts may corrode and cause loss of electrical contact, resulting in data loss and the costs associated with the replacing the connector. To keep your connectors and cables in good shape:

  • Examine, clean, and lubricate bulkhead connectors each time they are connected
  • Do not use cleaners or lubricants that contain petroleum or ketones
  • Do not use the cable to lift the sensor.

Read: Cable and Bulkhead Connector Maintenance [PDF].


Tech Tip

Meet Our People

Dave Stahlke
Tech Support Specialist

Dave graduated from Texas Tech University in 1989 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and has been with WET Labs and Sea-Bird for more than eighteen years. Prior to joining our facility in Philomath, Oregon (WET Labs), Dave worked with Hewlett-Packard, Northwest Integrated Circuits Division (Corvallis).

When you reach out for technical support at WET Labs, Dave is the expert who helps you out. He is primarily responsible for the customer support of all WET Labs instrumentation as well as working collaboratively with the Bellevue and Halifax sites. Dave's system integration experience comes in handy for the manufacturing and service teams across Sea-Bird Scientific. Before his current role, Dave worked as a principal technician and production supervisor.

In his free time, Dave likes to spend time with his pets and enjoys hiking, bicycling, kayaking, fishing, ceramics, glass-blowing, and beer/cider brewing.






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