Open Explorer, The Breathing Bay

Sea Grant funded-researcher, Wally Fulweiler, features her work in National Geographic’s Open Explorer – a digital storytelling platform that allows university researchers, citizen scientists, students, and professional explorers to share their fieldwork

Fulweiler and her team have focused on Narragansett Bay to study how our coastal ocean breathes to understand how these ecosystems filter nutrients, sequester carbon, and improve water quality.

“It amazes me that we’ve been capturing these processes for over a decade. And yet, we have so much more to learn.”

Her group has been focused on nitrogen, phosphorus, and silicon – the elements essential for phytoplankton growth, the microscopic photosynthetic cells that provide around half of the oxygen we breathe and are the basis of key marine food webs.

They’ve been studying how these elements are transformed by microbes in the coastal ocean.

“You can think of what we do as following the microbial coastal ocean breath,” she says.

 

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