Going deep for research
When it comes to gathering unique information to address environmental issues, five of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's researchers are all wet.
Pacific Northwest's scientific dive team collects valuable information about the marine environment that simply is not available in any other way. For example, they use underwater videography and hydroacoustics to study fish behavior and conduct population assessments.
Their research plays a significant role in mitigating negative impacts to underwater life and the marine environment caused by human developments such as water structures, ferry and boat traffic and outfalls near the shore.
Located at the Marine Sciences Laboratory in Sequim, Wash., the dive team uses underwater surveys and habitat assessments in restoration and monitoring programs. These tools were essential to award-winning research on eelgrass, underwater vegetation that provides habitat for sea life.
In addition to being accomplished divers, team members are fisheries biologists, toxicologists and marine and environmental scientists. They are specially trained in underwater survey techniques, underwater video and photography and identifying marine biological resources.