Winter: It’s Here But What Is It?

Winter: It’s Here But What Is It?

It’s getting cold! The wind is starting to blow! Rain is falling! The grass is starting to grow! The waves are getting bigger! IT’S WINTER!! But what exactly is winter? There are two kinds of winter, astronomical winter— having to do with the...

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Jellies: Squishy Mysteries of the Sea

Jellies: Squishy Mysteries of the Sea

 Jellies are a rare and beautiful surprise on Catalina Island. They drift past surprised snorkelers in our coves, showing off vibrant colors and graceful tentacles as they float by. Although they are not a regular visitor, Catalina Island boasts...

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Sponges 101

Sponges 101

Even though sponges you may have seen while at CIMI are the simplest of the multicellular animals, unable to move (something scientists call sessile), and look nothing like your favorite Krusty Krab frycook, they are actually quite interesting...

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Copepods Galore!

Copepods Galore!

What is plankton? And what is a copepod!? Plankton refers to a group of organisms that are not able to swim against the current. The word plankton comes from the Greek word planktos, which means wanderer or drifter. These organisms are composed...

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Hydrometers: Measuring Oceans Salinity

Hydrometers: Measuring Oceans Salinity

Hydrometers are used to measure the oceans salinity, or how “salty” the ocean is. To use a hydrometer you must fill up the tool with saltwater and then observe how much the lever is raised by the salinity. We like to use the measurement PPT or...

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Plankton Tow

Plankton Tow

Plankton Tows are a great Oceanographic tool used to sample the microscopic life in the ocean. A jar is attached to the end of the net, while the two are pulled by a boat or dingy. In order to increase the amount of plankton in the jar, a longer...

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Meroplankton vs. Holoplankton

Meroplankton vs. Holoplankton

Meroplankton vs. Holoplankton! In the diverse and unseen world of plankton, scientists have found that all of the zooplankton fall into one of two categories.  The first group is called holoplankton.  Combining the Greek words of...

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Bioluminescence in the Ocean

Bioluminescence in the Ocean

Bioluminescent organisms can create their own light! There are many weird and wonderful bioluminescent creatures in the ocean. Some emit light as a predatory tactic, like the anglerfish, which has a light-emitting photophore that protrudes from...

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What is Plankton Anyway?

What is Plankton Anyway?

 Plankton means “drifters” or “floaters.” Many people assume that all plankton are small, however the word does not refer to the size of an organism, but rather how they move around in the water.  One example of a type of plankton that is not...

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