February 20, 2022
Our next deployment was S.H.A.R.K. from Rio del Mar Elementary in Santa Cruz. The name stands for Showing Animals Respect and Kindness, and was selected because: “Our class loves the ocean and cares deeply about ocean animals and the impact climate change is having on these animal’s habitats and our local CA beaches.” I was so happy to read this because I’m also passionate about protecting our ocean and the organisms within it, which is why I became an oceanographer. While the Southern Ocean may seem far removed from California, processes occurring there influence the entire global climate. Therefore, the data collected by S.H.A.R.K. is essential to help scientists understand the impact of climate change on marine ecosystems around the world. This is what I thought about as I watched S.H.A.R.K. disappear on the horizon.
S.H.A.R.K. decorated and ready to take on the real ocean. Photo and illustration by Channing Prend.
Looking back as we leave S.H.A.R.K. behind to start its mission. Photo by Channing Prend.