The Coral Reef Systems team coordinated an expedition to the Northern Line Islands in October-November, 2010. The primary goals during this expedition were to 1) obtain a baseline for healthy coral reefs (from microbes to sharks), 2) understand the impacts of humans on coral reef ecosystems, 3)  understand how reefs function and how productivity is maintained, and 4) obtain a blueprint for successful restoration.



Leaders of the three main research teams—the Benthos, the Fish, and the Microbes—explain some of the whys, hows, and wherefores of their planned research for the 2010 expedition to the Northern Line Islands. These plans are the product of not only years of prior research, but also many months of preparation: designing and building equipment, ordering supplies, working out every detail of the experiments, testing prototypes and protocols, creating contingency strategies, and more.



The research team included researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, San Diego State University, University of Hawaii, University of California, Santa Barbara, Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, University of Queensland, and the Caribbean Research & Management of Biodiversity.



Throughout the 2010 Line Islands Expedition, the research team posted notes from the field to share the science and experiences onboard the Hanse. We invite you to dip into the 45 earlier posts available in the blog archive. There you can follow the Fish, Benthic, and Microbe Teams as they visit the coral reefs at six of the Northern Line Islands, collecting data, samples, and adventures at each.