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Celebrating Compliance and Year of the Young Person – John Bruce

Thu, 2018-04-26 10:00

2018 is both the Year of the Engineer and the Year of the Young Person and this blog is about one of our many colleagues who are inspiring the next generation with their Outreach work.

Meet John Bruce one of our Business Managers at Marine Scotland Compliance. Read on to find out more.

Who are you and what do you do?
I’m John Bruce, one of 5 Business Managers with Marine Scotland, Compliance. I manage 16 staff in the 5 district offices that comprise Area 2 in the north of Scotland. These are Ullapool, Lochinver, Kinlochbervie, Scrabster and Kirkwall. My job is really about making sure officers at the coast have the tools they require to ensure compliance of the vast array of EU, UK and Scottish legislation that covers the marine environment and that they do this in a consistent manner along with their counterparts in the other 13 offices dotted around the Scottish coast.

What’s your career path been – how did you get here?
I grew up in the fishing community in the Fit o‘ the Toon in Arbroath. All my father’s side of the family were fishers and I’ve been involved in the industry since I could walk. Everything from cleaning the boat out on a Friday for pocket money, to mending wooden boxes (yes I am that old) and delivering ice from the back of a flatbed lorry at weekends. I first went to sea properly at 13, spending 5 days pair trawling in the Forties. My dad thought it would put me off a career in fishing. However I loved it. Most holidays from there on in were spent fishing. Everyone told me not to do it but it’s in the blood and I was well, excuse the pun, hooked. Despite this I could, however, see the sharp decline in the industry in front of my eyes so once I finished school, and with the advice of my peers ringing in my ears, I very reluctantly started University in Dundee studying, ironically, Business Management. I absolutely hated it. So at 17, I applied to an advert in the Fishing News for a Fishery Officer but given one of the criteria was that you had to be 18, I didn’t give it much hope. Much to my amazement I was given an interview and then offered a job but could only start when turned 18.

That led to my first posting as Fishery Officer in Lochinver in early 1991 and later that year I transferred to Campbeltown. I had an extremely enjoyable 4 years there before being transferred to Peterhead in a major coastal restructure in 1995. I stayed there as a Fishery Officer until 2000 where I took up promotion to Senior Fishery Officer in Kirkwall, which is still my favourite posting. In 2004 I was transferred to Ullapool and in 2005 I was promoted to Enforcement Manager which meant I took on management responsibility for Lochinver and Kinlochbervie. Then in 2008 as part of the preparation to the transition to Marine Scotland I became a Business Manager with responsibility then for Portree, Stornoway, Ullapool, Lochinver and Kinlochbervie.

What made you decide to be involved in Outreach?
Having been involved in the fishing industry all my life, I obviously have a passion for it and I’ve always been willing to talk to anyone about it who asks. The public have a huge appetite for knowledge about the industry and are always asking questions. Ask any officer who has stood on a pier when a busload of tourists arrives! I was first approached by a local school who knew what I did and wanted me to give a talk on fishing to all age groups. It seemed to go down very well with the young people and probably even more so with the teachers who asked me where to apply. From there I became aware of STEM programme and became an Ambassador which led to me really discovering how much interest there is in the industry and since then I have delivered talks, demonstrations and even been involved science fairs at schools all over the highlands.

What do you enjoy most about doing Outreach?
At every event the enthusiasm from young people, parents and teachers just pours out. Everyone wants to know, learn and become better informed about the marine environment and how to look after it and manage the resources it provides more responsibly. I love the passion that those who I speak to then display once they have learned and had their questions asked. Hopefully this triggers a lightbulb moment for them and they will want to become involved in the Marine Industry and also hopefully it makes them think about the environment and then the next generation will look after it better than perhaps previous generations have.

Would you encourage others to get involved in Outreach too?
Definitely. It’s a great way to get across a positive message of what Marine Scotland does to the general public. On a personal level I find the level of engagement with all ages really rewarding and for those of us who live in remote communities it provides that community with great access to something that they would possibly only be available to them if they travelled a few hundred miles to a hub such as Inverness.

Further Information

The post Celebrating Compliance and Year of the Young Person – John Bruce appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Joint Warrior Training Activity: 24th April – 4 May 2018

Thu, 2018-04-19 10:08

Joint Warrior

Exercise Joint Warrior (JW), organised by the Ministry of Defence, is part of a major programme of exercises involving land forces, warships, submarines and aircraft from all the NATO partners, across the UK. The next exercise, Joint Warrior 181, will take place between 24 April and 4 May 2018, mostly near Cape Wrath (live firing) and down the west coast of Scotland (submarine, warship activity and mine warfare).

During 2018 there will be only this one exercise. The autumn session is being replaced this year by a larger exercise in Norway.

Further Information

 

 

The post Joint Warrior Training Activity: 24th April – 4 May 2018 appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Vacancy: EU Exit Legislation Programme Manager (closing date 1 May 2018)

Tue, 2018-04-17 15:00

We are currently seeking applications for a Legislation Programme Manager within Marine Scotland based in Edinburgh. This is a permanent and pensionable appointment and new entrants will normally start on the minimum of the pay range. Candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria below will be invited to the assessments.

Overview:
One of the Scottish Government’s key priorities at present is to support Scottish Ministers to protect Scotland’s Place in Europe, and to plan for protecting and promoting Scotland’s marine interests.  A UK exit from the EU will have a significant legislative impact on the work of Marine Scotland with the vast majority of our legislation and regulatory framework deriving from EU requirements. The Directorate therefore needs to ensure that planning and preparation are in place to ensure the necessary transfer of the EU’s legislative framework arising from the UK’s exit from the EU.

Qualification Required:
You should have, or be expected to obtain, one of the following:

  • A minimum of a 2:2 degree in a legal discipline or equivalent politics, economics or environmental studies.
  • A Masters Degree which contains a high level of environmental legal or policy analysis.

Other qualifications equivalent to these may also be acceptable, if you are in any doubt please contact to discuss.

Please note: If you fail to demonstrate how you meet the minimum qualifications as stated above, your application will be automatically sifted out.

Essential Criteria:

  1. Excellent people skills and an ability to build relationships with people and to make connections at all levels across different organisations.
  2. A strong understanding of legislative issues as they apply to Scotland, including experience working with, and analysing, primary and secondary legislation. The ability to think strategically and creatively to develop and implement policy and legal solutions effectively within the wider strategic context.
  3. Excellent oral and written communication skills including in order to provide clear and concise advice and briefing to Scottish Ministers and senior officials.
  4. Proven ability of managing numerous competing priorities in a fast-paced environment and ability to work flexibly.

For further information on this vacancy please download and review the “Person Specification and Further Information for Job Applicants” which you will find below. To apply, you must fully complete and submit an online application via this website before the closing date. To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Caro Cowan or telephone 0131 244 48432.

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact Helen McLean on telephone 0131 244 8217.

Further Information:

 

The post Vacancy: EU Exit Legislation Programme Manager (closing date 1 May 2018) appeared first on Marine Scotland.

How the HoTRiverS Project is helping us to understand and protect Scotland’s rivers

Tue, 2018-04-17 10:00

3D ‘structure-from-motion’ map of Girnock Burn showing forest cover

One of the ways in which climate change is likely to impact Scotland’s rivers is through an increase in water temperature, particularly during summer months. Stream temperature is of great importance to the growth and survival of a range of iconic fish species like Atlantic salmon and Brown trout, which are relatively intolerant of high temperature. Hence, there are concerns that elevated stream temperature could alter the thermal suitability of Scotland’s rivers to a range of native freshwater species. As a result, researchers at Marine Scotland Science (MSS) and the University of Birmingham (UoB) have collaborated on a number of projects to better understand stream temperature patterns in Scotland’s rivers and identify strategies for reducing the impacts of climate change on stream temperature. One of these collaborations, the EU-funded HoTRiverS project (Heterogeneity of Temperature in Rivers and Streams), is demonstrating how cutting-edge technology can inform river management and policy in the fight against climate change.

River managers across the UK are planting trees to shade rivers during the warmest parts of the day. However, if we want to improve our understanding of the role of trees in reducing stream temperature, we need to be better able to characterise both tree cover and the effects of river bankside shading. This information can be difficult or costly to obtain, especially in remote locations. To address this key research problem, the HoTRiverS project team developed a novel based methodology to simulate the impacts of bankside tree shading on stream temperature. During summer 2017, they used a drone (a small unmanned quadcopter equipped with a high-resolution camera) to obtain high resolution aerial photography of Girnock Burn, a tributary of the Aberdeenshire River Dee where Marine Scotland has monitored salmon populations for more than 50 years.). Using a technique called ‘structure-from-motion photogrammetry’, which enables the extraction of 3D data from 2D photos (in much the same way as stereo vision allows humans to perceive depth), they were able to generate a highly accurate 3D map of tree heights in the lower Girnock Burn (see picture at the top of this article).

Impact of bankside tree shading

 

By inputting the resulting tree height data into a computer model that simulates the impacts of tree shading on stream temperature, the new methodology clearly highlights the extent to which tree shading reduces stream temperature in the lower Girnock Burn (see graph above). This new low-cost, high-accuracy technique has the potential to improve our understanding about how and where tree shading produces optimal stream temperature reductions. By applying the drone-based methodology to other locations in Scotland and across the UK, it is hoped that this research will furnish river scientists and managers with the information necessary to understand the effects of woodland in different geographical locations. Based on this information, new tools can be developed to target planting to locations where it will have the greatest benefits in reducing the effects of climate change.

Thermal image mosaic of Baddoch Burn showing variation in water surface temperature

Furthermore, the HoTRiverS project is highlighting other ways in which drone technology can help scientists to better understand stream temperature patterns. Previous research has shown how airborne thermal infrared (TIR) river surveys can be used to identify important cool-water habitats used by salmon and trout during summer high temperature. However, TIR survey flights using conventional aircraft are very costly meaning that the location of these critical habitats often remains unknown. In order to try and resolve this issue, the HoTRiverS research team used a drone equipped with a miniaturised thermal infrared imaging camera to map surface water temperature patterns in Baddoch Burn, another salmon monitoring tributary in the Aberdeenshire Dee catchment, as illustrated above.

Although the analysis of these data is ongoing, early indications are that the drone-based thermal imaging data will be useful for detecting small-scale variations in surface water temperature that are of key importance to fish and other species.

This detailed spatial data on river temperature has been supplemented with observations obtained from in-situ temperature dataloggers and automated weather stations (pictured above) to characterise microclimate and heat exchange processes. By coupling these datasets, it will be possible to develop a high resolution computer model capable of characterising the physical processes (ie. solar radiation, evaporation, groundwater inputs) that drive observed stream temperature patterns in the burn.

In the future, this model will help us to understand and predict how future climate and land-use changes might impact stream temperature in Baddoch Burn. This collaboration between MSS and UoB demonstrates how advances in geospatial technology and computer modelling are helping to better understand and protect Scotland’s freshwater environments. Through the results of these cutting-edge research projects, it is hoped that we will arrive at a better understanding of the interactions between the landscape features, climate change and river temperature with a view to preserving Scotland’s valuable rivers and fish populations for future generations.

Dr. Steve Dugdale

Dr. Iain Malcolm

Prof. David Hannah

Further information:

Recent/related publications:

Dugdale, S.J., Malcolm, I.A., Kantola, K., & Hannah, D.M. (2018). Stream temperature under contrasting riparian forest cover: Understanding thermal dynamics and heat exchange processes. Science of The Total Environment, 610–611, 1375-1389

Jackson, F.L., Fryer, R.J., Hannah, D.M., Millar, C.P., & Malcolm, I.A. (2018). A spatio-temporal statistical model of maximum daily river temperatures to inform the management of Scotland’s Atlantic salmon rivers under climate change. Science of The Total Environment, 612, 1543-1558

Dugdale, S.J., Hannah, D.M., & Malcolm, I.A. (2017). River temperature modelling: A review of process-based approaches and future directions. Earth-Science Reviews, 175, 97-113

Jackson, F.L., Hannah, D.M., Fryer, R.J., Millar, C.P., & Malcolm, I.A. (2017). Development of spatial regression models for predicting summer river temperatures from landscape characteristics: Implications for land and fisheries management. Hydrological Processes, 31, 1225-1238

Garner, G., Malcolm, I.A., Sadler, J.P., & Hannah, D.M. (2014). What causes cooling water temperature gradients in a forested stream reach? Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 5361-5376

Garner, G., Malcolm, I.A., Sadler, J.P., & Hannah, D.M. (2017). The role of riparian vegetation density, channel orientation and water velocity in determining river temperature dynamics. Journal of Hydrology, 553

 

The post How the HoTRiverS Project is helping us to understand and protect Scotland’s rivers appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Twinkle twinkle little starfish

Thu, 2018-04-12 10:00

Survey: 0518A

Duration: 14 April – 2 May 2018

Gear: Scallop dredges

Objectives

  1. To carry out a survey of scallop stocks on the West Coast.
  2. To age, measure and assess shell damage on all scallops caught.
  3. To Identify and sample additional areas of commercial interest to the scallop fishery.
  4. To collect information on by-catch of other commercial fish and shellfish species.
  5. To identify, quantify numbers, and damage assess of starfish species in all dredge tows.
  6. To collect frozen whole scallops for heavy metal testing as part of the OSPAR assessment of hazardous substances in the marine environment.
  7. To undertake underwater filming trials using a Go-pro camera in sheltered areas.

The survey will depart on 14 April and will make passage for the west coast stations on the survey plan.

Scallop dredge hauls will be made at sites used on previous surveys as shown on the map below. Hauls will be of 30 minutes duration. In addition to the historical tows, additional tows will be done in the Clyde if time permits. From each haul, all of the scallops will be measured to the half centimeter below and aged. Numbers and size distribution of commercial fish and shellfish species will be recorded along with scallop shell damage, starfish numbers and species. Tissue samples will also be collected from selected sites and frozen for heavy metal analysis back at the laboratory.

Further Information:

Scallop dredge sites

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Celebrating the Year of the Engineer – Meet Bill Leiper

Tue, 2018-04-10 10:00

Bill aboard the RRS Challenger

As we mentioned in our blog in January, 2018 is the Year of the Engineer as well as the Year of the Young Person. Over the course of the year, we’ll be introducing you to some of our incredibly talented engineers, as well as showing your some of their work. Next up, we hear from our Net Store Manager, Bill.

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Bill Leiper – the Net Store Manager at the Marine Lab in Aberdeen (the one in the yellow hard hat!).

Why is what you do important?

We are the last remaining net store in Aberdeen, a city once buoyed by a vibrant fishing industry. They are very few skilled and experienced net menders and riggers left in the North East, let alone Aberdeen.  From our in-house, purpose built net store, we provide a highly professional and particular service to, principally, the science sector.  A large part of the work is dedicated to the numerous and wide-ranging fishing surveys that take place throughout the year.  We make, mend and repair a large variety of nets and dredges in addition to supplying and servicing all the associated gear that accompanies this.  Driven, in part by ICES, we work to our own exacting specialised standards.  We regularly make and supply a diverse range of moorings for different departments in the lab.  If any of this afore mentioned work was to be outsourced and completed externally, the cost would very quickly become staggering.

What’s your career path been – how did you get here?

I’m a Torry lad who grew up near the lab. Like a few of my pals at the time, I was distracted in school.  We were sent en masse to trawling school, as was standard in those days.  Before finishing my first week there, my class was asked “Does anyone fancy an apprenticeship as a net rigger?”.  Two of us raised our hands.  I was quicker.  Two weeks later  I started in the lab, on the 6th of January 1976.  Four years later I was given a hand written piece of paper.  It signified the completion of my apprenticeship. I still have this original letter at home somewhere.

What’s your proudest achievement so far?

Net storeIn a work sense I have always and still take great pride and pleasure in teaching new skills to those willing to learn.

Although I am now based almost entirely in the lab, I used to spend a bit of time at sea. One trip of note came about after the Braer ran aground off Shetland in 1993.  I was tasked to accompany the Merchant Navy crewed vessel Challenger (Charter) to the site of the spill to conduct fishing operations to monitor contamination.  We fished with a beam trawl on a single wire and, as the only person aboard with any fishing knowledge, I came to effectively command the operations of the vessel. A four day trip very quickly turned into 24 days.  I think I earned at least a stripe.

What would you say to any aspiring young engineers?

Probably unsurprisingly, listen and learn. Stick in and do your best but if you’ve found something you love to do then this will come naturally and without hassle.

Why, in your opinion, do you think outreach is important/why do you do it?

Outreach broadens the mind. It casts the net and gives people an opportunity to consider things they otherwise may not have.

I particularly enjoy seeing the excitement and enthusiasm of primary school kids when they come to learn about what I do. Unlike the often disgruntled and disinterested teens, they are keen to ask countless questions.  The net store is a compulsory stop on the show and tell tours.

And one fun fact about you?

I know quite a lot about Torry. I know that there are two Aitkens bakery shops in Torry.  I love paradise slices from Aitkens.

The post Celebrating the Year of the Engineer – Meet Bill Leiper appeared first on Marine Scotland.

What’s your anglerfish?

Thu, 2018-04-05 15:21

Survey: 0218H – MFV Genesis BF505

Duration: 6-20 April 2018

Fishing Gear: Anglerfish Trawl BT 195

Objectives

  1. To undertake a nationally co-ordinated demersal trawling survey of Anglerfish (Lophius piscatorius and Lophius budegassa) in the Northern North Sea, ICES area IVa.
  2. To record and map distributions of Megrim (Lepidorhombus wiffiagonis), Four-Spot Megrim (Lepidorhombus boscii) Cod (Gadus morhua), Blue Skate (Dipturus cf. flossada) and Flapper Skate (Dipturus cf. intermedia).
  3. To collect biological data on Anglerfish species, Cod, Megrim, Four-Spot Megrim, Blue Skate and Flapper Skate.

Procedures

This trawl survey follows a set of protocols drawn up by an industry science survey planning group made up of Marine Scotland scientists and fishing representatives. These protocols share much in common with the sampling regimes described in Marine Scotland standing instructions for demersal trawl surveys.

Trawling

One haul of 60 minutes duration will be made at each sampling station; trawling operations will occur in waters up to a maximum of 1000 m. Daily starting times will be 06:00 hours and all trawling should be complete by approximately 23:30 hours each night.  The Scanmar system will be used to monitor wing spread, door spread and distance covered during each haul.  A bottom contact sensor will be mounted on the footrope.

Catches will be worked up according to the protocols for Marine Scotland Anglerfish surveys which are similar in principle to Marine Scotland standing instructions.

Further information

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Vacancy: Fisheries Population Modeller (Maternity Cover) (Closing date – 13 April 2018)

Thu, 2018-04-05 10:00
We are currently seeking applications for a Fisheries Population Modeller  within Marine Scotland Science Sea Fisheries Programme based in Aberdeen. This is a 12 month fixed term and pensionable appointment and new entrants will normally start on the minimum of the pay range. Candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria below will be invited to the assessments.

Marine Scotland Science’s Sea Fisheries Programme works in a cross-cutting structure to provide scientific advice to the Scottish Government and international partners on the management of Scotland’s marine resources. This involves ecosystem monitoring and the assessment of the fish and shellfish stocks of interest to Scotland, activities which are underpinned by a programme of research. This post is based in the Stock and Fishery Science Group which is involved in the collection and use of fisheries data contributing towards stock assessments and fisheries management. Qualifications Required
For jobs in Band B and C, you must hold a minimum of 3 SCE Higher qualifications Grades
A-C).

Other qualifications equivalent to these may also be acceptable, if you are in any doubt please contact the Resourcing Officer named at the end of this advert to discuss.

Essential Criteria
1. Excellent computational skills, with proven ability to programme in R software to: manage and quality check data and undertake statistical analysis.
2. Good written and oral communication skills – experience of giving presentations, preparing reports and/or publications.
3. Good organisational skills, attention to detail, the ability to plan and prioritise work and use your own initiative.
4. Relevant research experience in the use of models of population dynamics. For further information on this vacancy please download and review the “Person Specification and Further Information for Job Applicants” which you will find below. To apply, you must fully complete and submit an online application via this website before the closing date. To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Nabeil Salama  who can be reached at nabeil.salama@gov.scot or 0131 244 3205.

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact recruitment@gov.scot or on 0131 244 8217.  Further information for this job

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Vacancy: Project Manager – Property and Facilities (closing date 16 April 2018)

Tue, 2018-04-03 11:05

We are currently seeking applications for a C1 Project Manager – Facilities and Property within Marine Scotland based in Aberdeen. This is a permanent and pensionable appointment and new entrants will normally start on the minimum of the pay range. Candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria below will be invited to the assessments.

Marine Scotland (MS) is the Scottish Government’s (SG) marine management Directorate and is recruiting an exciting new project manager post which will lead on a strategic facilities project shaping the organisation for the future.  The project will include exploring co-location with other organisations and embrace the current SG initiatives including the Smarter Workplaces Programme.

Qualifications Required
For jobs in Bands B and C, you must hold a minimum of 3 SCE Higher qualifications (grades A-C).

A facilities management related  professional qualification, preferably educated to degree level and be affiliated to a recognised professional body such as The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), British Institute of Facilities Managers (BIFM) or equivalent. You will be able to demonstrate your professional expertise and current up to date Continuing Professional Development.

Essential Criteria
1. Track record in successful delivery of complex facilities or property projects utilising relevant project and programme management tools and techniques together with experience in writing compliant business cases;
2. Proven leadership, communication and interpersonal skills, particularly with regard to delivering across organisational boundaries resulting in business improvement;
3. Ability to collect, collate and analyse information from a variety of sources and draw out key messages understanding how they link to the key deliverable for the project and wider SG outcomes whilst having the ability to develop and communicate these clearly and succinctly;
4. Be able to engage effectively with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders, often with conflicting or challenging views, and manage these relationships successfully and sensitively ensuring you employ effective change management principles and methodologies.

For further information on this vacancy please download and review the “Person Specification and Further Information for Job Applicants” which you will find below. To apply, you must fully complete and submit an online application via this website before the closing date. To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Stuart MacDonald  on 0131 244 2639  or at stuart.macdonald@gov.scot.

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact recruitment on 0131 244 8217 or by email recruitment@gov.scot

 Further information

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Vacancy – Marine Ornithologist

Fri, 2018-03-30 10:00

We are currently seeking applications for a Marine Ornithologist within Marine Scotland Science based in Aberdeen. This is fixed term appointment and pensionable appointment until 31st March 2022 and new entrants will normally start on the minimum of the pay range. Candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria below will be invited to the assessments.

You will work within the INTERREG VA funded MarPAMM project focussing on delivery of the work package titled “Seabird Monitoring”. This will deliver seabird population viability analyses and pressure mapping, and expert input into: development of the seabird census; monitoring and tracking tender specifications; provision of access to Vessel Management System (VMS) data to project partners; writing of technical and non-technical reports; dissemination of project methods and findings to relevant industry, policy and technical stakeholders; and participation in contract steering groups. The post holder will be required to work collaboratively with other institutions, requiring a strong outward focus, excellent communication skills, travel within the UK and overseas, and an ability to work well with a range of different colleagues.

Qualifications Required:
You will be expected to hold a relevant university degree. Other qualifications equivalent to these may also be acceptable, if you are in any doubt please contact the Resourcing Officer named at the end of this advert to discuss.

Essential Criteria:

  1. A good understanding of seabird biology including undertaking seabird monitoring or tracking fieldwork.
  2. Demonstrable data analysis and statistical skills, including use of specialist statistical software, such as R.
  3. The ability to work independently with good organisational skills and effectively manage projects.
  4. Excellent written and oral communication skills, with the ability to explain scientific concepts to varied audiences.

For further information on this vacancy please download and review the ‘Person Specification and Further Information for Job Applicants’ which you will find below. To apply, you must fully complete and submit an online application via this website before the closing date. To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Finlay Bennet who can be reached at finlay.bennet@gov.scot or 0131 244 2647.

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact Angela McLachlan on 0131 244 4682 or angela.mclachlan@gov.scot .

Further Information:

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Celebrating our Most Excellent Colleague

Thu, 2018-03-29 11:22

Last week a number of us congregated in our Lecture Theatre to celebrate our colleague Dr Ian Davies receiving his very well deserved MBE. The MBE, or Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, is an award that recognises and rewards contributions to the arts, sciences, charity and welfare organisations and Dr Davies has certainly done that.

Ian Davies and group in Lecture Theatre

Dr Davies received his award for services to marine science, and to the voluntary sector at home and abroad. Explaining some of the background to the award Professor Colin Moffat, Head of Science and person responsible for nominating Dr Davies said: “Ian has contributed hugely to both aquaculture and marine renewable energy in Scotland over the years. With his wife Ruth, they founded a charity, Riverside Trust, and have run it together for more than 20 years. During this time, the charity has provided literature, community care, and community development in Romania, particularly with young people and young cancer patients. He is passionate about his work; both in marine science and his charity and we are very proud of his achievements”.

Speaking to Dr Davies, we asked how he felt about receiving the award and what projects he had in the pipeline. Dr Davies replied that he was “astonished” to find that he had been nominated for the honour but felt “very proud and delighted” too. Some projects he has been involved in, through the charity, have supported children’s camps in Romania, South Africa and Angola; training and development programmes; and construction and community restoration activities in Romania. Future work is likely to continue in the cancer hospital, a drug prevention charity, and running summer camps for village children.

Dr Davies was invited to Buckingham Palace to receive his award, earlier last week, where he was formally presented his award by Prince William. Here he is pictured with his wife Ruth, elder daughter Helen and youngest son Paul.Ian Davies with Ruth Helen and Paul

Congratulations and well done Dr Ian Davies and good luck with all your future projects!

Further Information:

Riverside Trust
Marine Scotland Science
Renewables Programme Topic Sheet
List of 2018 Honours

The post Celebrating our Most Excellent Colleague appeared first on Marine Scotland.

Monitoring the Effect of Noise on Marine Environments

Mon, 2018-03-26 10:00

Survey: 0418A

Duration: 25 March – 11 April 2018

Gear:

  • Subsurface passive acoustic moorings (incl. cetacean detectors and sound recorders);
  • Subsurface VEMCO VR2 salmon tag detector moorings; and
  • Subsurface Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) mooring.

Objectives:

  1. To deploy 95 moorings with VR2 salmon detectors between Ythan Estuary and Findon Ness (‘outer array’ shown on Figure 1).
  2. To deploy 40 moorings with VR2 salmon detectors between River Don mouth and Nigg Bay (‘inner array’ shown on Figure 1).
  3. To deploy one ADCP in Aberdeen Bay (in association with the ‘outer array’ of salmon detectors).
  4. To deploy 30 moorings at ECOMMAS marine mammal/noise monitoring locations (20 with C-PODs cetacean click detectors; 10 with C-PODs and SM2M sound recorders; Figure 2).
  5. To recover two ECOMMAS moorings at Helmsdale 15 and Arbroath 10 sites that were deployed in November 2017.
  6. To deploy a mooring with C-POD and sound recorder at an offshore noise monitoring location (as part of the JOMOPANS project).

Figure 1 Locations of Salmon Detector Moorings

Figure 1 (above): Locations of the salmon detector moorings to be deployed on this 0418A. A table of locations will be supplied separately.  Locations marked in blue are the ‘outer array’; the ‘inner array’ are marked in red.

Figure 2 (below): Locations of the ECOMMAS and JOMOPANS moorings deployed on this trip. Locations are detailed in Table 1 below.

Figure 2 Locations of JOMOPANS Moorings

Preliminary Itinerary:

  • 22/3: load half of ‘outer array’ moorings and ADCP in Fraserburgh.
  • *25/3: sail south from Fraserburgh, deploy ADCP, deploy ‘outer array’.
  • *26/3: reload 2nd batch ‘outer array’ moorings, deploy ‘outer array’.
  • *27/3: load ‘inner array’ moorings, deploy ‘inner array’ load ECOMMAS moorings.
  • End of March: deploy east coast ECOMMAS moorings (St Abbs – Cruden Bay).
  • Early April: deploy Moray Firth ECOMMAS moorings (Fraserburgh – Latheron) and JOMOPANS mooring.

*N.B. timings may vary with weather and deployment progress.

Table 1 (below): ID, name and geographic position of all 30 ECOMMAS and JOMOPANS moorings to be deployed during 0418A. All moorings are to be subsurface for either acoustic release (AR) or ROV recovery.

Table 1 0418A Mooring Locations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Further Information:

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Vacancy – Zooplankton Ecologist

Fri, 2018-03-23 10:00

We are currently seeking applications for a Zooplankton Ecologist within Marine Scotland Science, based in Aberdeen. This is a permanent and pensionable appointment and new entrants will normally start on the minimum of the pay range. Candidates with a disability, who meet the essential criteria below, will be invited to the assessments.

The post holder will support the work of Marine Scotland on pelagic MSFD indicators and climate change. They will lead the monitoring, recording and taxonomic analysis of zooplankton samples, as well as represent Marine Scotland Science at national, and international, meetings on zooplankton.

Qualifications Required:
For jobs in Bands B and C, you must hold a minimum of 3 SCE Higher (grades A-C).

Other qualifications equivalent to these may also be acceptable; if you are in any doubt please contact the Resourcing Officer named at the end of this advert to discuss.

Essential Criteria
1. Post-graduate degree in marine biology/ecology/zoology with expertise in zooplankton ecology.
2. Experience identifying and enumerating marine zooplankton from UK waters and maintaining databases.
3. Experience working on research vessels performing sampling activities.
4. Experience in reporting to and participating in national and international research collaborations.

For further information on this vacancy please download and review the Person Specification and Further Information for Job Applicants. To apply, you must fully complete and submit an online application via the website before the closing date 18 April 2018.

To learn more about this opportunity, please contact: Dr Peter Wright on: 0131 2443224, or email: Peter.Wright@gov.scot or P.Wright@marlab.ac.uk.

If you experience any difficulty accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact Helen McLean on 0131 244 8217 or via email at recruitment@gov.scot.

Further Information:

 

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Celebrating Science and Year of the Young Person with Pam Walsham

Thu, 2018-03-22 10:00

2018 is both the Year of the Engineer and the Year of the Young Person and this blog is about one of our many colleagues who are inspiring the next generation with their Outreach work.

Enjoys chemistry, outreach work and ice cream, meet Pam Walsham, a senior environmental chemist, at Marine Scotland Science. Please read on to find out more!

 

 

Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Pam Walsham and I am a Senior Environmental Chemist in Marine Scotland Science (MSS) Environment Monitoring and Assessment Group. I am interested in chemistry and the marine environment of the sea. My main role is to manage the water chemistry monitoring and research projects providing data on nutrients, dissolved oxygen, chlorophylls and ocean acidification parameters. I also represent MSS on a number of national and international groups covering anything from quality control to providing advice and guidance.

 

Why is what you do important?
The data we produce feeds into environmental status assessments both nationally and internationally. Scientists use this data to assess current status, understand processes and help predict potential impacts under future climate scenarios. An area of particular concern is the impact of increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations, caused by human activities, in the atmosphere. CO2 naturally exchanges between the atmosphere and our oceans and seas. However, the increase in atmospheric CO2 is resulting in more CO2 being absorbed by our oceans which then changes the chemistry of the water lowering its pH. This lowering of the seawaters pH is known as ocean acidification. Scientists believe changing the acidity of sea water may have an impact on many living organisms in the sea, as well as processes that effect such things as the creation of new sediment. We need to know what is happening currently in the sea to try and predict what could happen  under predicted future atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

 

What’s your career path been – how did you get here?
I left school at 17 and started working as an Assistant Scientific Officer at Ministry Agriculture Fisheries and Food (MAFF) Torry Research Station (TRS) in Aberdeen. For the first few years I attended college on day release similar to the modern day apprenticeships. I often did work in conjunction with the Marine Laboratory with several trips on the old black and yellow Scotia. Over the years I have worked in the fields of organic contaminants (hydrocarbons, PCBs, perfluorinated flame retardants) lipid analysis and water chemistry. This has involved using a wide range of analytical techniques including; high performance thin layer chromatography (HP-TLC), Fourier transform infra red spectroscopy (FT-IR), ultra violet fluorescence (UVF) spectroscopy, ion exchange chromatography, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), gel permeation chromatography (GPC), continuous flow analysers for nutrient analysis, gas chromatography (GC) and mass spectrometry (MS) and liquid chromatography (LC)-MS.

 

If you weren’t doing this, what do you think you’d be doing instead?
I wanted to be a Forensic Scientist or a medical examiner. It all started with watching the 70’s TV show Quincy I love the idea of using the science to work out how crimes are solved, nothing much has changed but now it’s NCIS I watch.

 

What’s your favourite fishy fact?
The pearl essence which comes from fish scales is used in animal-based lipstick colours.

 

What about one fun fact about you?
I have completed the Stenness Monster Challenge. What is this? Well it is a very large cone filled with seven scoops of Orkney ice-cream. You can choose a single flavour of ice-cream or mix and match You have to eat the ice cream and the cone within an hour to complete the challenge and then your name is recorded. Want to try? You have to go to Gerri’s Ice Cream Parlour in Orkney for this!

 

What made you decide to be involved with Outreach?
I started getting involved with Outreach when my son was at primary school and they were looking for someone to come along and talk to the primary 2s about science. I invited a colleague who was involved in outreach to the event and I ended up helping him. We had the children dressing up as scientists in boiler suits, white coats and all sorts of fun things. The children loved it and I was hooked!

 

What do you enjoy most about doing Outreach?
Generally engaging with public explaining what we do and why, but the most rewarding has to be working with children. It is great to watch how the younger children are fascinated by everything we do being little sponges absorbing everything and then asking the awkward questions.

 

Would you encourage others to get involved?
Just do it as it is so rewarding to be engaged with the public and getting them interested. Making science fun and interesting for children is fantastic as they are the scientist of the future who will carry on our work.

 

Further Information

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What’s the (Organic) Matter?

Tue, 2018-03-13 11:40

Picture of MRV Sir John Murray (SJM) provided courtesy of SEPA.

Survey: 0118SJM

Duration: 12-16 March 2018

Gear: Craib corer, CTD, Day grab and Auto sieve.

Objective:

To compare pore-water nutrients, sediment chlorophyll-a and organic matter content among seabed sediments from the Outer and Inner Firth of Clyde and sea lochs.

Procedure:

Figure 1 0118SJMFigure 1 shows the stations that were successfully sampled over the course of previous surveys (April and October 2017). The proposed survey in March 2018 will revisit a subset of these stations to gain comparable data on nutrient and sediment chlorophyll content between the Inner and Outer Firth, as well as additional information on sediment mixing.  Given the time required to steam between the dispersed stations, the survey anticipates the sampling of ~3 stations per day. Under this scenario, we assume the collection of six replicate cores per station, of which three are analysed for pore-water nutrients and three for Chlorophyll-a, with the extraction of five nutrient samples of each nutrient or seven sediment chlorophyll samples per core.

Thus, four days of sampling would yield: 

  • 36 cores for the analysis of pore-water nutrients.
  • 144 pore-water nutrient samples.
  • 36 overlying water nutrient samples.
  • 36 cores for the analysis of sediment chlorophyll.
  • 252 samples for the analysis of sediment chlorophyll.

Further Information

 

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Trans-Atlantic Co-operation

Thu, 2018-03-08 10:00

OSNAP Glider RetrievalThe Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) in Massachusetts contacted Marine Scotland on the 20th February, requesting assistance to retrieve one of their gliders. The glider was deployed near Iceland, but had broken down and had been drifting at the surface since November 2017, and was now approaching the western coast of Scotland …fortuitously near to where MRV Scotia was operating. Marine Scotland scientific staff and crew on board were more than happy to assist. Positional data was relayed to Scotia every five minutes, and despite a high swell and increasing wind conditions, staff successfully visually located the glider on the 21st at 14:30 (even if sea conditions had transformed its original bright yellow colour to a muddier hue). WHOI remotely triggered the release of the nose cone from the glider, releasing a 10 m  recovery line designed to aid lifting it on board with a grappling hook.

On retrieval, the glider was remotely powered down and securely stored on deck. The glider will be back in Aberdeen on the 7th March, from where it will be securely packaged for its trip back home. The WHOI was understandably delighted that we were able to help retrieve the valuable equipment. Dr Amy Bower (Senior Scientist, Physical Oceanography) said,  “…we had no idea that it would end up so close to Scotland. We will now be able to download the valuable data collected by the glider between May and November as part of the Overturning in the Subpolar North Atlantic Program.  Once again, we are most grateful for your willingness to assist!”.

State of the art communications and willing co-operation between the USA and Scotland facilitated this amazing rescue effort (within 24hrs), and all credit is due to the staff involved in this successful outcome.

 

OSNAP Glider Retrieval 2      OSNAP Glider Retrieval 4      

 

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Further Information:

 

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Celebrating the Year of the Engineer – a sledge isn’t just for Christmas

Tue, 2018-03-06 10:00

Underwater Sledge

For many years, Marine Scotland scientists and engineers have designed, built and deployed towed underwater TV sledges to view the sea bed. These sledges provide a relatively stable platform to study a variety of species and monitor various underwater sites.

With experience, the design used in nephrops work has evolved and along with a forward facing camera and LED lights, the current model has an odometer wheel to measure the distance the sledge has travelled, an altimeter to measure essential data relating to sledge position on the sea bed and a rear camera for quality control purposes.

Underwater Sledge A small van Veen grab (a clamshell bucket made out of stainless steel) at the front of the sledge enables scientists to collect mud samples at the end of a tow. This has been an invaluable addition, as previously this was carried out using a Day grab (two stainless steel bucket sections mounted within a stainless steel frame that ensured the grab was square and level to the seabed when it is deployed). This simple design has saved many hours of ship’s time as there is now no need to stop the vessel to collect the mud sample, and provides a more accurate sample relative to the location of the survey site

In the unlikely event of the umbilical becoming detached from the sledge, MSS engineers have designed a “pop-up” device which will bring a float attached to Dyneema® rope to the surface. On retrieval of this line, the ship will be able to lift the sledge back on board the vessel.

Since 1992, the MSS TV sledge has been collecting underwater footage for Nephrops stock assessment purposes. There are currently 11 other countries within the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) who also use a similar method to provide this indispensable data.

Further Information 

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Bright lights; Big fish trials

Thu, 2018-03-01 11:44

Survey: 0318A

Duration: 8-22 March 2018

Equipment:

  • BT 201 Prawn net – rigged with separator grid and two 80mm codends;
  • Trawl doors, sweeps, bridles, backstrops and pennants;
  • Spare netting and twine;
  • Safety-Net Technologies light unit;
  • PSL5000 light unit x 2;
  • Lindgren Pitman Electralume light x10;
  • 4 x 10m side emitting light cables;
  • Battery pods;
  • Video Cameras;
  • Flashback recorders and housing;
  • Pyramid camera frames;
  • TechnoSmart AXY tilt sensor;
  • Scanmar units – wing, door and height;
  • Catch bins and sorting table; and
  • 4 x fish traps and associated lines, weights and marker dhan.

Objectives:

  • Investigate whether light influences fish behaviour in the extension of the trawl.
  • Obtain video footage of the separator lighting grid.

Procedure:

Equipment will be loaded onto MRV Alba na Mara at Fraserburgh on 5 March 2018, where the trawl will be rigged onto the net drum. Scientific staff will join Alba around 08:30 on 8 March and will then leave harbour shortly after and steam, weather permitting, to the Dog Hole fishing grounds approximately 9 nm east of Aberdeen.  A number of short hauls will be carried out to ensure the separator grid in the trawl is rigged correctly through observations with video cameras mounted on the trawl and analysis of a tilt sensor mounted on the grid.  After the rigging trials are complete fish behaviour trials will commence.  Alba might need to change fishing grounds if fish species composition and size is not suitable.  Alba will return to Fraserburgh on the evening of 21 March to unload equipment and scientific personnel the next day.

Fish Behaviour Trials:

The BT201 prawn trawl is fitted with a panel of netting that diverts all the fish into the upper half of the extension and then runs between the selvedges to the separate 80 mm codends. Fish can pass through a grid mounted in the central panel, to be retained in the lower codend (Figure 1).  There will be two light fibre lines permanently attached to the grid, one illuminating the upper half and one illuminating the lower half of the grid.  An LED light unit and 12V battery pack that illuminates the fibre lines will be mounted on the port selvedge behind the grid.  The LED light unit will emit green light and hauls will be conducted either with the light on constantly or flashing at 4 Hz.  Grid illumination will also be tested with six Lindgren Pitman Electralume green lights attached around the grid.  These self-contained light units will provide a constant light.  The grid will also be fished without any lights to show the standard reaction to the grid.  Hence four lighting variables will be tested during the trials (light fibre constant, light fibre flashing, Electralume constant, no light).

The light units and grid cannot be wound onto the net drum as it could damage the equipment. During hauling the net will be wound onto the drum up to the grid, then the power block used to bring the codends aboard.  Large bins will be used on deck to receive and store the catch from the separate codends.  The catch will be sorted into key species, weighed and individual total length measurements recorded.

The working hours will be approximately 0700 to 1900 hours for the behaviour trials, so that all hauls will be conducted in daylight. Around four fishing hauls will be carried out each day, with the last haul being heaved up at 1700-1730 hours.  Hauls will be 90 minutes long initially, with the potential to be adjusted depending on the catch volume.  The net will be towed at three knots with Scanmar units used to monitor wing spread, door spread, and headline height during each haul.

Live Fish Capture:

If time allows near the end of the survey. Fish traps will be deployed to see whether it’s possible to obtain live healthy fish for tank based trials back at the laboratory.  The traps will be deployed for over eight hours then slowly brought to the surface to reduce decompression injuries.  The catch will be sorted on-board with healthy haddock, whiting and cod being placed in tanks of aerated seawater.  The fish will then be transferred to the lab aquarium once transported back from the harbour.

Marine Litter:

Any marine litter brought onboard during trawling operations will be documented before being placed into “KIMO Fishing for Litter” bags. At the end of the survey the bags will be deposited safely on the quayside to be collected for disposal.

 The netting panel separator and grid arrangement with a) the light fibre and b) the Electralume lighting

 

Figure 1: The netting panel separator and grid arrangement with a) the light fibre and b) the Electralume lighting.

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EQUATING women in Science and Engineering

Thu, 2018-03-01 10:00

Dave KeayIn February, our Science IT manager Dave Keay (pictured right) was invited to speak at an event at Abertay University run by EQUATE Scotland and entitled ‘Building the Talent Pipeline’.   The half day event was aimed at promoting opportunities for women in Science and Engineering and was focussed on two aspects: women undergraduate work placements under the  CareerWISE programme and women looking to return to the workplace after a  career breaks.   The event was attended by employers, university teaching staff and past and potential participants.

As Dave explains:

Marine Scotland Science has participated in the CareerWISE scheme since 2015 and has taken on a number of undergraduate placements, originally in IT and  more recently in marine biology.   The Scottish Government  is extremely supportive of CareerWISE and has provided funding for the initiative, which it sees as an important pillar of its strategy for meeting its target of achieving equal representation of  women throughout all levels in the public sector.

Since 2015, Marine Scotland Science IT has provided placements to students involved in IT operations, GIS and software development.   The placements last for 12 weeks over the summer period and, importantly, students are paid a living wage during that period.  The students gain relevant work experience and gain an insight into the workings of a highly diverse and vibrant organisation.   Feedback from students that  have been placed with Marine Scotland has been unequivocally positive and as employers, it gives us the opportunity to engage with some fresh ideas and energy as well as gaining valuable additional resource for a fixed period of time.”

Also speaking at the event was Anastasi Moutaftsi who was able to offer a student’s perspective.   Last summer Anastasia worked with one of our scientists, Dr Neil Campbell, on CCTV data analysis.   She reflected positively on her placement in Marine Scotland Science and the confidence she gained from ‘being treated like a scientist.’

Marine Scotland Science will continue to participate in CareerWISE in 2018 with a further two placements.

Further Information

 

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