Coastal Observations: a Biological Perspective

Ocean Research Exhibit

Wallops Visitor's Center Display
This museum display is currently housed at the NASA Wallops Visitors Center in Wallops Island, Virginia. The display highlights the past, preset, and future of NASA and NOAA oceanographic research.

  1. Clark Bumpus - View

    A quantitative sampler designed to take an uncontaminated water sample from any desired depth while simultaneously estimating the water volume of the sample.

  2. Plankton Net - View

    Used for collecting tiny animals (zooplankton), phytoplankton, and protozoa from the water column. The mesh netting comes in a variety of sizes to adequately sample different size organisms.

  3. Hydrometer - View

    An instrument used for measuring the specific gravity of a liquid. Salt, sugar, and alcohol change the specific gravity causing the instrument to float or sink. Look at the difference in hydrometer level between the cylinder of fresh water and the cylinder of salt water!!

  4. Dissolved Oxygen and Temperature Meter - View

    Used for measuring the amount of dissolved oxygen in a water sample in addition to the temperature of the water.

  5. Van Doren Bottle - View

    A specialized bottle which allows water samples to be made at depth without tainting. The bottle's hollow tube is lowered into the water to a specific depth then a catch is released so that stoppers close off the ends of the tube, enabling the water sample within to be raised back to the surface.

  6. Secchi Disk - View

    Created in 1865 by Pietro Angelo Secchi, the Secchi disk is a device used to measure water transparency in open waters of lakes, bays, and the ocean. The white and black pattern is drawn or painted onto the disk. The disk is then mounted on a pole or line and lowered slowly down in the water. The depths are noted at which it first disappears when lowered and reappears when raised. This measure is known as the Secchi depth and is related to water turbidity.

  7. Synechococcus sp. - View

    This cyanobacteria has accessory pigments, such as phycoerythrin, which makes it appear reddish in color.

  8. Prorocentrum minimum - View

    This dinoflagellate has the accessory pigment fucoxanthin in addition to chlorophyll, causing it to appear light reddish-brown.

  9. Dunaliella tertiolecta - View

    Chlorophyll is the main pigment in this organism, and is responsible for its deep green color.