A review of sensors, samplers and methods for marine biological observations.

Samantha Elisabeth Simmons, US Marine Mammal Commission, Science Program, Bethesda, MD, United States, Francisco Chavez, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Biological Oceanography, Watsonville, CA, United States, Jay Pearlman, IEEE, Seattle, WA, United States and The Bio Sensor Working Group, Bio Sensor Working Group, United States
Physical scientists now have Argo floats, gliders and AUVs to supplement satellites to provide a 3-D view of the time-varying global ocean temperature and salinity structure. Biogeochemists are catching up with evolving sensors for nitrate, optical properties, oxygen and pH that can now be added to these autonomous systems. Biologists are still lagging, although some promising sensor systems based on but not limited to acoustic, chemical, genomic or imaging techniques, that can sense from microbes to whales, are on the horizon. These techniques can not only be applied in situ but also on samples returned to the laboratory using the autonomous systems. The number of samples is limiting, requiring adaptive and smart systems. Given the importance of biology to ocean health and the future earth, and the present reliance on humans and ships for observing species and abundance it is paramount that new biological sensor systems be developed. This abstract will review recent efforts to identify core biological variables for the US Integrated Ocean Observing System and address new sensors and innovations for observing these variables, particularly focused on availability and maturity of sensors. The relevance of this work in a global context will also be touched on.