Solution specific articles for Marine, Ocean, Coastal, Science & Information.

Lynker Observers in Action – Oikonos Research in Seabird Bycatch Mitigation

Lynker’s Pacific Islands Region Observer Program (PIROP) is a direct contributor to the success of a multi-year program to reduce seabird bycatch in the Pacific. For the past decade, PIROP has played an instrumental role in collecting data and specimens on seabird interactions in Hawaii, the Greater Pacific, and off the coasts of Central and Southern California. The Oikonos team recently met with our observers to share how they have used information collected, and the value it has added in scientific research and fisheries management.  They are VERY thankful for the hard work our observers have done in support of their research.

Click on the links below to read more.

Oikonos Seabird Bycatch Necropsy Program

Oikonos NOAA Necropsy Program Final 2018 Report

Lynker Supports National Marine Mammal Foundation Outreach

Lynker’s Elise Kohli serves as the National Marine Mammal Foundation (NMMF’s) Volunteer Outreach Coordinator, assisting in marine science education programs that reach K-12 students throughout the San Diego metro area.

One program of particular note is Animal Helpers, which is a collaboration between NMMF and Girl Scouts San Diego.

The objective of Animal Helpers is to educate students on training and care, specific to marine mammals. Elise helped design and give a series of workshops that presented ways that people can help animals, and animals can also help people. She connected with the Scouts and other stakeholders focusing on the unique connection between humans and animals and how animals can keep people safe and provide emotional support.

Along with other NMMF staff, Elise helped create and give a series of short presentations about NMMF’s work, as well as met with  STEM professionals to discuss future opportunities for collaboration and outreach. The events also featured interactive play with a gecko, a dog, and a hawk.


Historical & Cultural Seascape of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument: A Story Map

Lynker’s Joey Bennington-Castro and Jess Tuifagu developed a StoryMap of thePacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (PRIMNM), working with Kupu Hawaii ( interns to create an interactive journey into the collective heritage of this unique marine protected area, highlighting the connectivity that weaves the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument’s early historical and cultural seascape.

The PRIMNM—encompassing Wake, Johnston and Palmyra Atolls; Kingman Reef; and Howland, Baker, and Jarvis Islands—is one of the largest marine protected areas in the world and is especially unique because of its remote and widespread distribution across the central Pacific Ocean. Understanding the historical and cultural value of the PRIMNM is a priority focus for monument managers developing the PRIMNM management plan and also helps engage the global audience with this expansive seascape.

As lifecycle vendor for NOAA Fisheries and Sanctuaries in the Pacific Islands Region, Lynker is proud to have the opportunity to support cross-NOAA initiatives such as this one, which helps foster a deeper understanding of how people interacted and connected with each atoll, reef, and island of the PRIMNM before the onset of World War II.

Read more…

Access the StoryMap

Lynker Wins NOAA ProTech Oceans Contract!

Lynker is proud to be a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Professional and Technical Services Oceans Domain contract (ProTech-Oceans) awardee.  We now hold both the ProTech Oceans and ProTech Fish multiple award task order contracts as a small business HubZone vendor.  Under the ProTech Oceans contract, Lynker is eligible to compete for task orders supporting primarily NOAA’s National Ocean Service (NOS). Services offered range from marine and coastal studies, analyses and reports; applied research, engineering, consulting and operations; field sampling, data collection and surveys; consulting, program and project management; and capacity building.  Lynker is well positioned to perform ProTech Ocean work in all U.S. coastal regions including territories in the Pacific and Caribbean.  Our contract began in January 2019 and the task order ordering period goes through January 2024.

Lynker helps emerging Native Hawaiian maritime leaders chart their courses

On February 17, Lynker’s PMNM Native Hawaiian Program Specialist Kalani Quiocho and Permit Specialist Pua Borges met with Kānehūnāmoku Voyaging Academy’s (KVA) Hālau Holomoana program participants to talk about their personal career paths and the various careers at NOAA.  The KVA is a non-profit organization that aims to perpetuate traditional Hawaiian navigation and provides educational leadership opportunities for primarily Native Hawaiian and local students to advance in contemporary maritime careers. Hālau Holomoana, a Native Hawaiian culture- and wa‘a- (traditional outrigger canoe) based maritime vocational program for high school students seeks to develop leaders educated in the rich maritime and voyaging cultural heritage of their ancestors.

For more information, contact Kalani Quiocho, ; or Pua.Borges,

Significance: Traditional Hawaiian non-instrument voyaging is part of the living culture of Papahānaumokuākea, the most advanced navigation training seascape in Hawaiʻi, and we have the opportunity to support an emerging generation of ocean stewards from these islands.

Lynker’s Observer Holly Naholowaa featured in the NOAA Fisheries Newsletter and Science Blog

Lynker’s Holly Ann Naholowaa was recently featured in the NOAA Fisheries Newsletter and Science Blog for her great work supporting the Observer program.

Great work Holly!

Observations of Fish, Birds, and Life at Sea in the Pacific Islands

February 22, 2019

Pacific Islands observer Holly Naholowaa measuring a lancetfish.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work as a fisheries observer? Spending weeks at sea, long hours identifying and measuring fish, and all the while braving the harsh and vast environment that is the open ocean? Holly Ann Naholowaa, a veteran observer for the Hawaiʻi longline fishery, shares her experiences during a fishing trip and provides a glimpse into her life at sea.

Spotlight on Monterey Bay

Lynker’s Sophie De Beukelaer joined Monterey Bay Aquarium and Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) staff on a deep sea collection cruise within Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) and far offshore to Guide Seamount. Data collected by the ROV and processed by MBARI during cruises like these inform MBNMS projects such as ecosystem-based management initiatives and lost fishing gear removal efforts.

Lynker in the Seattle Times News “Tribe calls for NOAA to help…”

Killer whales K25 and J17 were reported to be in an unhealthy condition earlier this month.

Image caption: J17 rolls on her side, showing the dramatic constriction in the shape of her neck, which should be a smooth line. The so-called peanut head is a sign of starvation in killer whales. (Center for Whale Research. Taken Dec. 31, 2018 in Haro Strait near Victoria. Center for Whale Research under DFO SARA permit 38)

The Lummi Nation urged federal officials Wednesday to launch an emergency response to help two ailing southern-resident killer whales — but how do you call for help?

The unprecedented government shutdown, continuing into its fourth week, has stymied any attempt by the tribe or veterinarians ready to help killer whales K25 and J17, among the 75 remaining southern residents that frequent Puget Sound.

The policy makers and scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who would approve and coordinate any such response, such as for the emergency rescue plan for J50 last summer, are unavailable during the shutdown.

The emergency stranding network operated by non-federal personnel under contract to NOAA is continuing to operate, said Lauren DeMaio, the marine-mammal-stranding assistant under contract for Lynker Technologies.

The tribe urges that what was learned in the planning to rescue J50 could be deployed now, before it is too late. “We must act now if we are to save two of our ailing relatives,” Lawrence Solomon, secretary of the Lummi Nation, wrote to Kristin Wilkinson, NOAA’s regional stranding coordinator for Washington and Oregon. The tribe considers the orcas family members.

“It’s very frustrating,” DeMaio said. “Everyone wants to be working. Unfortunately we are not all allowed to work.”

Wilkinson’s email indicated she is unavailable during the shutdown. The one available public-information officer at NOAA for the entire agency could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Marty Haulena, staff veterinarian at the Vancouver Aquarium who helped with the emergency response for J50, said vets are willing to help but need permission to do so from NOAA, and a plan.

“We have been putting our heads together,” Haulena said. “But we are a bit stuck.”

Why the animals are thin is not known — and that is part of what a veterinary assessment could learn. It may or may not be a matter of not having enough to eat; there could be another cause, such as disease, Haulena said.

This would be an even harder rescue than with 3-year-old J50, Haulena said, because they would be working with big adults, one of them a male, rather than a 3-year old — itself an unprecedented effort. In addition, at this time of year the whales also are often inaccessible in winter weather, on the open sea along the West Coast.

Ken Balcomb, founding director of the Center for Whale Research, was the first to announce the two whales’ thin condition after seeing them New Year’s Eve. Since then, J17 has further declined, Balcomb said.

“She’s going to die. There’s no doubt. I don’t know when, but we are going to lose her,” he said Wednesday.

J17 is the matriarch in her family and the mother of J35, or Tahlequah, the orca who raised worldwide concern when she carried her dead calf last year refusing to let it go for more than 1,000 miles. J17 plays an important role finding and sharing food with the rest of her family. A key provider, losing her hunting prowess could hurt the rest of her family, the Lummi Nation warned in its letter.

K25 is actually looking better, Balcomb said. “He appears to be holding his own, though that could change at any time.” He said a rescue plan — even if it could be put together — is impractical if not impossible, particularly at this time of year.

“The thing to do is fix this on the other end — the only savior is the food supply, get them more food.”

The southern residents eat mostly chinook, the fattiest salmon of all, though in the winter as much as half their diet can be chum and other salmon.

The Lummis urged action. “We all have a sacred obligation to take action, now, and we need your help and support to save our relatives.”

Lynker drives implementation of groundbreaking American Samoa Ocean Plan (ASOP)

Lynker’s Sarah Pautzke (third from the right) drove the development of the American Samoa Ocean Plan (ASOP) finalized and released December 2018. Ms. Pautzke worked with a team of American Samoa Government (ASG) and federal employees and the assistance of a consultant, Miranda Foley (fourth from the left), with whom Lynker partners.  And, it was formatted and turned into its final product by another Lynker employee, Melanie Jordan. Well done!
The ASOP is the first ocean plan to be completed by the United States for the Western Pacific jurisdictions. The purpose of the plan is to ensure compatible ocean use and conservation of ocean resources to ensure the vibrant coastal and ocean environments.  There are several tasks that require data collection, particularly GIS data.  Please download the plan and have a think about how best Lynker can assist in accomplishing these tasks by partnering with
federal and ASG agencies.
The ASOP is now “owned” by the AS Department of Commerce, who is responsible for its implementation.  Thus, it is housed on the AS DOC website.


Links of importance:
Great job by our teammates!   

If you have any questions about the plan or how to use it, please reach out to Sarah Pautzke, so she can guide you to the correct person with whom to work.

Lynker’s “MacGyver” Saves the Day!

Lynker’s aquarist, Michael “MacGyver” Caban, saves the day for the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Mokupāpapa Discovery Center for Hawaiʻi’s Remote Coral Reefs. He was able to diagnose and repair an expensive reverse osmosis system that is used to make water for the Mokupāpapa aquarium. The system had been tripping breakers and he knew why. The Center was looking at a $300+ diagnosis from an electrician, if they could get one, or a $3500+ shipping (100lbs) for a new system. Michael was able to use a multimeter to diagnose the system and repair the malfunctioning part. Now the Discovery Center can once again generate the water they need for water changes in the aquarium, keeping their fish healthy.