Sonar in the sea

On this episode of Ocean Gazing, meet Kelly Benoit-Bird, an assistant professor at Oregon State University. She says, “I work on all different kinds of animals in the ocean, everything from the smallest animals – the zooplankton – all the way up to the biggest – the great whales. I get my ideas often from watching the water and seeing what animals are doing and trying to ask why.”



Remotely operated vehicle that uses sonar to study plankton. Credit: Mark Benfield.

Humboldt squid on deck to have its measurements taken. Credit: Kelly Benoit-Bird.

Kelly Benoit-Bird adjusting the sonar before beginning her experiment. Credit: Nick Kelsh.

Education Standards

National Science Education Standards Grade 5 to 8

National Science Education Standards Grade 9 to 12

Ocean Literacy Principles

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Sonar in the sea


  1. Thank you Ari and Kelly. I have been hearing a great deal about the spread of Humboldt squid in the Pacific, this story was very interesting to listen to and learn about your approach to monitor the presence of squid and potential interactions with other ocean critters. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Congratulations to Kelly Benoit-Bird on her award of a MacArthur Fellowship. Her name stood out in the award list to me, and I realized, I knew it from Ocean Gazing.