Rarotonga – 2018

Expedition Details


Scripps Institution of Oceanography:
Dr. Stuart Sandin, Professor
Dr. Brian Zgliczynski, Postdoctoral Researcher
Nicole Pedersen, Staff Researcher

Cook Islands Korero O Te ‘Orau:
Dr. Teina Ronga, Marine Ecologist
James Kora, Research Assistant


In February 2018, the 100 Island Challenge team partnered with Cook Islands Korero O Te ‘Orau to survey reefs around Rarotonga, the most populous island within the Cook Islands archipelago. The Cook Islands are a nation of 15 islands with less than 11,000 residents inhabiting those islands.
Drs. Stuart Sandin and Brian Zgliczynski conducted baseline assessments of the reef fish community around Rarotonga, while Nicole Pedersen and partner Dr. Teina Ronga collected large-area benthic images at each site. In total, 12 sites were surveyed around Rarotonga. Sites were selected using a random stratified design, located along the 10m isobath in forereef habitats. Temperature loggers (Seabird SBE39 and HOBO v2 ProLoggers were deployed to monitor water temperature at 45-minute intervals.