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16 March 2017
NASA Scientists return to land on Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel Falkor after making important observations of phytoplankton with new technology to support current and future satellite observations.
14 March 2017
The mapped region is almost the size of the state of Connecticut and falls within the recently expanded boundaries of a U.S. marine protected area. The area is populated with high-density deep-sea corals and sponges and is of great interest to researchers who view it as a stepping-stone between distinct marine ecosystems in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and the Central and South Pacific.
13 March 2017
The diversity of shapes and sizes in phytoplankton is overwhelming and beautiful. I was able to see the actual individuals that were in the sea surrounding us all the way across the Pacific. Seeing them first-hand made me realize how interrelated all things are on this planet: they may be invisible, but they are important. We are dependent on them and they on us.
16 February 2017
As the bright yellow line and blinking strobe slip slowly down into the heaving waves, I feel a familiar sense of unease. Even though I have seventeen successful deployments of free-drifting, neutrally-buoyant sediment traps (or NBSTs) under my belt, it never feels quite normal to see the gray and orange float with its payload of painstakingly-prepared sample collectors sink away from the comparatively safe, solid deck of the ship.
13 February 2017
On board we have holographic microscope. (Yes, holographic!) In contrast to a normal microscope, the recorded holograms can refocus the microscopic image at different distances to the camera.
1 February 2017
I will do as they did, utilizing my 21st Century skills as scientific illustrator, designer and photographer, to explore and share the connections between nature, science, and art.
19 January 2017
Researchers studying the West Antarctic Peninsula marine ecosystem will recognize President Obama’s efforts to combat global warming by collecting climate data at an oceanographic station they named for the 44th president.
Check out this animated explanation of ocean exploration during the #MappinTheFloor expedition and Falkor’s multibeam!
17 January 2017
I have been asked a whole bunch of times by the crew, media representatives and 11th Hour Racing and Schmidt Ocean Institute representatives what my “takeaway” is. The short answer, “Wow, this has been an incredible experience!”
As we wend our weaving way across the waters of the Johnston Atoll Unit, tracing the contours of previously-unexplored seamounts below, there is a full moon on the horizon. Work never stops aboard the vessel.
16 January 2017
As participants ask questions about whether the multibeam affects marine mammals and what kind of schooling is needed to be just like Colleen, it is clear that the public is curious about and excited to be a part of what happens on board. I know we have touched young hearts and minds back on land. As each of us go back to our respective communities, we will continue to share our experiences from Falkor and promote the understanding and mindfulness the ship stands for.
Aloha readers! I’m baaack, for another oceanographic expedition on mighty R/V Falkor. I say mighty, because her previous life was as a North Sea fisheries enforcement vessel and so she was initially designed for speed and sturdiness to survive the harsh conditions. At the beginning of our journey we were bashing through the trade seas and currents north of the equator on the way to our study site near Johnston Atoll. It was a bit of a rough ride, although we felt safe and secure in the belly of mighty Falkor, and the conditions steadily improved.
12 January 2017
In this blog, the team reflect on this experience so far.
11 January 2017
The challenge lies in how satellites estimate where underwater volcanic mountains might be located. This is achieved by detecting slight changes in the distance between the satellite and the surface of the ocean, which is ever so slightly bulged up due to water piling directly above the seamount, sometimes predicting the location about 1 km from where it actually lies.
But the real answer at least for me lies in the fact that as I have bounced through six decades of life and entered my seventh, a time when so many would argue that they have “seen it all,” I increasingly realize how little I have actually seen, experienced and learned.
10 January 2017
The first week of the #MappinTheFloor transit/cruise brings the team closer to the Johnston Atoll and time for many of the team to learn new skills, as well as connecting with students across the world. Check out this video and get an inside look into the activities onboard R/V Falkor.
9 January 2017
Soon, Falkor will arrive to one of the most remote areas of Earth to conduct a four-day scan of a seafloor segment within the newly expanded area of the Johnston Atoll Unit in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.
6 January 2017
Hi there! My name is Lucy Bellwood and I am the artist-at-sea aboard R/V Falkor’s Johnston Atoll transit-cruise. I am a professional adventure cartoonist, tasked with having unusual, exciting experiences and bringing back comics that allow my readers to learn about them.
Long gone are the days when she would come back home from mapping expeditions carrying two 100-megabyte tapes and a thick roll of maps. That is, thirty days of ocean floor mapping producing no more than 200 megabytes of information. Today 16 beams on the sonar have become 450, which translates into 92 megabytes per hour.
“When it comes to biology, we really have no idea what is down there,” explains Dr. Joyce Miller, multibeam mapping scientist. “We need to map the area first in order to know where to look in future exploration.”