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16 February 2017

Letting Go and Looking Forward

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.

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13 February 2017

Sea to Space Trek: Oceans, The Final Frontier

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.

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1 February 2017

Taking Sail on a Creative Voyage from Sea to Space

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.

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19 January 2017

Antarctic Scientists Honor Obama by Collecting Climate Data

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.

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Drawing You into Ocean Exploration with Multibeam

Check out this animated explanation of ocean exploration during the #MappinTheFloor expedition and Falkor’s multibeam!

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17 January 2017

Takeaways and Reflections

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!”

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Notes From The Drawing Board

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.

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16 January 2017

Making Connections

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.

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Back for More Beaming

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.

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12 January 2017

Five Voices from the Pacific

In this blog, the team reflect on this experience so far.

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11 January 2017

The Deep End

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.

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Why am I out here?

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.

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10 January 2017

Week 1 Video – Eyes Below the Surface: Mapping Johnston Atoll

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.

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9 January 2017

The Ocean Rocks!

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.

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6 January 2017

Drawing From A Life at Sea

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.

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A Lifetime Underwater

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.

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Preparing for Mapping the Marine National Monument

“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.”

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4 January 2017

A Student at Sea

It has been hard containing my excitement since I first found out I would be a participant this past July. I am sure my friends and family were sick and tired of me constantly talking about being on the Falkor.

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A Ship Full of Storytellers

Not long after leaving port in Guam it was time for lesson one: mal de mer (sea sickness). The malady was especially harsh on three of the five adventurous storytellers, but as the sun rose the next day and the waves mellowed down, they slowly began emerging from their cabins, ready to reconnect with the excitement of their missions.

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28 December 2016

Unexplored Ocean Depths Bustling with Life, Despite Extreme Conditions

This is the first series of scientific dives for ROV SuBastian. Equipped with numerous cameras, including a high-definition 4K video camera, the dives were live streamed onto YouTube and watched by millions. The multidisciplinary team will continue to analyze the data and samples collected during this expedition to advance research on how life thrives on these extreme deep-sea hydrothermal vents.

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