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25 May 2017

Glacier Benito Journal: Crossing the Glacier and the Mavic Takes Off – Friday 14th April

The plan on Friday was conduct Mavic drone flying from the middle of Level II on the glacier. So at 0945, all five of us set off to point ‘403’.

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24 May 2017

Glacier Benito Journal: Finding the Level Markers – Thursday 13th April

Day three started the same as day two. Clear sky, moon providing the illumination before dawn, a sharp frost and no wind! Johnny, Olaf and Mark remained in camp to try to get the X8 drone up and flying.

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23 May 2017

Glacier Benito Journal: Preparing for Drone Flights – Wednesday, 12th April

Each morning’s activity started with Martin getting up at about 0730 to light the cookers. The ground and glacier were frosted. As soon as we left the tent, the condensation inside the tent also turned to ice which fell onto our sleeping bags and mattresses as we entered the tent again to get items required during the day.

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19 May 2017

Glacier Benito Journal: Execution

The team was arriving. Meanwhile snow was falling with it settling down to 500 m above sea level (absl). Had winter started early?

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18 May 2017

Lots of quiet time in the Big Lonely

I walked around the chain-link fence of Pump Station 12 of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, apprehensive about the human encounter to come. It was time to send a weekly column. I needed a Wi-Fi signal or a cellular bar or two. I had walked more than a week through air devoid of communications waves.

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Glacier Benito Journal: Planning and Preparation

Over the next six years, the plan emerged following discussions with Olaf Wündrich of ColibriVentura and others. The major requirement was to find a helicopter able to undertake the flights.

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5 May 2017

First steps from Valdez, in the snow

My wife Kristen looked at the Valdez forecast on her phone as we drove to our take-off point. “It says wintery mix of snow and rain the next few days,” she said. “No one likes a wintery mix.”

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28 April 2017

Revisiting a dream, 20 years later

Twenty years ago, I was 34 when I walked away from a chain-link fence near Port Valdez and headed east. Those were the first steps on a summer-long trip across Alaska. In a few days, I will begin to retrace those steps.

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16 March 2017

New Technology Gives Insight to Ocean Color for NASA Satellites

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.

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14 March 2017

High-Resolution Mapping Reveals the Evolution of Underwater Landscapes in the Johnston Atoll

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.

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13 March 2017

A picture is worth a thousand words

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.

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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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Video ~ Rough Recovery

Often, the “small victories” of a research cruise are what add up to a successful expedition. This video gives a great look into what many probably assume is an easy task: recovering samples and getting them on board Research Vessel Falkor.

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15 February 2017

A Mud Doctor and Her X-Rays

To diagnose the bewildering mud, we first had to get as close as we could by boat and then approach it on foot. This was trickier than it sounds. The best kind of mud is that soupy, stinky stuff that slowly sucks you into its depths if you naively try to walk across it. We found the tummy slither to be an efficient mode of transportation.

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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

Side Trip to Hiron Point, Sundarbans

Once the fog lifted and we entered smaller channels, we started seeing deer and monkeys on the banks and in the forest. We stopped in a small side channel and had lunch before crossing the over 10-km wide estuary in our speed boat, a 40-min ride.

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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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31 January 2017

Equipment Repairs in SW Bangladesh

After a night in Dhaka, our group temporarily split up. Chris and Dan headed to Khulna in the SW at 4 am to avoid the hartal (general strike) that was planned for 6am-2pm. Liz and I stayed in Dhaka for a day.

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26 January 2017

Full Moon Helps Illuminate Science on the Sevilleta!

Everyone had to keep their eyes wide open for the Sevilleta’s cottontails and black tailed jackrabbits – not an easy task at 2am!

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23 January 2017

Closing Video – Eyes Below the Surface: Mapping Johnston Atoll

“This part of the ocean has never been mapped before… tens of millions of years – stories that have to be put together.” Our final #MappinTheFloor transit/cruise video explains what was accomplished and how members of the team will move forward with the data and discoveries!

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