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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.”


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.


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.


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.


26 December 2016

Hydrothermal Hunt: From ‘Wow!’ to ‘Why?’

It takes two and a half hours to get to the seafloor, but the view you get is worth the wait.


23 December 2016

Mighty Microbes of the Deep Ocean

The global ocean comprises Earth’s biggest microbiome, with at least half of the ocean’s microbial biomass occurring beneath the ocean floor.


30 November 2016

Setting sail on the Hydrothermal Hunt

The truth is that we have barely scratched the seafloor; making this trip a real adventure into the unknown. We do know that chemosynthetic life loves to gather around energy-producing vents, but what organisms are there in this back-arc area? How are they distributed? How do they travel, survive, and evolve? In order to find out, the research vessel Falkor is loaded with a crack team of scientists and a brand new Remotely Operated Vehicle – SuBastian.


14 November 2016

Unrelated questions

Zooplankton is certainly not the study focus of Oliver’s working group, but for a while, these small crustaceans become a reminder of the complexity of the oceans’ systems. Every working team onboard has specific questions they would like to see answered, but on top of those, they are all always attentive for new learning opportunities.


11 November 2016

Sampling the invisible

Microbes play many vital roles by physically and chemically changing their surroundings: they consume and produce a diverse range of organic and inorganic materials, provide food for other organisms, and drive biogeochemical cycles on a global scale.


10 November 2016

Station 9

It was 1430 hours when the drone took off, loaded with an array of instruments designed to gather data for a period of three hours. “Now I’m excited!” said Chris Zappa, whose working group is in charge of modelling the factors governing air-water gas transfer in physically complex ocean systems.


8 November 2016

Growth through experience

I am a second-year Phd student in the field of marine environmental science in the University of Oldenburg in Germany. My interest lies in the role of microbes within the sea surface microlayer, how they are adapted to this very special habitat, and their potential to influence air-sea gas exchange processes.


3 November 2016

The dust people

Rachel and William are the “Dust People.” They are interested in how trace metals suspended in the air enter the ocean after traveling long distances through wind, and what happens to them after they do.


1 November 2016

Dispatch from R/V Falkor: With Bells On!

After the first night of sailing, daylight has made clear just how ambitious and intense this expedition will be. The catamaran, kayak, snifel, and CTD rosette have been deployed in order to finesse the process and make sure everybody is prepared for the five weeks ahead. The ship is always teeming with activity, but the next cruise will be an action packed expedition by any standard.


12 October 2016

Video: Sikuliaq expedition recap

It’s been an incredible 28 days, full of good science, collaboration, and wildlife and ice viewing. Special thanks to the National Science Foundation, the R/V Sikuliaq, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, Oregon State University, and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science for making this trip possible


10 October 2016

Ms. Callaghan’s Classroom: Walking on Ice

As the timing of our science projects got shifted from encountering ice and equipment that didn’t always perform as expected, we ended up with time to allow a side trip to go and walk around on a piece of sea ice.


6 September 2016

Ms. Callaghan’s Classroom

Hi everyone, my name is Jil Callaghan and I’m a 6th grade science teacher at Houck Middle School. I’ll be posting content for my students – who will be taught by Ms. Wright until my return in October – intermittently throughout the trip about the science done onboard. I’m looking forward to teaching from such a unique place!