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12 August 2022
Leg 2 of the Alvin Science Verification Expedition finds us once again exploring new territory. After all, that’s the point of certifying Alvin to dive 6500 meters — to give us access to much more of the sea floor. Today we’re diving on the Mid-Cayman Rise, a spreading center in the Earth’s crust at the deepest point in the Caribbean.
5 August 2022
Greetings from the deepest place in the Atlantic Ocean! So far I’m reporting from the surface, but every day human-operated vehicle (HOV) Alvin carries scientists deeper. I mean, if you knew you had access to 99% of the seafloor — where before you had access to 2/3 — wouldn’t you head for the deepest spots?
29 July 2022
Down with Alvin! That’s where the scientists aboard R/V Atlantis are headed. As Alvin Science Verification Expedition chief scientist Adam Soule says, “our human brain is good at seeing what’s different in an environment — anything from organic shapes to unusual colors.”
22 July 2022
And now for something completely different. #AntarcticLog heads to the deep sea, where carbon sinks, where the sea is black, and where the tiny submersible Alvin — able to carry three people — will soon be shining its light on unseen territory.
15 July 2022
By Karen Romano Young The question of summer Arctic ice extent is up in the air — not to say it’s unknown. NASA goes to extra effort to assure the detailed accuracy of its measurements, including a new effort beginning this summer. Given the 40-plus-year coverage from space provided by the ICESat satellites, including ICESat-2, placed in orbit in 2018, our understanding of the volume of sea ice is exquisite any time …
8 July 2022
Artist Karen Roman Young shows us what we can learn about the below-ice geology of Marie Byrd Land in Antarctica.
1 July 2022
Karen Romano Young shares highlights of her (now six!) years of drawing the Antarctic Log.
24 June 2022
How do you picture time? Does that seem like a strange notion? Not to a visual storyteller like me. Is time a wheel? a sphere? a line? a line with wrinkles? (Don’t forget, I’m a children’s book author, too.)
17 June 2022
Presenting…Cindi Punihaole, the Program Director of ReefTeach, a coral reef advocate — making a public policy difference as well as a personal impact — at Kahalu’u Bay, Mission Blue newest Hope Spot. Cindi — who has lived and relied on the Bay all her life, has observed the changes taking place there over recent decades, as the sea level has risen, sea temperature and acidity have soared, and the number of tourists visiting the Big Island of Hawaii has skyrocketed.
10 June 2022
Aloha! I’ve arrived in Hawaii, and am writing this on the lanai of my tiny rental cottage in a grove of coffee trees. The sea is two miles below; we’re just “up mauka” (uphill) of Kahalu’u Beach Park, the newest Mission Blue Hope Spot, set aside for special efforts to maintain its waters, and the coral beneath. What’s threatening them? Sea temperature rise, ocean acidification, pollution from land, and yes, snorkeling.
3 June 2022
Serendipity? My tickets to the big island of Hawaii were already bought when I read that the international nonprofit organization Mission Blue had designated its 141st Hope Spot — Hawaii’s second — right where I was headed. For the next couple of weeks, I’ll be learning about — and posting about — the changes taking place on Kahalu’u Bay.
23 May 2022
I’ve been listening to teachers, and reading their words. They’re overtired, overworked, underpaid, and, when it comes to science teachers, extra worried: they’re concerned about the hard line that has been drawn by many people against science.
13 May 2022
I think we’ve established that it’s not easy to get to Antarctica. Ever since the Drake Passage opened ten million years ago, letting the Southern Ocean circle the Antarctic continent, it has rendered human arrival there perilous and arduous.
6 May 2022
#AntarcticLog is a series of comics by Karen Romano Young. You can find the originals here. You know, writing about climate change is a struggle. I want to share the information kids and other people need (in my view) while trying not to send their outlook through the floor. Among the most dire stories come from coral reefs — so vital, so damaged, and so at risk. And yet there’s incredible …
29 April 2022
Artist Karen Romano Young explains through SciArt why tiny krill are a big deal for Antarctic food webs (and penguins, seals, orcas–and scientists).
15 April 2022
At times the trouble isn’t finding science stories, it’s finding how to tell them. In comics, the words are vital, but the images are, dare I say, even more important. Why? Because they’re what catches your attention, clues you in, inviting you to read, and — in the best cases — they work to convey aspects of the science that just wouldn’t work as well in words. And, as experts in science education and communication know, the more modes you use to tell the story, the more eyes you’re going to get on your work.
8 April 2022
Illustrated stories are for kids, right? Not right at all! People of all ages read, laugh and cry over, learn from, and love pictures.
1 April 2022
I got my start at Scholastic News, a classroom magazine for 11 and 12-year-olds that covered everything — so I had to interview everyone who was making news. I quickly realized that the people I liked talking to the most were scientists. They were the most passionate, the most enthralled, and they had the biggest lives — even as they focused on a small research topic or specific geographic area. To me they were dots of light that — like the Lite-Brite toy I’d grown up with — formed pictures.
26 March 2022
Scientists on the first oceanographic expedition realized how important it was to engage in science communication and storytelling outside of their science circles, while at sea and upon returning home. This is a good reminder that we need to continue to build upon those early messages sent via snail mail, using our modern-day technologies, to share our oceanographic work with others. Communications, no matter what the tool utilized, is key to education, engagement, excitement, and increasing science literacy across all audiences.
21 March 2022
Have you ever been hugged by a sea urchin? Watching a young kid apprehensively place their finger between the spines of a sea urchin, then light up with excitement when the spines gently squeeze them is just one thing that motivates us to dedicate so much time to outreach. While we have the attention of that student, we can explain that photoreceptor (or light-sensing) cells on the tips of the urchin spines allow them to sense shadows and move their spines towards predators as a defense mechanism.