October 19, 2018

Three million pounds of frozen moose

The magnificent creature was fooled by vocal plumbing — similar to its own but much smaller — imitating the groan of a receptive female. The bull moose grunted twice, then strode through spruce trees at the far side of a river. Brushing branches away with its antlers, it emerged, expecting to see a cow moose.


October 18, 2018

Twist hackles, kayaks, and stream capture…for real!

This week’s post was inspired by the photo below. Seldom will you see such lovely patterns generated by tensional failure of any material, much less polyethylene! If this type of feature is unfamiliar, just google “plumose structures” and you’ll find all you need.


October 16, 2018

Collecting from the Deep

Characterizing Venting and Seepage Along the California Coast: Collecting from the Deep By Jennifer Berglund and Charlotte Seid  You might not expect to find snails, sponges, or worms in the emergency room or medicine cabinet, but they are often a surprising source of lifesaving drugs. Marine organisms – mostly those from accessible shallow waters – have enabled the discovery of more than 30,000 new molecules with potential medical applications. And …


Serpentine Hot Springs stone points raise questions

Stone spear points from Serpentine Hot Springs on the Seward Peninsula hint that ancient people may have migrated northward between ice sheets from warmer parts of America, bringing their technology with them.


Backyard Deep — Week One Video

Hundreds of meters below the surface of the ocean, where sunlight does not reach, researchers are finding communities as biologically dense as rainforests. Find out about the tools scientists are using to discover and learn about the methane seeps just off the coast of California.


October 15, 2018

Mechanical Muse

Leighton Rolley – one of the lead marine technicians on R/V Falkor – has a reputation for wild ideas. When he suggested I use the manipulator arm on our Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV SuBastian) to make a painting, I did not want to get my hopes up that such a unique opportunity might be possible.


The dashed line of the Arctic Circle

A friend and I just camped out at the Arctic Circle, about 200 miles north of where we live in Fairbanks. A dashed line on the map went right through our campsite. That line, the Arctic Circle, traces the northern hairline of the globe, at about 66 degrees north latitude.


October 12, 2018

Hard Questions

At the end of another long work day, I empty my pockets: zip ties, a hex wrench, miscellaneous combination wrenches, tubes of o-ring lubricant, several gloves (bizarrely, an odd number), rolls of electrical tape, various wires, nuts and washers, and a couple candy wrappers.


Two Paths, One Destination

When the 6,000-pound remote-operated vehicle (ROV) is secure, we grab our buckets, eager to get our hands on fresh sediment cores. Collected from the sea floor just over 2,000 feet below us, these cores provide valuable insight into methane seep communities.


Decollements, stratigraphic arguments…and rivers

This is another small material test model that ended up producing a cool result. The area of interest is circled in red here–a triple thickness of the lowest white layer in the stratigraphic sequence.