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April 10, 2018

Pumping Iron

All life on earth needs iron to grow, and the lifeforms in the oceans are no exception. The ocean around the Falkor is filled with microscopic plankton who spend their day sifting through the salt and water to find a few precious iron atoms.


April 9, 2018

Can’t stop moving

I really can’t stop moving. There are two reasons for this. One is that I am on a ship. The other is that I am on a ship. Yes, these are distinct reasons.


April 7, 2018

Microbes and machines: Week 3 Video

“These eddy fields are fantastic natural laboratories. They are large enough that we are able to conduct simultaneous measurements using autonomous vehicles, profiling floats, and other instruments to take microbiology measurements, chemistry measurements, and geochemical measurements. These all come together so that we understand the living ecosystem of the eddy field.”


April 6, 2018

My new colleague is a robot

For the past five days, I have been taking samples at 6am, Noon, and 6pm from various depths: 50m, approximately 100m (DCM), and 250m. In contrast, the ESP has been taking samples every three hours, a process that would be impossible – or at least unhealthy – for a human to attempt.


April 5, 2018

Rhythm in the Eddy

It is midnight, and the ship’s lights are dimmed to limit interference with some extremely light-sensitive instruments.


March 28, 2018

The ‘bots are back!: Week 2 video

Drama and suspense are not generally the first things people think of when oceanic research is discussed, but second week of the #MicrobeEddyBots research cruise provided plenty of both…


March 27, 2018

Underway CTD’s: The struggle is ‘reel’

By Tim Burrell, Eric Shimabukuro & Ryan Tabata Although our expensive new robots can cruise underwater for days at a time, setting them up for their most scientifically valuable missions begins with compiling data to form a picture of the oceanic feature we are trying to study. Satellite altimetry shows us differences of tens of centimeters above or below the average sea surface height, which are usually indicators of eddy …


March 26, 2018

Sampling Eddies

By Elisha Wood-Charlson Nearly two weeks into the expedition, our cruise has achieved a number of impressive successes already: chasing the eddy, characterizing it, and tracking its features. The next challenge is an engineering one – sampling the eddy’s deep chlorophyll maximum (DCM) in real-time at a depth of ~100 meters, more than twice the depth recommended for recreational SCUBA diving. Inside the Long Range Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (LRAUV), the …


March 21, 2018

Tracking Eddies

By Elisha Wood-Charlson Once the LRAUVs Opah and Aku rendezvoused with the Falkor in the center of the eddy, it was time to switch them from survey mode to tracking and sampling mode. Our target eddy feature, the Deep Chlorophyll Max (DCM, discussed here), is indicated as a bright red/orange color in the data visualizations of Opah’s sensor output, indicating the increased chlorophyll signal that hovers ~100 meters below the …


March 15, 2018

Setting Off — An Introduction

Aloha from the Pacific Ocean! For the next month, we will be using some amazing autonomous robots to explore an ocean eddy in never before seen detail.