Executive Director’s Note
As the end of the year approaches, it is a time to reflect on all we have achieved together during this dynamic and memorable year. In March, Schmidt Ocean Institute launched Falkor (too), a state-of-the-art research vessel, on its mission of science and exploration. Our shakedown cruises this year have uncovered many incredible secrets hidden under the waves. The latest discoveries on our neverending journey continue to delight and inspire us, including a massive seamount in international waters in the eastern Pacific, off Guatemala, and a new hydrothermal vent field in the Galápagos.
Most recently, scientists and crew aboard R/V Falkor (too) conducted an extensive exploration of the deep Ocean surrounding the Galápagos Islands, from hydrothermal vents to vertical reefs. They characterized underexplored habitats and tested the capability of the interferometric synthetic-aperture sonar (InSAS) as a tool for high-resolution yet large-scale seafloor mapping. The SOI team is ending the year by returning to Dorado Outcrop with the Octopus Odyssey researchers to collect experiments placed on the seafloor in June.
Our planning for next year is well underway and I am excited to share with you the first glimpse of the cruises that will take place in the Pacific, off the coast of South America in this overview of our 2024 expeditions. And if, perhaps, you are planning to lead a collaborative, multidisciplinary research team at sea, we are accepting proposals for ship time for subsequent years. Our call for Expressions of Interest for expeditions in the Southern Ocean and Southwest Atlantic will close on 31 Dec. 2023.
There is much to celebrate this quarter. Our Data Solutions Architect, Corinne Bassin, has recently been appointed to the United Nations Ocean Decade Data Strategy Implementation Group and will be contributing to the goal of harnessing Ocean data for sustainable development. We were delighted to see multiple CBS news stories featuring our president and co-founder Wendy Schmidt, Falkor (too), and the recent microplastics expedition. New collaborations with NASDAQ and the Charles Darwin Foundation enabled footage from our Galápagos expeditions to be projected onto the Times Square NASDAQ building at the conclusion of New York Climate Week.
We look forward to the new year and hope to see some of you at Ocean Sciences in New Orleans in February. In the meantime, we wish you and yours a peaceful and wonderful holiday season!
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