Log Post: Microzooplankton: Lawnmowers of the Sea

Take a breath, now take another… for one of those breaths you have a phytoplankton to thank. About half of the world’s oxygen comes from the photosynthesis of oceanic microscopic plants, called phytoplankton. These plants grow so fast that if there wasn’t some control on their population, they would turn the oceans into a green … Continued

Log Post: Dancing at the Plankton Zoo

We are now on our third day at sea, and things are really starting to get interesting. In the early morning hours we pulled up the first MOCNESS tow filled with zooplankton from many ocean depth layers. Zooplankton are widely spread and abundant marine animals with little to no swimming ability against the oceans currents, also … Continued

Log Post: Ring Nets and Zooplankton: Investigating Copepod Paternity

A ring net for collections The science team and Falkor crew rose early this morning to deploy the first plankton tow of the day. Using a ring net, scientists towed below the ocean surface collecting zooplankton for further study. The net pulls diagonally through the water column at approximately 45 degrees, and consists of a … Continued

News: Third Student Cruise Completed

To learn more about this unique series of expeditions, please visit the project page. For details about the research conducted and links to the Cruise Log and Expedition Map, please visit the cruise page.

Log Post: Introducing MOCNESS – The Star of the Show

What is a MOCNESS? MOCNESS is an acronym that stands for Multiple Opening and Closing Nets and Environmental Sampling System. Basically, it is a set of nets stacked on top of each other in a single frame that can be towed behind a ship. Scientists can trigger each of these nets to open independently of … Continued

Log Post: Five Weeks Below the Hull

Well, we just left the monument a few hours ago and are headed home, due in the Port of Honolulu at 8 a.m. tomorrow. Between the two expeditions, many of us have spent 10 weeks aboard Falkormapping the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. As we make our way back, Nicky Wright is already on the upper … Continued

Log Post: Reflections on the Seafloor: Multibeam Backscatter

The days are sailing by as the crew and science team aboard Falkor continue to work together to map the more northwestern seamounts of the Hawaiian chain. Our present mapping location, Laysan Island, is an area steeped in history. Because of the island’s location near prime whaling waters east of Japan, there was frequent commercial … Continued

Log Post: Creating Vision from Sound

Multibeam Mapping Falkor is continuing its journey up through the waters of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. We are presently off Lisianski Island, our farthest point from Honolulu on this second cruise, and today I thought it would be helpful to explain a little bit more about how the mapping process works. To do the … Continued

Log Post: Mowing Gardner’s Garden

After eight days of mowing back and forth in the waters surrounding Gardner Pinnacles, Falkor‘s sonar system has revealed a secret garden of geologic delights. For much of what we simply call Gardner, particularly the northwest corner, this is the first time high-resolution sonar data has been available. We’ve found large step-like platforms, canyon-like features, and … Continued