Led by Dr. Amy Baco-Taylor from Florida State University, the science team will aim to gain insight into central and western Pacific (CWP) seamount lifeforms and distribution, while examining the role of Necker Ridge as a stepping-stone (or blockade) to other parts of the Pacific. They will gather imagery and samples of the seafloor biology while exploring Necker Ridge and nearby structures of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and the CWP.
Surveys will be used to assess the fauna of three sets of features: the seamounts in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Necker Ridge, and seamounts of the Mid-Pacific Mountains. The surveys will be done at the same depths on each feature, and target similar geological areas. Using Remotely Operated Vehicle SuBastian, the team will gather biological samples from each feature, as well as other environmental data such as CTD measurements, water samples, current information, substrate facts (such as substrate type, slope and rugosity) and video. More information on the expedition website.