In June, Falkor will return to the Phoenix Islands under Chief Scientist Randi Rotjan. The scientific objectives include continuing to investigate deep-sea microbes’ therapeutic potential; examining how ancient cold water corals survive predation by corallivores; and enquiring into the equator’s effect on the ecology of deep coral and sponge communities.
There are three major issues that limit widespread and frequent seafloor imaging: cost, personnel to operate platforms, and the technical complexity of long-duration vehicles. The engineering team working on this project aim to increase researchers’ ability to gather scientifically useful seafloor imagery in coastal and shelf environments with technologies that can increase ease of use while reducing costs of acquisition.
When NASA conducts planetary expeditions, they operate the vehicles through remote control – a person on Earth sends commands to the vehicle in space.
As the R/V Falkor transits from San Diego, California to Astoria, Oregon, Schmidt Ocean Institute will take advantage of this route, collecting valuable mapping data for unsurveyed areas over the active Cascadia Margin while hosting a unique group of Artist-at-Sea and Student Opportunities participants.
Phytoplankton form the base of the marine food web. These microscopic, single-celled organisms float in seawater, taking in carbon dioxide and using light energy to make carbohydrates.
When you build a house, you do not use only a hammer, but a variety of specialized tools in an organized and collaborative manner to construct a complex structure.
If you have ever flown over the Pacific and looked down from the window seat, the water seems still. Viewed from this distance, the water appears stagnant with unmoving dashes of waves.
There is a great need to increase the efficiency of marine research. Building global ocean mapping infrastructure is difficult given the financial costs and human effort required in traditional oceanographic technology.
The Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) is the largest and deepest UNESCO World Heritage Site on Earth. Approximately the size of California, PIPA was the first Marine Protected Area (MPA) of its kind. In October, Dr. Erik Cordes (Temple University) and his team will explore never seen before seamounts and atolls within PIPA with R/V Falkor and ROV SuBastian.
In an innovative whole-reef approach, scientists will sail on Falkor this August and September for a 29-day expedition to reconstruct past sea levels in the Pacific. Falkor will sail along the central Hawaiian Islands and Line Islands in a two-part expedition using both an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) and Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) SuBastian.