Maui News

Scientists to Live Stream Their Deep-Sea Expedition

September 15, 2018, 10:52 AM HST
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Scientists aboard the Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus will be exploring seamounts in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument from Sept. 15 through Oct. 1. This deep-sea expedition will be streaming live with interactive Q&A for viewers around the world.

Researchers will conduct seafloor mapping and Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) dives on unexplored seamounts to determine how and when they formed. They will also be documenting the biological communities that live on these seamounts.

ROVs will survey seamounts located between the Musicians Seamounts and the Hawaiian ridge to look for deep high density coral and sponge communities. These activities will be live-streamed around the clock, which can be watched from any computer with internet connection.

“We think that there could be incredible coral and sponge gardens on these seamounts based on previous work that was done nearby both inside and outside the monument,” UH Mānoa Oceanography Professor Christopher Kelley said.

Kelley is a lead scientist on the expedition along with Thomas Hourigan from the NOAA Deep-Sea Coral Research and Technology Program. The expedition Leader is Allison Fundis with Ocean Exploration Trust.

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Ocean Exploration Trust will be leading the 48 scientists, engineers, professional mariners, educators, and students aboard the 211-foot-long E/V Nautilus vessel. The project is part of the broader 2018 Nautilus Expedition exploring the Eastern Pacific Ocean, surveying unexplored regions from British Columbia, Canada, along the West Coast of the United States, and west to the Hawaiian Islands.

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The vessel is equipped with telepresence, which brings the expedition to classrooms using virtual reality technology so that students across the country can directly engage with mission staff. Telepresence also allows for other scientists from around the world to participate in the expedition.

Details of the Nautilus 2018 expedition plan and its live video can be found online.

More information on the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument can be found onlineAdditional information on the Ocean Exploration Trust can be found on their website.

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