One of the goals of the second leg of this cruise is to explore several shipwrecks that are of historical significance with the ROV Jason. In-depth exploration of wreckages can provide vital archaeological information that may improve our current understanding of an important historical event or artifact as well as promote efforts to preserve shipwreck locations. However, before valuable time can be spent diving on a wreck, we need to have a really clear idea of where it is located.
Collecting a sea star from a shipwreck at the bottom of the sea may sound like a difficult task, but with the ROV Jason it is accomplished with the mere twist of an arm. Jason is equipped with two powerful robotic manipulator arms that assist with underwater tasks when appendages are needed. Both arms have six joints that allow them to move over a wide area and extend up to five feet.
Earlier this month the Micro World Investigate Lab hosted a group from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers on a Saturday morning. We did a class on Bioluminescence, Fluorescence, and the discovery of Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) by Nobel Prize Winner, Osamu Shimomura.
It was a great class, and we even had some GFP to "experiment with" courtesy of the NC State University's…
During each dive we collect biological specimens that inhabit the wreck. The specimens will be used for various studies ranging from species distribution patterns and isotopic analysis to coral genetics and larval analysis. This is an example of a cool organism collected from the dive last night. These corallimorphs were attached to a piece of the wreckage. Corallimorphs are closely related to sea anemones and do not produce a hard skeleton.
We received some helping hands about half-way through our two-week dig in Arizona. Dr. Andy Heckert and a hard-working crew of undergraduate students from Appalachian State University made the cross-country trip to search for fossils. A total of 8 students with interests from sedimentology to paleontology began digging within 30 minutes of their arrival in the field!
The extra hands allowed us to cover more ground.
There are no 9 to 5’s on the ship. With several different projects going on, work continues around the clock. Working nights is usually a requirement on research cruises like this. When work time during the day is devoted to ROV diving, which can last up to 60 hours, other analyses must be performed at night. On this leg of the cruise, night shifts have been devoted to…
by Meg Lowman
One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating. – Luciano Pavarotti, opera singer
One of the best parts of spring is waking up with Mother Nature. Eagerly hitting the trail for an early morning walk, I was confronted by a charismatic denizen of the temperate forest: a chipmunk!