In January 2014, I spent four weeks living at sea on the R/V Atlantis as a correspondent for Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s “Dive and Discover” program.
Over the course of the cruise, I created daily dispatches, photo slideshows, Q&A pieces, interviews, and video clips, allowing viewers around the world to follow the team’s research in real time. Middle and High School students in particular used the Dive and Discover website extensively and were invited to send questions directly to researchers.
This expedition, which involved scientists from almost a dozen different countries, took place at the East Pacific Rise, a cluster of hydrothermal vents in the Pacific Ocean roughly 1,000 miles west of Panama. Once there, the science team used the remotely operated vehicle Jason to collect samples on the ocean floor more than 8,000 feet below. Their goal: to study the inner workings of microbes that live at the vent sites, forming the base of the food chain for organisms that live nearby. Unlike most microbes on land, these species can survive entirely on the chemicals that percolate out of the ocean floor, a rare ability in the microbial world.
You can find a sampling of photographs I took aboard the Atlantis below. To view my full Dive and Discover coverage, click here: WHOI Dive and Discover website