Dr. Edie Widder : Mission Goals
Deep Scope had many different project goals going at the same time. The idea was to look at the ocean with new technological eyes. My particular portion of this was using an instrument called the INSC, which is something that I've been wanting to do for a long time now because I believe we are not seeing a lot of the animals in the ocean because our only ways of exploring the ocean is either to drag nets through the water, which capture only the slow, the stupid, and the greedy. Or you go down with a submersible that has bright white lights and whirring thrusters and obviously any kind of animal with any kind of sensory system is going to be long gone. The interesting thing for me about Deep Scope was that it was quite a bit different than other cruises that i've been on, where a lot of the work was hypothesis driven. In this case, it was very exploratory, so there wasn't any particular thing we were trying to learn except what do you see when you look in a different way? The primary thing I learned on this mission was confirmation of my belief that we are just beginning to see all the things that we can see down there. There is no question; the most exciting thing about this mission was the squid that we recorded with the INSC at the brine pool. I just couldn't have asked for a better proof of concept of this system. To be able to see this squid over 6 feet long that is totally new to science, and if there's an animal this big that we don't even know about in the ocean, how many more are there?