Northeast Lau Response Cruise 2009 Explorers
Joe Resing studied chemistry at DePaul University and earned his MS and PhD in chemical oceanography at the University of Hawaii. He now explores new hydrothermal systems using the chemistry of hydrothermal plumes. Resing is interested in new eruptions and the effect that these eruptions have on the ocean. The chemistry can tell you a lot about what is happening on the sea floor. He looks at the composition of particles, the amount of acid, the amount of carbon dioxide, and the concentrations of iron and manganese.
Bob Embley received a PhD in marine geology and geophysics from Lamont Doherty Geological [now Earth] Observatory in 1975 and came to the Vents Program in 1979. He has been a leader in the Vents geology program, acting as chief scientist on numerous expeditions. He has more than hundred scientific publications which include studies of a wide range of deep-sea features, such as submarine canyons, sediment slides, fracture zones, the mid-ocean ridge, and intraoceanic arc volcanoes. He has participated in oceanographic expeditions in the Atlantic, Pacific and Antarctic oceans over the course of his career and has vast experience with deep-towed cameras, side scan sonars, manned submersibles, and remotely operated vehicles.
Ed Baker is a supervisory oceanographer specializing in studies of active sea-floor hydrothermal systems and their effect on the deep ocean. Dr. Baker was educated at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Washington, where he is an affiliate professor in the School of Oceanography. He has participated in over 70 research cruises on vessels from three countries along oceanic ridges and island arcs throughout the Pacific Ocean. He has served as chief scientist on 20 of those cruises. Dr. Baker's research focuses on the creation and thermal evolution of vent fields created by sea-floor eruptions, and the global pattern of vent field distribution along ridges and island arcs. Most recently he has been on several cruises to the western Pacific, participating in the first systematic exploration for hydrothermal sites on submarine volcanoes of both the Kermadec-Tonga and Mariana intraoceanic arcs.
Tamara Baumberger is a PhD student at(Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich), in Switzerland. Her research interests focus on the study of hydrothermal fluid and gas chemistry. She specializes in characterizing fluids and gases to provide insights into their origin and interactions with rock and sediment.
Nathan Buck received a BS in marine science from Long Island University, Southampton College, in December 1999. He continued his education at Stony Brook University, where he received an MS in environmental and coastal sciences in 2002. He is a research scientist for the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and the Ocean. During this expedition, his main responsibility was to collect hydrographic samples from hydrothermal plumes for particulate, trace metals, and carbon dioxide. He also assisted with remotely operated vehicle data logging.
Dave Butterfield's primary scientific interest is in using the composition of hydrothermal fluids to learn about subseafloor processes, ranging from volcanic eruptions to microbiological productivity. One of his major contributions to the Lau response effort was the use of the hydrothermal fluid and particle sampler, commonly known as The Beast, which is capable of taking 18 water samples and 6 in-situ filters, along with in-line temperature and pH measurements. Butterfield and his associates will analyze the collected samples for major, minor, and trace elements, isotopic composition of H2O, S, Sr, and Pb; and they will also provide material for DNA analysis and microbial culture experiments. Along with many colleagues, Butterfield tries to put the composition of fluids from diverse geological settings into a regional and global context, in an effort to understand the impact of hydrothermal systems on ocean chemistry and ecosystems.
David Caress is a geophysicist specializing in the use of sonar to map sea-floor topography and character. He has participated in more than 25 oceanographic expeditions, and has been at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) since 1998. After proposing a high resolution sea-floor mapping capability at MBARI nine years ago, Caress has focused on the development and operation of the mapping autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). On this expedition the MBARI mapping team's role was to provide high resolution (1 meter scale) topographic and bottom character maps of the sea floor that provide a context for the remotely operated vehicle based observations and samples.
Dave Clague's research interests are nearly all related to the formation and degradation of oceanic volcanoes, particularly Hawaiian volcanoes, mid-ocean ridges, and isolated seamounts. On this expedition Clague collected clastic eruption products at the two Lau eruption sites, in anticipation that the eruption that was detected in November 2008 would have a pyroclastic component. Pyroclastic deposits were sampled at both sites, as were active pyroclastic eruptions at West Mata.
Jim Cowan is a research professor in the Department of Oceanography at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. His current research interests include: (1) the microbial geochemistry of the subseafloor biosphere; (2) the production, transport, and export of organic carbon within and from mid-ocean ridge hydrothermal systems; (3) the geomicrobiology of hydrothermal plume systems; (4) particle dynamics, especially the process of aggregation and the role of aggregates in material transport; and (5) arsenic removal from contaminated drinking water. He is particularly interested in the development of in-situ sensors and related instrumentation for the detection and quantification of chemical proxies of biological activity. This interest in interdisciplinary research into life in extreme environments and the development of instrumentation to enable such research has led to his involvement in astrobiology.
Rick Davis is a graduate student at Oregon Heath & Science University. His research focuses on microbial community diversity, emphasizing the spatial and temporal dynamics of microbial mat communities at hydrothermal vents. During the response expedition, Davis sampled microbial mats. He will compare the microbial communities at the Northeast Lau Basin to those found at other hydrothermal vents.
Leigh Evans graduated from San Diego State University with an MS and from Lafayette College with a BS in chemistry. He has worked with the helium isotope lab at Oregon State University's Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon, for 16 years. His activities include the extraction of gases from water samples, chemical analysis of helium isotopes, and the development of new methods and instrumentation.
Julie Huber received a bachelor’s degree in marine biology from Eckerd College and a doctorate in biological oceanography from the University of Washington. Her research focuses on the subseafloor biosphere associated with deep-sea hydrothermal vents and uses low temperature hydrothermal diffuse fluids as a window into the subseafloor microbial habitat. On the response expedition she spent the week tracking down eruptive fluids and trying to capture the diverse microbial communities found within them to determine what they are, how they make a living, and how they interact with and are impacted by the eruptive volcano.
Nicole Keller is a post-doctoral fellow at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her current research focuses on volatile cycling at subduction zones, with a particular emphasis on sulfur. By using sulfur abundances and multiple isotope systematics (32S, 33S, 34S, 36S) of a variety of subduction zone-related materials — including submarine volcanic glasses, native sulfur, fluids, sulfides, subaerial volcanic gases, olivine-hosted melt inclusions — she is hoping to obtain new quantitative constraints on the processes affecting the sulfur cycle.
Marv Lilley is an associate professor in the School of Oceanography at the University of Washington. He has made over 50 dives on the deep submergence vehicle Alvin and also has experience with the remotely operated vehicles Jason, ROPOS and Tiburon. The scientific focus of Lilley's lab group is the study of volatiles in hydrothermal systems.
After majoring in physics at Princeton University, John Lupton went on to receive a PhD in physics at the California Institute of Technology. Lupton has focused much of his research on the distribution of helium isotopes and rare gases in terrestrial systems, including applications to ocean circulation, submarine hydrothermal venting and volcanic activity, and degassing of the earth’s mantle. He served as chief scientist on the Northeast LAU Basin Expedition in 2008.
Susan Merle is a senior research assistant at Oregon State University – Newport, working with the NOAA Vents Program. She graduated in 1993 from the University of Washington with a BS in oceanography, emphasizing marine geology and geophysics. Merle specializes in sea-floor data acquisition, processing, and analysis, as well as two- and three-dimensional rendering of ocean features and their geological interpretation. On the response expedition she was in charge of the scientific side of the remotely operated vehicle Jason data logging and archiving, as well coordinating the cruise Web site and sea-floor mapping.
Liz Podowski is currently working as a research assistant in Dr. Chuck Fisher’s lab at Penn State University. Her work focuses on understanding the ecology of animal communities found in the Lau back-arc basin. In the lab, she and the other lab-group members use many different techniques to try and tease apart the different abiotic and biotic factors that affect animal distributions: photomosaics of animal communities, constructed from high-resolution imagery, allow them to visualize the distributions of vent animals; temperature and chemical measurements within the imaged communities provide valuable information about the different microhabitats present; and a geographic information system (GIS) enables their group to ask questions about the spatial relationships between animals and their environment.
Anna-Louise Reysenbach is a microbial ecologist whose research focuses on high temperature ecosystems. Her lab combines classical culturing techniques with genomic approaches to explore the diversity and role thermophiles play in terrestrial and deep-sea hydrothermal systems. During a 2005 research cruise to the Eastern Lau Spreading Center (ELSC), her lab isolated the first true thermoacidophile from deep-sea vents, which represents a new branch in the Archaea. In June this year her lab and colleagues returned to the ELSC to study the temporal and spatial patterns of microbial diversity associated with high temperature sulfide deposits. The event response cruise provided a unique opportunity to expand the temporal study on the ELSC to the recent eruptions at the Northeastern Lau Spreading Center.
Ken Rubin is a geochemist and volcanologist studying the timing and style of eruptive and pre-eruptive magmatic processes over sub-annual to multi-millennial timescales at submarine ocean ridge and seamount volcanoes, and also at subaerial volcanoes in Iceland, Hawaii, and Mexico. He develops detailed spatio-temporal eruption and magma composition histories to learn about melting of the mantle, melt transport, melt evolution in the mantle and crust, and the impacts of volcanism on marine hydrothermalism and marine ecosystems. His research couples high resolution volcano mapping and sampling with analysis of natural radiometric and other geochemical tracers in melts, crystals, and geothermal waters. He has participated in nine prior submarine eruption detection and response studies, and six other volcano-related research cruises.
Tim Shank is an associate scientist in the biology department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. His research interests are focused on understanding the role disturbances (such as earthquakes and sea-floor eruptions) impact how hydrothermal vent ecosystems are assembled and species maintained. He conducts time-series analyses of how vent communities change over time in conjunction with the chemical composition of vent fluids and the composition of microbial communities. He uses time-series ecological genetic and colonization studies to understand the conditions and adaptations that allow various species to migrate, evolve, and thrive in deep-sea habitats, including chemosynthetic, seamount, and cold-water coral ecosystems. On the response expedition, his goals were to photographically document, sample, and genetically characterize the faunal colonists and adults in the eruptive area.
Sharon Walker has been an oceanographer at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle, Washington, since 1979. She specializes in the development of methods and instrumentation for the detection, monitoring, and mapping of hydrothermal plumes. She has participated in numerous research expeditions to mid-ocean ridges and submarine arc volcanoes. During the response expedition, Walker collected hydrographic, and optical data with the connectivity-temperature-depth (CTD) instrument, and assisted with remotely operated vehicle data logging and archiving.