Deepwater Exploration of Glacier Bay National Park:
Mission Logs

Follow along as participants in the cruise provide updates and reflections on their experiences, the science, the technology, and other elements of the expedition.

March 30: Beyond Shallow Thinking

March 30: Beyond Shallow Thinking

My perspective has been terrestrial—until now. Several days into the trip, I’ve realized what a shallow thinker I have been—viewing oceans only from the shoreline while walking a beach, or from a boat deck. The past few days have opened up a new and vast marine world to me, all below the waterline.

March 29: Hands on Learning

March 29: Hands on Learning

I recently graduated from Gustavus School, and this fall I'll be heading off to college to study engineering. I plan to study a combination of disciplines involved with robotics, so this cruise is a great opportunity for me to check out some cool undersea robotics technology.

March 28: Adventures with Qanuk

March 28: Adventures with Qanuk

After being selected to be the NOAA Teacher at Sea for the Deepwater Exploration of Glacier Bay National Park expedition, I began to brainstorm ways to give my students ownership of this voyage. Someone suggested taking a mascot along to participate as a representative of our school.

March 27: Scuba for Science

March 27: Scuba for Science

The story of advancements in science has, in part, been the story of the advancement of the tools and techniques used in research. As Lavoisier demonstrated more than 200 years ago, a scientist is only as good as his or her tools, and the time spent using those tools is invaluable in the effort to make new discoveries.

March 26: Photographer’s Delight

March 26: Photographer’s Delight

Before photography, samples were collected and preserved and then dried and described, most were drawn with pen and ink. With the tools of photography and video imaging, science can proceed more accurately with the ability to document the Earth’s processes, its creatures, its changes, and even things unseen by human eyes.

March 24: 100 Years of “America’s Best Idea”- the National Park Service turns 100!

March 24: 100 Years of “America’s Best Idea”- the National Park Service turns 100!

2016 celebrates the centennial of the National Park Service. This year we look back at our history and forward to new opportunities and the next generation of park advocates.

March 23: Cheechako

March 23: Cheechako

As an ocean change biologist, I have spent a fair amount of time in and around the sea. My work has mainly focused on nearshore environments and the animals that live there. That said, I have never been on an oceanographic cruise, so that makes me a greenhorn I guess, or as the Alaskan’s say, a “cheechako.”

March 22: Happy Birthday Cheryl!

March 22: Happy Birthday Cheryl!

No one likes working on your birthday, but when your work involves exploring a beautiful place like Glacier Bay National Park, it makes it a little bit easier. While at sea, the days tend to run together. There are no weekends or days off and every day is 24 hours of science operations, so it is easy to see how a birthday could slip by.

March 21: Time to Sit and Stare

March 21: Time to Sit and Stare

As chief scientist I have many jobs on this cruise – cruise planning and logistics, personnel coordinator, site selection, ship interface, safety manager, scuba diver, among many others. There is not often time to sit and stare, but today I did.

March 20: Using Past Data to Help Find Coral

March 20: Using Past Data to Help Find Coral

My specialty is Marine Geophysics and one of my roles in this expedition is to use multibeam echosounder data to locate likely sites for the presence of coral.

March 19: Hanging Coral Groves

March 19: Hanging Coral Groves

Today was full of discoveries as we conducted the deepest and first ever ROV exploration of Glacier Bay National Park. We did not know what to expect, or what habitats were most likely to be supportive of corals at deeper depths.

March 18: It's About Time

March 18: It's About Time

Although today is the first day of the expedition, this project actually began several years ago. Funded as part of the Office of Ocean Exploration and Research's 2014 Federal Funding Opportunity, our Chief Scientist, Dr. Rhian Waller, and the mission team has spent almost two years preparing for this expedition.

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