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.

  • Beyond Shallow Thinking

    March 30, 2016  |  By Sara Doyle

    Even the areas with young red tree coral colonies, there was an abundance of life.

    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.

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  • Hands On Learning

    March 29, 2016  |  By Rowan Sharman

    Rowan Sharman investigates an egg mass that was collected during an ROV dive.

    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.

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  • Adventures with Qanuk

    March 28, 2016  |  By Mary Cook

    Qanuk prepares for the expedition by reading up on Glacier Bay.

    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.

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  • Scuba for Science

    March 27, 2016  |  By Jeff Godfrey

    Jeff Godfrey investigates a rock covered with encrusting fauna during a dive off of Gilbert Peninsula.

    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.

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  • Photographer's Delight

    March 26, 2016  |  By Dann Blackwood

    Some of the most interesting parts of the animals we collect can’t be seen until we get them on the ship, manipulate them in ways that we can’t while underwater, and photograph them with a macro lens designed to capture small details. Here, the underside of a “fuzzy” nudibranch is photographed in Dann Blackwood's photography tank.

    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.

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  • 100 Years of “America's Best Idea” - the National Park Service turns 100!

    March 24, 2016  |  By Tom VandenBerg

    National Park Service Centennial Celebration.

    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.

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  • Cheechako

    March 23, 2016  |  By Amanda Kelley

    Divers Amanda Kelley and Jeff Godfrey prepare for an exploratory dive with dive tender Rod Catanach and RHIB captain Nathaniel Charbonneau.

    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.”

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  • Happy Birthday Cheryl!

    March 22, 2016  |  By Kasey Cantwell

    Celebrating Cheryl's birthday at Hopkins Glacier with some visiting National Park Service interpreters, who joined us for the day.

    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.

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  • Time to Sit and Stare

    March 21, 2016  |  By Rhian Waller

    Even in areas where no Red Tree Corals were found during scuba dives, the underwater landscape is beautifully dotted with anemones, stoloniferous octocorals, and serpulid worms.

    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.

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  • Using Past Data to Help Find Coral

    March 20, 2016  |  By Guy Cochrane

    This map uses colors to show the water depth in Muir Inlet where is meets Adams Inlet.

    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.

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  • Hanging Coral Groves

    March 19, 2016  |  By Cheryl Morrison & Kasey Cantwell

    ROV Kraken2 approaches an area with several anemones, sponges, stoloniferous octocorals, and brachiopods to sample a colony of red tree coral.

    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.

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  • It’s About Time

    March 18, 2016  |  By Kasey Cantwell

    The mountains around Juneau make for a dramatic landscape.

    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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