Dear Virtual Science Team,
We’ve seen so many exotic and amazing creatures it makes me smile just thinking about them. As you know, the deep is a very important home to so many mysterious and marvelous animals.
Some moments, though, cause my smile to fade. At the deepest depths, we see trash. Human created garbage mars the beauty even at the great depths where we’re studying, 6,562 feet (2,000 m).
At this deepest habitat, where there’s so little structure, some of the animals try to colonize on the trash. But as you can see with the anemone wrapped in the plastic, its growth is being warped. We saw fishing line, soda cans, trash bags, and even a big oil barrel.
Now that you’ve helped us explore the deep, you have an important job. Help us keep it clean.
Many people do not realize that everything they do on land affects the deep — from not properly disposing of trash to not monitoring invisible pollutants such as chemicals like the detergents, fertilizers, cars, and other products we use all the time.
How can you help? It’s easy to make a difference. Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Be aware of the products you use that might run from your home, lawn, or driveway into storm drains an into streams and rivers. It all makes it to the ocean.
What do you think you can do to help us protect the deep sea?
Dr. Tamara Frank
Chief Scientist and Deep-Sea Explorer
Creep into the Deep Mission:
Bioluminescence and Vision on the Deep Seafloor 2015 Expedition, NOAA-OER
July 20, 2015
Dear Virtual Science Team Members…
Welcome aboard our research team! Thank you for being part of our Science Team for our NOAA-OE Research Mission: Bioluminescence and Vision on the Deep Seafloor 2015. The Science Team at sea includes Heather Bracken-Grissom, Sonke Johnsen, Charles Messing, Edith Widder, and me, Tamara Frank.
On July 14th, we traveled to Cocodrie, Louisiana to board the Research Vessel (RV) Pelican. We spent one day in port setting up all of our equipment, including the Global Explorer ROV. The Global Explorer, about the size of a small mini-van, needs to be lifted by a crane aboard the ship. Once it was on the ship, all the connections needed to be hooked up and tested to make sure that everything works (pilot controls, cameras, lights, hydraulics) before we left the dock and set sail to our first study site.
We’ll spend the next 12 days exploring depths between 3,280 and 4,921 feet (1,000 and 1,500 m) using the Global Explorer ROV. We’ll take photographs and videos and also collect live animals for our studies of vision and bioluminescence.
Only 5% of our oceans have been explored, so every dive is important and full of discoveries. We’re happy we can share this fascinating world with you.
During the cruise, you’ll receive Seamail updates about our discoveries and can ask us questions. You can also learn more about our research and find a map of our dive sites on the Bioluminescence and Vision on the Deep Seafloor 2015 NOAA-Ocean Exploration webpage. Plus, Oregon Coast Aquarium’s Oceanscape Network, and of course, WhaleTimes, will also have photos, videos, and more for you to check out.
I hope you’re ready for an amazing trip!
Dr. Tamara Frank
Chief Scientist and Deep-Sea Explorer
Creep into the Deep Mission: Bioluminescence and Vision on the Deep Seafloor 2015 Expedition, NOAA-OER
Oceanscape Network: oceanscape.aquarium.org
NOAA OE: oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/15biolum/welcome.html
Joins WhaleTimes at the DEEPEND, no floaties required!
Our DEEPEND Science Team is at sea, right now! Follow the ship (May 1 to 8th) on the DEEPEND Consortium website.
That means, WhaleTimes’ first set of Postcards from the DEEPEND will be arriving soon!
WhaleTimes is excited to be part of the DEEPEND Project…a consortium of amazing scientists and organizations studying the Gulf of Mexico deep sea.
WhaleTimes will share the DEEPEND science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) with you through our
DEEPEND research, outreach, and education funded by the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GOMRI) award number GOMRI2014-IV-914
Hello Virtual Science Team Members!
The team at Oregon Coast Aquarium’s Oceanscape Network has created an excellent video about whale behaviors for you. This installment of Oceanscape Network’s Science in Seconds provides footage of common whale behaviors you can observe from the water’s surface, whether you’re on a boat or watching whales from shore. Enjoy!
Thanks Oceanscape! And, Virtual Science Team Members, don’t forget to visit the Oceanscape Network at: oceanscape.aquarium.org
Jake, the SeaDog
Our Gray Whales: Celebration of Conservation Mission is under way!
A gray whale is a baleen whale. A killer whale is a toothed whale. What’s the difference? This installment of Oceanscape Network’s Science in Seconds provides footage and information about the differences between baleen and toothed whales. Enjoy!
Gray Whale: Celebration of Conservation Poster
Be part of WhaleTimes next Virtual Research Mission…
Gray Whales: Celebration of Conservation
Students connect with Southwest Fisheries Science Center-NOAA (SWFSC) biologists at the Piedras Blancas (California) field station. This is the third year SWFSC scientists have invited classrooms ‘into’ the gray whale research station. Students learn about the importance of monitoring and counting mother-calf pairs, photo identification of individual whales, and more.
Mission Date: April 20 to May 1, 2015
To register or find out about classroom scholarships contact: graywhales2015 this URL
Tusks and whiskers on a young walrus
A couple of you asked about my tusks. Handsome, aren’t they? My tusks are extra long canine teeth. Some day, they’ll be super long!
Walrus tusks can grow up to 3 feet and weigh as much as 12 pounds! That’s the weight of a small turkey! (so I’ve heard, we don’t have those in the Arctic.) Female walrus’ have tusks, too.
My tusks help determine my rank in the herd, that and my body size and how tough or aggressive I am. I also use them to pull myself out of the water, to break holes in the ice from below and to defend myself against other male walrus’ or even a polar bear.
That’s it for now. See you later.
Hi Kids, my name’s Dudley, I’m a friend of Jake, the SeaDog™. She asked me to join the WhaleTimes Team.
I’m a walrus. I’m a big guy. I weight about 1,700 lbs and I’m 7.25 feet long. Some of my friends are even bigger reaching 11.5 feet long. I love to eat. My favorite food…clams. I could eat a ton of them.
Like you, I love the ocean. I will be sharing interesting stories, facts, and fun activities Jake and I discover along the way.
That’s a little about me. I’ll be stopping by WhaleTimes to give you more about myself and about other animals of the sea. See you later!
Dr. Tammy Frank, aboard NOAA RV Pisces many miles off the coast of Rhode Island, is part of a science team surveying deep sea life. They brought up another paper nautilus, with the mama inside. Very cool! Thanks for sharing Dr. Frank.