Dr. Dwight Coleman, the director of the Inner Space Center, left last week to board the E/V Nautilus and become the Expedition Leader.
The Nautilus team is currently sailing off in the Windward Passage, between Haiti and Cuba. This area is fairly tropical and has an exciting mesophotic zone (the ocean depth at which light is beginning to dissipate). In the past this area has been mostly unexplored.
The goals for the upcoming leg are to explore geology and biology in the Windward Passage area. Dr. Dwight Coleman specializes in geology, and is quite interested in looking into the transform fault lines and the geological impact the faults have on the area. This interesting terrain could lead us to find seep communities and side effects of seismic events. The biologists on board are looking for deepwater corals and unexplored reefs off of the coast of Haiti. Other objectives for the dives include collecting multibeam sonar data, taking water samples with Niskin bottles and CTD, as well as exploring the biology of the area.
We are all excited to see what this area has in store for us!