The ISC has expanded has its public tour schedule for the summer of 2017. Starting July 18, 2017, public tours will take place every Tuesday at 11:00 am. Explore with us!
Upcoming ISC public tours:
August 22, 2017, 11:00 am **limited spots remain!
August 29, 2017, 11:00 am
$5/participant.Reservations must be made 24 hours in advance. Summer tours have been filling up 3-4 days ahead of their scheduled date; advance registration is suggested. No school or camp groups, please. To book, please visit: http://innerspacecenter.org/booking/.
From August 18, 2017, to September 3, 2017, the E/V Nautilus will be exploring the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary (NMS), located along the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state. The sanctuary encompasses 3,189 square miles (8,260 km2), an area equivalent to the states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined. It extends 25 to 50 miles (40 to 80 km) from the shore, including most of the continental shelf, as well as three important submarine canyons: the Nitinat Canyon, the Quinault Canyon and the Juan de Fuca Canyon. The main objectives of this expedition are to explore and characterize seafloor resources and features associated with these submarine canyons. Quinault and Quileute Canyons have never been explored by remotely operated vehicle (ROV) or autonomous underwater vehicle ( AUV).
Another important expedition objective is to collect information about the ocean’s chemical and physical properties and associated biological communities. The Olympic Coast marks the northern reach of the California Current, which seasonally upwells deep, nutrient-rich waters nearshore. This process supports the sanctuary’s highly productive ecosystem. Twenty-nine species of marine mammals reside in or migrate through sanctuary waters; the area provides critical nesting habitat for numerous seabird species; and the region is also among the most productive fish-growing habitats in the world. However, due toocean acidification (a continued decrease in the global ocean’s pH, caused by the uptake of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere), the California Current is now also delivering low-pH, and often low-oxygen (hypoxic), waters to the region, which can negatively impact many marine species. The Olympic Coast NMS is thus considered a “sentinel site” for ocean acidification. Monitoring and research take place to enhance the understanding of natural and historical resources in the area and how they are changing, as well as provide and early warning capability to detect changes to the ecosystem itself.
In addition to its ecological richness, the Olympic Coast NMS sanctuary is also culturally and historically rich. Over 200 shipwrecks are documented in sanctuary waters! The Makah, Quileute, and Hoh Tribes, as well as Quinault Nation, all have strong, historical ties to the region. NOAA sanctuary staff work cooperatively with the tribes to strengthen sanctuary resources and respect the longstanding relationship of coastal Native Americans with the marine environment.
During their 2015 Hohonu Moana expedition, the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer discovered and mapped an unnamed seamount in the Central Pacific Ocean Basin (shown in the image above). The ship and scientists are now returning to this region, “Musician Seamounts”, to conduct additional mapping and remotely operated vehicle (ROV) operations over two consecutive cruises. These efforts will be focused north of the Hawaiian Islands, close to the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM).
From August 8th through August 31st, 2017, the Okeanos Explorerwill map the area using multibeam sonar technologies aboard the ship. Operations will start and end in Honolulu, HI. The additional mapping data will assist in better understanding the geologic history of the seafloor in the remote Pacific Ocean.
During the second cruise, from September 6th through September 30th, 2017, the ROVs Deep Discoverer and Seirios will explore the waters around the Musician Seamounts. By observing the marine habitat and organisms in this area, scientists hope to learn more about life in the Pacific Ocean Basin and the composition of the ocean ecosystem of this region.
Tune in LIVE to this expedition via footage streaming directly from the ship! Also be sure to follow the Inner Space Center on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube for more updates and discoveries!
The NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer has kicked off its 2017 field season so far with amazing dives in the waters off American Samoa, a US territory in the southern Pacific Ocean. In February 2017, the expedition team explored the Vailulu’u Seamount, an underwater volcano located east of the Samoan Island of Ta’u. This offered scientists a rare and exciting opportunity to observe the geological and ecological characteristics of an active underwater volcano.Continue reading A Rare Opportunity: Observing the life cycle of a young volcano→
On December 7th, 2016, the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer dove on two Japanese mini-subs that sank 75 years earlier, during the attack on Pearl Harbor. The USS Ward fired the first shot of the Pacific War, sinking this submarine 90 minutes before the air raid on Pearl Harbor. This attack marked the introduction of the United States into World War 2. Highlights from the dives on these submarines can be viewed below:
The Inner Space Center (ISC) team has been working in conjunction with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to investigate the sinking of the El Faro cargo ship. The 790-foot cargo ship sank off the Bahamas during Hurricane Joaquin in October 2015.
NTSB has been interested in finding the “black box” (voyage data recorder) from the ship to further their investigations of the wreck. They are hoping the black box will show what was happening mechanically prior to the ship’s sinking, and also contain audio recordings of the captain and crew.
Dr. Dwight Coleman, Director of the ISC, worked with NTSB and WHOI to install telepresence technologies on WHOI’s research vessel (R/V), Atlantis.WHOI’s autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV), Sentry, collected sonar data and high-resolution photographs of the ship’s 13.5-square mile debris field. The ISC’s telepresence technologies transferred these images, in real time, from the R/V Atlantis to on-shore investigators, while also allowing for quick and efficient two-way communications between those on board the ship and the team at NTSB’s headquarters in Washington, DC.
On Tuesday, April 26, 2016, the black box was located, a critical discovery. The ISC team hopes to use telepresence technologies to assist with future investigations of the El Faro cargo ship.
Located off of North America’s Pacific coast lies the Cascadia Subduction Zone. Here, The E/V Nautilus conducted the first comprehensive study of the region, studying methane seep habitats. Continue reading Investigating Methane Seeps→
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