Get into the spirit of Adventure: 10 Expeditions to follow in 2019

The Aquarius Project: The First Student-Driven Underwater Meteorite Hunt

Pirates! Robots! Meteors! A team of plucky teenage explorers! If this doesn’t end up as a feature film, I’ll eat my red watch cap.

On Monday, February 6, 2017 a meteorite dropped out of space and dropped right into Lake Michigan. Since then, a team of young explorers sponsored by the Shedd Aquarium and the Adler Planetarium have been combing the lake for the lost meteorite. Catch up with this epic adventure through their podcast and on OpenExplorer. The search continues into 2019.

Iceland’s Shallow Hydrothermal Vents

Not all hydrothermal vents emerge in the deep sea. Of the coast of Iceland, shallow water vent spew forth their hydrothermal plumes in the shallows, where small underwater robots can easy access. You’d think we’d know more about them than their deep ocean counterparts but we actually know less.

Iceland’s Shallow Hydrothermal Vents hopes to fill in some of our understanding of these weird and wonderful ecosystems.

Search for Slave Shipwrecks

On a hot summer day in the murky waters of the man-made Millbrook Quarry in Northern Virginia, a group of about 25 people outfitted in scuba gear take turns going down to a depth of 30 feet, testing their compass reading skills, flooding their masks and practicing emergency ascents without air. The sight is not so unusual since Millbrook is the main training and certification site for scuba divers in the DC/Maryland/Virginia area and often hosts such groups. What might give folks pause, however, is that upon closer look they may notice that all 25 of the divers are African American. And if they chat with this unexpected bunch, they might also find that a majority are certified and qualified to search for, document and help excavate slave trade shipwrecks.

Search for Slave Shipwrecks

Divers with Purpose and the Slave Wrecks Project will be traveling across Africa and the Caribbean documenting the stories of underwater archaeologists working to preserve the history of the Atlantic slave trade buried at sea.

From Search for Slave Shipwrecks.

Connecting our Keiki to their Deep-Sea Backyard

In many places around the world, the deep-sea is not an unknowable vastness far from shore, but a local ecosystem critical to culture, health, and sustainability. Graduate students from the University of Hawai’i are using ROVs and other underwater tools to help connect students to the deep ocean in their own backyards.

From Connecting our Keiki to their Deep-Sea Backyard.

Sea Turtle Restoration Program

Tracking sea turtles around the world, Exhibit A:

Sea Turtle Program_Bangladesh, a program of Marinelife Alliance research organization conducting sea turtle monitoring and restoration along entire Bangladesh coast and in marine areas. Program involved greatly local community, scientist and government to protect these magnificent marine megafauna group along with other species like cetaceans and sharks, coral and total marinelife. Program involved many activities like nest protection, scientific research on foraging, awareness campaign, training, school education, beach protection, mitigation, bycatch reduction trough offshore fishermen activity ad migration study by satellite tracking. This is ongoing program and already we have attached 27 satellite tags on olive ridley and green turtle. In coming winter we will fix more satellite tags on sea turtle at cox Bazar beach.

Sea Turtle Restoration Program.

Conserving Dominica’s Sea Turtles

Tracking sea turtles around the world, Exhibit B:

Leatherbacks have been around, and largely unchanged, for over 100,000 million years. Yet despite the longevity of this species, in today’s climate, their population is declining, particularly in Dominica. While once a popular nesting ground for these sea turtles, it is estimated that as few as 20 total leatherbacks currently call this Caribbean country home.

This is where the Dominica Sea Turtle Conservation Organization (DomSeTCO) comes in. We provide community-based sea turtle conservation initiatives and population monitoring across Dominica. And while we do place a concerted effort of the wellbeing of sea turtles—their goal is to ensure the pragmatic conversation of the ocean habitats that both humans and animals depend on.

Conserving Dominica’s Sea Turtles.

Sperm Whales of Dominica

I’m also pretty excited to follow along tracking Sperm Whales in Dominica, though my recent work has a strong bias towards Dominica.

Southern Salish Sea ROV BRUV Exploration

Robert Haan does phenomenal work making baited remote underwater video in the Salish Sea. I can’t wait to see what he does next!

A Round Trip to Davy Jones’s Locker

Who doesn’t love a trip through history? A Round Trip to Davy Jones’s Locker is revisiting William Beebe’s first forays into the deep sea through historic documents. Tag along an relive the first great deep-ocean adventure!

From A Round Trip to Davy Jones’s Locker.

Ghost Fleet of the Potomac

War. Salvage. Scandal. Sanctuary.

At the peak of World War I, with German U-boats laying waste to the Atlantic merchant fleet, the United States initiated an unprecedented shipbuilding effort. The Emergency Shipbuilding Corporation issued contracts to build almost 800 new merchant ships to support the war effort.

Less than 100 ships were completed before Armistice.

Ghost Fleet of the Potomac

Join me and a small team of explorers as we visit the largest collection of modern shipwrecks on the US East Coast and talk about the history and significance of creating a new National Marine Sanctuary at the headwaters of our nation’s capital.