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Windows to the Deep 2021

by NOAA Fisheries 13 Nov 2021 17:44 UTC October 26 - November 15, 2021
Windows to the Deep 2021 © NOAA Fisheries

NOAA Fisheries biologist Allen Collins is the co-science lead for the Windows to the Deep 2021 ocean exploration expedition, happening from October 26-November 15.

NOAA Ocean Exploration is coordinating the trip on the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. The ship's remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) is outfitted with high-definition underwater cameras and sonar. Researchers will use these tools to collect information about unexplored and poorly understood deepwater areas of the Blake Plateau region off the Southeast United States.

As co-science leads, Allen and his colleague Stephanie Farrington with Florida Atlantic University, have a tough job! They will help guide the ROV. They will decide which species to examine and collect, and communicate what they're seeing to scientists on land in real time through a live feed.

Some of the goals of the expedition include:

  • Mapping the ocean floor
  • Identifying fish habitats and deep-sea coral and sponge communities
  • Exploring the water column
  • Searching for the SS Bloody Marsh, a tanker that was sunk by a German U-boat during World War II
  • Obtaining biological samples, including environmental DNA
Watch this video to learn what the team hopes to see, what equipment they'll use, and what it's like leading an underwater expedition.

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