Antarctic Undersea ROV 09
Meet the Team
Teacher - Michele Cross
Originally from upstate New York, Michele Cross is a special education teacher who currently teaches an Introduction to Science class and a variety of English classes at Corning East High School in Corning, New York. When not in the classroom, Mrs. Cross can be found coaching both tennis and soccer for her school district. Likewise, she enjoys cycling, hiking, and gardening in the summer months and snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the winter. She particularly loves spending summers with her niece and nephew in Colorado. While climbing her first 14,000-foot mountain a couple of summers ago, she learned that her hair could stand on end even in the midst of hail and rain due to the highly charged air around her! Mrs. Cross is thrilled beyond belief to be given this opportunity, and she hopes that it will inspire her students to dream great dreams!
Researcher - Stacy Kim
Dr. Stacy Kim is a research professor in Benthic Ecology, or how organisms that live on the seafloor interact to form communities. She has worked with Dr. Adam Marsh in both Antarctic and hydrothermal vent ecosystems, and will be diving on this project to help collect worms, as well as to continue assembling data to examine long term changes in Antarctic ecosystems. When she is not studying human impacts in marine communities and developing technology for underwater research, Stacy enjoys backpacking, climbing, and beach volleyball.
Researcher - Bob Zook
Bob Zook is an engineer with Coastal Conservation and Research, Inc. Mr. Zook first worked as a logistics support contractor in Antarctica in 1997, but now works in Antarctic research. Mr. Zook is the chief engineer that designed and developed the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) called SCINI (Submersible Capable of Under Ice Navigation and Imaging). The SCINI ROV will be used in 2010 on the IceAged project. He is also working with the ANDRILL (http://www.andrill.org/) project in Antarctica to develop an ROV that can dive deeper.
Where are They?
The team will be working out of McMurdo Station, Antarctica. McMurdo is on Ross Island, a volcanic island (with the southernmost active volcano, Mt. Erebus) south of New Zealand in the Ross Sea. They will be working near Cape Evans to perfect our piloting skills. Then they hope to do science dives at Bay of Sails, an iceberg graveyard under seasonal ice on the west side of McMurdo Sound. This will give them a comparison for last years work under the permanent McMurdo Ice Shelf at Heald Island, and for the iceberg disturbed site at Cape Evans on the east side of the sound. They also have requested permission to work at White Island, the only place where there are natural cracks through the permanent Ross Ice Shelf that is hundreds of meters thick, to describe isolated communities there and compare them to the isolated McMurdo Ice Shelf communities.
What are they Doing?
The research team will continue to explore remote regions of the seafloor around McMurdo Station, Antarctica with a recently developed remotely operated vehicle (ROV) for underwater research. The ROV can be deployed through a small (15 cm) hole in the sea ice, enabling access to regions beyond scuba diving depths (at 40-170 m) and allowing the research team survey very large areas of overlapping seafloor.
The research team will use the ROV to locate historical experimental structures on the sea floor around McMurdo Station and investigate the colonization of these structures by species of sessile invertebrates. The ROV is able to take videos and photographs of these ecological communities, which permits the team to identify size, type, and species of organisms living on the structures. This provides an unprecedented opportunity to explore and document the rates and patterns of ecological succession from one of the most extreme habitats in the world.
The team is also testing protocols for conducting sonar mapping with the new ROV as a first step towards creating high-resolution, bathymetric maps of the entire seafloor around McMurdo Station. Several other scientists have indicated a strong interest in utilizing the ROV in their research, and it's continued development and testing ensures its flexibility to be used for a variety of types of research projects in the future.
Learn more about Project SCINI at the official project website.
|Sunday Afternoon Seal Alert||Michele Cross, Antarctic Undersea ROV 09||Video|
|Observation Hill in a Cloud||Michele Cross, Antarctic Undersea ROV 09||Video|
|Wicked Friday the 13th Weather!||Michele Cross, Antarctic Undersea ROV 09||Video|
|Condition 2 (Michele Cross)||Michele Cross, Antarctic Undersea ROV 09||Video|
|Surprise Visitor (Michele Cross)||Michele Cross, Antarctic Undersea ROV 09||Video|
|Impromptu Irish Gig||Michele Cross, Antarctic Undersea ROV 09||Video|
|US Flight Leg||Michele Cross, Antarctic Undersea ROV 09||Video|
|A New Hemisphere!||Michele Cross, Antarctic Undersea ROV 09||Video|
|Winter Storm Watches and Warnings- First Snow||Michele Cross, Antarctic Undersea ROV 09||Video|
|Stearman Ride||Michele Cross, Antarctic Undersea ROV 09||Video|