The research team continued exploration of remote regions of the seafloor around McMurdo Station, Antarctica with a specially designed remotely operated vehicle (ROV) for underwater research. The ROV could be deployed through a small (15 cm) hole in the sea ice, enabling access to regions beyond scuba diving depths (at 40-170 m). The researchers located historical experimental structures on the sea floor around McMurdo Station and investigated the colonization of these structures by species of sessile invertebrates. This provided 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 also tested 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.
The team worked in the waters around McMurdo Station, Antarctica. McMurdo is the largest station in Antarctica with more than 100 buildings, a harbor, landing strip and helicopter pad. More than 1000 people live and work at McMurdo Station during the austral summer!
Cameo Slaybaugh has dug for mammoth bones in South Dakota and searched the mountains of Mongolia for the elusive Pallas’ cats, but after earning a degree in Geology from Colgate University, she spent the next ten years working in the business world. During this time Cameo volunteered at the National Aquarium as a herpetology assistant and taught classes at the Maryland Science Center using a variety of live animals. Ms. Slaybaugh finally gave in to her love of teaching and went back to school and earned a Masters degree in Special Education from Old Dominion University. For the past 15 years Ms. Slaybaugh has taught for the Southeastern Cooperative Educational Programs (SECEP), a regional public day school for emotionally disturbed children. She currently teaches a variety of subjects to students in grades 8 to 12, and is the school’s Science and Math Chair. Ms. Slaybaugh lives and plays on the Chesapeake Bay in Norfolk, Virginia.
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.