Students will participate in VISIONS'15 as part of the UW Sea-Going Research and Discovery course (OCEAN 411). This at-sea course will provide direct participation on a global-class research ship using a state-of the-art underwater robotic vehicle (ROV). The expedition will take place July 4 to August 7, 2015 aboard the 274-foot R/V Thomas G. Thompson and will utilize the ROV ROPOS. ROV operations will occur at depths of up to 9000 ft beneath the ocean’s surface and at sites that include methane seeps off the Oregon margin; Axial Seamount (the largest and most active submarine volcano off our coast); active hydrothermal vents hosting novel animal and microbial communities, and along coastal environments off Newport, Oregon.
During the one- to three-week time periods at sea, students will work alongside experienced scientists, engineers, and ship’s crew members to gain at-sea research and sea-going experience using advanced oceanographic research instruments and vehicles. Students will conduct their own research projects using data collected with some of these tools. The course emphasizes the importance of science communication during the students time at sea and they have the opportunity to complete their research and/or outreach projects fall quater.
As a member of this oceanographic expedition and class, the students will be taking part in maintenance of the US’s high-power and high-bandwidth cabled ocean observatory, the Cabled Array (www.interactiveoceans.washington.edu) funded by the National Science Foundation as part of the Ocean Observatories Initiative. They will be participating in a truly groundbreaking effort to transform the kind of science and exploration that we can do in the world’s oceans. This year, 19 undergraduate students from the University of Washington, Grays Harbor College and Western Washington University will be participating on this expedition.