2018 Expedition

Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

Sep 14, 2018 to Oct 1, 2018

This expedition will involve mapping and subsequent ROV dives on enigmatic seamounts located in a poorly explored area of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM).  The objectives are to determine how and when these seamounts formed and to document the biological communities that presently live on them. The PMNM is the largest contiguous marine protected area in the United States. Deepwater research has been conducted for decades within the original boundaries of the monument, with areas within recently expanded boundaries remaining almost completely unexplored.

Mapping data and rocks collected during the dives will be used to test the hypothesis that these seamounts were formed by the poorly understood process of arch volcanism.  The ROV dives will survey these seamounts for the present of deep high density coral and sponge communities similar to those found in the Musicians seamounts and on rift zone ridges on some of the Hawaiian banks.  

From a biological standpoint, these two seamount groups are located between the Hawaiian Ridge and the Musicians seamounts, where large scale high density deep-sea coral and sponge communities have been recently discovered.  Such communities are hot-spots of biological diversity in the deep sea and have become primary targets for deep-sea conservation in U.S. waters and internationally. Findings from this expedition will help inform management efforts related to protecting deepwater habitats, commercial mining, and sustainable fisheries in the Central Pacific.

Meet the Team

Photo of Allan Adams
Science/Data Team
Photo of Lila Ardor Bellucci
Ocean Science Intern
Photo of Spencer Backus
Robotics Engineer
Photo of Andrea Balbas
Science/Data Team
Photo of Manyu Belani
ROV Engineering Intern
Photo of Megan Cook
Communications
Photo of Mark DeRoche
Deck Chief
Photo of Gregg Diffendale
Hercules Pilot
Photo of Allison Fundis
Expedition Leader
Photo of William Glatt
Argus Pilot
Photo of Nicole Gottschalk
Video Engineering Intern
Photo of Benjamin Grassian
Navigator
Photo of Thomas Hourigan
Science/Data Team
Photo of Renato Kane
Navigator
Photo of Christopher Kelley
Science/Data Team
Photo of Kristopher Krasnosky
Navigator, High Resolution Mapper
Photo of Alix Leszczynski
Science Communication Fellow
Photo of Justin Lowe
Data Engineer
Photo of Michael Marin
Argus Pilot
Photo of Leigh Marsh
Science/Data Team
Photo of Sara Matasick
Video Engineering Intern
Photo of Ed McNichol
Video Engineer
Photo of Nicole Raineault
Expedition Leader
Photo of Erin Ranney
Video Engineer
Photo of Trevor Shepherd
Hercules Pilot
Photo of Justin Umholtz
Science/Data Team
Photo of Dorsey Wanless
Science/Data Team
Photo of Robert Waters
Hercules Pilot
Photo of Nevada Winrow
Science Communication Fellow
Photo of Rebecca Wipfler
Science/Data Team
Photo of Samantha  Wishnak
Communications

Highlights

Video: Expedition Overview: Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument
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Expedition Overview: Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument
2 days 17 hours ago.
Video: Gulper Eel Balloons Its Massive Jaws
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Gulper Eel Balloons Its Massive Jaws
1 day 18 hours ago.