The 2019 Nautilus expedition path through the Central Pacific Ocean brought the team into rarely visited equatorial waters. The expedition track caught the attention of non-profit organization Educational Passages as a great opportunity to deliver student-led science research into the open ocean. Working together, Educational Passages and Ocean Exploration Trust arranged for the Corps of Exploration to deploy a student-built, sensor-carrying miniboat drifter from the ship while in transit to ROV diving operations at Palmyra Atoll. The miniboat, The Perry, was constructed by students at Anderson W. Clark Magnet High School in California and was designed to sail with the predominant wind collecting air and water temperature data. Check out the following album to learn more about the journey of The Perry and track the progress of this oceanographic drifter here.
Deep waters in the remote central Pacific remain some of the most poorly studied environments on Earth. This expedition will focus on exploring deep-water features in the vicinity of Kingman Reef, Palmyra Atoll, and Jarvis Island within the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. The waters of these remote Pacific territories are among the least explored U.S. holdings in the Pacific Ocean. Expedition objectives will focus on characterizing the seafloor using bathymetric mapping systems where no previous mapping has been conducted or significant gaps exist.