2019 Expedition

Kingman Reef, Palmyra Atoll, and Jarvis Island

Jun 23, 2019 to Jul 13, 2019 — NA110

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. Visual seafloor characterization will be conducted using ROV dives on features that can add to the knowledge of geological, biological, and oceanographic patterns and processes in the area.

The Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (PRIMNM) is among the largest marine protected areas in the world, but remains poorly explored due in part to its spatial isolation.  Shallow-water environments in PRIMNM contain biodiverse communities of fishes and coral species and terrestrial environments are important habitats for seabirds colonies. While the diversity of species in shallow waters is relatively well known, deeper waters are not. In recent years there have been a few but growing list of expeditions to explore deep-sea environments within the PRIMNM units of Kingman & Palmyra and Jarvis Island.

Seamounts are likely to be the most abundant features to be explored on this expedition, both to survey mineral crust zone regions and add to provide additional constraints on the complex volcanic/tectonic history of the Line Islands, as well as survey biological communities. Deep-sea corals and sponges are some of the most abundant large organisms observed on the deep seafloor, yet many questions remain about their distribution and diversity on seamounts, islands, and atolls in the central Pacific.  Given the remoteness of these territories, and lack of previous exploration, it is expected that the chances of encountering new species is high. High-resolution seafloor mapping and characterization of vulnerable or sensitive habitats within these areas will greatly support management and conservation efforts in the area.

Sponsored by: NOAA Office of Exploration and Research

 

Meet the Team

Photo of Steve Auscavitch
Science/Data Team
Photo of Emily Ballard
Video Engineer
Photo of Jake Bonney
ROV Engineering Intern
Photo of Wayne Bornio
Video Engineer
Photo of Tim Clark
Science/Data Team
Photo of Megan Cook
Communications
Photo of Dan Cormany
ROV Pilot
Photo of Alecia Dezzani
Ocean Science Intern
Photo of Allison Fundis
Expedition Leader
Photo of Michael Hannaford
Hercules Pilot
Photo of Erin Heffron
Science/Data Team, Mapping
Photo of Jennifer Humphreys
Science/Data Team
Photo of Christopher Jaques
Navigation Intern
Photo of Renato Kane
Navigator
Photo of Kevin Konrad
Science/Data Team
Photo of Michael Labriola
Data Engineer
Photo of Al Leszczynski
Science Communication Fellow
Photo of Stephen Matter
Video Engineer
Photo of Kylie Pasternak
Argus Pilot
Photo of Robert Pockalny
Science/Data Team
Photo of Justin Richards
Science Communication Fellow
Photo of Jessica Sandoval
Argus Pilot
Photo of Miles Saunders
Navigator
Photo of Trevor Shepherd
Hercules Pilot
Photo of Suna Tüzün
Science/Data Team
Photo of Jamie Wagner
Science/Data Team

Highlights

Album: Miniboat Launches Oceanographic Journey
 
Miniboat Launches Oceanographic Journey
8 photos
June 29, 2019
Video: Piglet Squid Siphon Looks Like a Snout
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Piglet Squid Siphon Looks Like a Snout
July 3, 2019
Video: Dumbo Octopus Photobombs Seafloor Survey
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Dumbo Octopus Photobombs Seafloor Survey
July 8, 2019
Album: Standout Biodiversity of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument
 
Standout Biodiversity of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument
14 photos
July 8, 2019
Album: Get To Know Deep Sea Corals of the Central Pacific
 
Get To Know Deep Sea Corals of the Central Pacific
20 photos
1 week 1 day ago.
Video: Towering Coral Colonies of Jarvis Seamount
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Towering Coral Colonies of Jarvis Seamount
1 week 1 day ago.