2019 Expedition

Baker and Howland Islands and Johnston Atoll

Aug 25, 2019 to Sep 16, 2019 — NA114

The main objective of this expedition is to collect deepwater baseline information to support science and management decisions in and around U.S. marine protected areas in the central Pacific.  We will conduct seafloor mapping and acquire video, biological, chemical, and geological samples in deep-sea portions of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in order to better understand marine habitats, biogeographic patterns, seafloor mineral distribution, and the geologic history of these areas.

The Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Monument (PRIMNM) is one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world, encompassing seven national wildlife refuges on coral islands, reefs, and atolls.  The five regions of PRIMNM cover 490,343 square miles and span the Central Pacific Ocean from Wake Atoll in the northwest to Jarvis Island in the southeast.

This Nautilus expedition will build upon previous expeditions to this region and continue to gather information about the topography, geology, and biology of this important United States territory and the surrounding areas. Mapping operations will focus on adding coverage to existing mapping data, conducting surveys to support ROV dive site planning, and mapping uncharted areas during transits.  Geological collections will help define substrate type and refine age estimates for the features explored in this geologically complex region. Biological specimens will help define biogeographic boundaries, depth distribution and diversity of species, and observe the basic biology and ecology of these ecosystems, compared to other regions. In addition, the video collected will be used for diversity estimates, frequency, and fidelity of coral-associated communities, knowledge critical to evaluating the impact of the Marine Protected Areas on deep-sea ecosystems over time.

Sponsored by: NOAA Office of Exploration and Research

Meet the Team

Photo of Dwight Coleman
Expedition Leader
Photo of Ben Craik
Data Engineer
Photo of Yashira Cruz Rodriguez
Science Communication Fellow
Photo of Mark DeRoche
Deck Chief
Photo of Gregg Diffendale
Hercules Pilot
Photo of Kelly Ferron
Lead Science Communication Fellow
Photo of Samuel Georgian
Science/Data team
Photo of Benjamin Grassian
Navigator
Photo of Michael Hannaford
Hercules Pilot
Photo of Gabrielle Inglis
Argus Pilot
Photo of Renato Kane
Navigator
Photo of Megan Lubetkin
Science / Data Team
Photo of Avery Malachi
ROV Engineering Intern
Photo of Ed McNichol
Video Engineer
Photo of Marley Parker
Video Engineer
Photo of Colleen Peters
Mapping Coordinator
Photo of Emil Petruncio
Science/Data Team
Photo of Nicolas Reed
Video Engineering Intern
Photo of Holly Richards
Communications
Photo of Brandon Rodriguez
Science Communication Fellow
Photo of Jessica Sandoval
Argus Pilot
Photo of Sarah Seabrook
Science/Data Team
Photo of Gina Selig
Ocean Science Intern
Photo of Trevor Shepherd
Hercules Pilot
Photo of Alexis Weinnig
Science/Data Team
Photo of Samantha  Wishnak
Communications

Highlights

Video: Translucent Deepstaria Jelly Whorls With Resident Isopod
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Translucent Deepstaria Jelly Whorls With Resident Isopod
September 4, 2019
Video: Cirroteuthid Octopus Billows Like a Circus Tent
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Cirroteuthid Octopus Billows Like a Circus Tent
September 9, 2019
Album: Deep Sea Associates in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument
 
Deep Sea Associates in the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument
12 photos
September 11, 2019
Video: Stunning Iridigorgia Soft Corals Gracefully Feather Through the Water Column
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Stunning Iridigorgia Soft Corals Gracefully Feather Through the Water Column
September 12, 2019
Video: Prickly Shark Nimbly Maneuvers Above Seafloor
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Prickly Shark Nimbly Maneuvers Above Seafloor
September 13, 2019