2024 Expedition
Exploring the Waters of American Samoa

Exploring the Waters of American Samoa

September 1 – 24, 2024

Expedition Partners

Expedition Leader

American Samoa is the southernmost U.S. territory, cen­tered in the South Pacific, 2,300 miles southwest of Hawaiʻi, and 1,500 miles northeast of New Zealand. It is home to the cradle of Polynesia’s oldest culture. This expedition will explore deep-sea habitats around American Samoa in collaboration and consultation with the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (NMAS) and other partners, providing data needed from deep ocean areas to inform resource management and conservation priorities. NMSAS protects extensive shallow and deep-water reefs, hydrothermal vent communities, and rare marine archaeological resources. 

This expedition will use E/V Nautilus’ remotely operated vehicles and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Sentry to expand the amount of exploration possible within this 20-day expedition. AUV operations will provide important data for interpretations of seafloor biological density and diversity, enhancing mission planning and opportunities to survey cultural heritage sites. Exploring these sites will also provide a gateway to captivate and engage broad audiences across American Samoa and the Pacific Island Region through telepresence-based exploration. Specific cruise objectives will continue to be refined as we work with local community and scientific partners.

This expedition is funded by NOAA Ocean Exploration via the Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. 

Meet the Team