411 Special Topics in Marine Geology and Geophysics

This unique interdisciplinary, hands-on at-sea course will provide you with the experience of conducting research related to many important oceanographic processes operating within the Northeast Pacific ocean and on the seafloor. You will gain experience on a global class research ship using a state-of-the-art underwwater robotic vehicle (ROV) reaching depths of 9000 ft beneath the oceans surface and working on the most active submarine volcano off our coast, Axial Seamount. This volcano, >300 miles offshore has erupted in 1998, 2011 and 2015. It is poised to erupt again in the near future. You will also have the opportunity to produce far-reaching public engagement videos

During ~10 day to >3 week durations at sea, you will work alongside experienced scientists, engineers and the ship’s crew to gain at-sea research and sea-going experience using advanced oceanographic research instruments and vehicles, and you will conduct your own research using data collected with some of these tools. This summer the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) Regional Cabled Array VISIONS'23 cruise will be aboard a 274" global class research ship the R/V Thompson and will include the ROV Jason. The schedule for this ~35 day cruise is not yet finalized, but will take place during the August to September timeframe and will include a team of scientists from the College of the Environment - School of Oceanography, engineers from the Applied Physcis Laboratory, and a professor from Grays Harbor College. Over 20 graduate and undergraduate students will participate on this cruise. There will be 3-4 Legs with each duration of ~8-10 days. Students may participate on more than one Leg. In addition to visiting the most active volcano off our coast, we will also visit Southern Hydrate Ridge where methane seeps support novel life forms, and several sites along the Cascadia Margin, some of the most biologically productive waters in the ocean.

As a member of this oceanographic expedition and class, you will be taking part in the sixth Operations and Maintenance cruise for America’s first high-power and high-bandwidth cabled underwater observatory that brings the Internet into the oceans.  The University of Washington led the design and installation of the observatory and is now overseeing its operation of (www.interactiveoceans.washington.edu). The Regional Cabled Array is part of the National Science Foundation’s Ocean Observatories Initiative. The Regional Cabled Array component includes > 150 state-of-the-art instruments and full water column moorings (up to ~2700 m in height) with instrumented wire crawlers that form high-power and high-bandwidth networks permanently installed across the Juan de Fuca tectonic plate off the coast of Oregon. As a member of this course, you will be participating in a truly groundbreaking effort that is transforming the kind of science and exploration that we can do in the world’s oceans.

Course URL: https://www.ocean.washington.edu/story/OCEAN_411_Sea_Going_Research_and_Discovery