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Wetlands and Aquatic Research Center - Florida

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Click below to go to the Cruise Logs - (photo credit: Lophelia Coral - Open-File Report 2008-1148 & OCS Study MMS 2008-015)


Cruise Log: 8/12/2009    

Media Day

Liz Baird

Tender for media day - click to enlarge
Tender for media day - click to enlarge
There has long been a philosophical question - if a tree falls in the forest and no one can hear it, did it really happen? Which leads to "if science goes on in the ocean and no one can see it, does it really happen?"

This team of researchers puts lots of effort in making certain that everyone can "see" our work, Not only do they have daily logs going to the Museum site, they are also being posted on DISCOVRE (the USGS site) and on facebook (the Revealing the Deep group). The research team has allotted two berths for education and outreach, a significant percentage of the 16 slots allotted for the science team. They are being filled by Liz Baird (North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences) and Art Howard (ARTWORK). They are working on gathering images and stories for the Museums' new wing, the NRC. In the NRC there will be an exhibit that is modeled after the Johnson-Sea-Link, where visitors can enter the simulated submersible and experience a recreated submersible dive. Additionally, Art is using a fish eye lens to shoot video which we hope will be used in the new immersion theater.

      Wednesday, August 12th was "media day," where we had media and special guests out to the ship to learn more about our work. Our hope is that they will help share the story of our research and why it is important. We had several folks from the South Atlantic Marine Fisheries Council (Kim Iverson , Myra Brouwer, and Council member Ben Hartig) as well representatives from NOAA (Jennifer Schull and Jocelyn Karazsia). In addition to newspaper reporters from the Orlando Sentinel and the Daytona Beach News, we had Brian Skoloff, an AP reporter and Kerry Sanders, NBC Nightly News Correspondent. They arrived around 11:30, in time to see us unloading the last of the samples from the bio box on the front of the submersible. After lunch, they had a tour highlighting features of the ship (such as the bridge and the cold room) as well as all the different areas of research on board. All of the researchers were eager to share their findings and experiences at sea. Around 4:00, everyone got in position to get their "best shot" for the submersible launch - Art on top of the A-frame, Kerry Sanders and his photographer on the tender (a small boat launched from the Seward Johnson) and other journalists in pfds standing near the stern of the submersible. The sky was clear, the seas were flat, and the launch went without a hitch.

We are looking forward to seeing what comes out, and are dependent upon folks back at home to record the NBC Nightly News on Thursday, August 13th (we don't get any television reception out here). Hopefully we will get electronic versions of what comes out in print. Our work really happens, and we are pleased that so many people will have a chance to "see" what we are doing.

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