Watching the Esperanza move across the horizon of the Bering Sea, I realized I was about to embark on an experience of a lifetime. However, my training at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and more recently the research cruise, San Diego Coastal Expedition, prepared me for the field research I was about to conduct with Greenpeace in Pribilof Canyon.
In 2007, a research team led by John Hocevar (Greenpeace) set out to explore Zemchung and Pribilof Canyons for the first time with submersible technology. During these scientific dives, video recordings and collected samples were analyzed by expert biologists around the world. This process was repeated at 36 sites, a new species of sponge was discovered, and new ecological associations were found. Video footage of habitats rich with biodiversity and of unremarkable complexity were documented. We are now exploring the sites missed in 2007 to get a more complete picture of the canyon’s gems. Continue reading