Whale Graveyard
Whale Graveyard
On a remote peninsula in Chile, over three hundred sei whales beached themselves. An expedition is setting off to recover some of the bones

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On Monday, February 6, 2017, around 1:30 a.m. CST, a sonic boom shook residents of the Midwest as a bright green fireball streaked through the night sky. The sound was that of a meteor, nearly the size of a minivan, entering our atmosphere. After its fall to Earth, radar spotted the end of its journey over Lake Michigan, approximately 10 miles off the coast of Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Teen explorers from Chicago, led by scientists from the Adler Planetarium's Far Horizons program, The Shedd Aquarium, and The Field Museum, team up to take on this Underwater ROV Meteorite Hunt. Interested explorers wanted!
69posts
A thousand years ago, the ancient Maya of the Yucatan Peninsula in modern-day Mexico built towering pyramids and beautiful palaces. They charted stars and planets in the heavens and kept elaborate calendars and histories related to these celestial beings. The earth itself was also a sacred place filled with divine presence. Perhaps most sacred were the cenotes, natural wells of life-giving fresh water. These openings into the earth's surface were places where underworld deities and rain gods dwelled. Today, many cenotes function as tourist attractions. People from all over the world can venture into the Maya underworld among stalactites and stalagmites and swim in the deep blue waters of cenotes. Unfortunately, however, many cenotes have become increasingly polluted with trash and other waste. Our expedition seeks to preserve cenotes as an important part of Maya culture. We are a partnership of both Mexican and U.S. faculty, university students, teachers, and affiliated professionals. Together, we are developing curriculum for students in Mexico ages 11-14 surrounding the science and history of cenotes. Ultimately, it is our goal that young people in Yucatan will be the voice and stewards for these precious sources of freshwater and Maya heritage.
27posts
Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, a "crown jewel" of the California State Park system offers distance learning to K-12 students through the Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students (PORTS) programs. Live interactive videoconferences are delivered from a kayak to classrooms focusing on the Marine Protected Area (MPA) of the giant kelp forest ecosystem. The underwater ROV brings the program to another level. Students witness directly the wildlife that depends upon this hidden underwater habitat.
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Our mission is to assess the current status of marine conservation work happening in coastal Ecuador and the Galapagos. My colleague is interested in water quality, surveying and sampling, and I am assisting her as a dive instructor.
4posts
In 2019 I will move to Nelson, New Zealand to take up a permanent post as a Marine Ecologist at NIWA. I am passionate about sharing my love for invertebrates and I want to share my discoveries as I meet new species in my new home.
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We are planning an expedition to explore the marine animals living near Iceland’s shallow hydrothermal vents, and the adaptations they may be making to these seemingly hostile yet very productive environments.
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Puerto López, Manabi, Ecuador, Nov 14 to Dec 11 2018
Saving Sea Turtle Reefs in Ecuador
All sea turtle species are endangered. Both the Endangered Green (Chelonia mydas) and the Critically Endangered Hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) nest and forage in important beaches and reefs of the Machalilla National Park in Ecuador. We want to learn and protect these places.

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Art or artefact? Some handmade indigenous pieces can be considered works of art in a museum or gallery. However, the same piece can have different meanings in indigenous villages. A good example of that is the hatchet from the Krahô people, the Kyiré. This piece is an important element in the Krahô culture and it contains songs and stories from its people, and protection for all indigenous people. There is a guardian that not only takes cares of it, but also raises it, making sure it is alive and active. The anthropologist Harald Schultz had the possession of the hatchet for a while, later the Museu Paulista of Universidade de São Paulo (Paulista Museum of the University of São Paulo) kept it in a sealed glass furniture with a special light. Unlike the way it is handle in the village, by children, hunters, elders and in rituals. There was a great action by historians, lawyers, anthropologists and Indians to retrieve the hatchet and put it back in the indigenous village, its true home. Months of debates and reflections later, the Kyiré was rescued and brought back to the village, thus coming back to life. Access the link and watch the full story https://documentacao.socioambiental.org/noticias/anexonoticia/2061720110711143531.pdf Algumas peças do artesanato indígena podem ser consideradas obras de arte dentro de um museu ou galeria. Entretanto, a mesma peça pode ter outro significado em uma aldeia indígena. Um bom exemplo disso é o machadinho da etnia Krahô, o “Kyiré”. Essa peça é um elemento importante na cultura Krahô e guarda canções, história e proteção para todo o povo indígena. Existe um guardião que não só cuida, mas “cria” esse objeto para que ele sempre se mantenha vivo e ativo. O machadinho ficou sob o poder do antropólogo Harald Schultz por um tempo e depois no Museu Paulista da Universidade de São Paulo guardado em um móvel lacrado com vidro e luz especial. Totalmente contrário de como ele é manuseado na aldeia: por crianças, caçadores, idosos e em rituais. Houve uma grande ação entre historiadores, advogados, antroppólogos e indígenas para se resgatar esse machado de volta e colocá-lo na aldeia, onde seria o seu verdadeiro lugar. Foram meses de debate e reflexões até que por fim, o “Kyiré” foi resgato e levado de volta para a aldeia e voltou “a vida”. Acesse o link para ler a reportagem na íntegra https://documentacao.socioambiental.org/noticias/anexonoticia/2061720110711143531.pdf
We've made it to Quito, and everything is electric. The city is sprawling and energetic, colorful and eclectic. Nestled somewhat between, and somewhat on the surrounding mountains, the city is filled with steep, crowded small streets, and wide crowded boulevards. Yesterday, we slept late after our long day of travel, and did some logistics planning and work at Natalia's parents' home just outside of Quito. We had contacted the Quito offices of World Wildlife Fund and Conservation International, as well as their counterparts in the Galapagos, so our plan was to stop by their offices and introduce ourselves, despite never hearing back from either. After fighting the traffic for almost 2 hours, amid music and street vendors with fruit and water, we finally arrived at the WWF offices, only to be told by the receptionist that the office was closed on Fridays. So, we hopped on the bus to try our luck at Conservation International. Sadly, they too were closed on Friday. We were a little disappointed, but there's so much to do in Quito, we kept ourselves busy the rest of the day, walking the city, and going to the artisinal markets and local art galleries. In the evening we met up with Natalia's sister and friends from growing up here in Quito, and went to the top of the city of Quito, the Monumento Virgen de El Panecillo. As the name implies, the mountain is topped with a giant statue of the Virgin, overlooking the entire city, much like Christ the Redeemer in Rio. Our trip there was eventful; we figured it would be kind of a chill evening with nice nigh-time views of the city. But somehow it took us nearly an hour to get to the top of the mountain because of the crazy traffic! We hadn't realized that the whole mountain becomes a sort of Christmas festival around the holiday, and when we finally reached the top around 11pm, the area was filled with throngs of people, families, food stands, drinks, music, sparklers and all other manner of festive accoutrements. We got some empanadas, corn with queso, and canelazo. Natalia ordered the warm canelazo and handed it to me; I was pretty stoked because it was fairly cold outside, so I took a big sip, only to realize too late that it is a warm sugar-cane alcohol. Suffice to say the canelazo warmed us up quickly. We played with some sparklers, and swayed to the music, and eventually made our way back down to the central city, and after a few diversions, back to Natalia's parents home. Today and Tomorrow we are our "off days" here in Ecuador, in that we don't have any meetings for the weekend, but we are working on some presentations for when we arrive in Guayaquil and Galapagos. And in between preparing, we have plans to do some exploring around Quito and the mountains too. That's all for now, Hannah
As the backbone of the deployed sensors, we are using FieldKit. FieldKit is an open-source software and hardware platform that allows individuals and organizations to collect and share field-based research data, and to tell stories through interactive visualizations. This includes: FieldKit Hardware: Microcontroller based open source sensor kits, equipped with SD card slot, GPS, wifi, and sensor-to-sensor radios. Conservify has developed sensor kits for water quality, weather, and flood dynamics. Future modules include air quality, updated weather, camera traps, acoustics, agricultural runoff, geophones/accelerometers, etc. The hardware architecture and code is open source so additional sensor modules can be adapted or developed by anyone anywhere. We are also building an online comprehensive open sensor library, including all the physics, code, designs, tutorials, and examples of different sensors for environmental monitoring. For this project, we plan to build FieldKit sensor platforms that can be attached to an OpenROV Trident. FieldKit.org Website: Modular database software platform for collection, storage, visualization, and sharing of research data using Google’s Go language, Facebook’s React, standardized APIs, GeoJSON data frameworks. Simplified installation process that provides users with a fully functioning system that includes a public (or private) API, a map-based front-end, and a configuration interface. A plug-in architecture allows users to extend the core functionality to meet specific project needs. This follows the Wordpress model, where users could download the files and host on their own server or host on FieldKit.org. FieldKit App: Android/iOS app (in React Native) that connects to the FieldKit.org instance and allows for sensor configuration, population of custom forms, sensor data download, and collection of photos, videos, and audio recordings from the field. FieldKit Naturalist: As a collaboration with the National Geographic Society, this is a handheld unit that gathers high fidelity environmental metadata (temp, humidity, light level, noise level, dew point, altitude, etc.) as the student/scientist/explorer is walking around. Useful in things like BioBlitzes or when pairing with iNaturalist/Foldscope, so that discrete environmental readings can be tied to the observations. We plan to carry these out on our trips in the field.

Pristine Seas

Exploring and protecting the last wild places in the ocean