I am a marine scientist. I'm on a boat right now in the Gulf of Mexico doing deep sea research with 9 science buddies (we'll all answer questions!). AMA.
From Virginia, who ran this AMA
We're finished- thank you so much for your questions today! We had a lot of fun with this. Here are answers to some of the questions we got most often:
1) How to become a deep sea biologist: http://www.deepseanews.com/2009/03/so-you-want-to-be-a-deep-sea-biologist/, http://www.deepseanews.com/2011/11/so-you-want-to-be-a-marine-biologist-deep-sea-news-edition/, and check the newest questions for links to 3 threads in this AMA covering how to get positions on a boat like ours.
2) Phaw on everyone who asked a Titleist question today.
3) There is nothing that we will discover that's bigger than the squid, sharks, and whales we already know about. If there were, we would have seen evidence of it by now. No megalodon, no even-more-colossal squid. We know you want it to be true, but no. Just no.
4) You all are oddly interested in both how the internet and sex work while at sea. Satellite and it doesn't.
5) Yes, there is hope for a bright future and YOU can help our oceans be healthy. Contribute to citizen science on the oceans or even something where you log litter or plastic sightings on land, call your representative and tell them that you'd like them to support science funding and measures that curb our contributions to climate change, and most of all: regularly do something to remind yourself why we all care about and love our oceans. They are enchanting and worth fighting for.
Follow the rest of our cruise adventures at https://twitter.com/LUMCONscience. #Woodfall out- have a good night!
PS: My favorite part of this entire thing is probably this https://twitter.com/vgwschutte/status/868643084048977920
I'm Dr. Craig McClain (http://craigmcclain.com/), a deep-sea biologist and the Executive Director of the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON). I've participated in dozens of oceanographic expeditions taking me to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. I've been to the bottom of the ocean at 1 mile deep and have worked with remotely operated vehicles at 2.5 miles deep. I am a connoisseur and contributor of research on the body size of animals, including the Giant Isopod and Giant Squid. But my favorite research topic is the diversity of deep-sea invertebrates, especially snails, and the range of their often bizarre adaptations to the environmental extremes of the deep oceans.
I'm currently on a boat researching wood falls in the deep oceans; logs and whole trees that saturate with water and sink to the deep-sea floor. These wooden carcasses bring a rare commodity to the deep sea devoid of light and plants: food. On the seafloor, these wood falls are covered in unique marine invertebrates wholly adapted to eating wood.
I've got a whole team of people out here on the boat with me that you can also ask questions of. They are:
- Dr. Clif Nunnally (LUMCON) - Research Associate, Actual Person in Charge of the cruise (https://twitter.com/seagrifo)
- Chase Landry (LUMCON/Nicholls State) - Undergraduate Researcher, Cajun Translator (https://twitter.com/chaselandry5)
- Dr. Virginia Schutte (LUMCON)- Media Officer, unfortunately a Morning Person (http://vgwschutte.wixsite.com/vgws)
- Dr. Thomas Webb (U. of Sheffield) - Statistical Guru, "All the gear, no idear" (he's British) (https://shefmeme.org/people/#tom)
- Dr. Holly Bik (U. California Riverside) - Microbial Genomics, bringing high fashion to the high seas (https://biklab.github.io/team/holly-bik)
- River Dixon (U. South Carolina) - Undergraduate Researcher, has no idea what she signed up for (https://twitter.com/riverdixon7)
- Jason Bradley (Bradley Photographic) - Photographer, probably has kissed more sea animals than you (http://www.bradleyphotographic.com/bio/)
- Chase Lawson (Texas A&M) - Undergraduate Researcher, literally spent 2 hours handling raw meat for science the other day (https://www.instagram.com/chaseaus_lawsonicus/)
- Dr. Alicia Caporaso (Bureau of Ocean Energy and Management) - Underwater Archaeologist, studies shipwrecks but can't touch them (https://www.boem.gov/Environmental-Stewardship/Archaeology/Gulf-of-Mexico-Archaeological-Information.aspx)
I am also the founder and chief editor of Deep Sea News (deepseanews.com), a highly popular ocean-themed blog written by marine scientists.
Looking forward to your questions on a life of science, living on a boat for two weeks with 20 other people, underwater robots, body size of marine animals, wood falls, crazy deep-sea creatures, and anything else you can think of. Ask Us Anything!