Arranging the bait
16 Images

Monterey Canyon deep-sea research

Arranging the bait

Shana Goffredi of Occidental College and Lonny Lundsten of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute attach bait to a grid sitting under a camera. The whole apparatus will be sent deep into Monterey Canyon off the California coast. 

 (Amina Khan/Los Angeles Times )
Setting the bait

From left, Dana Michels, Shana Goffredi, Lonny Lundsten and Heidi Aronson prepare bait. The scientists will monitor which creatures show up to eat.  

 (Amina Khan / Los Angeles Times)
Heading to Monterey Canyon

Katherine Dawson and Victoria Orphan take a quiet moment as the ship heads to Monterey Canyon, the deepest underwater canyon along North America’s west coast. 

 (Amina Khan/Los Angeles Times )
The underwater rover descends

The rover has robotic arms and an array of boxes and canisters to hold whatever it finds.

 

 (Amina Khan / Los Angeles Times)
Rover retrieves sediment

A pilot uses the rover’s robotic arm to retrieve seafloor sediment that will be brought back to Victoria Orphan’s lab for analysis. 

 (Amina Khan / Los Angeles Times)
Inserting a core sampler

Caltech geobiologist Victoria Orphan watches as the rover’s robotic arm presses a sediment sampler into the ocean floor. 

 (Amina Khan/Los Angeles Times )
The rover returns

Victoria Orphan watches through a window as the rover is brought back inside the ship. 

 (Amina Khan/Los Angeles Times )
First look at the specimens

Clockwise, Victoria Orphan, Caltech graduate student Sujung Lim, postdoctoral scholar Hang “Hank” Yu and Occidental College biologist Shana Goffredi start pulling the sediment samples out for analysis. 

 (Amina Khan / Los Angeles Times)
Science on a boat

Two teams get to work on either side of the counter. On the left, Katherine Dawson, left, Hang “Hank” Yu and Victoria Orphan process sediments to search for microbes. On the right, from left to right, Heidi Aronson, Dana Michels, Corinna Breusing and Shana Goffredi process deep-sea clams as Lonny Londsten looks for Osedax worms hidden in whale bone. 

 (Amina Khan / Los Angeles Times )
Slicing the sample

Sujung Lim and Victoria Orphan start slicing a sediment core. 

 (Amina Khan / Los Angeles Times)
Core cutting

Katherine Dawson, left, and Victoria Orphan carefully handle another core sample. 

 (Amina Khan/Los Angeles Times )
The smell test

Victoria Orphan takes a sniff of sediment, searching for telltale scents. Katherine Dawson and Caltech graduate student Sean Mullin work in the background. 

 (Amina Khan/Los Angeles Times )
Worms and clams and whales

Shana Goffredi, left, and Heidi Aronson, right, watch Lonny Lundsten use tweezers to hunt for worms in a whale bone. In the background, Dana Michels, left, and Corinna Breusing open clams to take samples. 

 (Amina Khan / Los Angeles Times)
Breaking into a whale bone

Shana Goffredi and Lonny Lundsten pick a whale bone apart looking for fragile Osedax worms. 

 (Amina Khan/Los Angeles Times )
On-board stability

When performing delicate science on a swaying ship, wide stances are a must. 

 (Amina Khan / Los Angeles Times)
Sunset on a science ship

Recent Occidental College graduates Heidi Aronson and Dana Michels admire the sunset after a day’s work. 

 (Amina Khan/Los Angeles Times )
1/16