Fall is so refreshing or the Beagle's eye in the sky

Fall is so refreshing. New semester, new things happening, a chill in the air. It’s practically Christmas in Texas, if you ask me. Halloween is an early Noel with small gifts of candy that hint at the season’s bounty. Wall Street be damned. The early celebrations at my house are all my fault. I penned my Christmas list last week, crossed off several already, unwrapped, and plugged them in. The new blue IPod sounds great on those new speakers. "Christmas will be modest for me", I say, "but huge for my girls." I’ll make wishes and hope they come true for others.

Dear Santa, Please send the HMS Beagle Trust a new HMS Beagle to recreate Darwin’s voyage in this solemn time of willful ignorance, and please send WHOI a new DSV Alvin submersible rated to 8500 m with front looking windows for scientists. Thanks. Yours truly, Peter.

Hey! What’s this? Santa’s in my Inbox already! I can’t believe it. I am looking at an email from Karen James and Peter McGrath saying NASA signed an agreement with the Beagle Project to track and monitor the ship using the International Space Station. Terrific! It’s a sign. The HMS Beagle has an eye-in-the-sky.

Now scientists can track ocean fronts, and whirling eddies, and sargassum mats while the ship sails through them, collecting data. This is great. Here’s an excerpt.

Scientists, teachers and students sailing aboard the 90-foot ship will collaborate with astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) to investigate the biology of plankton blooms, coral reefs and other ocean surface and terrestrial ecosystems as the new Beagle circles the world recreating Darwin’s 1831-36 voyage aboard HMS Beagle, which he called “the most important event” in his life and which led to his later discovery of a mechanism for evolution.

Thank you, Santa, thank you. That was really fast. You must be using Polar Express. Now, if you don’t mind, about that new submersible…. –PJE

Peter Etnoyer (397 Posts)

PhD candidate at Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi and doctoral fellow Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies.