More On the JSL

from Eclectic Echoes…

The JSLs are unique vehicles for deep sea exploration with their distinctive full transparent acrylic sphere for the pilot and scientist. The sad thing is these are still highly productive vehicles (two of the youngest in the fleet) and there are no similar subs out there, in fact there are only about 16 manned research subs currently in operation world wide. It would especially be a shame if two of the research subs most suited to intermediate continental margin and continental shelf exploration were retired by the very same institution that was just selected as the lead institute for the Harbor Branch Consortium, which will be NOAA’s new cooperative institute. Two of their new primary missions will be “exploration and research of frontier regions of the eastern continental shelf and beyond, and improved understanding of deep and shallow coral ecosystems.” I would think this would be an excellent fit for the Sea Links. On a personal note, Alvin and the JSLs were inspirational to me when I was younger. I remember the National Geographic spreads from JSLs especially. To this day when someone says manned sub, my mind’s eye sees the Johnson Sea Link II*

Dr. M (1729 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (, connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.

One comment on “More On the JSL
  1. Eric is absolutely correct, there are SO few research submersibles in operation that the scientific community can’t afford to lose even one!!

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