M31: Livin’ the Life Aquatic

Oh Captain! My Captain!
Oh Captain! My Captain!

As some of you may or may not know, starting November 12th I will be joining the team of Mission 31. This historic expedition, lead by Fabien Cousteau (grandson to the big guy himself), will entail 31 days at the Aquarius Reef Base. Aquarius, located in the Key Largo National Marine Sanctuary,  is the only remaining underwater habitat of it’s kind and allows scientists to do some pretty epic things. Epic things include: living underwater and being able to dive 6-9 hours a day without worrying about those pesky decompression limits. Mission 31 will be the longest mission to date, +1 day longer that J.C.’s original Conshelf expedition, making it a ground breaking part of history.

So what will the team be doing down there for 31 days (besides lunch dates with Aquaman)?

  • SCIENCE!!!!– Dr. Mark Patterson and Dr. Brian Helmuth from Northeastern and Dr. Art Trembanis from University of Delaware have some pretty sexy science plans lined up. From looking at how corals respond to stress (using this crazy system that looks like a magic wand…making my dreams of going to Hogwarts that much more real….) to playing with underwater robots and mapping the seafloor. All of it looks so freaking cool, but I don’t want to give away all the juicy details just yet!! Have to keep the people wanting more.
  • Survivor: Aquarius Edition– Though living underwater for 31 days can seem like  living the dream (which it is), it actually is a bit harder than it sounds. You see once your down there for that long, you can’t easily surface because your body is “saturated” with nitrogen (i.e. 17 hour decompression required). So there will also be tests performed on the divers focusing on the physiology and psychological impacts of living with 6 other people in a tin can the size of a school bus, without sunlight, and immediate access to post-dive burritos.
  • Inspiring the World– Besides the science, this is most definitely my favorite part. Anyone who wishes will be able to tune in to Mission 31 through real-time video and get in on the action (there may or may not be mad dance parties going on…you have been warned). Moreover, Mission 31 has teamed up with the cool kids from Skype so that the Aquanats and team members can talk with over 200,000 students all over the world. Boom. Major Marine Science Outreach.

See I told you. An Expedition of Epic Proportions…

Reef Base. Sweet. Reef Base.
Reef Base. Sweet. Reef Base.

So what can you do to get in on this?!

Well first of all, you can like “Mission 31” on FB or follow the shenanigans on the Twitter @Mission_31 (And trust me, there will be shenanigans).

You can share this post with all your friends, family, cousins, third aunts, people at school, people at the bar, pet chinchilla, and so on and so forth.

You can also help contribute to the cause–> Mission 31 Indiegogo

A mission of this magnitude is a pretty expensive endeavor, but you can help us reach more students, do more epic science, and inspire more people to care about our oceans!! <-Ultimate goal of my life. Also, along with any cool crowdfunding gifts you receive, I will write a personal thank-you letter to all who give in the name of Deep Sea News. Just send me a line at [email protected] You have my eternal gratitude.

This is our chance to make Ocean Science even sexier than it already is and let everyone know about it. Join us and follow along.

13 Replies to “M31: Livin’ the Life Aquatic”

  1. Would love to highlight your science in my marine science and experimental science class.

  2. Hi Alex!

    Thank you for your post on my blog. It’s cool that you get to go down to the lab. My Mom signed up for the Skype in the classroom, so we will be watching at times. Right now I am watching a video on Aquarius, reading books about Jacques Cousteau and reading a book called SeaLab because I saw the picture on the front and it looks like the lab (but it’s the one the Navy built in the 50’s.)

    Say Hi to Mr. Cousteau when you get down there, if he doesn’t remember my name, say it’s the cetacean lover that gave you the tie-dye humpback whale picture at WAVES (and he signed my Jacques Cousteau book!!)

  3. Grace-

    So great to hear back from you! I just finished SeaLab and found it super interesting! What has been your favorite part?

    I am sure Fabien will remember you!! Tie-dye humpback whales are unforgettable and I am sure he loved it!! Hope to see you on Skype in the classroom.

    Stay cool and dream big.

  4. I just started reading it, so I don’t know what what is the best part is but I think that Dr. Bond’s blow and go from 300ft is pretty amazing. I can’t imagine having to blow for that long (I get tired at the pulmonologist’s office when I have to do the breathing test, it’s like blow and go, I don’t have all of my right lung due to RAD and blowing all the air out is hard, I can’t even imagine doing that underwater!)

    Here is the whale pic I call it tie-dye, but it’s really watercolor paper: https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/TQTerujkU86UOLUcLFpODtMTjNZETYmyPJy0liipFm0?feat=directlink

  5. Your picture is AMAZING!!! I love it so much! Do you paint a lot of marine critters or just whales? You should totally paint one of these guys!! http://www.tevenei.com/tvm/img/stomatopod.jpg Mantis shrimp are just as colorful and awesome as your whale!

    I agree, reaching the surface from 300 ft is pretty crazy isn’t it! I hear you on the breathing test. In order to be a scientific diver you have to do a similar test to check your lung capacity and it is the hardest one for me as well. I always have to sit down afterwards or make them put the little fire on the screen so I can blow it out.

  6. I do lots of cetaceans, but I do other things too (I just put a few more pictures up on my blog under pictures and poems, some of those are old pictures.) Right now I am making acrylic on wood with whale cut-outs, like the one I sent to Mrs. Maris I. I like that shrimp, very pretty.

  7. Hmm…I sold some picture on E-bay a long time ago to raise money for Winter the dolphin. Maybe I will start another fund for going to Miami (to protest in front of the Miami Seaquarium so they will release Lolita the orca there.)

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