VISIONS '05 Expedition

VISIONS ’05— which stands for Visually Integrated Science for Interactive Ocean Networked Systems — is a five-week multidisciplinary research expedition to the underwater volcanoes of the northeast Pacific on the University of Washington Research Vessel Thomas G. Thompson. A total of 55 scientists from the US and Canada are onboard for this expedition. K-12 science teachers from throughout the US are contributing to the research as part of the REVEL Project: Research and Education: Volcanoes, Exploration, Life.

Some of the questions that we will be investigating include the following:

• What are the upper temperatures limits of microbial life in the hydrothermal chimneys of the Juan de Fuca ridge?

• What are the linkages among movements of the Earth’s tectonic plates, venting behavior in hydrothermal fields, and the activity of microbes that live in the Earth’s deep, hot biosphere: the rocks beneath the seafloor.

• What are the possibilities for using real-time transmission of high-definition video to explore complex ecosystems in extreme environments such as the deep-sea?