In 2019, the MIT Media Lab (MIT), National Geographic Society (NGS), and Lindblad Expeditions (LEX), collaborated to create a pilot Deep Sea Camera System training and deployment program, using the NGS Deep Sea Camera System. Our vision was to utilize a suite of low-cost tools that are easily deployed off a spectrum of platforms, making ocean discovery more accessible. The specific goals for this pilot project were to:
Train MIT students/staff, LEX Undersea Specialists, and collaborating scientists on NGS Deep Sea Camera System deployment, recovery, and data download.
Execute Deep Sea Camera deployments in SE Alaska and the Galapagos on LEX-NG vessels.
Build a team for future tech development, exploration, community building, and expeditions aboard LEX-NG vessels and beyond.
Our outcomes included:
25 trainees (13 from MIT: 2 undergrads, 8 graduate students, 3 staff)
12 weeks at sea
53 deployments between 25-1800 m, recording 126 hours of video
1 paper published in the Journal of Fish Biology, led by Salome Buglass, reporting on first records of the seven-gilled and six-gilled sharks found in the Galápagos Marine Reserve.
3 new MIT-developed technologies tested at sea: MicroCTD, radiometer, and eDNA sampler.
1 Training & Expedition Assessment Report based on a survey of participants, including recommendations for future priorities for training and at-sea deployments.
Funded by Lindblad Expeditions and the National Geographic Society.