Fri, Sep 25, 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM LONDON TIME
Created by Exploring By The Seat Of Your Pants
Join Grace as she shares about what it was like to spend 14 days living and working in a laboratory 63 feet below the surface of the ocean! Grace will also talk about ocean engineering and robotics.
Grace just returned from exploring mesophotic coral reefs off the Honduran island of Utila. After earning her BSc in mechanical and ocean engineering at MIT, she’s currently a Marshall Scholar and PhD candidate with Oxford University’s Ocean Research & Conservation Group.
An avid sailor and diver, she’s participated in five marine expeditions on four continents this year, and is currently using new rebreather technology to dive deeper and longer. Her work experience includes helping to design, build, and text submersible and aerial robots that have deployed in the Arctic, Antarctic, Atlantic, and Pacific Oceans, to monitor endangered species and create 3D maps of ice shelves and coral reefs to measure effects warming and acidification.
Last year, she was an aquanaut on Fabien Cousteau’s Mission 31, living and working on the ocean floor for two weeks in the Aquarius underwater lab
This lesson is suggested for grades 4 and up.
I'm one part shy of finishing Snyder and Murphy's The Wake, a graphic novel about ocean exploration gone awry. I recommend! And for other action-packed stories of ocean adventure, check out Shadow Divers by Robert Kurson (a true story!) and the Dirk Pitt Adventures by Clive Cussler (whose son Dirk visited us in Aquarius during Mission 31!).
Sneak peak of The Wake
I'm currently on Utila, an island off Honduras, collecting data. I'm working with Operation Wallacea and two other graduate students from Oxford. Regular updates are on my Instagram and our expedition Facebook page, "Thinking Deep."
A few weeks ago I was a guest on the Oceans Project Podcast hosted by Roger Overall and Sarah Weldon. Check it out! Episode 43: The Lady Who Lived Under the Sea
This week 15 volunteers sailed the Aegean with SailFuture Captain Mike Long on his journey from Turkey to Florida, bringing a donated vessel to the non-profit’s headquarters. Half of us knew each other previously; half of us didn’t. We were all somewhat acquainted with Mike.
Mike founded the non-profit, SailFuture, which teaches at-risk youth responsibility through sailing as an alternative to incarceration for teens with extensive criminal records. Their goal is to help troubled teens break the cycle of behavior that keeps them in the criminal justice system and prevents them from being responsible and happy members of their communities. You can read about their fantastic success and transformational program on their website. I also had them highlighted on the ACT NOW page a few weeks ago. I can’t speak highly enough of the program.
This year a generous donor gave SailFuture a 65' racing yacht (a MacGregor Pilot House for the boat nerds out there). Mike and his first mate Jeremy repaired the boat and are sailing it from its donation point on the Black Sea in Turkey to its destination point in Florida. Along the way they’re picking up a ragtag bunch of SailFuture friends and supporters to help sail each leg of the journey home. For the uber-curious, here’s my day-by-day account of the week.
In short, my leg of the trip was wonderful. Mike and his team’s passion and dedication not only impressed me, but invigorated my own endeavors. Not to get all soppy, but it was a seminal week that I’ll forever remember -- easily the most fabulous week of the year. I’m look forward to supporting SailFuture’s endeavors as best I can going forward. They’re currently fundraising to race a misfit group across the Atlantic. You can learn more at SailFuture, or reach out to me or Mike with questions.
Other crew posted about the trip as well:
Elizabeth Linzer: “The Best Way to Vacation: With Purpose”
Kristen Moran: “Greece 2015 with Sail Future”
Francisco Gonzalez: "Americans Stimulate Greece on Sail Future’s Week 4 Expedition"
And! From our onboard reporter: "James O'Keefe Goes Undercover in Greece During Financial Crisis"
After Greece I pit-stopped in Oxford to repack gear. I flew out early in the morning to begin the three day journey to meet up with the rest of the Oxford research team at our research site on the island of Utila, off Honduras. I’m looking forward to the adventure and to testing new technologies and gathering data for my PhD.