The two major objectives of the Cabled Array VISIONS’15 35-day cruise were to complete installation of the Deep Profiler Moorings at the base of the continental slope, at site at 600 m water depth west of Newport, OR, and at the base of the largest volcano off our coast – Axial Seamount. The second objective, as part of the maintenance of the Cabled Array, was to recover and reinstall junction boxes, mooring science pods, and >100 cabled instruments for the first Operations and Maintenance period of the National Science Foundation’s Ocean Observatory Initiative (OOI).
During the VISIONS'15 expedition, 19 undergraduate students from the University of Washington, Grays Harbor College, and Western Washington University participated in at-sea activities. For many, this was their first time at sea and a life changing experience. For over two decades, the University of Washington has enabled experiential at-sea experiences for undergraduate and graduate students through cruise participation.
Each year, as many as 45 undergraduate and graduate students work and study alongside UW researchers, engineers, the team operating underwwater robotic vehicles, and the ship's crew to learn all aspects of seagoing research, ship operations, and life aboard an oceanographic research vessel.
During the cruises, students develop projects around the use of robotic vehicles, mapping, and linkages among geological, biological, chemical, and physical oceanographic processes. Students share their experiences with the public through daily blogs. The VISIONS'15 cruise continued this tradition of taking students to sea.