This Long View sketchbook page takes Antarctic diving as its theme. At coastal bases around the continent, diving plays a role in underwater scientific research, construction, salvage work, and environmental cleanup.
In McMurdo Sound, science divers have been finding new sea life species for decades. They’re now also studying long term ecological change in seafloor communities by deploying remotely operated vehicles beneath the frozen ocean surface.
One such vehicle is SCINI run by the Benthic Ecology Lab at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. My friend Henry Kaiser, pictured in the sketchbook and photos above, documents the underwater robot in a short but stunning video found here.
Divers at the University of British Columbia recently launched a similar probe to study the accelerated shrinkage of Antarctic ice shelves. Their craft, named UBC-Gavia, navigates unchartered ocean environments to collect data necessary to studying the dynamic between sea water and glacier tongues. Read more about the project here.
Antarctic divers are a hard-working bunch who deal with extreme and challenging conditions. But the rewards are extraordinary. One is clearly scientific discovery. Another is creative inspiration, as Henry aptly demonstrates in this video. Enjoy.