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Oceanic Research: May 2010


Beyond the Edge of the Sea is an exhibition of the work of scientific illustrator Karen Jacobsen. She has accompanied Dr. Cindy Lee Van Dover of Duke University in the deep-sea submersible Alvin numerous times to locations across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, exploring hydrothermal vent ecosystems. This unique collaboration has yielded a vast collection of extraordinary drawings and paintings. The traveling exhibition highlights five newly commissioned pieces, and features over 70 works selected from Jacobsen's sketchbooks.

The exhibition is on display currently at Penn State University where several events have been organized to highlight it, including a scientific colloquium, presentations at local middle school classrooms, an educator workshop (in collaboration with NSF's Ridge 2000 program), and several public lectures. The exhibition will also highlight two public events, Penn State's Exploration Day and Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, at which two related films will accompany the exhibit, "Aliens of the Deep" and "Volcanoes of the Deep Sea."

If you're interested in the exhibition coming to a venue near you, please contact Daniella Scalice, daniella.m.scalice@nasa.gov, 650.604.4024.

[Source: NAI Newsletter]

Early Oceans, Early Animals

The Ediacaran Period (635-542 million years ago) was a time of fundamental environmental and evolutionary change, culminating in the first appearance of macroscopic animals. A new study from NAI's Arizona State University Team outlines a detailed record of Ediacaran ocean chemistry for the Doushantuo Formation in the Nanhua Basin, South China. Their results suggest a stratified ocean was maintained dynamically throughout the Ediacaran Period. Their model reconciles seemingly conflicting geochemical conditions proposed previously for Ediacaran deep oceans, and helps explain the patchy fossil record of early metazoans. Their paper appears in the April 2nd issue of Science.

[Source: NAI Newsletter]