Robert Zierenberg, professor emeritus of geology at UC Davis, is currently Chief Scientist on the R/V Falkor, on a cruise exploring hydrothermal vents off the time of Baja, Mexico. The Falkor, owned by the Schmidt Ocean Institute, is using remote operated vehicles to explore the newly discovered vents and live streaming the dives online.
Information on the cruise can be found on the SOI web site and the scientists onboard are posting blogs in both English and Spanish about their research on the site.
The initial dives will be using a state of the art mapping system built by Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) that will use coregistered photo mosaicking, multibeam sonar, and LIDAR to map the geology and biology at centimeter scale resolution, according to Zierenberg. Later dives will collect geological, geochemical, biological, and microbiologic samples.