The Web Site for Earth Reference Data and Models

Follow FeMO Researchers Diving with JASON2 on Loihi Seamount to Study Fe-Oxidizing Microbes

An ongoing research expedition to Loihi Seamount uses remotely operated vehicle Jason II aboard the Research Vessel Kilo Moana to study iron-oxidizing microbes. Loihi is the youngest and still submerged active volcano in the Hawaiian island chain and will ultimately grow to become the next Mauna Loa or Kilauea. Eighteen scientists and a high school teacher are visiting this geologically very dynamic environment of pit craters and hydrothermal vents, diving to water depths ranging from 1,000 to 5,000 m. There, they study how microbial activity adjusts to extreme environmental conditions. At Loihi these microbes use energy from "rusting" basalt on the seafloor, without using any daylight, which is the main energy source for most of life on Earth.

The goal of the FeMO2007 Cruise Website is to integrate data acquisition and research at sea with education, in a continuum, that serves scientists, educators and students alike. Videos, images, movies, reports, lesson plans and data are posted in almost real time, with only a short delay through onboard processing and satellite communications. The goal is to use activities at sea to develop educational contents and a scientific archive while reporting on cruise activities.

This website is based on a collaboration between the Seamount Biogeosciences Research Coordination Network (SBN) and the Microbial Observatory for neutrophilic Fe-oxidizing bacteria (FeMO). By combining the Seamount Catalog, the Digital Archive, SBN and FeMO under the umbrella, we are establishing an integrated Cyberinfrastructure for biological, geochemical, geological, oceanographic and physical data.

Visit the site, check out picture galleries, daily reports and short video clips from submarine exploration, and let us know what you think! If you are an educator, please contact us with questions or requests for a video chat with your classroom. We will be able to accommodate some live chats through our satellite connection. Best times will be first thing in the morning, before 10 am on the West Coast. All you need is a Macintosh computer with video iChat capability at your school and a video projector!

This newsletter may contain workshop and conference announcements, as well as news about new functionality and contributions to the databases. If you wish to contribute to this newsletter please email to If you do not want to receive these emails, please Edit Your Profile on the website. Newsletter  :  Issue 06 - 2007