The Web Site for Earth Reference Data and Models

FeMO 2008 Expedition with JASON2 on Loihi Seamount to Study Fe-Oxidizing Microbes
This is the third research expedition to Loihi Seamount using the remotely operated vehicle Jason II aboard the Research Vessel Thomas G. Thompson 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. More than two dozen 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. New experiments are being deployed, while experiments from the first and second expedition are being recovered and more biological mat materials and rock samples are being gathered from the Loihi subsurface.

The goal of the FeMO2008 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 our submarine explorations, and let us know what you think! If you are an educator, please contact us with questions that were generated in your classrooms. We will post a selection of these questions with answers provided by the extensive science party joining this year's FeMO expedition!

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 05 - 2008