Come learn how scientists use fancy technology to study the ocean and its creatures deep and shallow. Be there and be square.

Bonus live Q&A with real-life researchers currently at sea on a research mission!

Nerd Nite Seattle
Monday, July 20
7:30 (Doors open at 6:30)
Admission: $5

A modern voyage of exploration: remote sensing, telepresence, and giant robots aboard E/V Nautilus || Tim Dwyer

Even in 2015, most of the Earth’s surface – the part covered with ocean – remains mysterious to us. We have far better maps of the surface of the moon, Mars and Venus than we do of the seafloor right off our own shoreline. Seeking to change this, explorer Robert Ballard founded Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) in 2008 with the specific mission of exploring the unknown ocean, seeking discoveries in the fields of geology, biology, maritime history, archaeology, and chemistry. OET operates the Exploration Vessel Nautilus, one of only two such “E/Vs” in the US today. Nautilus carries out this mission using fantastic technologies including high-resolution sonar seafloor mapping, satellite communication “telepresence,” and large, remotely operated vehicles (equipped with lazers!). This presentation offers the audience a chance to speak directly with scientists and engineers currently aboard ship as they explore the depths of the northeastern Pacific Ocean.

Tim teaches science and math at Spring Street International School in Friday Harbor, WA. Always looking for new ways to get people interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, he applied and was selected to spend a month aboard Nautilus as a science communication fellow this summer.

Low speed, high tech: radio tracking small marine animals || Hilary Hayford

The intertidal zone–the region between the highest and lowest tides–changes from a terrestrial to a marine habitat and back every few hours. This makes it a difficult place to live, and could yield a lot of information about how plants and animals cope with extreme environmental changes. Tidal fluctuations also provide a challenge to those wanting to study intertidal life. Biologists often tromp out at low tide to make observations, but during high tide even diving/snorkeling views are obscured by wave action. This talk will describe one method of finding out what intertidal animals are doing when we can’t watch them: radio tracking. The animals may be slow, but the radio antenna is always listening. Sort of like Big Brother for snails. Spoiler: they are not, in fact, plotting to take over the world.

Hilary is a graduate student and marine biology researcher at the University of Washington. She has spent thousands of days at 100 sites across 3 countries crawling around the intertidal zone, trying to discover the secret to success of small, slimy creatures.