Outdoor Influencers, Northwest Passage, Undersea Volcanoes. Aug 31, 2018, Part 1 | WBEZ
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Science Friday

Outdoor Influencers, Northwest Passage, Undersea Volcanoes. Aug 31, 2018, Part 1

NASA is exploring a deep-sea volcano off the coast of Hawaii as a test run for human and robotic missions to Mars and beyond. The mission, dubbed SUBSEA, or Systematic Underwater Biogeochemical Science and Exploration Analog, will examine microbial life on the Lō`ihi seamount. The mission has two objectives. The first is to learn about the operational and communication challenges of a real space mission through a deep ocean dive. The second is to learn more about the geology and chemistry that support life in the deep ocean, as a glimpse of what alien life might require in places like the oceans of Saturn’s moon Enceladus.

You’ve probably had the experience of scrolling through your Instagram feed, coming across a picture of some hidden swimming hole, secluded mountain trail, or pristine beach, and thought, “I want to go THERE.” Popular accounts on Instagram and other social media services can increase the visibility of remote places, making them more accessible and encouraging people to venture into the outdoors. But some are worried that the accounts can attract too much attention to fragile places that may not be able to withstand hordes of visitors. Zoe Schiffer, who recently wrote about the issue for Racked, joins Ira to talk about social media and the great outdoors, and whether guidelines for “leaving no trace” need to be updated for the digital age.

On August 23rd, a team of scientists, students, and a professional film crew aboard the research vessel Academik Ioffe set out from Resolute Bay in Northern Canada. Their mission? To study the arctic environment as part of the Northwest Passage Project. The expedition was supposed to last three weeks, but just one day after the crew embarked the vessel became grounded and the expedition had to be suspended. Brice Loose, chief scientist aboard the Academik Ioffe, and microbiologist Mary Thaler, a passenger aboard the vessel, join Ira to share what happened and discuss the science that had to be put on hold.


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