(PRWEB) September 30, 2015
On Friday, October 2, Texas State Aquarium Distance Learning and Outreach Manager Suraida Nañez-James will embark on an expedition aboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s Falkor research vessel to study Tamu Massif, the world’s largest single volcano. Tamu Massif is a volcano the size of New Mexico and lurks 6,500 feet beneath the surface of the Pacific Ocean.
Formed during the Late Jurassic or Early Cretaceous period, Tamu Massif exists in the area of the Shatsky Rise, an oceanic plateau found approximately 1,000 miles east of Japan. Tamu Massif was once thought to be part of the Shatsky Rise, but was recently discovered to be a volcano by a team led by University of Houston Professor William Sager, Ph.D. Sager, a marine geophysicist and leading Tamu Massif expert.
The Falkor and Sager’s team will be sailing from Honolulu, Hawaii to the volcano site, where the ship will pass back and forth between Honolulu, Hawaii and Guam mapping the ocean floor topography. In doing so, the team will also be collecting magnetic and depth data, as well as other field data.
The Aquarium’s Nañez-James will serve as the expedition’s communications and media specialist. As such, she will be connecting from aboard the Falkor via video conferencing technology with classrooms around the world to communicate information about the expedition, Tamu Massif, and the excitement of ocean exploration. These Aquavision Distance Learning programs will commence on October 12 and continue through November 10, with many of the connections scheduled with schools around the Coastal Bend. Aquavision Distance Learning is part of the Texas State Aquarium’s Flint Hills Center for Excellence in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) Education.
Support for the research related to this expedition is provided by National Science Foundation (NSF), National Geographic Society, Texas Regional Collaborative, University of Houston, Chiba University, and Texas State Aquarium. Schmidt Ocean Institute provides ship time aboard Falkor and the equipment required at no cost.