Volume 2, Number 3, Page 2


April 1999


In April 1998, the National Geographic Society, NOAA and the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund announced an unprecedented mission for the oceans. Ultimately, through opportunities for ground-breaking deep-water exploration, compelling images and video, and public involvement, the Sustainable Seas Expeditions are designed to generate greater public support and education for marine sanctuaries and, in turn, increased conservation of our oceans. Dr. Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence, and former National Marine Sanctuary Director, Francesca Cava will lead the expeditions to the 12 Marine Sanctuaries, using the newly designed Deep Worker, a one-person submersible capable of exploring to depths of 2,000 feet. The innovative DeepWorker submersibles provide the gift of time to explore at depths unattainable using conventional means, even within normal diving range. During the latter half of March and early April, the SSE staged pilot training from the NDC facility. NDC’s location and support equipment provided an ideal platform for this training. For further updates and expedition schedule check out:

Below: NOAA Diver Dr. Steve Gittings completes Sub pre-dive system checks. End of Article

DeepWorker Submersible

In the March 1999 issue of Marine Biology, Vol. 133: pp.223-230 a study entitled “A seventeen year study of the rose star, Crossaster papposus population in a coastal bay in southeast Alaska” was authored by H. Richard Carlson, NOAA, NMFS Auke Bay Alaska and Catherine A. Pfister, Dept Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago. The rose star is a bright red and white star found subtidally to oceanic depths in all northern seas. It typically has 11 or more arms that reach 34 cm in diameter. It was named by Linnaeus in 1767, and is common in the North Atlantic and Alaskan waters, yet little is known of its biology. The study began in 1980 and over 17 years followed a population of 956 individually marked rose stars in Auke Bay, near Juneau. Underwater observations with SCUBA took place on 1525 diving days, covering all months, and showed that this population had a stable number of long-lived, slow growing individuals with a life span exceeding 20 years. Dr. Carlson has been a NOAA Working Diver since 1973 and has logged over 2800 dives.End of Article


Annual dive locker inspection results are now due. Please take the time to do a thorough inventory and assessment of the preparedness of your support equipment for the new year. Submit inspection reports to your respective LODO.End of Article


Last issue, TOPSIDE relayed information regarding the FDA’s position on the use of medical oxygen. The guidance was obtained by NOAA’s Offices of General Counsel and NOAA Corps Operations following reports that remote field units and ships were having difficulty obtaining refills. Tom Fahres of the USPHS investigated this policy inquiry. Units should check issued emergency oxygen cylinders for compliance. Contact NDC with the number of decals required to bring your kit into compliance. NDC is also developing a test kit program to evaluate performance of field unit Elder valves. TOPSIDE will provide additional information in a later issue.End of Article

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