The Road Less Traveled

Latest update January 11, 2019 Started on December 1, 2018
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The Boston University Marine Program (BUMP) provides a rigorous interdisciplinary education in marine science and allows students to push their boundaries through field-based scientific inquiry and exploration. Explore with us!

December 1, 2018
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Preparation

We set out with one goal in mind: Get to 80 meters.


At this depth the mesophotic would appear…so to speak. It was dark and hard to see anything, even with the lights of our Trident ROV. The faint outlines of black whip corals and sponges appear in the dimness of what little light there was. This may be the first time anyone has seen the darker depths beyond the drop off next to Turneffe Atoll, Belize. We started out in the photic zone where hard corals with photosynthetic symbionts dominated the bottom. As we approached deeper waters along the wall, the hard corals were replaced with more soft corals and sponges that could survive in limited sunlight. We had to maneuver carefully so that we did not use up too much line horizontally during our descent into the depths. We saw creole wrasse, angelfish, soft and hard corals, many sponges of various shape and size, and of course a curious barracuda during our attempts and, finally, our success to find the upper reaches of the mesophotic.

-Lara Hakam, Boston University

Expedition Background

The Boston University Marine Program provides a rigorous interdisciplinary education in marine science. All Marine Science majors and minors complete the Marine Semester , an intellectually and physically demanding sequence of four consecutive research-based courses. This often-transformative experience immerses students in faculty research and exposes them to pressing issues impacting marine ecosystems. Learn more at https://www.bu.edu/bump/


But to me, as faculty in the BU Marine Program, I often think about the experience in the famous words of Robert Frost:

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference."

After all, what can make more of a difference than exploration and discovery? Being part of something new is always really exciting, and has the potential to make a big difference. Every Fall, the Marine Semester takes students down new scientific paths and journeys. Now, thanks to OpenROV, we'll have a Trident to help us. We'll update this blog with our adventures (but be prepared - they will be sporadic). Where are we going? Well, the answer to that is student-driven. So, join us down this crazy, less traveled, and sometimes totally untraveled road, river, or reef....

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