Deep-Sea Exploration with the E/V Nautilus: 2016 Season Highlights and Upcoming Opportunities

Nicole Raineault, Ph.D.
VP of Exploration and Science Operations

Ocean Exploration Trust

Friday, Feb. 24, 2017, 3:00pm
Chase 130

Over the course of the 4-month 2016 expedition season, the E/V Nautilus conducted 9 cruises in the Eastern Pacific Ocean between southern Canada and southern California. Nearly 300 participants from more than 100 organizations sailed on board and participated on shore. Exploration included characterizing and mapping significant portions of two National Marine Sanctuaries (NMS), exploration of two shipwrecks, and the discovery of over 500 seeps along the west coast of the US. The 2017 expedition will begin in May off of southern California and conclude in Mexico this November. Exploration will include studies of submerged paleo-shorelines, recently discovered carbonate vents in the Pescadero Basin, and the sub-surface slopes of a volcano in the waters known as the “Galapagos of Mexico.” New technologies including a sonar-equipped Autonomous Surface Vessel (ASV) and an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) and benthic landers to characterize seafloor geochemistry, will increase exploration efficiency and capabilities this season. This presentation will also include information on how students, faculty, and others can become involved in the 2017 Nautilus expedition.


Nicole Raineault is the Vice President of Exploration and Science Operations for the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET). She has been working with the OET aboard the E/V Nautilus since 2009 in many capacities including Navigator, Data Manager, Expedition Leader, and Chief Scientist. Nicole is a marine geologist with degrees in marine science (University of Maine, B.S.), oceanography (Rutgers, M.S.), and geology (University of Delaware, Ph.D.). She completed her post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography in 2014. Her research interests include seafloor sediment morphology and use of combined technologies to characterize seafloor geology and habitat.