The DEEPEND Consortium held it's Kick-off meeting February 23-25th at the Nova Southeastern Oceanographic Center on Dania Beach. It was an all-hands meeting where science projects were shared, the education/outreach plan was finalized and break out sessions focused on the finer details of collecting organisms and samples at sea.
I thought the meeting was well-organized and full of positive energy as we were able to all come together to share the vision that was created during the grant proposal process. We have a robust game plan and I have no doubts that the next three years will be full of excitement, great scientific findings, challenges and lots of laughs.
Our first cruise will be coming up in late spring if the plan stays on track. There will be 2, 1-week ichthyoplankton (fish larvae and juveniles) cruises in June and July with a final cruise this year slotted for late August/early September. All dates are tentative pending weather and gear availability.
We are moving full steam ahead as we head down into the deep this year!