On April 29, 2016 ADDOMEx hosted a screening of “Journey to Planet Earth: Dispatches from the Gulf” on the Texas A&M University at Galveston campus. This documentary investigates the environmental health of the Gulf of Mexico six years after the Deepwater Horizon blowout in April 2010. The documentary was followed by a panel discussion with researchers who are studying impacts of the oil spill. There were three panelists (from left to right, Dr. Ron Eytan (DEEPEND), Chris Hale (Sea Grant), and Dr. Peter Santschi (ADDOMEx)), approximately 50 attendees, and lots of fantastic questions and comments. All three organization set up booths in the lobby outside the screening room so that guests could learn more details about each group before and after the event.



On June 8th, 2016 two DEEPEND members from Texas A&M University at Galveston attended the first annual World Oceans Day Festival and Art Contest in Galveston, Texas in collaboration with ADDOMEx (another GoMRI consortium). World Oceans Day is the UN-recognized day of celebration and action for the ocean. This year Artist Boat is hosting a community celebration in Galveston at Stewart Beach. The DEEPEND booth showcased DEEPEND's mission as well as exciting fish and invertebrate samples from the Gulf of Mexico!



The Oceanscape Network at the Oregon Coast Aquarium has joined forces with WhaleTimes Inc. for an exploration of the deep sea featuring the DEEPEND consortium.  The 2016 exploration will run from June 6 to 10 on both the Oceanscape and Whaletimes websites. Mark your calendars to this exciting virtual exploration to the deep sea!

Read more about this program here


We know about many bizarre visual characteristics of animals living in the dim light of the deep sea. One of the strangest such adaptations is the scanning eye of an atlantid heteropod mollusc. Heteropods are snails that spend their entire lives swimming in the open ocean. [Heteropods are sometimes called Sea Elephants, and are also known as pterotracheoids.]

The Smithsonian posted an article about deep-sea research, using eye-popping photography to make the unreal real.  

The article features the work of scientists with the consortium Deep-Pelagic Nekton Dynamics of the Gulf of Mexico, or DEEPEND. These researchers are working to improve our understanding of deep-water life and processes since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in habitats near the vicinity where the spill occurred.

Read more here...

The DEEPEND Crew will be setting sail this Friday, April 30th for their third midwater trawling research cruise, DP03. They will spend 15 days at sea collecting environmental and biological data in the northern Gulf of Mexico surrounding the Deepwater Horizon site. On board will be 15 scientists whose expertise includes areas such as taxonomy, sound scattering, genetics, oceanography, and light. The teacher-at-sea for this cruise will be Christia Hewlett who teaches marine biology at Sheridan Hills Christian School. There will be one additional guest on this cruise who has never been to sea before – Flat Stanley! You may remember seeing him before as a child or maybe have received him in the mail from friends or family. He will be blogging about his experiences at sea and sharing photos here. In addition to our scientific mission, we will be filming activities onboard for two upcoming documentaries and for public and educational outreach.

Christia Hewlett is a teacher at Sheridan Hills Christian School where she teaches Marine Biology and Middle School Integrated Science. She received her a Bachelor’s in Science in Biology and a certificate in Environmental Studies from Indiana University. She is currently finishing her twelfth year of teaching and is completing her M.A in Integrated Technology from Nova Southeastern University. In addition to her teaching, she enjoys learning about Florida ecosystems by participating in Florida Master Naturalist Program courses. She leads a school 4H club and enjoys helping students learn about science through hands-on learning. If she is not working she can be found enjoying Florida's National Parks, reading or spending time with her husband and daughter at the soccer field.






Dr. Joe Lopez gave an overview talk on the DEEPEND Consortium and the Lopez lab to the NSU Lifelong Learning Institute titled "The DEEPEND Consortium Project: Characterization of Pelagic Life in the Gulf of Mexico Six Years after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill"

The talk was well attended by 25-30 learners.  Many questions were asked about the fate of the oil from the spill, what energy 'powered' bioluminescence, and what the term 'pelagic' means. 

You can learn more about the Lifelong Learning Institute here.