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REF NO.: 70

SUBJECT: Memorial prof to host live broadcast of underwater volcano exploration

DATE: March 28

Memorial University is partnering with the Schmidt Ocean Institute, the Johnson GEO Centre and the Oceans Learning Partnership to live broadcast a deep-sea expedition in the South Pacific Ocean on March 29.

Dr. John Jamieson, Canada Research Chair in Marine Geology and an assistant professor in the Department of Earth Sciences, is currently on-board the R/V Falkor as part of a scientific team exploring an underwater volcano near the island of Fiji.

Dr. Jamieson, the co-principal investigator of the Niua Volcano research expedition, will be studying ore deposits on the sea floor, specifically black smokers – hot water springs that form on underwater volcanoes. The ‘smoke’ from the springs is actually tiny minerals containing copper, zinc, gold and silver.

The Schmidt Ocean Institute, founded by Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google, and his wife Wendy Schmidt, are providing the ship time. The team is also taking a Canadian remotely operated vehicle, ROPOS, to do the underwater exploring.

Local high school and undergraduate students can watch live underwater footage from the submersible, learn about the deep-sea technology being used and ask questions to the scientists and crew on-board during the live broadcast from the Johnson GEO Centre, 9:30-11:30 a.m., tomorrow, March 29.

Students will also get hands-on ocean technology demonstrations from several Newfoundland and Labrador companies, including Kraken Sonar Systems, Fugro GeoSurveys and SULIS Subsea Corporation.

Interested students can reserve their seat by signing up at https://www.geocentre.ca/event/ocean-exploration-series/.  

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For further information, please Kelly Foss, communications co-ordinator, Faculty of Science, Memorial University of Newfoundland, at (709) 864-2019, 699-3788 or kfoss@mun.ca.

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