Dispatches E-News: Tracking Ocean Currents 1, Ghosts of a Spill & Ocean Hope Spots (01/17/18)

Tracking Ocean Currents (Part 1)

A team of scientists is embarking on a unique mission to better understand the world’s oceans. Two large research vessels hold more than 1,000 devices called drifters that will be thrown overboard—at very careful intervals, in a very specific pattern—to see where they drift. Real-time data from these tiny biodegradable buoys will recalibrate our understanding of ocean currents.

To be successful, the team has to actually get out into the middle of the Gulf. But the weather has other plans…


GulfCast: Lessons from the Past

In 1989, 11 million gallons of crude leaked from the Exxon Valdez oil tanker into Prince William Sound, Alaska — devastating everything in its path and causing fishery collapses in the years that followed.


Ocean Hope Spots: The Costa Rica Thermal Dome

Mission Blue expeditions have visited Hope Spots around the world, documenting these vibrant marine environments and engaging local stakeholders to protect them. In March 2017, we joined MarViva on an expedition to the Costa Rica Thermal Dome Hope Spot, an open-ocean phenomenon that forms every spring between 150 and 300 miles off the western coast of Costa Rica. One of the world’s highest concentrations of phytoplankton and primary productivity rates occurs in the Dome, making the area a preferred habitat for endangered, emblematic species like the blue whale and leatherback turtle.

In addition to acting as a significant carbon sink, the Dome serves as a breeding ground, feeding place and migratory corridor for sharks, multiple cetaceans, sea turtles, large pelagic fish, marine predators, and seabirds.

Photo courtesy of Mission Blue.


Dispatches from the Gulf 1: Science • Community • Recovery
In the years after Deepwater Horizon – the biggest oil spill in U.S. history – a global team of scientists is working together to understand its environmental impact on humans, wildlife, and the ecosystem with the ultimate goal of learning how to better cope with future oil spills.
Click here to watch the trailer.

Dispatches from the Gulf 2: Research • Innovation • Discovery
Experience remarkable stories from the unprecedented scientific mission to comprehensively study the impact of Deepwater Horizon and find new ways to ease the devastation. Includes the never-before-documented drama of bottlenose dolphins struggling to survive, and the capture of one of the world’s largest predatory sharks.
Click here to watch the trailer.

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DVDs of Dispatches 1, Dispatches 2 and Dispatches Short Videos (2 Discs) are available free of charge to educators, librarians, homeschoolers, and community activists.
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Dispatches short videos featuring human interest stories and exploring cutting-edge scientific case studies are available on YouTube.
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GulfCastthe Dispatches From The Gulf podcast — is available on the following platforms:

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Host a Dispatches screening at schools, libraries, universities, science centers, museums, community centers, or environmental organizations — especially around the anniversary of Deepwater Horizon (April 2018). Guest speakers and panelists can be arranged.
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Educational Materials
Supporting Dispatches educational materials including leaders’ guides, lesson plans, transcripts, posters, and student resources are available for download.
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Mensajes del Golfo de México
A Spanish subtitled version of Dispatches 1 is available via streaming or DVD.
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Access the Archive
Click here to access the Dispatches From The Gulf newsletter archive.

Dispatches is made possible by a generous grant from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI).
Additional funding provided by the Wallace Genetic Foundation and the Farvue Foundation.

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