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Features May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2
   

A Life on the Ocean Waves

 
     

The scientists and crew came and went, but the good ship Melville chugged along for a mammoth 917-day voyage. The 279-feet-long Scripps Institution of Oceanography Research Vessel returned home in late September after logging more than 100,000 nautical miles and completing 49 research missions on its two-and-a-half year Magellan Expedition.

 

During its voyage, scientists aboard Melville launched and recovered unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from the deck. Equipped with magnetometers, the UAVs proved to be a cost-effective way of studying the earth’s magnetic field. The crew also employed a submersible robot to film an underwater volcano’s eruption. These vents on the ocean floor gave scientists vital information about the sea and even a glimpse into the history of the planet.

 

“Melville’s return from the success of the Magellan Expedition is yet another reminder of the importance of Scripps’ research vessels and the entire academic fleet,” says Scripps Director Tony Haymet, UC San Diego vice chancellor for Marine Sciences.

 

Melville will conduct research operations off California through early February, when it will depart for new expeditions in the western Pacific Ocean.

Contributors to Making Waves: Kim Edwards, Tiffany Fox, Raymond Hardie, Pat JaCoby, Annie Reisewitz

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