1 Mar 2013

Teen Citizen Scientist Spots Deep-Sea Discovery

There's good news hot out of the University of Victoria (where I'm currently studying), and their good news is making the rounds on the Internet. A young "citizen scientist" found a great way to exercise his interest in biology when he learned about the Neptune program. This is a program from the University of Victoria, which has placed several underwater ocean observatories on the sea bottom near Vancouver Island. Neptune is gathering so much data, including hours of video, that the call has gone out for interested people to watch their sea-bottom videos and report anything interesting.

A young man in Ukraine, named Kirill Dudko, has been watching Neptune's videos. When he sees something interesting, he posts the clip on his YouTube channel. On January 12, 2013, he spotted a hagfish on the sea bottom as it was snatched up by a large marine mammal. He posted the video clip, and notified Neptune. They were glad to report that Kirill is the first person ever to spot a northern elephant seal feeding on the sea bottom at 894 metres!

Here's the news that Neptune posted about Kirill Dudko -- check out their website here. It's a well-written article with a nice photo of Kirill that I've copied above. They've also edited the clip of video that Kirill posted into a short, two-minute video that explains about Neptune and what this sighting means.

Neptune's article goes on to explain how people can become part of the citizen science team that can look at the live video streams. Check it out! This can be a good activity for family members using a computer together, or for students to do for extra credit at school, but mostly it's interesting and fun.

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