Nov. 14, 2003 – University of the Virgin Islands professor Roy Watlington will join scientists from the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, as well as professors from universities in Sweden and Puerto Rico, in a study that will take them deep into the waters of the V.I. in search of historical evidence left more than ten-thousand years ago.
On Nov. 18 the team will board the University of Puerto Rico's 127 foot research vessel, Chapman, for a three-day expedition that will take them as far as a half-mile, straight down.
At this depth, between 600 and 800 meters, a deep-ocean flow, known as the Antarctic Intermediate Water, carries suspended materials from as far away as the north and south Atlantic. And it is here, in the Anegada Passage-Virgin Islands Basin complex, that the scientists are betting they will find fossil and sediment records of global climate changes that took place just after the last ice-age.
By obtaining samples of the sediment at these depths, scientists will be able to deepen their understanding of the "oceanic conveyor belt" which impacts the climate of the entire planet.
Heading the expedition is Dr. Antoon Kuijpers of the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland. Dr. Bjorn Malmgren joins the group from the University of Goteborg, in Sweden, and from the University of Puerto Rico, Dr. Julio Morell and Dr. Amos Winter, both of whom have worked with UVI students in the past.
Representing the UVI student body on the survey is marine science student Kristian Alfsnes, a native of Norway.
Though the regular schedule of classes at the school has prevented other marine science students from attending the trip, the team of scientists planned to meet with the students, faculty and others in the MacLean Marine Science Center on Nov. 14.
Publisher's note : Like the St. John Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.