Antarctic Undersea ROV 08

What Are They Doing?

The research team continued exploration of remote regions of the seafloor around McMurdo Station, Antarctica with a specially designed remotely operated vehicle (ROV) for underwater research. The ROV could be deployed through a small (15 cm) hole in the sea ice, enabling access to regions beyond scuba diving depths (at 40-170 m). The researchers located historical experimental structures on the sea floor around McMurdo Station and investigated the colonization of these structures by species of sessile invertebrates. This provided an unprecedented opportunity to explore and document the rates and patterns of ecological succession from one of the most extreme habitats in the world. The team also tested protocols for conducting sonar mapping with the new ROV as a first step towards creating high-resolution, bathymetric maps of the entire seafloor around McMurdo Station.

Where Are They?

The team worked in the waters around McMurdo Station, Antarctica. McMurdo is the largest station in Antarctica with more than 100 buildings, a harbor, landing strip and helicopter pad. More than 1000 people live and work at McMurdo Station during the austral summer!

Expedition Map


It's been two months since I arrived back home. Things have been extremely hectic. When I got home my mom had left a message to call. She informed me that my dad had been diagnosed with prostate cancer while I was in Antarctica. They had decided not to tell me because they didn't want to put a damper on my time in Antarctica. After several weeks and numerous tests, my dad was told that he would need radiation treatment but that the prognosis was very good. He started treatment this week and we are very optimistic. It seems that while I was in Antarctica the world had still gone on. I...
I was really lucky because I got a ticket home the next day. I had about thirty minutes to pack and the taxi arrived in less than five minutes. I flew to Auckland, New Zealand and then caught a flight to Los Angeles. This trip takes almost thirteen hours and during the first three hours of the flight my DVD player kept stopping. The flight attendant tried several things to fix the DVD player but nothing seemed to work. Finally, she escorted me to a seat that had a working DVD player. The seat was in the first class section and it was very nice. The seat was much bigger, much softer,...
This morning I woke up at 3:10am and I quickly realized that I had five minutes to get dressed, grab my bag, and hike up a hill. I rushed around and I was only a few minutes late. It turned out that a lot of people must have woken up late because less than half of the people were there when I arrived. They gave us earplugs and a box breakfast and had us board "Ivan the Terra" bus. One poor lady really overslept and they had to call and wake her. The bus drove out to the airfield and we waited for the South African plane to finish getting ready. We boarded the plane a little...
Today I got to sleep in and boy was it nice. Of course, I was up by 8:00am and working on the computer. Today I was planning to work on the computer, do a little last minute shopping at the store, and then meet Scott at 1:00pm to take a hike. However, Scott came over to tell me that his roommate had offered to give us a tour of the LDB or the Long Duration Balloon facility at 2:00pm and we jumped at the chance. Scott, Seth (he is the guy from the USGS that we met on our way to Antarctica), and I caught the 2:00pm shuttle to the LDB facility. Scott's roommate, Chris, met us and proceeded...
This morning we all came to work at the usual time. All except for Scott, who was several minutes late. The rule is if you are late then you have to wear one of the silly hats. Scott thought he was safe because the hats were already packed. However, Stacy quickly pulled out a hat and placed it on Scott's head. As usual, he was a really good sport about it and even posed for a picture. The cost of being late to work is that you have to wear a silly hat. It actually looks good on Scott. We all were wondering why our flight wasn't listed on the "Departures" board. A little after 10:00am we...

Expedition Resources

Project Information

4 November 2008 to 19 December 2008
Location: McMurdo Station, Antarctica
Project Funded Title: Development of a Remotely Operated Vehicle for Under Sea Ice Research in Polar Environments

Meet the Team

Cameo Slaybaugh's picture
Suffolk SECEP School
Suffolk, VA
United States

Cameo Slaybaugh has dug for mammoth bones in South Dakota and searched the mountains of Mongolia for the elusive Pallas’ cats, but after earning a degree in Geology from Colgate University, she spent the next ten years working in the business world. During this time Cameo volunteered at the National Aquarium as a herpetology assistant and taught classes at the Maryland Science Center using a variety of live animals. Ms. Slaybaugh finally gave in to her love of teaching and went back to school and earned a Masters degree in Special Education from Old Dominion University. For the past 15 years Ms. Slaybaugh has taught for the Southeastern Cooperative Educational Programs (SECEP), a regional public day school for emotionally disturbed children. She currently teaches a variety of subjects to students in grades 8 to 12, and is the school’s Science and Math Chair. Ms. Slaybaugh lives and plays on the Chesapeake Bay in Norfolk, Virginia.

Stacy Kim's picture
Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
Moss Landing, CA
United States

Dr. Stacy Kim is a research professor in Benthic Ecology, or how organisms that live on the seafloor interact to form communities. She has worked with Dr. Adam Marsh in both Antarctic and hydrothermal vent ecosystems, and will be diving on this project to help collect worms, as well as to continue assembling data to examine long term changes in Antarctic ecosystems. When she is not studying human impacts in marine communities and developing technology for underwater research, Stacy enjoys backpacking, climbing, and beach volleyball.