delware environmental institute

UDaily: Alvin test - UD scientists assist field test of newly redesigned Alvin deep-sea submersible

UDaily: Alvin test - UD scientists assist field test of newly redesigned Alvin deep-sea submersible

Plunging into the depths of the ocean in the research submersible Alvin is like descending into another world. The inside of the sub is very dim, letting occupants’ eyes adjust to darkness as daylight fades away. Bioluminescent fish and sea jellies flash their bluish lights outside the portholes. Scientists prepare their sampling equipment as the pilot maneuvers to the research site and then turns on the vehicle’s headlights to get to work. 

“It’s one of the most intense days of science,” said George Luther, Maxwell P. and Mildred H. Harrington Professor of Marine Studies in the University of Delaware’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE). “You’re working the whole time, and you lose track of time a little bit. It’s emotionally and physically exhausting.”