Backyard Deep

Produced for the Schmidt Ocean Institute, this video highlights the accomplishments of the Girguis lab during their three week expedition off the coast of California, including new knowledge about a unique deep sea ecosystem and how some of these findings can be applied to research on other planets. Learn more here.

Conserving Corals in the Florida Keys

Over the past 40 years, coral coverage in the Florida Keys has been declining at an alarming rate - from over 90 percent in the 1970's to roughly 2 percent today. Kate Gould, a PhD student in the Bruno Lab at UNC-Chapel Hill, is researching methods to help bring new life and vitality back to these degraded reefs. This video highlights the first phase of Kate's project. With the transplantation process complete, Kate will spend the next year monitoring these corals in their new habitats. To support Kate's research and conservation efforts, visit her website.

In Search of Minkes

In February and March of 2018, a team of marine biologists (led by Ari Friedlaender, Dave Johnston and Jeremy Goldbogen) traveled to the Antarctic Peninsula to gather data on humpback whales and minke whales. With an unprecedented approach and ambitious goals, they deployed drones, underwater video tags, and echo sounders to collect data on 42 whales.

Reef. Sleep. Repeat.

In December of 2017, two graduate students from the UNC Department of Marine Sciences spent 10 days transplanting corals on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef in southern Belize. Justin Baumann, the lead scientist, asked me to come along to document the project.

This piece originally appeared on endeavors.unc.edu. and is republished here with permission. 

The Doing of It

It all started when I e-mailed Jon back in February. "Mt. Shasta this May," I said. "Just an idea." That idea turned into a two week road trip through the Cascades, starting in Seattle and ending in San Francisco. Along the way we visited four national parks, hiked over 50,000 feet of elevation change, and reached the summit of two snow-covered volcanoes. The idea of alpine climbing is one thing. The doing of it, we learned, is another thing entirely.

Into the Stratosphere

Danny Bowman started launching home-made balloons in the desert when he was 15-years-old. Now, as a PhD candidate at UNC, Bowman launches payloads 20 miles into the sky on board NASA Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility balloons as part of the High Altitude Student Platform (HASP) program. 

This piece originally appeared on endeavors.unc.edu and is republished here with permission. 

The Georgia Death Race

Welcome to the south y'all. Welcome to the hardest race under 100 miles east of the Mississippi. This point to point ultra marathon in north Georgia, with 40,000 feet of elevation change, is truly one of a kind. Runners have 24 hours to finish the course by the power of their own two feet. All runners must qualify for the race by having finished a 50k or longer within 365 days of this years race. The race has a 60% finishing rate from those who actually show up.