This is Co-Chief Brendan Reilly signing on for the first Cascadia H.O.P.S. blog post. I’m happy to say that things are moving along smoothly and we are starting to look good for our July 7th departure from Newport, OR. This cruise was originally scheduled for early June, but needed to be rescheduled as a result of the corona virus pandemic. Accordingly, it will look a lot different than our usual oceanographic expeditions, from strict pre-cruise testing and isolation to extra precautions during life at sea.

One of the many unfortunate aspects of these COVID19 precautions is that we must sail with a smaller science party and need to limit student involvement at sea. While our initial plan was to sail a number of undergraduate and early graduate students to train them in marine geologic methods, we are now working on a plan to involve students and whoever is interested remotely in the cruise. This will hopefully include web events before and after the expedition, live chats with scientists during the expedition, live readouts of some of the ship’s instruments, and research opportunities after the expedition on materials we collect. Stay tuned for more information!

In the meantime we’ll keep getting things ready and post updates here. While smaller than we hoped, our science party is full of rock stars. I am looking forward to learning all about sediment deposits on the Cascadia continental slope with those on ship and everybody who tunes in remotely! Feel free to contact me directly via twitter (@brendantreilly) if you’d like to learn more or get involved.