Dr. Stacy Kim
Benthic Ecologist and long-time Antarctica diver, Stacy Kim
studies seafloor creatures and marine life communities in
waters below freezing! Her team is developing and working
with SCINI, the Submersible Capable of Under Ice Navigation
and Imaging that can go to depths below those accessible to
Stacy Kim first went to Antarctica as a researcher and diver
in 1988. She is now on the research faculty at Moss Landing
Marine Laboratories in Moss Landing, California, and does
scientific work with her team in Antarctica during the Austral
(pronounced like "skinny") is an ROV, a remotely
operated vehicle, specifically built to deploy through the
frozen ocean surface in polar regions. SCINI is capable of
being deployed through smaller holes in the ice than those
required by divers, and can be used with less logistical support
than that needed to sustain human divers. SCINI is equipped
with a great imaging device allowing the team to view and
capture digital images from depths below those accessible
by human divers on SCUBA equipment. You can learn more about
Stacy, her team and SCINI on their fantastic website!
The website also includes a great blog
maintained during their most recent deployment in Antarctica.
who have inspired Stacy in her Antarctic research and diving
John Oliver of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories, one of
the early Antarctica marine ecology research divers, and Dr.
Paul Dayton of Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Paul
Dayton was one of the pioneers of Antarctica research diving
in the 1960s. There is a wonderful short
video by Scripps Institution of Oceanography student J.J.
Newman about Paul Dayton's first Antarctic diving available.
Stacy and her team have done research work in Antarctica that
includes following up on deeper water experiments begun decades
ago by Paul Dayton under the Antarctic ice. You can read more
about this work on The
Scientist website, and see a video
about SCINI there as well.
project of Stacy's involves students at the Watsonville
Adult Education center in Watsonville, California. Students
reseached and created a variety of beautiful prayer flags
representing all of the nations that are signatories to the
Antarctic Treaty. These flags were then taken to Antarctica
by Stacy and her team to be displayed at the U.S. Antarctic
Base, McMurdo Station. The flags are also part of a research
study involving the katabatic winds of Antarctica. Here is
a brief video about the Watsonville Prayer Flags in Antarctica: