From october 6, 2016 to october 31, 2017
Southern Ocean Mission
Discover the expedition
18.11.2016 | Corporate philanthropy
The Southern Ocean Mission was completed on 6 November. Upon returning to the port of Reunion, the scientific teams disembarked from the Marion Dufresne and left floats and moorings behind them in the Southern Ocean. Revisit this adventure through an interview with the mission’s director, Stéphane Blain, and through the eyes of two journalists who followed the teams for nearly a month.
Interview with Stéphane Blain, a professor at UPMC, an oceanographer at the Laboratory for Microbial Oceanography (LOMIC) who jointly lead the Southern Ocean Mission with Sabrina Speich of ENS Paris and Hervé Claustre of the Villefranche Oceanographic Laboratory.
It went very well, with a fantastic atmosphere of collaboration between the scientific team, the Polar Institute’s team and the crew. So I’m very happy with the campaign, which has achieved all of its goals.
The team is eager to find out what will be revealed by the data processing and the analysis of the samples that were collected.
Four main types of operations were carried out.
Now that you’re back from the Southern Ocean, what are the next steps for the mission?
In March 2017, there will be the campaign for recovering the instrumented moorings on the Marion Dufresne, and October 2017, there will be a meeting of the scientific teams to exchange all of the results and discuss their interpretation.
Before setting sail on the Southern Ocean, Yseult Berger, a journalist for Science Actus, confided her desire to closely follow the mission so that she could share this adventure with the public.
During the mission, she shared the daily lives of the scientific teams and lived in accordance with the rhythm of the Marion Dufresne and the Southern Ocean. She transcribed her experience via a journal that was posted throughout the mission on the Science Actus website.
“When you’ve never been on an oceanographic ship, seeing that everything starts with tiny bottles immersed in meticulously gridded areas of water is quite moving.”
“I became aware that it’s truly through the persistence and rigor of science that we’re able to establish robust facts. It takes a crazy amount of patience to shape the understanding of the world around us.”
“The researchers that I came to know on this oceanographic campaign have a modern ecological consciousness: immanent, without unnecessary exacerbation.”
Next March, Stéphane Blain and a number of scientists will be setting sail once again for the far south to retrieve particulate traps, and new data will be available to be shared.
In early spring 2017, there will be an exhibition on the Southern Ocean Mission at the Cité des Sciences, Paris, where you’ll be able to find all of the photos, 360° videos, and more from this astonishing experience. In the meantime, you can continue to follow the mission on Universcience.TV, which will air a documentary web series.