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Home | Seminars and Symposia | Past seminars/symposia: Tuesday, November 30, 2004

DTC Science and Technology Innovators Lecture Series

The NEPTUNE Ocean Observatory: Interactive Networks of Remotely Operated Submarine Laboratories


John R. Delaney
University of Washington
Department of Oceanography

Tuesday, November 30, 2004
4:30 p.m. Reception
5:00 p.m. Seminar

402 Walter Library


THE EARTH, OCEAN, PLANETARY, AND BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES are in a transformational period triggered by the confluence of technological advances in sensor technologies, robotic systems, high-speed communication, nanotechnology, and dramatically escalating capabilities to computationally simulate reality. The NEPTUNE regional cabled ocean observatory capitalizes on these advances and is part of a worldwide effort to develop coastal, regional, and global ocean observatories. Novel database architectures and data-mining strategies will be required as we accumulate vast reservoirs of data, indexed in time and space, about how the terrestrial, oceanic, and atmospheric systems interact to support the health and biodiversity of our planet.


John Delaney is Program Director of the NEPTUNE Program and is Chair of the Executive Team. He is a Professor of Oceanography at the University of Washington, specializing in marine geology. He received his BA degree in Geology from Lehigh University in 1964. He then attended the University of Virginia where he received his MS in Geology while concurrently working as a Mineral Exploration Geologist in Charlottesville. In 1977 he earned his PhD in geology at the University of Arizona studying volatiles trapped in the glassy rinds of mid-ocean ridge basalts. He joined the University of Washington faculty in 1977 at the School of Oceanography where he won the Teaching Award in 1980 and the Distinguished Research Award in 1991. He was a visiting scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute and Johnson Space Center from 1977 to 1980. As a marine geologist, his research focuses on the deep-sea vulcanism of the Juan de Fuca Ridge in the northeast Pacific Ocean. He has served as chief scientist on more than 20 oceanographic research cruises, many of which have included the Deep Submergence Vehicle ALVIN. In the summer of 1998, Delaney led a joint expedition with the American Museum of Natural History to successfully recover four volcanic sulfide structures from the Ridge. This U.S./Canadian effort was the subject of a NOVA/PBS documentary.