Part one: The BioNauts are introduced to scientists who study and monitor three of Bermuda’s marine habitats: our seagrass meadows (with Kim Holzer), our coral reefs (with Dr. Alex Venn) and the deep ocean that surrounds the island (with Vivienne Lockhead).
Part two: The BioNauts set up a feeding experiment with the help of researcher Kali Douglas. Together, they deploy seagrass fronds in three different locations around the island (a seagrass meadow, a mangrove swamp and a coral reef) and return 24 hours later to collect them. What, if anything, will have eaten the seagrass?
Part three. The BioNauts take time out to go octopus hunting with Dr. James Wood — at night! The next day it’s back to work as the BioNauts go scuba diving with Dr. Alex Venn as part of the coral reef monitoring programme and learn how to control a remotely operated vehicle!
Part four. The BioNauts set sail upon the R/V HSBC Atlantic Explorer! With the help of marine technician Jonathon Whitefield they deploy a deep sea plankton tow to 800 metres (2,600 feet) and learn how the CTD rosette samples the water column on it’s way to the bottom of the ocean. Back on dry land the BioNauts begin work on the 100 year-long forest restoration project at Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve.
Part five. The BioNauts take another break to study a raft of Sargussum seaweed that has washed up at the BIOS dock. Then it’s onto the results of their experiments; what ate the seagrass and why? Why is it important to study our coral reefs? What can monitoring the deep ocean around Bermuda tell scientists about the global climate?