VOICES Voices Icon Ideas and Insight From Explorers


Amy has traveled and lived around the world in more than 30 countries as a marine scientist exploring topics from phytoplankton to deep-sea robots. She invested in a science communication career to tag along on expeditions and make science interesting for the rest of the world through prose and multimedia. Deep ocean research and sustainable fisheries captivate her the most. Aside from "multilancing," she’s a special reporting fellow on Fiji's fisheries for Mongabay.org and science writer for the International Ocean Discovery Program. You can follow her at @AmyWestWrites or visit amyewest.com

As Expedition Ends, Scientists Feel The Pressure

The data collected on this trip about subduction zone origins will likely generate new models, and show that our planet is more complicated than previously thought. It’s challenging to sustain the energy levels exuded at the beginning, since writing reports, analyses, and daily seminars eventually look like a conveyor belt of never-ending goods. Turns out we all need variety in our day-to-day living; even scientists who love the idea of doing JUST research.

Pulling Secrets from Deep-sea, Drillbit-Eating Rocks

Hidden seafloor can harbor tales of volcanic explosions. But getting it to cough up some stories can lead to a butchered drill bit.

Time Warps With Seagoing Discoveries

It is sadly possible to be in the middle of the ocean with no land in sight and not see the ocean, or know when day turns to night. With 24-hour operations aboard the JOIDES Resolution, and most of us splitting each day by working a 12-12 shift, the natural cutoff to a day is…

Breaking Down Rocks in the Deep Ocean

When I witness adults cooing over Eocene-era rocks, or tasting 15 million-year-old ocean sediments, I instantly wonder what their childhood was like. Were they kids that didn’t want to leave the sandbox after recess? Were they shy and looked at the ground more than they looked at the sky? Why curiosity for inanimate objects over, say, plants or something with eyes and a heart?

Seafloor Research Vessel Gets Underway

Rocking lazily in the gentle swell as our floating country of 113 people steams out to the first drill site offers me time to recollect what it takes to finally pull out of port. Stepping aboard this 471-foot ocean drill ship, which flies a Cyprus flag, are 30 scientists hailing from countries such as France,…

Longest-Living Octopus Found, Guards Eggs for Record 4.5 Years

A G. boreopacifica mother was observed watching over her eggs for a record 53 months—the longest developmental period known for any organism, according to a new study.

Going on a Rock Cruise

Imagine two, 60-mile-thick slabs of rock running into each other. Which gives first and why? This is what happens when two oceanic plates go head to head, and one must buckle down, or subduct into a trench. In the western Pacific Ocean south of Japan, this is thought to have first occurred 52 million years…