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In Review

Under the Sea
snyderIN CONTROL: Snyder took several turns helping to pilot two remotely operated vehicles that were tethered to the Nautilus and controlled from the main ship. The ROVs, as they’re known, can be maneuvered to collect samples and artifacts. (Photo: Ocean Exploration Trust/Nautilus Exploration Program)

Here’s a short list of things Wendy Snyder ’17 saw last summer: the marine ecosystem that develops around the carcass of a whale on the ocean floor; the wreckage site of the USS Macon, a 1933 Naval airship designed to be a flying aircraft carrier; and plumes of naturally occurring methane seeping from vents in the seafloor.

In short, she spent four weeks living the life of an oceanographic explorer aboard the E/V Nautilus, one of the few ships in the world designed to explore the world’s oceans. One of three college interns selected to join an expedition along the coast of California, Snyder describes the experience as “very hands-on.” Among her duties, she helped pilot and maintain the ship’s remotely controlled exploratory vehicles. Through the cameras of those vehicles she had a close-up view of an underwater world that’s invisible to most. ”We came across things all the time,” she says. “It was hard for people not to get excited about what we saw.”