Visiting Scholar Writes Piece on the Deep Ocean and Seabed Mining

Brisingid starfish and a sponge on San Juan Seamount, coated with ferromanganese crusts.

This spring, Gabrielle Rancifer was a visiting scholar at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, where she worked with both CMBC and the Levin Lab. Gabrielle, who obtained her masters in journalism from Northwestern University this June, created several compelling, interdisciplinary projects during her tenure at CMBC, including her article “It protects us, but do we protect it: Why the deep ocean is at risk.” This article explores the essential processes of the deep ocean in regards to climate regulation. Rancifer also investigates deep sea mining in her piece. Deep sea mining, which is governed by the International Seabed Authority (ISA), is a climate stressor and threatens the balance of marine ecosystems.

Rancifer’s work surrounding deep sea mining and its impact on the deep ocean is especially timely as the ISA meeting in Kingston, Jamaica wraps up this week for the 28th Session of the International Seabed Authority. The ISA is discussing mining regulation and the development of new codes for deep sea extraction. This conference comes after the recent expiration of the two-year ban on deep sea mining, which Rancifer mentions in her article. The outcome of this session will have significant impacts on both ocean policy and the global environment. 

Read Gabrielle Rancifer’s article “It protects us, but do we protect it: Why the deep ocean is at risk” here and stay tuned for more of her projects! 

Photo credit: Ocean Exploration Trust