Count down to LASER – Meet Lead Scientist Eric D’Asaro (T-8)

T – 8 days.  The final countdown to the LAgrangian Submesoscale ExpeRiment (LASER) has begun!


This enormous effort will be the largest oceanographic experiment of its kind.  Our mission is to understand the submesoscale (small scale, temporary) ocean currents in the open ocean environment near the DeSoto Canyon in the Gulf of Mexico, as well as how oil or other pollutants might be transported via these currents.

Our team has spent several years preparing for this experiment and it is now time to execute our elaborate plan.

CARTHE team members from across the world are traveling to Miami today for final planning and testing of equipment, as well as packing and loading the containers and ships, including the principle investigator (PI) for LASER, Dr. Eric D’Asaro.  D’Asaro is a professor at the University of Washington, an author on 93 peer-reviewed publications, the holder of the 2011 Sverdrup Gold Medal from the American Meteorological Society, and recently became a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

“I’m excited about LASER, but sobered by the magnitude of what we need to accomplish.  We worked over the holidays to finalize our experimental plans and get our equipment ready. Now its time to actually do it.  My equipment shipped on Wednesday from Seattle;  I’m flying to Miami today (Thursday, Jan 7) to meet with ship operations and with Guillaume Novelli, the chief scientist of the second ship, the Masco 8.  The two ships will have to work closely together during LASER and the two of us need to sit down together for an extended period to work out the details.   The real work starts Wednesday loading the R/V Walton Smith.”