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How an encounter results in a second mission for expedition #withkurilswithlove
Burkanov is co-founder of and Chief Scientist at North Pacific Wildlife Consulting (NPWC) and needed a lift to his HD camera traps around the Kurils and to Raikoke, the volcanic island near the center of the Kuril Islands where he observes a seal population.
After the enormous eruption of Raikoke volcano on 22 June 2019, he fears that the seal pups suffered a great deal. Our vessel is the only one going in the right direction, therefore - besides raising awareness about this remarkable place that deserves protection - our expedition team has added another mission: bringing Vladimir to Raikoke to find out what has happened to his seal pups.
Raikoke shortly after the eruption. The island used to be lush and green.
Vladimir's areas of expertise include ecology and conservation of marine mammals in the Far-East Seas of Russia and the North Pacific. Hence his interest and scientific investigations in the marine mammals that inhabit the waters and coastal areas of the Kuril islands. For his research he earlier placed several HD camera traps to observe the seal population on Raikoke.
Today's camera traps sense warm moving objects, like animals, through a connected infrared sensor. They can be left on the spot to observe an area for weeks or even months, to record all activity of animals. With the data scientists are able to identify whole communities of species, how they are structured and interact. Plus, they are 'wildlife' friendly, so not bothering the animals in any way.
Although no human beings were hurt in Raikoke's eruption – the island is uninhabited – the wildlife, like the seal pup population, was most likely not so lucky. An island that was once lush and green, is now a big rock covered with ash. At first sight no seal rookeries were to be seen, but Vladimir and the team will take a closer look today.
Volcano roaring back to life
Raikoke 22 days after the eruption.
One might think what an unfortunate habitat to raise your seal pups, why-oh-why chose that location. However, unlike other volcanoes in the region, Raikoke seldom erupts. The last time the volcano erupted was in 1924 – after 146 years of no activity. Last June, 95 years later, it roared back to life sending a plum of ash up to 17 km high. The latter was observed and captured by several satellites as well as astronauts on the international Space Station, resulting in some dramatic photos and videos.
Curious about Raikoke's seal population and what Vladimir will find at island? Follow the expedition #fromkurilswithlove and find out!
Lives today are linked to the world of Star Wars more than many realize
Today is Star Wars Day! What better way to celebrate the iconic movies than by checking out these 4 documentaries that show how Star Wars technology is becoming a daily reality. These short films explore the amazing possibilities of this moment in robotics, cryonics and human augmentation.
Imagine Beyond - The Body (above)
In the final scenes of The Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker's hand – cut off by Darth Vader – is replaced in just 24 hours. Scientists across the world are now working on robotic limbs that can integrate with human bodies. Will we soon become superhuman?
Watch these videos to see how technology is making Star Wars-evoking strides into human augmentation, robotics and cryonics.
Unlocked: Is more tech inside making us better?
Should bionic augmentation aim to restore bodies, or add to them? Tilly Lockey, who has highly customized bionic arms, and Wojtek Paprota, with his implanted chip, discuss the possibilities and advantages of cyborgs and robotic upgrades.
Robotic Relationships: How we could fall in love with machines
Robotic relationships may be a turning point in the age of the machine. Can humans and AI connect on a deep emotional level?
Frozen in time: Is this how we will cheat death?
Eternal life might be possible sooner than we think. What will it mean for our bodies and society?
Ultra-fast gaming and the sports of tomorrow, with Break the Record's Fredrik Lidholt
Completing a game more quickly than opponents is the goal of the esport of speedrunning. It could be Super Mario, Doom or any other game. This week we'll see which elite players can break the speed record playing Minecraft.
Speed is the name of the game
The Break the Record Live Series is a live-streamed event where elite gamers compete to be the fastest ever player. Next week, they'll try to break the Minecraft speed-playing record. The brains behind Break the Record, Fredrik Lidholt (aka Edenal) chats about the future of esports with Marco Preuss and Rainer Bock in the latest episode of Unlocked.
Find out more about next week's Minecraft event here!