Near Extraterrestrial: The Extreme Environments of Seafloor Vents


Course description

The discovery of ecosystems at deep-sea hydrothermal vents in 1977 altered the global perspective concerning the boundaries of biological systems. Thousands of meters below the ocean surface, in complete darkness, dense communities of species were found not only existing but thriving. In this talk the audience is presented with an overview of these fascinating systems, their role in global systems, resources they contain that have the potential to contribute to human advancement, and the importance of effectively regulating resource extraction. Vent systems off the West Coast of Vancouver Island are a particular focus.

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