#WhereScienceLives: Carlos Becerril

Exploring life "under the sea" has long captivated the public. Meet an Academy Member working to advance our understanding of the deep by recording the world along the ocean floor.

Published November 02, 2016

#WhereScienceLives: Carlos Becerril

In the United States, there are only three institutional groups who are part of the Ocean Bottom Seismograph Instrument Pool (OBSIP), an instrument facility that provides ocean bottom seismometers to support research and further understanding of marine geology, seismology and geodynamics. One of these groups, the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) at Columbia University, is based in Palisades, New York- less than 25 miles up the Hudson River from the Academy's home. We recently heard from Academy Member Carlos Becerril, Research Engineer at LDEO in the Division of Seismology, Geology and Tectonophysics' Ocean-Bottom Seismology lab, about the work he does to measure the world beneath the deep.

Carlos told us, "We [at the Ocean-Bottom Seisomology Lab] are a team of scientists and engineers that develop and operate cutting-edge instrumentation utilized in seismic 'hot-spots' located under the world's oceans, sometimes as deep as three miles under water. In broad terms, the data we record aims to explain the mechanics of how the Earth is put together, at mapping the sub-seafloor, highlighting hidden faults and other earthquake hazards."

Check out photos of him at work below (captions provided by Carlos):

Deployment of a deep-sea instrument offshore Gisborne, New Zealand. These instruments record the Earth's motion as well as temperature and pressure at the seafloor.
Performing operations at the seafloor with the aid of an ROV (deep-water vehicle/robot).
Just another day in the office. In this picture, to the left is a fleet of instruments to be deployed off the Oregon coast
The OBS team along with a recently recovered OBS instrument. I am the first one from the left, wearing the black hardhat.
This is me performing modifications on an instrument's circuits before it is to be deployed at sea. This picture was taken onboard the US research vessel, R/V Oceanus.

Our series #WhereScienceLives profiles Academy Members like Carlos who are conducting research in unique locations around the world. Our Members work across academia, industry, government and not-for-profit, and they com from over 100 countries. Academy Membership is a great way to enhance your professional network while also supporting programs to build STEM literacy in the United States and around the world. We invite you to become a Member and experience first-hand what it means to be part of the World's Smartest Network.