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Cindy Lee Van Dover

Part of Hall of Ocean Life.

Cindy Lee Van Dover

How is Cindy Lee Van Dover involved with deep sea vents?

Cindy Lee Van Dover is an oceanographer and explorer with a strong background in ecology and invertebrate zoology. Her work deals with the ecology of deep sea vent communities. Cindy was Alvin's first femal pilot. She has led many Alvin expeditions to study deep sea vents and collect specimens for further study.

What's Cindy's take on kids and deep sea vents?

Why should kids know about deep sea vents?

If we are to understand very basic properties of our planet, we need to understand how seawater and rock interact to form hot springs, a process that helps to create the chemistry of our deep oceans. There are also many reasons to think that life might have evolved at deep sea vents; our very origins may be linked to these primeval-looking habitats!

How can students everywhere be good stewards of the oceans?

One should study vents for all the same reasons that we study coral reefs and coastal waters, rain forests, and Arctic ice. We want to know how they work, how they compare; and that way we can protect them. It's about having a sense of "place," of understanding all of our planet. And, if for no other reason, one should know about vents because they are stunningly beautiful. The geological formations rival the grandeur of any of the fabulous national parks. The animal communities are as vi