Friday, May 1, 2009


During my sophomore year in high school I, like most others, took Biology. I can’t remember my teacher’s name, but I remember how much I liked her. One of the reasons I liked her so much is because I loved biology. She made it interesting and made me want to learn more about it.

I especially loved learning about the ocean. I remember learning about red tides and how many of the things found in the ocean are older than most things found on land. My favorite outing when I was younger was going to the Boston Aquarium and the Science Museum.

I recently rediscovered SeaQuest DSV. Just hearing the tagline “Beneath the surface lies the future” gives me chills because of the way it fuels my imagination.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved science fiction. Shows like Star Trek, Stargate and more recently BSG and Firefly. All of these series fuel the imagination and make one look further than our regular every day lives.

One of the great things about SeaQuest is that while it’s sci fi, it's premise seems possible and attainable. The world’s population is growing by leaps and bounds. At some point we are going to outgrow the available landmass. What will we do? Where will we live?

SeaQuest shows what might or could happen if we started to populate earth’s oceans. Oceans cover about 70% of the earth’s surface. If we could figure out a way to live down there, literally a whole new world would be open to us. Not only that, but if we can find out more about our present and our future by learning from our past, what more can we learn by studying our oceans?

There is so much out there…it makes me wonder what kind of research is currently being done concerning our oceans. How much money are we spending, and is it enough? I imagine it’s hard to find money for such research when most people probably think money should be spent on cancer research or ways to fuel the world or even in the competing arena of space…

As much as I probably sound like a geek going on about science fiction and how much I love science, I don’t really care. I think it’s good to have something out there that makes you think beyond the present. Something that makes you wonder if there is more to life than just what we know. Something that drives you to study the past, through studying the stars, the oceans, or the earth, in order to learn more about how to improve our present or to make life better in the future…As they say on SeaQuest, beneath the surface lies the future…


  1. Sam,

    It was Mary McMillan. Not your biology teacher, my teacher! And I remember some of what we learned but more famously remember her. It was my first teacher crush since Gwendolyn Bell, my 2nd grade teacher (who shared my birthday).

    Moving on, I have to admit I only watched an episode or two of SeaQuest and remember little about it also. But you are right about the premise. Which got me to thinking about how the things man tends to grasp at are usually outside his reach. We dream of colonizing the seas, the moon, or even Mars. But think about this for a moment: The challenges facing us in colonizing these inhospitable places are far greater than living with the land areas we already have. For instance, Death Valley and the Sahara present engineering challenges to overcome life's challenges in each, but the atmosphere is breathable. Transporting water, food, and natural resources to these areas would be child's play compared to putting the same resources into space or under the sea. An environmental failure in either would be livable. The equivalent issues under the ocean or in space would likely be fatal---quickly.

    So while I appreciate your concern for man's spatial challenges, I think the science we already have could be put to better and more efficient use on dry land. Besides, terrafarming and terraforming are SciFi principles that would need testing and refining before being used in colonizing the seas or the heavenly bodies.

  2. I knew the name would come to me - I'm 90% sure it was Ms Cheryl Santagate, or something pretty close to that...

    I never even thought of Death Valley or the Sahara. You bring up a very good point. And of course, in the real world, it would make sense to figure out a way to live there first.

    But that's one of the cool things about Sci Fi, most problems are solved in 45 minutes or less...

  3. I'm a total geek, I love those same shows. I'll check this out!