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[rocket boom] [♪Rocketboom opening theme music♪] Hello, and good Thursday, April 17, 2008. I am Joanne, and this is Rocketboom. Today's Rocketboom episode is all about a gentleman called Shaun Waterford, who is attempting to break a world record this summer and spend three months uninterrupted, beneath sea level, in a dome-shaped capsule that's all about eco-awareness and aqua culture. So, let's learn more from Shaun himself. I'm going to see if Shaun is with us, and we're going to learn all about underwater habitat. Sean, hi there! >>Hi, Joanne. How are you? >>Very, very well. How are you? I'm good--just about getting ready to go. Great. Good for you. Well look, I've read about your project a little bit, we've spoken about it. You've got some really great things to say about why you want to do this, an eco-awareness, record-breaking attempt, so over to you. Tell us about the Waterford Habitat experiment. It's all about the idea of having a habitat which is easy to build, cheap, and can be like a part of a research program and stewardship of the environment of the ocean, which I think is very important. I've looked into what you'll be doing. The habitat that you'll be living in looks like a dome. It's a sort of dome-type structure that will be submerged 30 meters below sea level, and you'll spend 3 months in what looks like a fairly small capsule. But it's not just about breaking a world record. The record up to now is 69 days under water, but you're doing this because there's an interest now in dome structures, in general, there's an interest, of course, in what's going on environmentally with our underwater habitat. How did those things come together, and describe what you'll be doing for three months. The closest analogy for people to understand what type of structure it is is if you think of an igloo, which is like a one-piece structure. Think of it made out of concrete with the entry tunnel being an atmospheric lock-out channel, and it's made of concrete, which is quite cheap to manufacture. Now, there's loads of problems with global warming and with also the research aspect of how to study and how to monitor what's happening in our oceans at this time where the earth is changing, so basically, it's a chance for marine research institutes to be able to buy a cheap manufactured habitat which they can go under and then study in real time what's happening to the ocean environment. Do you feel that we, because we live on land and although some of us eat fish--I eat seaweed-- there's not really a--we get on boats, we travel across the water, but there's not really a regular lay people type of relationship with the ocean. We're not really thinking about the effect the climate change can have on our ocean and then the effect--the change in the climate and the effect it has on our oceans has an effect on us, so I would've thought that there's an element of that awareness, too, that your project can bring. What it does, it involves people into the whole idea that--I mean, very often we think of on-land ecosystems because we can see them. We can see the damage being done. What this does is enable people to be able to see underwater and see what sort of damage is done and also realize that we are stewards of the planet and that we can do something to help that. You raise a really valuable point because I think that a lot of people, when they look at something that is a project it's, therefore, using up resources--some of those natural resources--to build and create and sustain. Does that sort of go against being 100% eco? Absolutely. Actually, a big component of the structure has a limestone component to it which is very similar to coral reefs, so if I was to build the habitat and set up an artificial reef around that, it's actually very similar, component-wise, to what the natural reef systems are, so within no time you'll have fish not only find harbor in the actual structure, but all types of ocean organisms will start to attach to it and it will basically become a part of a reef system. The big difference between what I do and what other people do is that we use natural, non-leaching components that have got no threat to the ocean ecology. For those of us who don't know, why is it important to investigate some of those species? Some of them have vanished, some of them are under threat. Coral, we know, has suffered enormously in the last 10 or 15 years and a lot of it has died off. What's the importance of taking care of it? Joanne, you know something? We all like to eat fish, as an example. Fish is a staple diet for a load of populations all over this planet. In the past, a lot of people would just destroy the reef system to harvest the fish. Where this will add to the ecosystem but also to humankind is that we're looking to create fields of productivity where we can grow species, which may be desirable for consumerism without having to plunder the natural reef systems. Listen, Shaun, take good care. Keep us updated. Make sure that everything is safe when June rolls around and we'll be keeping our fingers crossed. Keep your fingers and toes crossed, please Joanne, because it's going to be a pretty daunting stay--three months underwater but you know what? Somebody's got to do it, somebody's got to step up to the plate, and I'm the guy that's going to do it. Great. Shaun Waterford Habitat--do the research, look him up online, there's lots of information. Shaun, we'll be in touch very soon. Thanks for joining us here on Rocketboom. []

Video Details

Duration: 6 minutes and 29 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Views: 305
Posted by: rocketboom on Apr 18, 2008

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