At dawn and dusk every day, our planets' largest migration occurs in the top 200 meters of the ocean. Zooplankton, who have hidden from predators in the gloomy, lower layers of the water column, migrate to the surface of the ocean at dusk to feed under cover of darkness. At dawn, they scoot back down to the gloomy safety deeper in the water column. Active Acoustics uses sound to "see" into the water column to track these diverse and beautiful creatures.Active acoustics uses sound to "see" underwater. A transducer mounted on the research vessel sends a ping of sound into the water column and when that sound wave bumps into some sort of obstacle (in this case millions of tiny zooplankton), a returning sound wave contains information about these life forms.
My process involves shifting between learning science and developing sketches. When I have enough sketches, I experiment with how best to express the science I've learned.
The process of learning the science and integrating the design of the art takes time and care. It's important for me to represent science accurately and help viewers appreciate the value of scientific research.
Early design plan for Active and Passive Acoustics.
This is a well written and beautifully illustrated article about zooplankton in the New York Times Science section.