Author Dana Manalang and illustrator Hunter Hadaway.
University of Washington
Author Dana Manalang and illustrator Hunter Hadaway.

After years working on a cabled observatory that monitors the Pacific Northwest seafloor and the water above, a University of Washington engineer decided to share the wonder of the deep sea with younger audiences. The result is “ROPOS and the Underwater Volcano” by Dana Manalang, an engineer at UW’s Applied Physics Laboratory. The book’s illustrator, Hunter Hadaway, is the creative director at the UW-based Center for Environmental Visualization.

“I started formulating the idea when my children were in preschool, and I shared pictures and videos from UW oceanographic expeditions with their class. I wanted to develop content appropriate for younger children, with an emphasis not only on the amazing science of the oceans, but also the innovative robots that we use for ocean research and exploration,” said Manalang.

Most of the photos were taken off the coasts of Oregon and Washington by the book’s main character, ROPOS: a deep-sea robot that braves near-freezing temperatures and crushing pressures to attach instruments beneath as much as 2 miles of water. The Canadian robot, whose full name is the Remotely Operated Platform for Ocean Sciences, captured the images while installing and maintaining the Ocean Observatories Initiative’s Regional Cabled Array, a high-tech marine observatory led by UW Oceanography professors John Delaney and Deborah Kelley.

Read more at UW Today »