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Cordell Expeditions is an independent research/educational organization.

Founded in 1977, the group has carried out a series of research expeditions every year since 1978. The work involves exploring and describing remote sites, principally offshore submerged marine sites that support extensive biological communities. The motivation for the work is to carry out field work to generate primary information about the sites, so that they can be protected and rationally managed.

The first project of Cordell Expeditions was to explore and describe Cordell Bank, a shallow rocky feature about 50 nautical miles NW of San Francisco, California. As a result of this 10-year project, the U. S. Department of Commerce designated it as the Cordell Bank National Sanctuary.

Other expeditions by the group have been to the Farallon Islands, Noonday Rock, and Fanny Shoal (northern California); the coast near Pt. Sur (California); Rocas Alijos and Guadalupe Island (Baja California); Peter I Island (Antarctica); Roqueta Island (Mexico); Galapagos (Ecuador); Easter Island/Salas y Gómez (south Pacific); Heard Island (South Indian Ocean); and San Felix island (Chile).

Books that resulted from the these expeditions (all by R. W. Schmieder) include:

Ecology of an Underwater Island
Edward Cordell and the Discovery of Cordell Bank
Rocas Alijos. Scientific Results from the Cordell Expeditions
3YØPI Peter I Island: The 1994 DXpedition
DX-Aku: Messages from the Easter Island Expedition
VKØIR: The 1997 Heard Island Expedition
XRØX: The 2002 San Felix Island Expedition

The work has resulted in the discovery of more than 20 new species, significant uncharted topographic features, and many first observations of environmental conditions. Altogether more than 1000 new records (range and depth extensions, and first observations) have been recorded. A large collection of specimens, and photographic archive, and a large number of popular articles are additional results of the expeditions.

Cordell Expeditions is also involved with ongoing research programs associated with educational institutions, including Diablo Valley College, the California Academy of Sciences, St. Mary’s College, and the Shorebird Nature Center in Berkeley. Additionally, the expeditions have embraced radio science, with extensive involvement in amateur radio used on expeditions, particularly to remote sites such as oceanic islands.


DXpedition of the Year 1994 Peter I Island

DXpedition of the Year 1995 Easter Island

DXpedition of the Year 1997 Heard Island

Southwest Ohio DX Association: DXpedition of the Year (1994, 1995, 1997)

DXpedition of the Year 1994 Peter I Island

DXpedition of the Year 1997 Heard Island

DXpedition of the Year 1994 Peter I Island

QST: Best Magazine Article: Peter I 1994, Heard Island 1997

Chiltern DX Club: Certificate of Merit for Heard Island DXpedition 1997

DXpedition of the Year 1994 Peter I Island

DXpedition of the Year 1994 Peter I Island

DXpedition of the Year 1994 Peter I Island

Central Arizona DX Association: Honorary Lifetime Membership KK6EK 1997

International Underwater Foundation: Environmental Enrichment Award 1995

Underwater Photogaphic Society: OPEN VIDEO Second Place 1985

Named Geographic feature:

Schmieder Bank (off Pt. Sur, California)

Named new species and subspecies:
Armina cordellensis Gosliner
Codium dawsonii
Codium schmiederi Silva
Erylus schmiederi Austin
Forcepia (Forcepia) elvini Lee
Guitarra abbotti Lee
Halcelia bozanici Hendler
Homalopoma cordellensis McLean
Megalomphalus schmiederi
Ophioderma vansyoci

Paratimea alijosensis Hendler
Pharia pyramidata schmiederi Hendler
Thor cordelli Wicksten

Copyright © 2012 Robert W. Schmieder All rights reserved. Last update: Monday, February 13, 2012