Melissa Fye, April 22, 2005

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Melissa Fye
Onboard NOAA Ship Hi’ialakai
April 4 – 25, 2005

Mission: Coral Reef Ecosystem Survey
Geographical Area: Northwest Hawaiian Islands
Date: April 22, 2005

Location: Latitude: 23*36.3’North, Longitude: 164*43.0’W

Weather Data from the Bridge
Visibility: 10
Wind Direction:90
Wind Speed: 14 knots
Sea Wave Height: 2-4 feet
Swell Wave Height: 5-7 feet
Sea Level Pressure: 1018.8
Cloud Cover: 2/8 Cu, As, Si
Temperature outside: 24.4

Science and Technology Log

At 0500, surveying of the ocean floor was concluded and transit to Honolulu began.  Scientists in the lab compiled more data and finished up the survey trip with a benthic habitat map of the French Frigate shoals. There are still a few bits of editing to do on the map and some borders need to be added to the final form, but overall it is complete. Scientist Joyce Miller showed me an overview of the completed work using Fladermouse, or a computer mouse, that gives an onlooker the view a bat would have flying over the map. It is a 3-D view of the map, giving its operator the ability to zoom in on underwater pinnacles, sand waves, and coral reefs from any direction.  The contours of the ocean floor were very apparent and Joyce Miller commented that the AHI, new software, etc., enabled the scientists to create the final product much faster; this being the first time they had all the data compiled into map form before the end of a cruise. It was exciting to see all the surveying work put into one picture. With surveying complete for this cruise, and much of the editing done, scientists and crew spent the day doing laundry, finishing up tidbits of work, watching the sunset, etc. The HI’IALAKAI is expected to arrive in the University of Hawaii’s port by 0800, Saturday, April 23, 2005.

Personal Log

I spent the day answering the last of the emails from students, printing off previously completed emails and logs, and snapping pictures of the ship and persons aboard.  Scientists showed me completed benthic maps in the lab and I began packing up my things. It has been a terrific experience and I was lucky to be onboard with such hospitable people. I have truly enjoyed my time aboard the HI’IALAKAI and I have learned so much about ships, coral ecosystems, the Hawaiian islands, scientific data collecting, and those people on board this cruise.  I’m taking back to my classroom a wealth of resources like maps, charts, a binder of lessons, and many photographs and digital movies to weave into science lessons.  But more importantly than those things, I will be bringing back to the classroom real-life enthusiasm for the application of science in the real world.  I have experienced first hand, biological ecosystems, weather instruments and measurements, and map making, in a real life context. I want my students to know that life is not a collection of things, but a collection of experiences. I hope this trip (the resources and anecdotal stories I bring back to the classroom) encourages them to explore opportunities as they arise in their own lives. As a teacher, my underlying goal is to teach my students that learning should be a life long adventure!  And isn’t that what this trip is really all about? Even with all the pictures I have taken and emails I have written, no one will ever have an experience like I have had on board the HI’IALAKAI. Thank you to NOAA, CO Kuester, Lead Scientist Scott Ferguson, and everyone else I have encountered on this trip!

QUESTION OF THE DAY: There are “rivers” of water in oceans that are called currents.  What is name of the current that runs the entire length of the east coast? How does it affect people on the east coast?

ANSWER TO YESTERDAY’s Question:  CO Kuester (commanding officer) has given commands for the ship to arrive at the entrance to Honolulu Harbor by 0700 on Saturday, April 23rd. The ship has 260 nautical miles to still cover, and we travel ten knots an hour.  1) How many hours will it take us to reach our destination? 26 hours 2) A nautical mile > a statute mile (mile on land)  if…

1 nautical mile (1 knot) = 1.15 statute miles  then… 260 knots = 299 statute miles


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