NOAA Teacher at Sea
Onboard NOAA Ship Albatross IV
July 25 – August 5, 2005
Mission: Sea scallop survey
Geographical Area: New England
Date: August 1, 2005
Weather from the Bridge
Wind direction: E ( 107 degrees)
Wind speed: 12 knots
Sea wave height: 3’
Swell wave height: 0’
Sea water temperature: 14°C
Sea level pressure: 1022.2 millibars
Cloud cover: 30% Partly cloudy,cumulus
Question of the Day
Does the temperature of ocean waters change depending upon its depth?
Answer to yesterday’s question
Bilateral symmetry is the drawing of a line through an object and having it be the same on both sides as a mirror image, such as sea stars and mud stars.
Science and Technology Journal
Aside from the major science mission of the scallop survey a few other scientific investigations are taking place on the Albatross. One such project is the CTD measurements. C for conductivity, T for temperature and D for depth. I will elaborate on this in tomorrow’s journal. Another smaller project is the mapping of habitat using acoustic sounders.
Although the scallop watch crews are labeled as scientists aboard ship, with many us with our master’s degrees in a particular science specialty, only a few are fully engaged in that role for this leg. Vic Nordahl, Chief Scientist, Dvora Hart and Avis Sosa.
Vic is ultimately responsible for collecting and reporting accurate numbers of all scallops and other marine species we have documented. The watch chiefs report the data to him, but they must audit the data before a full report is made.
Dvora, while on watch, depending upon the tow number will randomly check numbers of starfish, crabs and the weight of scallop meat and gonads. We are collecting numeric quantities to help better determine the age and growth of scallops in different sampling areas.
Avis Sosa moonlights on these scallop survey crews during her summer vacation from teaching. Currently she is teaching advanced placement chemistry in a large international school in Jakarta, Indonesia. She is an amazing woman with a huge supply unique life experiences from all over the world under her belt. For the past 14 years, Avis has been working on various NOAA ships, first as a volunteer, now as a contract employee. Over the years, she has become a source of expertise in her knowledge of marine mollusks. While sorting through the pile, she will identify anything in it and give you not only the common name, but the scientific name as well. Currently she is collecting specimens for the collection in the museum at the Marine Fisheries Lab. She is my role model as the quintessential independent, worldly woman!
Another day of calm seas and perfect weather. Even though I hate getting up every morning at 5 a.m., when I arrive on the fantail after breakfast, the fresh salt air and sunrises always makes the early hours worth the struggle of waking my body up. After donning my rubber boots and “Hellies”, I take a few moments to scan the horizon, note the texture of the water, lean over the deck to watch the shape of the boat wake and breathe in the air of a brand new day.