Stephanie Wally, August 30, 2005

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Stephanie Wally
Onboard NOAA Ship Rainier
August 29 – September 10, 2005

Mission: Hydrographic Survey
Geographical Area: Eastern Prince William Sound, Alaska
Date: August 30, 2005

Leaving Seward at Dusk
Leaving Seward at Dusk

Weather Data from Bridge 

Time: 0800
Cloud Cover: Low Clouds, Stratocumulus
Visibility: 10 nm (nautical miles)
Wind Direction: 60°
Sea Wave Height: 0’
Swell Wave Height: 0’
Sea Water Temperature: 11.7°C
Sea Level Pressure: 1013.5 mb (millibars)
Temp: 11.1°C

Science and Technology Log 

Greetings from Prince William Sound, Alaska!  My name is Stephanie Wally, and I teach 6th grade math and science in Oakland, California.  For the next two weeks, I will be aboard the NOAA ship RAINIER participating in a hydrographic survey of the Eastern Prince William Sound… charting the seafloor and installing tidal gauges where no man, woman, or vessel has gone before!  The exciting adventure began Monday, August 29, when we departed from Seward, Alaska.

The crew, led by our Captain, Commander Noll, and Executive Officer, Commander Neander, helped me get acquainted with life aboard a scientific research vessel.  Ensign Laurel Jennings picked me up from the train station and gave me my first tour of the ship.  As a visitor on this vessel, I was quick to notice how each individual is constantly focused on their duties that contribute to the completion of the mission.  The primary objective of this project is to gather hydrographic survey data that can be used to create accurate charts of south central Alaskan waters.  We will be navigating through the waters near the Columbia Glacier, just outside Valdez.  What makes this leg of the journey so interesting is that we are charting areas that have never been documented before. Some charts that the NOAA Officers and survey technicians are using were created in the early 1900’s!  In the following log entries, I will further explain the ins and outs of hydrography, also known as “hydro” here on the ship.  I am looking forward to sharing my experience during this expedition with my students, colleagues, friends, and family.

Question of the day: If 0° is considered NORTH, 90° is EAST, what direction is 180°? 

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