Lisa Kercher, June 14, 2006

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Lisa Kercher
Onboard NOAA Ship Fairweather
June 11 – 24, 2006

The towfish
The towfish

Mission: Hydrographic and Fish Habitat Survey
Geographic Area: Alaska
Date: June 14, 2006

Science and Technology Log 

Today the crew worked on deploying several devices that work to collect information about the ocean floor. Together with the fisheries department, the FAIRWEATHER is able to gather information about the layout of the ocean floor and the substrate itself which helps them better understand what type of fish live in what area and what kind of habitat they prefer. For example, it may be known that a certain fish whose existence may be threatened and protected lives in a specific area. Therefore it is important to protect that area.  With the new information that is being collected, we can tell what the bottom habitat looks like and then also work to protect not just specific locations in the water, but also specific habitats.

Deploying the towfish
Deploying the towfish

This large torpedo-like device is called a towfish. It is dropped into the water behind the ship to collect pictures of the ocean floor.  Teacher at Sea Lisa Kercher assists in bringing it back to deck.

Personal Log 

I was able to help in deploying and retrieving several of the instruments used today. While it was cold and rainy, the learning experience outweighed the negatives in the climate.  It is great to be out learning what goes on in the research aspect of the science field, rather than just within the classroom!

The penetrometer has been deployed into the  water to collect information about the consistency  of the ocean floor.

Question of the Day 

I was told that there were many sea otters surrounding the ship last night.  The water was also full of kelp.  Why might the two of these organisms be found in the same location of the water at the same time?

The penetrometer
The penetrometer
The bottom sampler
The bottom sampler


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