NOAA Teacher at Sea
Onboard NOAA Ship Albatross IV
July 31 – August 11, 2006
Mission: Sea Scallop Survey
Geographical Area: Georges Bank, New England
Date: August 5, 2006
Science and Technology Log
Yesterday was quite a day—many stations, lots of scallops, and BIG rocks. I am amazed that the trawl net liner was not damaged. Last night, though, a rock the size of a small car was hauled onto deck—that one did tear the liner. It’s interesting to watch the winch drop it in the ocean.
My new special position (I’m still sorting, shoveling, and measuring) is taking the inclinometer, or bottom contact sensor, reading. To you landlubbers, it’s a device attached to the trawl that gathers data and tells the scientists whether the net was parallel to the bottom of the ocean. So when the net comes up with very little the information from the inclinometer is helpful.
Here’s what I do. I have an optic shuttle (about the size of a hot dog) that I secure in the inclinometer located on the trawl. Each part has sensors and when put together properly the inclinometer sends the data to the optic shuttle (like a zip) and when all information is received and a little green light flashed I take in into a computer and transfer the data onto the hard drive. It’s an important piece to the mission.
What I have been doing here is an example of how important hands-on learning really is for understanding and transfer. I could have read all about this experience (like you are with this journal), but until I held the fish, scrubbed the scallops, cut into a Monk fish to discover the ovaries, etc., I had no real understanding. Amazing!
The weather remains beautiful, the people are great, and the food is delicious.