Mark McKay, June 10, 2009

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Mark McKay
Onboard Research Vessel Knorr
June 10 – July 1, 2005

Mission: Ecosystem Survey
Geographical Area: Bering Sea, Alaska
Date: June 10, 2009

picture-185Personal Log

Wow! I woke up this morning and it really hit me that in a couple of days I will be on the R/V Knorr heading out of Dutch Harbor, AK heading for the Bering Sea. How cool is that? I have spent the last several weeks making preparations both personally and at my school for this trip. Have a lot to do. Arranging live events with the help of the great ARCUS staff, getting my paperwork done at school, and getting the family situated for me to be gone for a month. The vessel I will be on is called the Knorr and it is owned by the U.S. Navy. It has been operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute since 1970. The ship is named in honor of Ernest R. Knorr who was appointed Chief Engineer Cartographer (mapmaker) of the U.S. Navy Hydrographic office in 1860. This vessel has undergone extensive retrofitting in order to accommodate a wide range of oceanographic tasks. She is stuffed with two instrument hangers, eight scientific work areas, a machine shop, winches and cranes, and some very cool navigation and communications systems. The Knorr and has a propulsion system that allows the ship to move in on direction and more importantly maintain a fixed position in rough seas. This is especially important when deploying it new “long-coring” system that can pull a 60 meter (150 ft) of sediment from the ocean floor. These coring operations give scientists the opportunity to look at past climatic and oceanographic events that occurred on the earth and in the oceans.

Well I had better get back to my preparations. I’m sure I am forgetting something. I will be making updates here frequently so please check it out. IF you would like to know more about the Knorr, or the other Woods Hole Oceanographic Institutes research vessels, go to www.whoi.edu. Next post I will talk more about our particular mission.

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