NOAA Teacher at Sea
Onboard USCGC Healy
August 7 – September 16, 2009
Mission: U.S.-Canada 2009 Arctic Seafloor Continental Shelf Survey
Location: Beaufort Sea, north of the arctic circle
Date: September 4, 2009
Weather Data from the Bridge
Latitude: 780 12’N
Longitude: 1360 33’W
Science and Technology Log
Part of NOAA’s mission is to conserve and manage marine resources. To this end, the Healy has a Marine Mammal Observer (MMO) on board. Our MMO is Justin Pudenz. He collects data on any interactions we might have with marine mammals during our voyage. Both the Louis and the Healy have observers on board.
Justin spends his time on the bridge of the Healy, binoculars in hand, notebook near by, always on the lookout for life on the ice or in the air. He lives in southern Minnesota when he is not on a ship. Justin tries to spend 6 months at sea and 6 months at home. He has been a fisheries or marine mammal observer since 2001. The company he works for is MRAG Americas. NOAA hires observers from this company when they are needed. While on board the Healy, Justin spends hours each day watching for marine mammals and recording his observations. The data he collects goes back to NOAA.
Justin has traveled to many bodies of water as an observer including the Pacific near Hawaii and the Bering Sea for fisheries observation. His next mission will be on a crabbing vessel in mid-October. If you can picture the television show “DEADLIEST CATCH” – that is the type of vessel he will sail on. On a fisheries trip Justin will collect data on the species of fish caught, their sex, weight, length and other information NOAA needs, to understand the health of ocean ecosystems. Justin grew up enjoying the outdoors and always knew a desk job was not for him. He has a degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Science and has been lucky enough to find a job that gets him outdoors and is ever changing.
FOR MY STUDENTS: How are your observation skills? Would a job at sea be a good match for you?
I asked Justin what he has seen from the Healy. Our “trip list” follows. The farther away from land we get, the fewer species of birds we see. Most of these bird species were spotted before we hit the heavy ice.
The Marine Mammal Observer has seen these birds since we departed Barrow, AK: Pacific loon, Northern fulmar, red phalarope, long-tailed jaeger, Ross’ gull, Arctic tern, spectacled eider, pelagic cormorant, parasitic jaeger, glaucous gull, black-legged kittiwake, yellow wagtail.
The Marine Mammal Observer has seen these mammals since we departed Barrow, AK: bearded seal, ringed seal, Arctic fox, polar bear.
Many people have asked about the living spaces inside this ship. It is an amazing vessel when you think about all that happens here. The Healy is truly a floating city with 120 people on board. Any function that your town does – this ship needs to do. A city needs to clean water, sewage treatment, trash pick up, recycling, electrical power, food, shelter, and recreation. All of these are provided for on the Healy. I have attached a few pictures of life on the Healy below.