Terry Maxwell: Delayed but not Dismayed, June 6th, 2017

NOAA Teacher at Sea

Terry Maxwell

Aboard RV Hugh R. Sharp

June 6 – June 21, 2017

Mission: Scallop Survey

Geographic Area of Cruise: Northeast Atlantic Ocean

Date: June, 6th 2017

Weather Data from the Bridge
Latitude: 41 31.53 N
Longitude: 70 40.48 W
Wind Speed 10.4 KT’s (11.96 mph)
Air temp 11.0° Celsius (51.8° Fahrenheit)

Science and Technology Log
After starting my travels at 3:45 am on the 5th and ending at 6:00 pm, I was ready to get on with the trip.  However we’ve started off the trip with a bit of a delay.  We were due to leave at 6am this morning, but have been delayed til 5 pm.  This is due to strong winds that are causing large waves, making travel and the survey work difficult.

wind data However, today hasn’t been a waste for me.  I’ve had a chance to take in the town of Woods Hole, Massachusetts.  This place seems like the hub of Northeast Atlantic fisheries.  There several organizations working out of Woods Hole, and there is a rich history of ocean exploration that is evident throughout the town.  Three institutions that are working out of this area are NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), and Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL).  Each of these institutions serves its own purpose and there is not much overlap between responsibilities even though they are working in the same field.  These institutions do collaborate somewhat with resources and people on missions, but typically don’t work joint missions.  The fisheries branch of NOAA is typically more concerned with the populations of marine life.  WHOI is more focused on oceanographic studies, more about the physical and chemical characteristics of the ocean.  Marine Biological Laboratory, as the name implies, is also focused on the study of ocean life, but unlike the other two organizations, it is a college and is associated with the University of Chicago.  MBL typically does not collaborate with NOAA as much as WHOI does.  On this particular scallop survey,  A scientist from WHOI is working with the HabCam (which I’m sure to talk more about in future blogs).  Woods Hole seems like a destination for any aspiring marine life or oceanography college student to come and work with the best in their field.  There are several graduate and undergraduate students on this trip as well.  As I get to learn everything needed for this trip to function, I’m starting to realize how many different specialists are needed on this mission.  The collaboration and coordination of this trip by the team at NOAA is really impressive.  Got a science background?  Not sure what you want to do with it?  Why not try a NOAA cruise?  You can click here to learn more.

Left to right: NOAA offices, A WHOI laboratory sign, and an MBL building.


Personal Log
Looking at the projected weather forecast and imagining being tossed around by 12 foot waves has me hoping this anti-seasickness patch will work.   By the time I have finished up this blog post, we are underway, and I am feeling okay still.  Looking forward to tomorrow, being part of the first dredging team.  I am amazed to hear the waves pounding against the ship.  Forces of nature are an awesome thing to deal with.

Patch for sea sickness

Did You Know?
Wood’s Hole, Massachusetts (where we launched from) is where the main ferry to Martha’s Vineyard is located.  This makes Wood’s Hole a tourist destination for people who are wanting to go see the popular summer getaway of Martha’s Vineyard.  Interesting mix of research and tourism here.

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