NOAA Teacher at Sea
Aboard NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson
July 2 – 22, 2017
Mission: Gulf of Alaska Pollock Survey
Geographic Area of Cruise: Gulf of Alaska
Date: July 3, 2017
Weather Data from the Bridge
Latitude: 57° 47′ 24″ N
Longitude: 152° 24′ 26″ W
Sky: Broken Clouds
Visibility: 10 nautical miles
Wind Direction: 068
Wind Speed: 5 knots
Sea Wave Height: <1 foot swell
Barometric Pressure: 1013.3 millibars
Sea Water Temperature: 9.0° C
Air Temperature: 9.8° C
Science and Technology Log
Oscar Dyson is one of NOAA’s fisheries survey vessels. It was commissioned in 2005 and its home port is Kodiak, Alaska. The ship was named after the Alaskan fisherman Oscar Dyson who was an activist for improving the fishing industry. He passed away in 1995. The purpose of Oscar Dyson is to collect data on marine life and ecosystems primarily in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska. Most of the research has been focused on the management of Alaska pollock, which is the largest fishery by volume in the United States. The ship houses a crew of up to 24, which includes NOAA Corps officers, engineers, deck hands, survey technicians, stewards, and electronic technicians along with up to 15 scientists. They all work together to make daily operations on the Oscar Dyson a success.
The 208 ft. long Oscar Dyson runs on 4 super charged diesel engines. The engines are designed to produce up to 3 megawatts of electricity a day. The alternating current is converted into direct current in order to power the two propulsion motors. Oscar Dyson’s engine room is fully automated and will add or remove diesel generators based on load demand. Oscar Dyson has a cruising speed of 12 knots and a range of 12,000 nautical miles.
I was pleasantly surprised by how spacious my accommodations are on Oscar Dyson. I am in a 4-person room but have only 1 roommate. Her name is Alex Padilla. She is an ocean engineering graduate student from University of New Hampshire interested in studying the acoustics of bubbles. Our room has bunk beds on both sides of the room, a desk, multiple storage lockers, a toilet & shower, and a large wall mounted TV with movies and Direct TV.
Just down the passageway from my stateroom is a crew lounge where we can gather and watch movies. There is a mess deck (cafeteria) that serves three meals a day and is open 24/7 for soup, salad, and snacks. Oscar Dyson has a variety of labs that I will cover in future blogs. I was fortunate to have 3 days on the ship before our departure and have become somewhat familiar with the layout of the ship.
Click here for more specification on the Oscar Dyson: NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson Specification
I got to go on a field trip to Fossil Beach before leaving Kodiak and here is a short video about my experience.
To dive deeper into the fossils and geologic history of that region you can click this link for Allison and Marincovich Jr’s geologic survey paper: A Late Oligocene or Earliest Miocene Molluscan Fauna From Sitkinak Island, Alaska
Click this link for more information on concretions.
Did You Know?
The Weather Bureau was founded in 1870 and Fish and Fisheries in 1971, making up the first conservation agency for the United States. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration was started in 1970 as an agency within the department of Commerce. Today NOAA has many branches that focus on weather, climate, ocean & coasts, fisheries, satellites, marine & aviation, etc. You can learn more about the history of NOAA and the various branches by clicking this link: NOAA.gov