Ashley Cosme: Jaws! – September 13th, 2018


NOAA Teacher at Sea

Ashley Cosme

Aboard NOAA Ship Oregon II

August 31 – September 14, 2018

Mission: Shark/Red Snapper Longline Survey

Geographic Area of Cruise: Gulf of Mexico

Date: September 13, 2018

Weather data from the Bridge:

  • Latitude: 29 45.5N
  • Longitude: 88 22.4W
  • Wind speed: 4 Knots
  • Wind direction: 060 (Coming from Northeast)
  • Sky cover: Clear
  • Visibility: 10 miles
  • Barometric pressure: 1016.4 atm
  • Sea wave height: 1 foot
  • Sea Water Temp: 30.3°C
  • Dry Bulb: 28.2°C
  • Wet Blub: 25.9°C

 

Science and Technology:

The one thing that pops into most people’s mind when they hear the word ‘shark’ is their sharp teeth.  Surprisingly, not all sharks have sharp teeth.  The diet of a shark determines the shape of their teeth.  The picture below is a set of jaws from two different species of sharks.  The jaws on the right are from an Atlantic sharpnose shark (Rhizoprionodon terraenovae), and the set of jaws on the left is from a gulf smoothhound (Mustelus sinusmexicanus).  The Atlantic sharpnose shark possesses small razor blade-like teeth because their diet consists of many different species of fish, as well as worms, crabs, and mollusks.  The gulf smoothhound possess teeth that are shorter, less sharp, and more closely packed together.  Their diet consists mainly of crustaceans and smaller species of fish.

jaws.jpg

Jaws from a gulf smoothhound (Mustelus sinusmexicanus) and an Atlantic sharpnose shark (Rhizoprionodon terraenovae)

 

Personal Log:

Day Crew.jpg

Shark/Red Snapper Survey Day Crew

We completed our last haulback tonight and we caught a whopping 48 fish.   Just before the haulback I watched the sun set one last time before I head home tomorrow.  These past two weeks have been so rewarding for me professionally and personally.  There were times when I felt like a college intern again, and I loved the feeling of not knowing all the answers.  So often my students think I have the answer to everything, and it was so refreshing to be back in their shoes for two weeks.  The NOAA scientists and fisherman expressed so much patience with me.  It reminded me that my students are learning most of the material in my classroom for the first time, and they will be more successful if I show them patience as they work through understanding the many details that I throw at them in one class period.

I most excited to get back to my family.  I fly in very late tomorrow night so I will not see my kids until they wake up on Saturday morning.  I can’t wait to see the look on their faces when they see that Mommy is finally home!  Once everyone is awake I am driving straight to Dunkin’ Donuts for an iced coffee.

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