Jane Temoshok, October 24, 2001

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jane Temoshok
Onboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
October 2 – 24, 2001

Mission: Eastern Pacific Investigation of Climate Processes
Geographical Area: Eastern Pacific
Date: October 24, 2001

Latitude: 19º S
Longitude: 73º W
Air Temp. 21.0º C
Sea Temp. 19.0º C
Sea Wave: < 1 ft.
Swell Wave: 1 – 3ft.
Visibility: 8 – 10 miles
Cloud cover: 6/8

Science Log

Wednesday – The Last Day of the EPIC 2001 Voyage

This is the end of Epic 2001! Actually it’s rather anti-climactic. People are packing up their belonging, finding their passports, exchanging photos, and talking about dinner plans in Arica. This has been an excellent trip for all involved. The scientists are happy, the weather cooperated, no serious injuries or illnesses were reported, and people got along. What more could you ask for?

For me this was an incredible experience, one that I shall reflect upon for a long time. I’ve been exposed to a lot of science I knew nothing about and have been inspired by some very bright thinkers. More than that though, I’ve had an opportunity to share in this project that has far-reaching consequences for the entire planet.

I’m proud to be part of a community of researchers that has been supported through NOAA and NSF. Government support of science that furthers knowledge of our planet for the betterment of all is some of the best work we can do. An outreach program that communicates the results and the excitement to the next generation ensures that this endeavor will continue into the future.

Thank you,
Jane Temoshok

Jane Temoshok, October 23, 2001

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jane Temoshok
Onboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
October 2 – 24, 2001

Mission: Eastern Pacific Investigation of Climate Processes
Geographical Area: Eastern Pacific
Date: October 23, 2001

Latitude: 20º S
Longitude: 78º W
Air Temp. 16.0º C
Sea Temp. 17.0º C
Sea Wave: < 1 ft.
Swell Wave: 2 – 4 ft.
Visibility: 8 – 10 miles
Cloud cover: 8/8

Science Log

Doldrums and Horses

We are in the doldrums. It’s true. The ocean looks like a lake. No wind, no waves, nothing. I went to the captain and asked him about it, and he gave me information about doldrums and horse latitudes. Apparently there is a belt of low pressure at the ocean surface near the equator. It is usually overcast (stratus clouds again) and it is incredibly still. This was really, really bad for the sailors of the old days (no wind, no go). In fact, the horse latitudes (which are similar to the doldrums) were so named because ships that were stuck here for long periods of time used to throw their horses overboard to conserve water and lighten the load. For us though it is wonderful (love those engines!). With no wave or wind to slow us down we have made excellent time. In fact, we have slowed down on purpose (we can’t arrive in Chile too early) so the crew can go fishing. If they are successful we will have a bar-b-que on the deck tonight!

Travel Log

Just after my last webcast I went out on the deck and saw a HUGE leatherback turtle! The water was so calm it was easy to spot him. The Boson thought it was as big as a Volkswagen Beetle! Then we saw a few more off in the distance. I don’t have any reference material out here so I can’t find out much about them. So here’s your question…

Question of the day:
How large do leatherback turtles get, and what do they eat?

Only 2 more days until land,
Jane

Jane Temoshok, October 21, 2001

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jane Temoshok
Onboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
October 2 – 24, 2001

Mission: Eastern Pacific Investigation of Climate Processes
Geographical Area: Eastern Pacific
Date: October 21, 2001

Latitude: 20º S
Longitude: 85º W
Air Temp. 18.7º C
Sea Temp. 18.6º C
Sea Wave: 3 – 4 ft.
Swell Wave: 4 – 5 ft.
Visibility: 10 miles
Cloud cover: 5/8

Science Log

What to do when you haven’t got a clue?

This is the question that the folks in the ETL vans want you to think about. We were talking about the idea that scientists love to question the world around them and find ways of quantifying their observations and proving their theories. But another aspect of being a scientist is being a problem solver. Taniel and Duayne in the radar van were getting a “funny” reading from their computer and they didn’t know why. Could it be a malfunction in the computer or the radar? Perhaps it was raining and causing the radar to see things differently. Maybe the sensors weren’t lined up properly. There were many ideas and they had to go through each one. They agreed that to solve the problem they both had to brainstorm lots of ideas together and then rule them out one by one. In this case they also sent email to their lab in Colorado for advice. In the end they did figure it out and fix the problem. Taniel and Duayne look at it as kind of a puzzle and they keep trying until they have put it together. It’s called perseverance!

Travel Log

The science on board is just about complete. Now thoughts are turning to preparing to leave the ship on Thursday. So much of the equipment must be put away and this takes man and machine power and a lot of coordination. Remember, when we get off the ship another science group with completely different needs will be coming onboard. Most of their stuff is onboard in a big trailer that was loaded months ago in Seattle, Washington. Can you imagine packing for a trip that you won’t take for six months?

Photo descriptions: Today’s Photos: Different aspects of getting ready to depart. Boxes and crates and cranes!

Only 4 more days until land,
Jane

Jane Temoshok, October 20, 2001

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jane Temoshok
Onboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
October 2 – 24, 2001

Mission: Eastern Pacific Investigation of Climate Processes
Geographical Area: Eastern Pacific
Date: October 20, 2001

Latitude: 20º S
Longitude: 85º W
Air Temp. 19.7º C
Sea Temp. 18.6º C
Sea Wave: 4 – 6 ft.
Swell Wave: 4 – 6 ft.
Visibility: 8 – 10 miles
Cloud cover: 7/8

Science Log

Several students have asked about seeing the stars in the Southern Hemisphere. Well I hate to disappoint, but I haven’t seen one star on this voyage. There’s a good reason though (and it’s not because I’m in the lounge watching movies). One of the main reasons this cruise is in the Eastern Pacific is because a layer of stratus clouds almost always covers it. While that’s not good for stargazing it’s great for the atmospheric meteorologists on board. One theory is that the clouds have a cooling effect on the ocean by reflecting the solar radiation back upwards and letting little of it penetrate to the surface. But it really isn’t completely understood at this time.

Additionally the southeasterly winds in this in this area cause the surface water to move away from the coastline allowing deeper water to move up to the ocean surface, creating an upwelling current. Upwelling currents replenish the surface layers with nutrients which is why the fishing and marine life is so plentiful along the coast. The shifts in the temperature of masses of water, along with the effects of the clouds are what the scientists onboard are hoping to understand.

What I have learned on this cruise is that the study of climate is very complex and that this area is particularly important. The Eastern Pacific may hold the key to a better understanding of the processes that affect the climate of the entire globe.

Travel Journal

The Chief Engineer Mike Gowan gave me a tour of the engine rooms today. He works down in the bottom of the ship and is responsible for overseeing all the major mechanics that keep the ship moving and habitable. There are 6 huge engines, air conditioning, water filtration, and sewage systems. It was really loud and we had to wear ear protection while we toured. He is assisted by Patrick,the Junior Engineer, and June, the “oiler”. (Isn’t it great to see women in the engineering room?!) Frankly I found it hard to conceive of working in that environment on a daily basis but they sure love it.

TAS Jane Temoshok and Chief Engineer Mike.
TAS Jane Temoshok and Chief Engineer Mike.
Temoshok 10-20-01 crewpatrick
This is Junior Engineer Patrick McManos.
Temoshok 10-20-01 crewjune2
June, another crew member of the BROWN’s Engineering Department.
Temoshok 10-20-01 peopleclaudiaandjane1
TAS Jane Temoshok (L) and her roommate, Claudia (R).
Temoshok 10-20-01 brownworkingondeck
A view of the crew at work on deck.

Question of the day: How long will it take the RON BROWN to travel from here to Arica (800 miles) averaging 13 knots/hour?

Keep in touch,
Jane

Jane Temoshok, October 19, 2001

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jane Temoshok
Onboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
October 2 – 24, 2001

Mission: Eastern Pacific Investigation of Climate Processes
Geographical Area: Eastern Pacific
Date: October 19, 2001

Latitude: 20º S
Longitude: 85º W
Air Temp. 18.8º C
Sea Temp. 18.4º C
Sea Wave: 3 – 5 ft.
Swell Wave: 3 – 5 ft.
Visibility: 10 miles
Cloud cover: 7/8

Science Log

It’s done! Everyone was up early and out on the fantail (the aft deck) right after breakfast. Although the waves were a bit higher today the sun was bright and the temperature mild. In the complete reverse order of how the old mooring was brought in on Wednesday the new mooring was deployed. People worked from 7 this morning ’till 4 in the afternoon to get this put out properly and safely. Near the very end, after paying out close to 4000 meters of rope, the glass balls were attached, next the release valve, and lastly the anchor. The anchor consists of 3 large solid steel wheels that weigh close to 10,000 pounds! What a splash it made when it hit the water! Now there is a sense of relaxation and success. Tomorrow the onboard computers will check for signals from the mooring and then we will be on our way.

Temoshok 10-19-01 whoiglassballsdeploy4
The glass balls being deployed. The large objects by the A-frame are anchors. The left side is for the IMET Buoy and he right side is for the TAO Buoys.
Temoshok 10-19-01 whoijaneinribbest
TAS Jane Temoshok in the small boat going out to the buoy.
Temoshok 10-19-01 peoplegirlsinhardhats4
Women in hard hats on the deck: Claudia (Chile), Charlotte (France), Jane (U.S.), and Olga (U.S.) are ready to work on deck.

Travel Log

Wildlife on board

Gordy Gardipe from the engineering crew says that oftentimes seabirds fly onto deck during the night. They are attracted to the lights on the ship and they fly directly into it. Sometimes they die but sometimes they just get disoriented. Gordy has a special box that he uses to capture the bird. He waits until daylight and then sets them free. He said he used to release them right away but often they would just fly right back and do it again. That’s why he waits for sunlight.

Question of the day: What does a petral (type of sea bird) eat?

Keep in touch,
Jane

Jane Temoshok, October 18, 2001

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jane Temoshok
Onboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
October 2 – 24, 2001

Mission: Eastern Pacific Investigation of Climate Processes
Geographical Area: Eastern Pacific
Date: October 18, 2001

Latitude: 20º S
Longitude: 85º W
Air Temp. 21.0º C
Sea Temp. 19.0º C
Sea Wave: 2 – 3 ft.
Swell Wave: 3 – 4 ft.
Visibility: 10 miles
Cloud cover: 5/8

Science Log

What lies beneath?

This is our third day “on station” at 85 W. Since successfully retrieving the mooring yesterday most of the scientists on board have been taking apart all the scientific instruments that came up with it. Their hope is that data was recorded all year long and that now they can transfer it to their onboard computers to bring home.

Along with that many people are preparing for tomorrow’s deployment of the new buoy. There are many things to consider, such as the length of rope (4400 meters!) and the depth order in which the instruments are to be attached. Each instrument must be placed along the rope so that it hangs precisely at a certain depth. Furthermore, the barnacles that were attached to the instruments that were brought in yesterday really made it difficult to get at the sensors. So today many of us are painting the instruments with a special paint that barnacles and other sea life don’t like. It’s called “anti-foul” paint. It’s used a lot on the bottoms of boats and such and it smells really bad! Hopefully it will make the buoy unattractive to barnacles.

The most important thing to consider though is where to put the mooring. X may mark the spot on a map, but it doesn’t work in the ocean. Just like the land around you has hills and mountains and valleys and plains the ocean floor is not smooth. In general the depth of the ocean in this part of the world is 4000 to 5000 meters. But if you needed to sink something to the bottom it would be important to know that it’s not going to land on an underwater mountaintop or be pulled down into a deep valley. The Ron Brown has a type of radar called the “sea beam” that looks straight down to the bottom of the sea and sends out acoustic signals. It measures how quickly those signals bounce off the bottom and return to the ship. This tells the computer how deep it is right there. It keeps doing this so the computer can form a picture of the bottom of the sea. It actually forms a map so the scientists can “see” where to drop the anchor.

Travel Log

MYSTERY PACKAGE

Shortly after completing our “web cast” while I was still on the bridge, the ensign on duty reported seeing an object in the water. We all took up binoculars and sighted a bright orange rectangular shaped object, about the size of a shoebox, that was floating off the starboard side. The captain quickly called the crew on deck and told them to prepare to retrieve the item as the ship approached. Of coarse everyone crowded around to see it being brought on board and was speculating as to what it might be. Drugs! Money! Perhaps a love letter! Because of its bright orange wrapping it was obviously meant to be discovered. Some speculated that it was just a piece of safety equipment that had fallen off a ship. The first thing we all noticed when it was lifted on to the deck was the barnacles attached to its underside. From this we inferred it had been in the water for several months, but because of the small size of the barnacles, probably less than a year. The captain came down and used a knife to cut it open. Alas, nothing but Styrofoam inside. We felt so let down!

In my broadcast today, I said I would give a t-shirt to the first student who could identify the signal flags on the back of the shirt. Look at the photo carefully, and if you think you know the answer, send me an e-mail. Be sure to include your name and teacher’s name so I know how to contact you! Good luck.

Question of the day: Is it necessary to paint all the instruments that will hang along the rope with anti-foul. Should the ones hanging at 50 meters get the same amount as those that hang at 500 meters or 1500 meters? Why or why not?

Photo descriptions: This is my roommate Claudia and a scientist from Ecuador helping paint the instruments with Anti-Foul Paint.

Temoshok 10-18-01 paintinginstruments

This is a photo of the Sea Beam Radar that is mapping the floor of the ocean underneath the ship.

Temoshok 10-18-01 seabeam

Here are 2 photos of the mystery package that turned out to be nothing!

Look carefully at the signal flags on the T-shirt. Do you know what letter each flag signals?

Temoshok 10-18-01 tshirtflags

Keep in touch,
Jane

Jane Temoshok, October 17, 2001

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jane Temoshok
Onboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
October 2 – 24, 2001

Mission: Eastern Pacific Investigation of Climate Processes
Geographical Area: Eastern Pacific
Date: October 17, 2001

Latitude: 10º S
Longitude: 85º W
Air Temp. 19.2º C
Sea Temp. 18.6º C
Sea Wave: 2 – 3 ft.
Swell Wave: 3 – 4 ft.
Visibility: 10 miles
Cloud cover: 5/8

Science Log

Mooring Retrieval Day

Did you know that glass floats? Well it does when it’s round like a balloon and full of air. Try putting a holiday ornament in a bowl of water. Did you know that glass can be stronger than steel? Well it is. That’s why 80 air filled glass balls, each 17 inches in diameter, were attached to the anchor that was holding the mooring in place at 10S, 85W. They had to be strong enough to withstand the incredible pressure at 4000 m. below the surface. But when an acoustic signal was sent out to the hook that was holding the rope to the anchor, the hook released the anchor to the bottom of the sea and the balls floated to the surface in one big group. That was the first step in retrieving the mooring.

The big deal with getting the mooring on board the ship is that it all weighs so much. Just imagine the thick rope leading from the surface all the way down to the anchor. The rope alone weighs thousands of pounds! All along the rope there are science instruments that have been collecting and storing data about things like current, temperature, and salinity. So when the glass balls floated the bottom end of the rope, it allowed us to pull it in from the bottom up. A small orange boat called a RHIB (rigid hull inflatable boat) was sent out to hook onto the balls and guide them to the ship. They were hoisted onto the deck of the ship using a big winch. Take a look at all the simple machines in the photos! Pulleys, levers, inclined planes, wheels with axels, and so much more. Slowly the rope was brought in and wrapped along a big spool. Each instrument was carefully detached and catalogued. They will be carefully transported back to Dr. Weller’s laboratory in Massachusetts where the information will be studied. The instruments from lower end of the rope came up nice and clean. The instruments that were attached to the middle part of the rope had a few creatures stuck on to them. But the instruments near the surface were covered with crabs and mussels and barnacles! How did they get there? Remember that the food chain often starts off quite small. The barnacles that you see in the photo started off as really tiny “plankton” that drift around until it finds something to attach itself to (like the rope!). Then they start to grow, attracting other sea creatures to feed off of them. In no time at all there is a complete food chain living on and around the buoy.

When most of the rope was onboard the RHIB went back out to secure the mooring. This time I got to ride along! It was thrilling to be in such a little boat so far away from the RON BROWN. Even though the sea wave height was only 3 – 4 feet, the little boat got really knocked around! It was like an amusement park ride! You can see that I’m wearing my safety vest and hardhat and I’m holding on tight! We guided the mooring to the ship and then a big crane took hold of it and lifted it onto the deck. Finally the mooring was on board.

 

Travel log:

Today was a big day on board the RON BROWN. The mooring that was set out here a year ago was located and retrieved. To the uninitiated that may not sound like the biggest deal, but it really is an unbelievable undertaking that requires a lot of forethought, communication, equipment, and muscle. The safety aspects alone require so much preparation. Fortunately it was a successful retrieval and no one was hurt. Now we get to look forward to cleaning the instruments of all those barnacles!

Science fact: The “glue” by which a barnacle sticks (adheres) to something is one of the strongest adhesives known to man!

Keep in touch,
Jane

Jane Temoshok, October 16, 2001

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jane Temoshok
Onboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
October 2 – 24, 2001

Mission: Eastern Pacific Investigation of Climate Processes
Geographical Area: Eastern Pacific
Date: October 16, 2001

Latitude: 20º S
Longitude: 85º W
Air Temp. 19.8º C
Sea Temp. 18.6º C
Sea Wave: 1 – 2 ft.
Swell Wave: 3 – 4 ft.
Visibility: 8 – 10 miles
Cloud cover: 6/8

Science Log

LIDAR – Brandi McCarty & Scott Sandberg, ETL

Light and sound. LIDAR and RADAR. Both of these are used by scientists to observe the world. RADAR uses radio waves and LIDAR uses light waves. In this case, Brandi and Scott, from ETL in Colorado, use light waves, rather than sound waves, to observe clouds. They have a fully equipped van that was placed on the deck of the BROWN back in Seattle. Their major interest is observing the water vapor and wind velocity below and within stratus clouds. The instruments measure from 300 meters off the surface of the ocean up to about 4000 meters in the atmosphere.

Clouds have different functions. Depending upon how far they are away from the surface and what they are made from, clouds can act as a barrier to heat energy from the sun or as a blanket to keep heat trapped below.

Think of being in a hot desert. You would probably put on a light cloth to keep the burning sun out and keep you cooler. When the temperature drops though, you would want that cloth to keep your body heat in and not let it escape. Clouds are a lot like that. Mother Nature does a good job of keeping the planet at the right temperature. Now scientists want to figure out how she does it.

Brandi and Scott are working to collect lots of data that other scientists will use to make weather predictions. You can imagine that all the data that the ETL groups pull together from this trip could provide atmospheric scientists with lots of information to keep them busy for a long time.

Travel Log

R&R on NOAA Ship BROWN

In the evenings many of the scientific members as well as crew members enjoy playing games or cards, reading, or doing needlepoint. However the primary form of entertainment on the BROWN is watching videos. There is a big screen TV in the lounge. Crew member Mike puts out a schedule for the week of the videos that will be shown each night so you can plan ahead. He has hundreds and hundreds to choose from! Crew member Dave opens the ship store for us to buy popcorn or candy. The profits made at the store help to purchase new videos.

Temoshok 10-16-01 tvlounge
Scientists and crew members relax in the BROWN’s TV lounge.

Question of the day: Why is it important for all the “portholes” (windows) on the ship to be covered during the night?

Keep in touch,
Jane

 

Jane Temoshok, October 15, 2001

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jane Temoshok
Onboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
October 2 – 24, 2001

Mission: Eastern Pacific Investigation of Climate Processes
Geographical Area: Eastern Pacific
Date: October 15, 2001

Latitude: 19º S
Longitude: 85º W
Air Temp. 18.4º C
Sea Temp. 18.6º C
Sea Wave: 2 – 3 ft.
Swell Wave: 3 – 4 ft.
Visibility: 10 miles
Cloud cover: 8/8

Science Log

Moorings

The overall purpose of this cruise called EPIC on NOAA Ship BROWN is to collect data in a variety of forms that will allow scientists a better understanding of the science of climate change. In charge of this leg of the trip is a scientist from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts named Bob Weller. Although there is science going on all the time onboard, a major event of the cruise will be to retrieve and replace a mooring at 85W. A mooring is a type of buoy, something that is set into the ocean with a long rope that leads down to an anchor. Hopefully it stays put for a year and up to 4 years. Attached to the mooring are many, many scientific instruments that will collect data over a long time. This particular mooring is very large and has been in the ocean for a year. We expect to reach it sometime this afternoon and we will stay “on station” for 5 or 6 days until the job is done.

Much of the large equipment on board the ship is here solely for the purpose of retrieving this mooring. It weighs thousands of pounds and is extremely expensive. It is also a dangerous procedure when being lifted out of the water. Imagine the biggest crane you have ever seen at a construction site moving big things around. Now imagine that the crane and the items being moved are both bobbing on the water. That gives you an idea of what will be going on. Bob brought 3 men who are experts in this type of mooring operation along, Jeff, Willy and Paul. They have been training us on how to handle the ropes and the winches and some other equipment to make it go smoothly. It will take about a day just to lift it on board safely (several hours just to reel in the rope!). Then we spend the next day cleaning it and putting it away. I wonder what kinds of things will be stuck on it?

On board, there is a brand new mooring ready to be put into the same spot. That will take another whole day! Following that the scientists spend time making sure that all the instruments are working properly before we continue on our cruise.

During these days “on station” the other scientific groups will be launching balloons, studying clouds, taking water samples, and measuring wind speeds. The crew is hoping to go fishing near the mooring and have a bar-b-que! I’m just hoping for continued good weather.

Travel Log

As we travel east and change longitude we change time zones. So this morning, we “lost” an hour, which means we are now only 1 hour different that east coast time. Some people on board forgot to set their clocks and missed breakfast!

Question of the day: Sea life (mussels, barnacles, little fish) can be a problem for the scientists. They often attach themselves to the ropes and instruments and can interfere with the data being collected. Sharks may even bite into the cables and poke holes in them. Scientists are looking for ways to prevent this. Can you think of ways that might help?

Keep in touch,
Jane

 

Jane Temoshok, October 14, 2001

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jane Temoshok
Onboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
October 2 – 24, 2001

Mission: Eastern Pacific Investigation of Climate Processes
Geographical Area: Eastern Pacific
Date: October 14, 2001

Latitude: 15º S
Longitude: 89º W
Air Temp: 19.2.0º C
Sea Temp: 19.3º C
Sea Wave: 2 – 4 ft.
Swell Wave: 4 – 5 ft.
Visibility: 8 miles
Cloud cover: 8/8

Science Log

Wes Atkins & Robert Schaaf- Weather Balloons, University of Washington

Wes and Robert study the atmosphere. To do this they send up a big helium balloon that has a small box dangling from a string. In the box has an antenna that can communicate with up to 8 satellites, and several sensors that measure things like temperature, pressure, and moisture. The fancy name for this balloon and sensor package is called a radiosonde. The information that comes back to their computers is called an upper-air sounding. The data is graphed to show what’s going on in that atmosphere, on that day, in that location. Wes and Robert are part of a team that launches balloons every 3 hours! The idea is that the more data they collect the more accurate their “profile” or picture of the atmosphere will be. Also, they look for changes in the atmosphere as the ship moves along its track.

Another thing Wes and Robert are also interested in the sizes of raindrops. Have you ever been out in a light, misty rain? Compare that feeling to the big fat raindrops during a thunderstorm. What makes some rain drops tiny and some raindrops really big? For this experiment they use a special paper soaked in a chemical called “meth blue”. They put this out for a short period of time in a plastic tub. When the rain falls on the blue paper it leaves a mark which can be measured using a special tool – like a round ruler. They examine the sizes of the drops to learn about the clouds from which they came.

Travel Log

As you can tell from the data above, the sea is remaining pretty calm. The weather changes constantly from windy and gray to bright and clear. Every half hour is different. Today I saw a beautiful rainbow off in the distance.J (No pot of gold though.L) Still haven’t seen any other ships out here. We are very much alone at sea. This suits some people on board just fine. The crew (meaning the people who work on the boat all year long) really enjoy the solitude. They generally get news via email and whenever the ship puts into port, which can be anywhere from 3 weeks to 3 months. That’s a long time to go without hearing from your loved ones! There is a phone on board, but it costs $10 for just 3 minutes! There isn’t any TV on board but they do show 2 videos every night on a big screen in the lounge. There is a store on the ship where you can buy popcorn and candybars for the movie. Dinner is served really early (by my clock anyway) at 4:30! The kitchen closes by 5:30 so you better get your food by then or your on your own. The food is excellent, with a printed menu each day. I think the hardest working people onboard are the cooks! Can you imagine serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner for 50 people everyday? And they give us lots of choices too. Tonight we could choose from a complete turkey dinner (just like on Thanksgiving), Italian spaghetti with sausages, or salmon loaf.

Question of the day: How do updrafts affect the size of a raindrop? Do you think the size changes? If so, which way?

Keep in touch,
Jane

Jane Temoshok, October 13, 2001

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jane Temoshok
Onboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
October 2 – 24, 2001

Mission: Eastern Pacific Investigation of Climate Processes
Geographical Area: Eastern Pacific
Date: October 13, 2001

Latitude: 11ºS
Longitude: 91ºW
Air Temp: 19.7 ºC
Sea Temp: 19.9 ºC
Sea Wave: 3-4 ft.
Swell Wave: 3 – 4 ft.
Visibility: 8 – 10 miles
Cloud cover: 3/8

Science Log

Energy from the Sun

The sun is the source of all energy on the Earth. The sun gives us this energy in the form of light and heat. Where does all that energy go? Why? How can it be measured? These are some of the questions many of the scientists on board are asking.

Toby Westberry and Olga Polyakov are scientists that have 2 instruments to help them understand how solar energy behaves in the ocean. The first is the SPMR which is a tool used to measure how much light penetrates the water. The more light = the more heat. You can see in the photo that it is a small black device attached to a long cord.

Temoshok 10-13-01 ucsbsbmrlaunch
Scientist Toby Westberry holds the SPMR, a tool used to measure how much light penetrates the water.

Toby and Olga lower the SPMR over the side and let it sink to 300 meters. Then they reel it back in just like a fishing pole. It tells them the “color” (wavelength) of the light at different depths. They do this over and over again in different locations in the ocean. Why? We know that the ocean water is not the same temperature in all places on the planet. Can you think of why this might be?

Well Toby and Olga know that there are tiny living organisms in the ocean that play a role in how warm or cool the temperature is. They are called phytoplankton. It seems that the more phytoplankton there is near the surface of the water, the more heat is trapped there.

Here’s an excellent explanation from Mrs. Richards of what’s happening that might help you to understand the process:

Imagine a nice clear swimming pool. The sun’s heat energy can penetrate all the way to the bottom of the pool because the water is so clear. Whatever heat energy hits the pool will be dispersed throughout the water somewhat evenly. Makes sense, right?

Now imagine that the pool has a layer of scum and algae at the top. Face it, you just haven’t done a very good job at cleaning the pool, and your allowance just isn’t big enough to make the job worthwhile. Now, the sun’s heat energy can’t pass all the way to the bottom of the pool because the scum is blocking the light. The very top of the pool water is going to capture almost all of the sun’s heat energy, and the bottom layers of water will be darker and colder. Imagine how the temperature of the water will be affected by the amount of scum in the water.

Knowing how much phytoplankton is hanging around would certainly help understand how the sun’s energy is being used. For this experiment they use a CTD. (Boy they sure use a lot of abbreviations for things!) This instrument is really big and needs a big machine called a winch to lift it in and out of the water.

Temoshok 10-13-01 ucsbctd
The CTD is lowered in and out of the water by a winch.

It has 12 tubes that fill up with water, each at a different depth.When the CTD is back on the ship, Toby and Olga fill labeled plastic bottles with the water.

Temoshok 10-13-01 ucsbctdcoll
Toby and Olga fill labeled bottles with the water collected at each depth.

Then their work begins. First they run all the water samples through a filter to figure out how much phytoplankton was in the sample.

Temoshok 10-13-01 ucsbolgalab
Scientist Olga Polyakov works with the water samples in the lab.

Remember each tube on the CTD took in water at a different depth. So each bottle will tell a different story. They use this information to create a data graph which is used with other information to tell how the sun is heating the ocean.

Travel Log

Sea birds! I don’t know how they do it or where they came from but all of a sudden 5 “boobies” showed up over the ship. What was amazing is that they hardly ever flap their wings, yet they fly as fast as the ship. The ship is moving forward at about 10 miles an hour and has big engines to push it. These birds just seem to glide along over us. Beautiful!

Temoshok 10-13-01 bird
A booby flies over NOAA Ship RONALD H. BROWN.

Question of the day: What is an updraft and what causes it?

Keep in touch,
Jane

Jane Temoshok, October 12, 2001

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jane Temoshok
Onboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
October 2 – 24, 2001

Mission: Eastern Pacific Investigation of Climate Processes
Geographical Area: Eastern Pacific
Date: October 12, 2001

Latitude: 7 ºS
Longitude: 95 ºW
Air Temp: 21.2 ºC
Sea Temp: 21.1ºC
Sea Wave: 3 -4 ft.
Swell Wave: 3 – 5 ft.
Visibility: 8 miles
Cloud cover: 8/8

Science Log

ARGO

An ARGO Float is a small (about 3 feet in length) black tubular shaped instrument that measures temperature and salinity in the water. It’s interesting particularly because it is so simple. The middle part of the instrument, called a bladder, is made of a thick rubber material that can inflated like a balloon. It has a pump inside that inflates or deflates the bladder which changes its volume while keeping the mass the same. A deflated state has an increased density which makes the ARGO sink to a depth of 900 meters below the surface. There it drifts for 10 days collecting data. Then the bladder is inflated so the ARGO rises to the surface and transmits its data to a satellite. When the transmission is complete, it deflates again and begins the whole process anew. This will go on for four years! As part of an international project Dr. Weller, our Chief Scientist, and a group of scientists hope to have 3000 of these in the water all over the world collecting data. We will be deploying a total of 6 at the points marked on the photo. The one you see in the photo was deployed at 2.5 ºS.

Temoshok 10-12-01 argo
An ARGO Float is a small (about 3 feet in length) black tubular shaped instrument that measures temperature and salinity in the water.
Temoshok 10-12-01 argomap
Map of ARGO float deployments. We will be deploying a total of 6 floats at the points marked on the photo.
Temoshok 10-12-01 argoplan
The ARGO float deployment plan.
Temoshok 10-12-01 wellerargo
Dr. Weller, our Chief Scientist, holds an ARGO float.
Temoshok 10-12-01 wellerargo2
This ARGO float was deployed at 2.5 ºS.

Travel Log

Pilot Whales – My first sighting of whales. So beautiful and graceful. Not good for picture taking though because they blend in so well with the ocean. The weather is fine with a high cloud cover and light winds and no rain.

The crew says this is the calmest water they’ve been in all year! Lucky me!

Question of the day: What would happen to an ordinary styrofoam cup at at depth of 900 m.?

Keep in touch,
Jane

Jane Temoshok, October 11, 2001

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jane Temoshok
Onboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
October 2 – 24, 2001

Mission: Eastern Pacific Investigation of Climate Processes
Geographical Area: Eastern Pacific
Date: October 11, 2001

Latitude: 4 ºS
Longitude: 95 ºW
Air Temp: 21.0 ºC
Sea Temp: 19.0 ºC
Sea Wave: 1 – 2 ft.
Swell Wave: 3 – 4 ft.
Visibility: 10 miles
Cloud cover: 8/8

Science Log

Clouds

Today I met with meteorologist Dr, Taneil Uttal from ETL (Environmental Technology Lab) in Boulder, Colorado. She is head of a group that has done cloud studies in the Arctic. On this trip one of the things Dr. Uttal wants to determine is how similar marine clouds are to Arctic clouds. To do this she and her associate Duane Hazen use radiometers and radar which are all packed into a trailer. The whole trailer is on the deck of the RON BROWN. Think of the trailer as a big package of instruments. Duane’s job is to keep the machinery running. In the photo you can see the radar antennae on top of the trailer. It is there to measure the electromagnetic radiation at a certain frequency.

Dr. Taneil Uttal from ETL (Environmental Technology Lab) in Boulder, Colorado.
Dr. Taneil Uttal from ETL (Environmental Technology Lab) in Boulder, Colorado.
Dr. Uttal's associate, Duane Hazen.
Dr. Uttal’s associate, Duane Hazen.
Dr. Uttal and Duane Hazen use radiometers and radar which are all packed into a trailer.
Dr. Uttal and Duane Hazen use radiometers and radar which are all packed into a trailer.
In the photo you can see the radar antennae on top of the trailer. It is there to measure the electromagnetic radiation at a certain frequency.
In the photo you can see the radar antennae on top of the trailer. It is there to measure the electromagnetic radiation at a certain frequency.

Here is how Dr. Uttal explains what’s going on:

What is a cloud?
________________

A cloud is gazillions of tiny water droplets or ice crystals floating together up in the sky. Some clouds make rain and snow. Some clouds do not. In EPIC we are looking at both kinds of clouds.

What is a Radiometer?
_____________________

Think of a pokemon which has a special power that no other pokemon has. There are many things in the world around us that are just like that. For instance tiny droplets of water floating in the air are beaming certain energies that only water droplets have. If we know what the water droplet energy is like (and we do!), we can measure it and find out how much water there is in a cloud. A radiometer is a special instrument that we have here on the RON BROWN for measuring the special energy of a water droplet so we always know how much water is in the clouds over the ship. The energy of a water droplet can be named by how fast it is. A water droplet has three energies, 20 GHz, 32 GHz and 90 GHz. A GHz is 1,000,000,000 cycles per second.

What is a radar?
_________________

A radar is different from a radiometer because instead of looking for natural energy from something like a water droplet, it beams out its own energy, bounces it off of things in the sky (like water droplets in a cloud), and measures the reflected energy. By looking at the reflected energy, the radar can tell you things about a cloud that are different then what the radiometer tells you. It can tell you about how high a cloud is, how big the droplets are, and how fast the droplets are falling. The radar energy is 35 GHz.

What do you get when you look up with a radar and a radiometer?
_______________________________________________________________

When you put the data from a radar and radiometer together, you can figure out even more things, like how many cloud droplets there are, where the water is located in the cloud, and get an even better guess of how big the droplets are.

What does all this information tell you?
________________________________________

Right now people do not know very much about how clouds reflect sunlight from the sun, reflect warmth that is coming up from the earth, and change things like the temperature on the surface where we live. These things will change depending all the cloud height, how much water it has, how big the droplets are, and how fast they are falling. In EPIC, we want to know which kinds of clouds might make the ocean warmer, and which might make the ocean colder. This can have a big effect on where fish and other ocean animals might want to live and what kind of weather happens over the ocean.

Dr. Uttal is a scientist on board but she is also a mother and wife back in Colorado. Taniel and her husband Rusty, have 2 children – Kalvin, 6th grader at Baseline Middle School and Miranda, a 4th grader at Flatirons Elementary School.

Travel Log

Today I spent time on “the bridge” of the ship. This is the area that controls all the functions of the ship. The captain and his officers are responsible for all that goes on, much like the principal of the school is in charge. The best view can be had from the bridge and there are video cameras that look out over all the decks. The highlight was seeing a pod of porpoises swimming nearby. So graceful! I’m going to keep my eye out for whales.

Question of the Day: What is the fastest creature living in the sea?

Keep in touch,
Jane

Jane Temoshok, October 10, 2001

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jane Temoshok
Onboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
October 2 – 24, 2001

Mission: Eastern Pacific Investigation of Climate Processes
Geographical Area: Eastern Pacific
Date: October 10, 2001

Latitude: 1 ºS
Longitude: 95 ºW
Air Temp: 22.5 ºC
Sea Temp: 19 ºC
Sea Wave: 0 – 1 ft.
Swell Wave: 3 – 4 ft.
Visibility: 8 miles
Cloud cover: 6/8

Science Log

Everyone was working in full swing today. Weather balloons being released, water samples being collected, data from every possible source was being analyzed. The big event of the day though, was coming upon the first buoy. A buoy is relatively small, about the size of a small monkey bar set – just big enough for one or two people to climb onto. It has a long rope with an anchor attached at the bottom so it is supposed to stay put. But many times the currents and winds are too strong and it drifts a bit, making it hard to find in the big ocean. Fortunately, it has a sensor on it that helps the ship locate it. This buoy was placed out here last year. It is full of sensors that store information like temperature and salinity (how much salt is in the water) and winds. Using that information, scientists can chart even the smallest changes over long periods of time. Unfortunately this buoy was damaged a while ago and stopped transmitting. Perhaps a ship ran into it or maybe a shark took a bite out it. Today 2 scientists went out in a small boat (see photos) and climbed aboard the buoy and repaired it. Lucky for them, the seas were very calm, but even so, it is very dangerous work. They found the buoy quite damaged probably from a collision with a ship. The buoy was fixed and is now transmitting again.

The sea was very calm, but even so, repairing a buoy is dangerous work.
Two scientists traveled to the buoy in a small boat and climbed aboard to repair it. They found the buoy quite damaged, probably from a collision with a ship.
The scientists fixed the buoy and now it is transmitting again.

Travel Log

Repairing the buoy took about 2 hours. During that time some of the crew enjoyed fishing off the back of the boat. As Jennifer mentioned in her logs, the bottom of the buoy and the rope that leads down to the anchor act as a special habitat for sea life. Barnacles and mussels attach themselves to the rope and then small fish come to feed on them, The food chain grows quite large so that in a year’s time many big fish, including sharks, can often be seen by a buoy. Today one of the crew caught a 25 pound mahi which was deliciously grilled up for dinner.

Today we also had our first emergency drills. Each person on board is responsible for knowing what to do, where to go, and what to bring for each of the three types of emergencies. The first is your basic fire drill. But since you can’t get off the ship easily, you have to know where to go to be safe. The second one is the “abandon ship” drill. This one is tough because each person must get to her room, put on a life vest, and carry a large orange duffle bag with your “gumby” suit in it down to a lifeboat. A gumby suit is a big bulky rubbery suit that will keep you warm and dry if you have to go into the water. You put it on right over your clothes and it’s really tough to do. I was told that it will be even be harder to do in the middle of a dark and cold night! The last drill is the “man overboard” alarm. What do you do if you were to see someone fall off the ship? Three things: keep your eye on him, throw something in the water that will float like a life ring, and yell for help. Safety is a big concern when you are on a ship.

Question of the Day: How does the ship get fresh water for its passengers?

Keep in touch,
Jane

Jane Temoshok, October 9, 2001

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jane Temoshok
Onboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
October 2 – 24, 2001

Mission: Eastern Pacific Investigation of Climate Processes
Geographical Area: Eastern Pacific
Date: October 9, 2001

Latitude: 1º S
Longitude: 92º W
Temperature: 84º F
Seas: Calm in port

Science Log

There is a flurry of activity getting ready for departure. The crew is very focused checking that everything (and I mean everything!) is strapped down tightly. Then the authorities come on board to check passports and do an inspection. If all is in order we will be on our way shortly.

Photos: Any job that requires moving things around on the deck is overseen by Bruce Cowden, the Chief Bosun. In the first photo you can see Bruce hoisting the gangway, and in the second he is leaning overboard to watch the lifting of the anchor.

Bruce Cowden, the Chief Bosun, hoists the gangway.
Bruce Cowden leaning overboard to watch the lifting of the anchor.

Travel Log

We are now underway! The gangplank has been raised, the anchor (all 270 meters of it) is lifted and the ship is moving out to sea. Most everyone is standing on the decks outside taking their last photos of these fabulous islands. Goodbye Galapagos! Goodbye to Lonesome George (a huge turtle that is the last of his kind) and all the other gentle giants. Goodbye to all the beautiful herons, frigates, and blue-footed boobies! And finally, goodbye to all the friendly inhabitants of these islands that are working to preserve them for the future.

Keep in touch,
Jane

Jane Temoshok, October 2, 2001

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jane Temoshok
Onboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
October 2 – 24, 2001

Mission: Eastern Pacific Investigation of Climate Processes
Geographical Area: Eastern Pacific
Date: October 2, 2001

Just got back from a fabulous C-130 flight! It was a long day but well worth it. The video and digital pictures will be amazing. They let me fly the plane!!!!! for real!!!! Then I dropped several air expendable bathythermographs (EXBT) – in other words big plastic tubes out of a hole in the floor of the plane.

The chief scientist, Nick Bond, also gave me a job to do which required using the onboard computers to note the exact time and longitude of each drop. The plane “porpoised” for 6 hours to just south of the equator. Porpoising means we flew at an altitude of 5000 feet for 7 min. and then descended to 100 feet! for 7 minutes and then back up to 5000 ft. Of course Dr. Kermond filmed everything so there will be lots to see. Everybody on board was very accommodating.

Please share my historic flight with my students tomorrow. I’m sure they will be impressed. We did fly over the RON BROWN – just barely because we were only at 100 ft! Then on our way back I was able to speak with Jennifer via the cockpit radio. Very exciting.

Keep in touch,
Jane

Jane Temoshok, October 1, 2001

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jane Temoshok
Onboard NOAA Ship Ronald H. Brown
October 2 – 24, 2001

Mission: Eastern Pacific Investigation of Climate Processes
Geographical Area: Eastern Pacific
Date: October 1, 2001

I wanted to take a moment to say hi and tell you that all is fine here (At least I think it is and I haven’t heard otherwise from anybody else). It’s quite an interesting group of people on this mission. Very focused, all with their own agendas. Everyone has bent over backwards to be nice to me. Some very intriguing science happening!

Of course my mind is reeling with learning it for myself and thinking about translating it into English for my students. Speaking of students, today we had
the most wonderful school visit! It was all arranged by Jose (Deputy Director of Ops) in a VERY short amount of time. It was a small private school run by
2 sisters (siblings, not nuns). It is an immersion type school where subjects are taught in both Spanish and English so as to learn the English language.

Preschoolers read us a story, 3rd graders sang us a song, and high schoolers are very excited about coming up to the ops center next week for a field trip. They have internet access and Dr. Kermond invited them to log on the live streams. He was so excited by the video he shot, he can’t wait to edit it as he sees it in his head. It will be great.

Tommorrow we are going up in the C130. It will be a 9 hour flight along 95W and we will go directly over the RON BROWN and communicate by radio with them! I’m a tad nervous about it but am excited none the less. Wish me luck.

I have several digital shots that are wonderful! The ops center is an amazing assortment of equipment, but it smells funny and has lots of mosquitos! However, Hualtuco is fabulous! Very romantic.

Keep in touch,
Jane