Andi Webb: Thank You: Oregon II, July 17, 2014

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Andi Webb
Aboard NOAA Ship Oregon II
July 11 – 19, 2014

Mission: SEAMAP Summer Groundfish Survey
Geographical Area of Cruise: Gulf of Mexico
Date: July 17, 2014

Thank you to the scientists, crewmembers, NOAA Corps Officers, fishermen, Stewards, Engineers, and every single person aboard the Oregon II. You all have a vast amount of skill, technique, knowledge, and kindness. Thank you for welcoming me aboard the Oregon II. You’ve taught me so much personally and professionally and I am beyond grateful for this chance of a lifetime. To some, I can come across as quiet. Please know that I was paying attention and taking it all in. To others, I joke a lot. I’d say excuse that but, no, that’s just me. Thank you for spending time with me and teaching me. Because of this, I have stories to tell that may put a spark in a child’s heart that may inspire them to do what you do each day. You know what? That’s pretty amazing! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to everyone aboard the Oregon II. You changed me for the better.

The Oregon II and the best people

The Oregon II and the best people

Andi Webb: The Chance of a Lifetime: Oregon II: July 16, 2014

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Andi Webb
Aboard NOAA Ship Oregon II
July 11 – 19, 2014

Mission: SEAMAP Summer Groundfish Survey
Geographical Area of Cruise: Gulf of Mexico
Date: July 16, 2014
Science and Technology Log

Do you ever wonder sometimes how people are so generous with their time and talents? That’s how I feel onboard the Oregon II with a crew that is simply amazing at their work. The thing is, though, they make it seem like it’s not work to them. Oh, it’s hard work-that’s certain. But they all seem to enjoy it. There is passion for the ocean here, for the environment, for honing your craft. I feel certain I’m among some of the best scientists, NOAA Corps Officers, Deck Crew, Engineers-you name it. As if that weren’t enough, you can’t beat the food in the Galley! Who knew you could get French Silk Pie on a Groundfish Survey? Shhh….We’ll just keep that a secret!

Many people like to write about the scientific facts of NOAA in their blogs and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that. I mean, this is science in action, right? Me, however? I like to write about how people make me feel. The people of the Oregon II make me feel welcome. They make me feel happy I’m here. I asked one of the scientists today to please tell me, without worrying about political correctness, if the crew really enjoys the teachers being on board. She readily answered, “I love for teachers to be here. You’re all so excited to learn and that makes it fun for us!” How refreshing. As I write this, someone just knocked on my door and told me they put my clothes in the dryer for me. Really? Does it get much better than this? Teacher at Sea is about learning what scientists do but to me, it’s also about immersing yourself in the work and the friendship on board. As I work the noon to midnight shift each day and the trawls come in, we “haul back” together. Brittany, Michael, and Mark know so much and I learn more and more each day. I’m thankful for them. Kim is sharing items I can use in my classroom. They’ve included me in what they do, they’re teaching me, and I’m making friends. For that, I am thankful.

She's an amazing ship. Something I've heard on board is that she's "a good 'ole girl."

She’s an amazing ship. Something I’ve heard on board is that she’s “a good ‘ole girl.”

The beautiful blue ocean today~Blue skies and blue waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

The beautiful blue ocean today~Blue skies and blue waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

Brittany, Michael, and Mark share their wisdom with me as I learn about all the creatures of the sea. It's truly magnificent to see so many different types of animals.

Brittany, Michael, and Mark share their wisdom with me as I learn about all the creatures of the sea. It’s truly magnificent to see so many different types of animals.

It takes everyone working together to get the job done.

It takes everyone working together to get the job done.

There are beautiful creatures like this every day here.

There are beautiful creatures like this every day here.

Well, they have beautiful qualities, too!

Well, they have beautiful qualities, too!

This is the food chain in action!

This is the food chain in action!

Pretty cool!

Pretty cool!

Andi Webb: Living and Learning on the Oregon II, July 13, 2014

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Andi Webb
Aboard NOAA Ship Oregon II
July 11 – 19, 2014

Mission: SEAMAP Summer Groundfish Survey
Geographical Area of Cruise: Gulf of Mexico
Date: July 13, 2014

Weather Data:
29 Degrees Celsius
75% Humidity
Windspeed: 1.82 Knots
Lat/Long: 2941.97N, 08414.16W
Science and Technology Log

There is truly so much to learn on the Oregon II. It’s almost like a small city with all the jobs everyone has, food preparation on board, safety drills, and a community of people working together to make everything successful. I am working the noon to midnight shift and am partnered with kind, intelligent team members that are helping me learn what it takes to work for NOAA. Our team consists of Michael, Mark, and Brittany. Each has so much knowledge of marine animals that I certainly feel like I have much to learn. It’s pretty amazing how they know the scientific names of most animals and plants we come across while trawling from the Oregon II.

I'm dressed in a survival suit looking a bit like an orange Gumby.  These survival suits would protect us from hypothermia if we needed to abandon ship. In order to wear these, you must lay the suit flat on the floor and crawl into it. It took Ensign Laura Dwyer, a Junior Officer, and me working together to get it on. I really was tempted to Sumo wrestle with it on!

I’m dressed in a survival suit looking a bit like an orange Gumby. These survival suits would protect us from hypothermia if we needed to abandon ship. In order to wear these, you must lay the suit flat on the floor and crawl into it. It took Ensign Laura Dwyer, a Junior Officer, and me working together to get it on. I really was tempted to Sumo wrestle with it on!

When it was time to “haul back” the net that was trawling for fish, everyone rushed to get to work. The trawl caught a wide variety of fish, shells, and plants. In the wet lab, all the scientists quickly began sorting the fish into baskets and began identifying them. The data must be entered into the computer with the name of the fish, quantity, weight, etc. On the rare occasion they may not be able to identify the plant or animal immediately, they refer to descriptive books such as Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico.

This is a trawl used to catch fish (and other surprises).

This is a trawl used to catch fish (and other surprises).

The fish on the left are Diplectrum formosum (Sand perch) and on the right are Haemulon aurolineatum (Tomtate).

The fish on the left are Diplectrum formosum and on the right are Haemulon aurolineatum.

Scientist Spotlight: Meet Brittany Palm-She really knows her “stuff” and she is so helpful in explaining everything to me so I can understand. Brittany is a Fisheries Biologist and will soon begin to work on her PhD. Brittany explained the CTD device to me. It measures conductivity, temperature, and depth. It soaks at the surface for 3 minutes to calibrate and flush out sensors. The CTD is then sent from the surface of the water to the bottom and then back up to the surface. It records environmental data for the scientists.

Brittany is a Fisheries Biologist on the Oregon II.

Brittany is a Fisheries Biologist on the Oregon II.

This is me standing by the Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth Measuring Device.

This is me standing by the Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth Measuring Device.

During a trawl today, we had quite a surprise! Check it out below:

Look who showed up on deck of the Oregon II. It's a Loggerhead turtle. Pretty amazing!

Look who showed up on deck of the Oregon II. It’s a Loggerhead turtle. Pretty amazing! After checking out his stats, we returned him to sea.

All in all, it’s been a great day learning lots with some pretty cool people!

Andi Webb: At Sea on the Oregon II, July 12, 2014

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Andi Webb
Aboard NOAA Ship Oregon II
July 11 – 19, 2014

Mission: SEAMAP Summer Groundfish Survey
Geographical Area: Gulf of Mexico
Date: July 12, 2014

Weather Data: 28 Degrees Celsius 76 Percent Humidity
Wind Speed: 6 knots
Lat/Lon: -86.100708, 30.0353069
Science and Technology Log

Arriving in Mobile, Alabama was exciting as I was picked up from the airport and driven to Pascagoula, Mississippi. Kim Johnson, the Research Fishery Biologist and Field Party Chief, was ready to greet me and quickly showed me all around the Oregon II. I must say it’s quite impressive! Her excitement was contagious as we began this adventure. We participated in safety drills because safety certainly must come first!

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Safety First on the Oregon II

This is the orange "Gumby" suit that will keep you warm in the event of an abandon ship emergency. The safety drills occurred after departure to sea.

This is the orange “Gumby” suit that will keep you warm in the event of an abandon ship emergency.

While sorting plankton from algae and preparing the plankton to be placed in labeled jars, we found these two little guys!

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Some unexpected little guys while sorting plankton

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My bunk on the Oregon II

DSCN4713 After a long day of meeting everyone and getting settled in my stateroom on the Oregon II, it was time to get some sleep in my bottom bunk.

Andi Webb: Predeparture for the Oregon II, June 16, 2014

NOAA Teacher at Sea

Andi Webb

Aboard NOAA Ship Oregon II 

July 11 – 19, 2014

I leave on Tuesday for a trip to the South Pacific and when I return, I’ll be ready to leave for NOAA’s Teacher at Sea program on the Oregon II! School is out and it’s time for the adventures to begin. I’m looking very forward to making new friends and learning a lot! Thank you to NOAA for this amazing opportunity and thank you to Jenny Goldner Daftari for all of her help! I am a K-5 Instructional Coach at Alderman Road Elementary and love science! I am excited to work on the Oregon II in the Gulf of Mexico. ARES is a great school in Fayetteville, NC and I hope our students will learn a lot from this experience. Thank you to NOAA for making it possible!

TAS Items

I was so excited to receive a package with NOAA TAS stuff! It had a shirt, hat, water bottle, fanny pack, and book in the box!

School's Out

This is me in front of my school marquee wearing my NOAA TAS gear!