NOAA Teacher at Sea
Onboard NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow
July 3 – 18, 2012
Mission: Deep-Sea Corals and Benthic Habitat: Ground truthing and exploration in deepwater canyons off the Northeast
Geographical area of cruise: Atlantic Ocean, Leaving from Newport, RI
Date: Tuesday , July 17, 2012
Latitude: 40.3456 °
Weather Data from the Bridge:
Air Temperature: 21.90° C
Wind Speed: 12 Kts
Relative Humidity: 102.00%
Barometric Pressure: 1,008.83 mb
Surface Water Temperature: 21.63° C
Science and Technology Log
TowCam returned to the ship for the last time this cruise. The components have been stored, batteries have been charged, and data logged in ten minute increments has been saved in excel files for others to read. The last pictures have been upload from the camera for a grand total of over 35,000 photos. Yes, the images of corals, sponges, and fish have been celebrated, reviewed, and annotated, but the real learning work is just beginning.
The scientific team will spend years studying, thinking, comparing, wondering, and hypothesizing about corals and coral habitat. They will compare what they have learned with what they already know. They will read what other scientists have written about corals and talk to one another about what they see. They will write papers explaining their findings, and make presentations to share their learning with others.
These scientists will do this hard learning work because they are curious, because coral habitats are unique and special, and because they care about our planet’s oceans and the creatures living there.
As earth citizens we are should be grateful and supportive of the research these scientists do. They work to care for and protect ocean life that very few people even know about. Hopefully, we all will learn from their work.
Thank you to NOAA and to: Chief Scientist Dr. Martha Nizinski
Thanks also to: Dr. T. Shank, Dr. D. Packer, Dr. V. Guida, Dr. E. Shea, Dr. B. Kilan, Dr. M. Malik, Dr. G. Kurras, and Dr. L Christiansen.
Through your dedication and work we all get to learn about the wonders of our planet.
I have been able to share in this amazing coral research. Don’t get me wrong. This is not all fun and games. There were many challenges, and the hours on shift were long and sometimes difficult. This is getting down and dirty with real science. BUT… this is different, usually teachers say the good stuff first:)
Pay close attention to this next statement: Many of the corals seen in the photos collected by TowCam have never been seen in these locations before. Never! Some of the corals might even be new discoveries.
Only eleven people have seen corals in the canyons of the Mid- and North Atlantic. I am one of those people.
I will never be the same, and if you are in my class next year, well, you will never be the same either. You are going to love the Oceans. You will be surprised to find yourself choosing to watch NOAA videos over video games. You will read non-fiction to find answers to your questions, and you will write to be a persuasive voice for corals because some of them only know 11 people and they need more friends.
Perhaps you will be amazed and wonder about bioluminescent sea creatures lighting up the sea like lightning bugs. (I am still waiting to see them Dr. Packer! ) It is possible you will develop a passion for cephalopods like Dr. Shea, or maybe you are simply thinking that you could do this ocean science research. You can prepare by reading the writings of Dr. Nizinski and others. It is all possible- you just need to wonder, think, hypothesize, and try.
Next Time: You could be a scientist at sea. The corals and other sea creatures will thank you!