Miriam Sutton, June 19, 2005

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Miriam Sutton
Onboard NOAA Ship Nancy Foster
June 17 – 22, 2005

Mission: Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Survey
Geographical Area: New England
Date: June 19, 2005

Weather Data from the Bridge
Wind direction: 266°
Wind speed: <10kts
Sea wave height: 2′
Swell wave height: 2′
Sea water temperature: 14.4°C
Sea level pressure: 1022.4mb
Cloud cover: Scattered clouds

Science and Technology Log

After an overnight anchoring along the shores of Scituate, the NANCY FOSTER headed further offshore for another day of scanning the seafloor for ancient maritime artifacts. The sensing equipment was deployed over the Stellwagen Bank region by 0800 and we collected data until dusk.

As a southern girl who was raised in the tobacco fields of eastern North Carolina, I found today’s repetitive scanning quite similar to working on a tobacco harvester as it was being driven along row after row of tobacco. The diagram below will give you some idea of my Day 3 on the Sea! The NOAA crew refers to this type of repetitive scanning as “mowing the lawn.”

We covered 13 transect lines today, each taking about 30 minutes to cover. The side scan sonar ran beautifully all day without interference. The magnetometer was also working well but the data being fed from the 2 towfishes was not synchronizing when it arrived to the computer. The decision was made to disconnect the magnetometer and run the side scan sonar alone for most of the day.

I took sometime to look over the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary information the Scientist Deborah Marx shared with me. I recommend that you follow this website to learn more about this remarkable area of the New England coast: http://www.stellwagen.noaa.gov.

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