Jeff Lawrence, June 2, 2006

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Jeff Lawrence
Onboard NOAA Ship Rainier
May 22 – June 2, 2006

Mission: Hydrography survey
Geographical area of cruise: Alaska
Date: June 2, 2006

Weather Data from Bridge as of 0730 Hours: 
Visibility: 10.0 miles
Wind direction: 0 deg. (N)
Wind Speed:  0 calm
Sea level pressure: 1005
Temperature:  48 deg. wet/dry 51 deg.

Science and Technology Log 

Today is my last full day on the RAINIER.  We came into port at Juneau this morning.  Today I will tour around Juneau trying to see and do as many things as I can since I am leaving early in the morning to fly back to Oklahoma.  The trip from Hot Springs Bay to Juneau last night was beautiful and spectacular.  The crew of the RAINIER did an excellent job piloting the ship through some treacherous narrows.  They know these waters well since they have surveyed most of this part of Alaska.  Captain Guy Noll has a lot of experience in these waters and has a well-trained crew.

Personal Log 

I have thoroughly enjoyed my trip and want to thank NOAA personally for allowing me this opportunity to live and work aboard the RAINIER.  This trip has provided with memories that will last a lifetime and I am thrilled I took the time to apply and come to Alaska. Alaska is such a beautiful stat—every American should put it on their schedule of things to do. There is so much to see and experience.  NOAA gave me the opportunity at literally no cost to myself.  I also learned a lot of about what NOAA scientists are doing in Alaskan waters as well as around the world.

I would also like to give a special thanks to LTJG Nicola Samuelson and ENS Laurel Jennings who took the time to explain what they were doing in detail.  They didn’t seem to be afraid of overwhelming me with information, and I found them to be very helpful in helping me understand how and why the data collected was used.  Both were very professional, skilled, knowledgeable, and helpful in every endeavor that I was involved in. NOAA has done well to secure two such bright, motivated, and eager officers.  I am sure they will have a positive career and impact while at NOAA.  All the crew were a great help and very nice to me while aboard the RAINIER.  Also AB Tonya Watson and Survey Tech Nick Gianoutsos have shared many stories with me about their lives on and off the RAINIER.  It was nice to talk to Nick, a neighbor from Texas.  You meet a lot of fascinating people on board the RAINIER.  AB Leslie Abramson was always willing to explain to me her role on the ship and how to do certain things in the deck department.

On the bridge I found ENS Nathan Eldridge, GVA Kelson Baird, and ENS Megan McGovern to be very helpful when I was attaining weather data from the ship or had general questions about the bridge and the function of different departments on the ship.  The FOO, LT. Ben Evans, was helpful in explaining the scientific research of the vessel and its main goals and objectives.  ENS Sam Greenaway was very helpful in taking time each day we set sail to explain how the ship would navigate the waters, how to read the charts, and how the charts were developed and used by the ship.  LTJG Abigail Higgins was always nearby when we were launching and recovering boats to explain to me what everyone was doing and what I would need to know to do some of the tasks.  She was very instrumental in making me feel a part to what was going on during operations.  In the deck department I would like to thank everyone—all the crew, made me feel welcome, whether it was aboard their boat or as a fellow crewmember of the RAINIER.  Thank you Chief Scientist Steve Foye for all the information on the native Alaskan wildlife. I found it very useful and will use it with my students next year.  Thanks to Kenny Keys for teaching me about the navigation on the small boats through the Wrangell Narrows.  Thank you to Floyd Pounds for always greeting every morning with a warm smile and welcome and the great meals you and the other stewards provided me while at sea.

A special thanks to Captain Guy Noll and the XO, Julia Neander for making me feel right at home, answering all my questions, allowing their crew to be at my disposal for questions and interviews, and for a really terrific time aboard the RAINIER.  I am usually a little quiet and reserved and make friends slowly.  However, aboard the RAINIER I feel that I have made many friends in a short time and I will think of them quite often and have fond memories of my time aboard the RAINIER.  Surely no other ship in the fleet could be as complete as the RAINIER.  THANK YOU NOAA FOR A GREAT TIME!

Question of the Day 

What does each letter in the acronym NOAA stand for?

Name 5 projects from around the world that NOAA is involved in.

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