Susan Just, June 15, 2006

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Susan Just
Onboard NOAA Ship Oregon II
June 15 – 30, 2006

Mission: Summer Groundfish Survey
Geographical Area: Gulf of Mexico
Date: June 15, 2006

Weather Data from Bridge 
Visibility: 8-10 nautical miles (nm)
Wind direction: 147◦
Wind speed: 0.1
Sea wave height: 0
Swell wave height: 1
Seawater temperature: 28.6◦
Sea level pressure: 1015.9
Cloud cover: Light Haze

Science and Technology Log 

Our watch began at midnight.  When we arrived in the lab there were fish awaiting processing. All commercial quality shrimp were separated from the catch and a representative sample of the whole was reserved for sorting. The sort included many species which were identified, counted, and weighed.  Individual members of each species were measured and counted, up to twenty (20) per species.  Finally, Two hundred (200) brown shrimp were counted out, separated according to sex and then measured and weighed, individually. Bongo, Neuston and CTD samples were drawn but I was occupied with the fish catches. These catches were repeated constantly throughout the watch until noon at which time we were relieved. Bongo, Neuston and CTD samples were drawn but I was occupied with the fish catches.

Personal Log 

What have I gotten myself into?  I am on the night watch.  This means that my sleeping hours have changed, literally overnight, to between noon and midnight.  Dinnertime has disappeared. Lunch has become the big meal of the day.  I can best describe myself as confused.

So far my impression is that all members of the ship’s crew and the scientific party are professional, helpful and “nice.”  It is easy to recognize the ship’s officers because they are dressed in uniforms.  Everyone else is arrayed in their personal gear and, generally, there is a state of designed “disarray.”

Question of the Day 

What is the most important skill to be learned before becoming a field scientist? Common courtesy/etiquette (be polite!).

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