header image

Archive for R/V Oceanus

Day Three on the R/V Oceanus

Posted by: | September 16, 2016 | No Comment |

By Tracy Crews14322520_10154620897918825_6368728729391639749_n

Internet access from the R/V Oceanus has been inconsistent, but education PI Tracy Crews has been able to send in some photos and observations via social media. Here are some of her observations, sprinkled with links to other blogs from other participants:

Our last day out at sea started with deploying the CTD in the Astoria Canyon in the dark. Our marine mammal surveys got off to a slow start but we were seeing a lot of jellyfish, juvenile sunfish, seabirds, and even some tuna. All of a sudden on the horizon emerged a large pod of Pacific white-sided Dolphins (40+) that started riding the bow of the research vessel. Before they had even departed, a large pod (30+) of finless Northern right whale Dolphins joined them. What a sight to behold!

***

14292445_10154620897908825_1829467431939711403_n 14370105_10154621326008825_7513331746840510529_nThe researchers from OSU’s Marine Mammal Institute estimated that we saw over 400 Pacific white-sided dolphins and Northern right whale dolphins today in addition to the numerous humpback whales we encountered. Another amazing day out at sea with Oregon coastal teachers and students!

***

What an amazing cruise it has been! Everyone soaked up the sun on the flying bridge as we made our way into the Columbia River where we dropped off our chief scientist and OSU graduate students before making our way to Portland where we will engage in two days of outreach activities. Our captain used a small boat to shuttle the researchers into Astoria so they can return to work tomorrow. Getting the science party and all their gear off the ship proved to be quite an ordeal involving a crane, step ladder, rope ladder and half the ship’s crew! We were sad to see them go and just a little jealous of their ride in the red rocket. We are grateful to them all for generously giving their time to share their knowledge and passion with us.

To learn more about these amazing researchers, read Ms. Almasi’s blog post “Spotlight on the Scientists

14344875_10154621703068825_4275365381378535104_n

14368797_10154621703063825_2940558621965515820_n

14332923_10154621703073825_3093774822679779_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

***

We experienced a gorgeous evening steaming up the Columbia River towards Portland on the R/V Oceanus!

14370170_10154621958553825_7792926017248542342_n

 

under: Careers, Professional Development, R/V Oceanus, Student Experiences
Tags: , , ,

Day Two on the R/V Oceanus

Posted by: | September 16, 2016 | No Comment |

By Tracy Crews

cupsInternet access from the R/V Oceanus has been inconsistent, but education PI Tracy Crews has been able to send in some photos and observations via social media. Here are some of her observations, sprinkled with links to other blogs from other participants:

Day Two of our oceanographic cruise started with us once again surrounded by humpback whales feeding. In addition we have seen more seal lions and flocks of seabirds including some black footed albatross. Our teachers and students continue to shine as they deployed and retrieved another CTD (to measure Conductivity, Temperature and Depth) and collected and entered survey data into the computer on the fly bridge. Unfortunately, the weather turned overcast and chilly today forcing us all to bundle up.

Visit the GEMM lab blog to find out more about the marine mammals and birds encountered on Day Two.

Students and teachers have spent some of their downtime on the R/V Oceanus decorating styrofoam cups to send down to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Here are a couple of photos of the process.

decorating cups

Decorating the cups

attaching cups

The decorated cups were attached to the CTD that was about to be deployed.

Read Ms. Almasi’s blog about the science behind the styrofoam cup experiment

 

cups and scope

We used two sizes of cups. This photo shows the difference in size before (center) and after (sides) the cups were sent to the deep ocean.

Torres with cups

Dr. Leigh Torres shows what the bag of cups looked like when they returned to the surface

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The styrofoam cups made it back from their journey to deep, 1400 meters to the sea floor attached to the CTD.

The sunset was a glorious ending to a great day. Although we didn’t see as many whales today as yesterday, we did see numerous humpbacks, a couple of fin whales, some Dalls porpoises, and some Pacific white-sided dolphins, as well as some sea lions, albatross, and ocean sunfish (mola-mola). We have left the waters off Heceta Head and will be making our way towards Astoria Canyon overnight. Sweet dreams to everyone aboard and on land!

sunset from ship

sunset


Tracy Crews is the PI for the “Shipboard Experiences on the R/V Oceanus” research cruise, the Marine Education Manager for Oregon Sea Grant at Hatfield Marine Science Center, and the STEM Programs Coordinator for the Oregon Coast STEM Hub.

 

under: Careers, Professional Development, R/V Oceanus, Student Experiences
Tags: , , ,

Day One on the R/V Oceanus

Posted by: | September 15, 2016 | No Comment |

By Tracy Crews

Huge pod of humpback whales put on quite a show for us lunge feeding and breaching. What a great way to end our first day at sea.

A huge group of humpback whales put on quite a show for us lunge feeding and breaching. What a great way to end our first day at sea!

What was Day One on the R/V Oceanus like for the students, teachers, and researchers on board?

Knot tying, safety at sea, deploying and retrieving scientific instruments, interpreting data, conducting effort surveys, and photo identification of whales….

…these are just a few things that teachers and students on board OSU’s research vessel Oceanus put into practice yesterday on the first day of a three day research cruise off the Oregon coast. Before even leaving the dock, participants started their training, learning about shipboard technology and donning survival suits during safety drills. Crossing the bar, we spotted the first marine mammals of the day: a few gray whales and California sea lions. During this cruise, teachers and students will get an in depth look at how researchers identify, track, and study marine mammals in Oregon waters and beyond, and how baththymetry and oceanographic conditions influence the distribution of these animals.

14359043_10154616299008825_2083188740617973895_n

A humpback whale blows at the surface.

As the first day of the cruise progressed and we passed over Stonewall Bank, we spotted a small pod of humpback whales. As we transmitted south, we also encountered a pod of orcas. The grande finale of the day came early sunset when a large group of humpback whales (approximately 50) was spotted near Heceta Bank. They were lunge feeding, opening their huge mouths and taking in water and, presumably, lots of food. A plankton tow confirmed the presence of krill, which is a favorite prey item for humpbacks.

When we came across a huge group of humpback whales, we decided to take a plankton tow and found it chocked with krill.

When we came across a huge group of humpback whales, we decided to take a plankton tow and found it chocked with krill.

With a final debriefing at 8:30 pm, teachers and students wandered off to their shared quarters excited but exhausted with a greater understanding of marine mammals and an appreciation for how hard researchers work. It was a great start to what we hope will be a successful experience for everyone!

****

Hear from others on board about what they thought about the first day of the cruise:

R/V Oceanus Day One: Hungry, Hungry Humpbacks from the GEMM Lab – OSU graduate students Florence Sullivan and Amanda Holdman describe the day with some great photos of whales contributed by Chief Scientist Leigh Torres.

Of Whale Poop and Shearwaters – Waldport High School teacher describes what is was like to watch humpbacks lunge feed, and what she learned about the color of whale poop.

WEBCAM
What does it look like from the bow of the R/V Oceanus right now?  Visit the webcam here: http://webcam.oregonstate.edu/oceanus


Tracy Crews is the PI for the “Shipboard Experiences on the R/V Oceanus” research cruise, the Marine Education Manager for Oregon Sea Grant at Hatfield Marine Science Center, and the STEM Programs Coordinator for the Oregon Coast STEM Hub.

 

under: Careers, Professional Development, R/V Oceanus, Student Experiences

Three Oregon high school teachers are among the participants working on the R/V Oceanus this week.

This week, students and teachers from the Oregon Coast STEM Hub are joining Oregon State University scientists aboard the research vessel Oceanus to gain at-sea research experience. The project, “Building the STEM Pipeline through Oceangoing Research and Near-Peer Mentoring” is a collaborative effort that aims to enhance critical STEM skills among coastal learners.

Read the OSU press release

The R/V Oceanus departed this morning from Newport and is headed for Astoria and Portland. Tracy Crews gives this report of their departure:

We couldn’t have asked for better weather as we departed Newport on our cruise offshore to conduct marine mammal and seabird surveys and collect oceanographic data. My first cruise as PI (Principal Investigator), we have 3 high school teachers, 4 high school students, an undergraduate student and 3 graduate students working with our chief scientist from OSU’s Marine Mammal Institute. We got our first glimpse of marine mammals (sea lions and gray whales) crossing the bar and have successfully completed our first CTD. A few seasick folks but otherwise we are off to a fantastic start!

Through this blog and the Oregon Coast STEM Hub Facebook page, you can keep track of the vessel’s progress, the STEM activities taking place on board, and even occasionally hear from the participants themselves. The following teachers and students are on board, representing several different regions within the Oregon Coast STEM Hub:

Coast high school and undergraduate students on board the R/V Oceanus

Coast high school and undergraduate students boarded the R/V Oceanus this morning for a 3 day research cruise

  • Martha Kemple – teacher, Bandon High School
  • Matthew Perry – student, North Bend High School
  • Kama Almasi – teacher, Waldport High School
  • Etasha Golden – undergraduate OSU (Waldport HS grad)
  • Leland Wood – student, Newport High School
  • Natalie DeWitt – student, Newport High School
  • Josh Jannusch – teacher, Warrenton High School
  • Charlotte Watkins – student, Warrenton High School

Teacher Kama Almasi has a blog that she is using to connect back with her students at Waldport High School. Her first entry focuses on the colorful science of seasickness, but we hope no one will be collecting THAT kind of data on this trip!

RESEARCH
On their first day at sea, the students and teachers have been working with researchers and crew members to deploy and retrieve CTDs. These instruments collect conductivity, temperature and depth data to provide a profile of the water column.

FullSizeRender[9]FullSizeRender[11]WHERE IS THE R/V OCEANUS?
Track the R/V Oceanus on websites such as www.marinetraffic.com. Type in the vessel’s special number “7603617” into the search engine, and you can find out the ship’s location, travel pattern and other information.

Stay tuned and follow along to find out what this group will be doing next!

Oceanus160913


The R/V Oceanus will be in Portland by September 16th, and will offer a variety of outreach activities for the public, teachers and students while the vessel is in port. For more information, read the OSU press release or contact OregonCoastSTEM@oregonstate.edu.

 

 

 

under: Careers, Professional Development, R/V Oceanus, Student Experiences
Tags: , , ,

Categories