Filed Under (cruise blog) by Ting on 18-08-2009

As people try to understand the dynamics of the ocean, devices are developed to gather information from ‘down there’, the mysterious depths of the ocean.

Today, Clare Reimers, chief scientist on board, with a group of graduate students and research assistants, prepare for their deployment-time this afternoon. Part of what they plan to do is take pictures at regular intervals. more detailsa careful eye
They are careful to mount the special digital camera on the tri-pod, they clean the high-powered lens, they mount the strobe light, and they program the camera. At the same time other members of the team are mounting the battery pack, programming a delicate oxygen sensor and mounting this on the tri-pod alongside the camera.

Cody with underwater camera

Cody with underwater camera

Clare, Cody, Andrea, and Kristina with tri-podAs I watch the set-up and try to understand the science I’m reminded of the Mars-Lander, built to land in an upright position and able to withstand the elements. In this case, this ‘Lander’ must withstand moving currents and salty water.

When everything is ready and the time is right, the crew and the scientists work together to lift the tri-pod off the back deck and swing it out into the ocean. going inImagine doing this with your camera, your i-pod, and your computer! You might want to make sure everything is sealed tight against the elements. In this case, everything was sealed tight and they released it attached to a long line, a metal radar ball, an orange float, and a flag. The entire set-up is out for the night, all programmed, ready to take pictures and measure oxygen.

The plan is to take a picture of an area during regular intervals while a sensor records oxygen levels almost continuously. A fin attached to the camera keeps the camera pointed into the current so that the photos taken are of the area where the sensor is takings its readings.

The information gathered is helpful in understanding more about the amount of oxygen available to living organisms that live off the coast of Oregon. Scientists, fisherman, and many others will benefit from the combined effort of many who work on finding out about this dynamic ocean by solving problems, and answering questions about our mysterious sea.

own its own


We captured a picture of a flatfish on the sea floor.

Filed Under (cruise blog) by Ting on 15-08-2009

For me, part of getting ready to sail is taking a walk around the area. I’ve been to the beach before, lots of times, but suddenly now my perspective of things seemed very different. I was soon to be out on the ocean surrounded by people who study its complex ecosystem. I walked for hours, curious about everything I saw along the beach: including the children that dig and build simple structures in the sand,  the rock outcrops that suggest a complex past, and the washed up debris that give a glimpse of what lives in the sea.  All this brought up questions; some I could answer and others I could not answer. I realized that being a scientist doesn’t mean that you have all the answers, it just means that you are curious and you want to try find the answers.

Each voyage out to sea is a voyage of discovery. Each scientist on board is interested in finding at least one more clue that will help him or her to answer a question. I am on board with these scientists to find out what kinds of questions they have about the ocean. In my next blog I will begin to share these questions with you. I also hope to entice you to ask questions. Maybe together we can come up with new ideas to explore and new ways to discover the answers.

Look at this picture carefully. IMG_0014

I was immediately curious about what this is and where did it come from.
I picked one up and discovered that it is like a short straw. The tube can be squeezed between the fingers but the shape returns when released.
Is it animal, vegetable, mineral, or man-made? What is it?