The Arctic is an exciting frontier which offers innumerable scientific research opportunities, as well as unique operating challenges. With support from the National Science Foundation and R/V Sikuliaq operations team and crew, we hosted an early career chief scientist training cruise June 6-12 as part of a transit from Seward to Nome (AK). This training also included a series of pre-cruise planning meetings from March to May (a condensed version of a typical pre-cruise preparation process) and a one-day pre-cruise workshop in Seward. The goal of this program is to help a cohort of diverse researchers gain skills and confidence in requesting, organizing, and leading scientific surveys on Arctic research vessels at high latitudes.
Specific topics addressed before and during the cruise included:
- Procedures for incorporating Arctic vessel time in new science proposals, including an overview of the UNOLS ship-time request system
- Diverse resources available for ship-based work, and processes for requesting them (including ice forecasts, science vans, coring equipment, and other infrastructure)
- Pre-cruise planning and mobilization
- Coordination with vessel crew, logistics personnel, and the science party
- Managing time at sea effectively and efficiently (plan of the day and flexibility)
- Managing interpersonal interactions and communication
- Utilizing shipboard data acquisition systems
- Rolling deck-to-repository system (data archival)
- Arctic-specific operations (ice stations, planning cruise tracks in sea ice)
- Post-cruise reporting
Please see the “2023 Cruise” page for information about the participant cohort and cruise activities.