Sunshine and light wind

Andy Bedingfield and Calan Taylor are high school teachers participating in the Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) program on board the R/V Atlantis. Below are more selections from their daily journals:


July 21 – Calan

I learned quite a bit today. Had a couple nice conversations with Bob Cowen relating to patterns in upwellings. ISIIS was picking up some interesting bifurcations in the fluorescence which may have been a malfunctioning sensor, or could possibly be an indication of more mixing and the beginning of an upwelling. The strong northerlies that have brought on the seasickness the past couple days should start to move surface water out to sea and begin the upwelling process. 

sea jelly in a jar

I also talked to Kelsie (Who is completing her PhD in Larval Fish Ecology at OSU/Hatfield) About logarithmic relationships between plankton and larger species. She taught me about how and why upwellings generally occur on the west coast of continents and how headlands can create micro-upwellings. She also taught me a lot about the history and current status of marine sanctuaries and reserves in Oregon and Washington.

I find myself taking a lot of my free time trying to think of questions to ask the folks that I’m around on the ship while the opportunity is here. It’s cool to have access to the input of folks that are on the ground, doing the research right now. I’ve been really impressed not only with their knowledge, but also with their openness and willingness to talk/explain their work in a manner that is understandable for the masses. I just wish I could think of more great questions. I’m sure that the moment I’m off the ship, several will come to mind.

Net towed in water

July 22 – Andy

It is 9:00 PM. I have been working on the deck for 6 hours already, and I have 6 hours to go. We had great weather today though, and that makes all the difference. Last night we hauled the MOCNESS nets all night. This makes the time go much faster than some of the other things we do, but you are super worn out by the end of your 12 hour shift. The crazy graduate students that I am working with are actually working out for an hour from 3:00AM to 4:00AM and then going to bed. Not me! I am fine with sleeping as long as I can and working out in the morning. 

It was a truly stunning all day today. Many crew members who I have never seen came out of the depths of the ship to enjoy the sunshine and light wind. At one point, we had a pod of about 100 dolphins racing the ship and playing in the wake. 

Man holding a metal seine dish

Two of my night crew buddies (Megan and Will) and I started brainstorming about how we can create a curriculum based on the Next Generation Science Standards that highlight their work. I showed them the standards and an example High Adventure Science module, and they had some great ideas. We made plans to work on something when we get back to shore. 

One last highlight from last night, and a memory that I would like to keep: It was 3:00AM and we were just finishing our shift.  We had been pulling the MOCNESS net system all night, and we finished with one final tow. My job was to put the samples we collect in jars in the lab. When I got done with that, I went back on deck to see how the crew was doing re-setting the net. When I got out there, Will, a huge 6’6” hulk of a human was sitting on a bucket sewing up a huge tear in the net. All the rest of the crew, Rick, Megan and Blair were sitting with him, and the almost full moon was lighting up the scene. I asked, “what can I do to help,” and Rick said, “why don’t you grab your guitar and serenade us?” He was joking, but I never pass up an opportunity to play for people, so we closed out the night with a round of Wagon Wheel by Bob Dylan under the moon cruising about 50 miles west of Newport at 3:00AM.


Calan Taylor teaches Physics, Chemistry, and Physical Science at Bandon High School and Andy Bedingfield teaches Science at Taft 7-12 High School in Lincoln City. They are part of the Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) program on the R/V Atlantis cruise taking place July 13-27, 2019.

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