Hello! Amy Maas here, one of the early career investigators involved with the UNOLS training cruise from September 18th – 25th. This cruise is an opportunity for me and 13 other scientists to learn the ins and outs of planning a research expedition. We applied for this competitive opportunity on April 15th and found out by the end of the month that we were going out to sea aboard the Research Vessel Wecoma.
That is when the work began. Two co-chief scientists were chosen from among our number to lead the coordination effort of 14 very different research projects. Our science ranges from studying internal waves, testing a new flow sensor, biology of midwater invertebrates, biogeochemistry of the marine environment, and benthic biodiversity. We then collaborated to schedule shipments, request onboard equipment, pick a cruise track, and split up the operations to ensure that everyone would have opportunities to get some good data. By September we had our cruise plan in order and were ready to embark!
Our travels began on the 15th of September when we all arrived in Newport Oregon to spend a quiet evening recovering from a day of long hours cramped in cars and planes. On the 16th we met in the Hatfield Marine Science Center of Oregon State University to talk with representatives of the UNOLS fleet and the Deep Submergence Facilities – two groups who provide shared resources for conducting science in the ocean and Great Lakes. The representatives gave us some great background on research vessels and tools available to the scientific community. There were some great discussions of the do’s and don’ts of cruise planning and some tips on how to plan a smooth and successful cruise. The biggest take home message from the day was that there are a lot of people ready to support ship-going research that are more than willing to share their expertise and facilitate our investigations. Communication, as always, is the key. Following our introduction we got a top to bottom tour of the facilities and the R/V Wecoma.
The R/V Wecoma will be our home and our research platform for the next seven days. To get an idea of how the planning works and to see pictures and descriptions of the ship check out their website at: http://www.shipops.oregonstate.edu/ops/wecoma/
Keep posted to see how the science unfolds!
If you want to see where we are check us out at: http://webcam.oregonstate.edu/wecoma/