Cleo Davie-Martin and Jason Graff grab samples from the incubator as twenty-foot waves roll around them.
I think it becomes easy when we are going through the routines of our daily lives to begin to overlook the fascinating world around us or maybe take it for granted. Out here, in between meals, that is all there is…time to be wrapped in the amazing that exists in our oceans. Everything becomes exciting because it is all so new and challenging. No matter how good you become at the science, science will throw you a curveball and the ocean, well, she has perfected all that is changing the game.
Speaking of change, the North Atlantic has finally reminded us of where we are. We were able to get in a few hours of work, at station three, before the wind and waves forced us to secure the deck and ourselves inside. The good news—the winds are now pushing us along to station 4. We should arrive around ten this evening.
Otherwise, we have had a relatively easy go of it. Yesterday, was a bit like Christmas morning. We all got to play with our “toys” from science equipment to journalism tools. I brought out my drone and just like the good big brother he has become over the past few years, Peter Gaube, stole it before I had a chance to use it. We had been trying for five days to circumvent the incredible technology that DJI has packed into the Mavic Air. The thing is it is too smart to calibrate never mind fly on the ship in the middle of the Atlantic. Good thing I am here with some brilliant people. After some time, we worked our way through it. The resulting footage is breathtaking and will help us share our story.
At night, I was able to use a microscope to look closely at some of the creatures that are being collected. How can you not stare in wonder at these little guys with some impressive teeth? (pic below) I have never thought twice about a Viper Fish before this day—because I have never looked closely enough.
What a gift to dive beneath the surface where all real things exist.
A viper fish as seen under a microscope.
Thanks to Peter Gaube for getting our drone in the air.
A cruise tradition-- the result of sending cups to 3000 meters with the CTD. They begin to shrink at about 1000 meters.
Good Morning! We have been on station two for several hours now. The scientists have added blogging to their list of duties so today I will let Jason Graff take over. He is intelligent, witty and a true example of the awesome humaness that NAAMES has become.
I will be posting additional blogs by the team under the science blogs tab.
Fourth and Ten (+ One) by Jason R. Graff
We are currently at the first station to be occupied by the fourth and final NAAMES field campaign. It is a bittersweet experience both scientifically and personally. This station represents the final push of an epic joint exploration of marine and atmospheric sciences made possible by the thoughtful investigators who wrote the interdisciplinary proposal; a proposal that NASA found compelling enough to fund and was ultimately made possible by politicians and taxpayers who know that we move society forward through scientific endeavors. I would be amiss not to mention the crew(s) of the R/V Atlantis, our mother ship for all campaigns, who provided a professional, safe, and inviting atmosphere for what must seem like slightly controlled chaos to take place.
As participants we look back and see what we have done right, evaluate and discuss our amazing findings, and feel proud of our contributions to the larger fields of marine and atmospheric sciences. We also have enough hindsight from the past few years to look back and see what we will do even better next time. For many of us, it also represents an era in our careers, ranging from providing the experience and data to build and help finish graduate degrees, bolstering mid‐career scientists, and providing fresh ideas and avenues of exploration to more seasoned scientists. It will, and has already, created new collaborations, publications, proposals, and challenging concepts to tackle in the future.
That is the number of people, both scientific (10) and ship’s personnel (1), who have participated in all 4 of the seagoing campaigns. What the ten people pictured above represent is the consistency between cruises that is critical to the successful training of new team members and implementation of the planned science. What is not represented above are the countless people who were here for 1, 2, or 3 voyages who bring fresh personalities, flavors to the galley, and ideas that can motivate, enlighten, and ignite new relationships and scientific curiosities. “Thank you!” to those on the ship, in the air, and on the ground who made all of this possible and successful.
Jason Graff, pictured right of lead scientist Mike Behrenfeld, enjoys a good belly laugh during sunset on the bow.