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Journals 2007/2008

Heather Judkins
Seminole High School, Seminole, FL

"Equatorial Pacific Dolphin Abundance Study - R/V McArthur II"
November 3 - 29, 2007
Journal Index:
November 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10
               12 - 13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17
               19 - 20 - 21 - 23 - 24 - 25
               26 - 27 - 29 - 30

Additional Resources

November 26, 2007
Making Headway to San Diego

The science operations ended on Friday evening with the last CTD dropping down to 1000 m an hour after sunset. It was a great day with two different blue whale and striped dolphin sightings! Then we started the long trip home. We had approximately 1200 miles from the endpoint to our final destination, San Diego, CA. The top speed of the ship is about 11 knots and it was to take 5-6 days to return depending on weather and sea conditions.

So, the packing begins. Each project team is responsible for packing up prior to docking for quick removal of all gear, equipment, and samples once in San Diego. I was assigned to help the oceanography team with inventory and packing of the large fish boxes that have been on deck for months. Once at the dock, all teams will be putting equipment into trucks for the trip to Southwest Fisheries Science Center. The helpful thing about this cruise is that because of the diamond shape transects, there is time while we are in transit back to pack. On other STAR cruises, the scientists are working until the last possible minute and there is a rush to get everything done in a timely manner.

Where is the McArthur II going next? The ship and crew will be in San Diego for one to two days before departing for the shipyard in Portland, OR, where it will stay for maintenance from December through March before starting their cruise schedule for next year. The crew remains with the ship while in the shipyard but can not live on it during this time.

Eric Archer, Operations Research Analyist; Chief Scientist- STAR-LITE

Eric is the chief scientist for this cruise and his responsibilities are to analyze data and run the communication of the science that needs to be done onboard with the ship captain. He is the "go to" man if scientists have questions or wants to change operations.

He worked on his PhD at Scripps Institute of Oceanography, focusing on striped dolphins. He has been working at Southwest Fisheries Science Center for 17 years. The challenge he has while on land is time management of the projects he oversees. They are all important and each need large chunks of time to make the complete story out of the collected data. The challenge that he faces while out in the field is to keep everyone happy while conducting safe science. Many of the operations are repeated daily and his goal is to keep everyone safe and the operations running smoothly.

The rewarding aspects of his job include seeing at the end of each cruise, the people who need the data get it and it is usable for their projects. He feels that it is also extremely important that the observers and crew feel appreciated for the months of hard work they did for the projects. He has a few hobbies while at sea including playing his guitars. He loves music and even focuses better while writing if there is something playing in the background. If I listened to music while trying to accomplish a task that involved writing, it would never get done!

Marine Science Questions:

1. What method do you think is used to remove the fish boxes from the ship to shore?

2. List the steps in the scientific method. Which part am I working on while at sea? Which part does Eric work with at the lab?