US GO-SHIP is part of the international GO-SHIP network of sustained hydrographic sections, supporting physical oceanography, the carbon cycle, and marine biogeochemistry and ecosystems. The US program is sponsored by US CLIVAR and OCB. Funded by the National Science Foundation and NOAA.
Monica Mejia is a teacher at Terra Environmental Research Institute in Miami Dade who is sampling C14_DIC for RASMAS. Read Monica Mejia’s “Adventure at Sea”.Read More
Josh Levy is a recent graduate from UM running ph and alkalinity samples. Josh Levy is “Lost at Sea”.Read More
Rachel Shelley is a post doc at FSU. She is a chemist for the trace metals group.Read More
Join Lisa Beal and her crew aboard the R/V Knorr as they study the Agulhas Current.Read More
Watch how the ARGO floats are deployed!Read More
Watch how the FLIP changes position!Read More
Chief Scientist: | Dr. James H. Swift
Title: | Principal Investigator
Cruise: | I8S 2009
Hometown: | Ohio
Bio: | Read all about Dr. Swift on his Scripps Institution of Oceanography profile page (Jim’s profile at SIO)
Entry date: | 5-2-09
Dr. Jim Swift on I5
Dr. Swift’s reports from I5, running from Durban, South Africa to Perth, Australia along 32° S.
Previous Notes from the Field
Scripps physical oceanographer Jim Swift writes in from 64° South. On Feb. 12, 2007, Scripps oceanographer and La Jolla Symphony second bassoonist Jim Swift wrote this letter offering a glimpse into the spectacular and commonplace occurrences that make up the life of a Scripps researcher at sea. Swift is the chief scientist aboard R/V Roger Revelle’s current expedition to the Antarctic.
Jim Swift headed the first oceanographic cruise to the Arctic in 2003.
Scripps scientists participate in historic first surface vessel voyage across Canada Basin.
Dr. Swift’s Music
Jim also finds the time to play the bassoon with the La Jolla Symphony in his very sparse free time. Read about the group at Sign-On San Diego
Technician: | Jon C. Meyer
Title: | Programmer/Analyst, Shipboard Technical Support, Computing Resources
Cruise: | I6S 2008
Hometown: | San Diego, CA
Bio: | Jon C. Meyer has been working with computers his entire professional career. In 2006, he took that career to sea, joining Shipboard Technical Support at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He has seen all 7 continents and 6 oceans courtesy of SIO.
Q: What do you do on the ship?
Jon: I’m responsible for operating our sonars and meteorological systems, which collect information about the weather, surface salinity, currents, shape and density of the ocean floor. The latter requires me to daily drop a probe into the water to keep the instrument calibrated. On top of that, I ensure visiting scientists have access the cruise data in a reliable, easy way while we’re underway, and that they are able to take the data home with them. Finally, I make sure that our ship’s network is functional, secure and Internet communications to shore work as best as possible with the little bandwidth we have.
Q: What is the hardest part of your job?
Jon: The hardest part of my job is trying to balance the many and varied needs of the science party and crew coming aboard the vessel during each port call. A ship is rarely a consistent environment, and I am responsible for a lot of information that people care about. Trying to meet everyone’s needs in a timely fashion while staying sane can be a challenge.
Q: What is the least understood part of your job?
Jon: The least understood part of my job would probably be how much effort is actually involved in getting everything setup and maintained. Don’t get me wrong: some cruises can happen easily, but sometimes they do not. Since I tend to be the only one who specializes in what I do on the ship, it can be difficult for all others on board to tell the difference between light and difficult work, and for them to be sensitive to that.
Q: What do you do when you aren’t working?
Jon: Well, work generally lasts about 10 hours each day (there’s lots to do on a research ship!). We don’t take weekends, so that’s every day. Factor in meals and sleep, and by the time I get some free time… it’s not much. Maybe 3 hours, if I’m lucky. I usually try and get in some exercise (believe it or not you can do yoga on a moving vessel), read a book, watch a movie or play my guitar.
Q: What is the longest cruise you have been on?
Jon: My longest time continuously at sea was 43 days, on the US Hydro I6S cruise.
Q: What was your favorite part?
Jon: There’s lots of favorites. A lot of technicians from my department were on the cruise, so it had a nice ‘family’ feel, with a lot of people I enjoy working with back in San Diego. Sailing with people you know and like can make all the difference in the world, and getting to know my colleagues well is typically an experience I am grateful for. We also went just off shore of Antarctica, and I got to see a sliver of the Riiser-Larsen Peninsula, and many penguins and icebergs along the way. It was a truly unique and beautiful experience.
Q: What bit of advice would you give someone going on their first cruise?
Jon: My advice would be to enjoy the specialness that is being at sea! It is a unique environment, that is both beautiful and dangerous. We should respect it as much as we admire it. There are things you will see at sea that not many people get a chance to see. There’s so much we don’t know about the ocean, too, so any chance we have to increase our knowledge in that area is beneficial. Finally, if you’re prone to motion sickness, do get a prescription filled for as many days as you’ll be gone. The ocean is anything but still, but that’s part of what makes it so special.
Student: | Joseph Becker
University: | UCSD/SIO
Cruise: | I8S 2007
Entry date: | 5-18-09
As you can see we saw a lot of interesting sites in Antarctica, but we also got to spend time before the cruise in New Zealand and after the cruise in Australia. I went on the 2007 I8S cruise as a graduate student researcher. We worked 12 hours on and 12 hours off, 7 days a week, for 6 weeks, but it was a lot of fun. We spent most of time controlling the water sampler that we used to collect samples from the bottom of the ocean to the surface. This takes a great deal of time because the ocean is typically 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) deep, and to get accurate measurements we lowered and raised the instruments carefully. Overall it takes about 4 hours to drop the instrument, and then about 4 more to raise it back to the ship, and then about 4 more hours to drive the ship to the next location. When we moved the ship, the science part could relax for a few hours…