By Phillip Hull
Teacher, Crawford County Middle School
Joe Ferguson coming along side the Nancy Foster to pass over a red snapper.
(Photo: Peter Auster)
It's June 16, 2009 aboard the NOAA research vessel Nancy Foster and we've just come through a refreshing thunderstorm. It was a welcome relief from the sweltering sun under which we deployed several more acoustic receivers. Lest anyone think this a pleasure cruise we had a fire drill and an abandon ship drill in the heat of the afternoon. Local media who happened to be aboard for part of the day experienced the drills as well.
By late afternoon the research vessel Joe Ferguson pulled along side the Foster to off-load a Gag and a Red Snapper. The excitement of catching a couple of the target species had the aft deck full of activity. Right now the fish are in a holding tank recovering from the catch. In the morning, transmitters will be surgically implanted, and the fish will spend another day recovering before being released. Using GPS, the receivers will be retrieved in a couple of months and their data downloaded and analyzed. This information will be important in learning about the migration habits of the target species.
Three teachers (from left) Daniel, Phillip and Rodney, in the ship's dry lab.
A group of three middle school teachers (Daniel Leuthner, Rodney Tumlin and Phillip Hull) are on board observing and assisting in the scientific work. The Teacher At Sea program invites educators aboard to offer authentic science field experiences, which they can use to create activities for students. One teacher, Phillip Hull, has set up a blog on his classroom website where his students can ask questions. Follow the blog here.
Tomorrow promises to be another exciting day. Life at sea is good.