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2008 Nancy Foster Cruise
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Mission Log: May 8, 2008
NOAA Ship Nancy Foster

By Jim Stansell
Teacher-At-Sea, Secondary Level, Covington, Ga.

Greetings everyone on a sunny morning with seas of 2-3ft. and a temperature of 75 degrees F. The three Teachers-At-Sea ,Venetia Butler, Fran Warren, and myself, thought it would be a great idea to set a schedule where we could experience the different activities that occur twenty four hours a day. The worse thing that can happen would be loss of sleep!

Jim Stansell (author, left) and Sarah Fangman discuss modifying the fish traps to allow small fish to escape..

Jim Stansell (author, left) and Sarah Fangman discuss modifying the fish traps to allow small fish to escape.

I took the 12A.M. to 8A.M. shift and on my watch I was accompanied by Andrew Starland, an upcoming senior at the College of Charleston and Melody Ovard a Survey Technician who is an employee with NOAA. During the eight hour stint Andrew wasprocessing the data which the multi-beam operation is providing. Melody's responsibilities are to make sure the ship is following the correct path, deploying the

Dolphins bow riding the NANCY FOSTER.

Dolphins bow riding the NANCY FOSTER.

CTD, and monitoring four to six computer screens filled with data. I spent the previous day interviewing ship personnel to get an idea of the various backgrounds and responsibilities these dedicated men and women exhibit to support the scientists and mission objectives. Many of the ship's personnel come from military backgrounds and use their previous experience to benefit the missions of NOAA.

I have experienced that safety, teamwork, and learning to be flexible are the keys to having "SUPER FANTASTIC DAYS" aboard a NOAA vessel.

The knowledge, hands-on-experiences, and individuals I've had the pleasure to meet and know is an AWESOME experience. I'm humbled and thankful for such an experience. GO RAMS!


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