0.156 Years Before The Mast

As someone who has spent more than 99% of his life inside structures that do not sway back and forth rhythmically, where I was able to go outside and walk 100 meters in more than one direction and chances were I would be able to see at least one unfamiliar face daily, being at sea for 8 weeks has been an interesting experience. For example:

Near Disaster!

Life can be dangerous for those who work on the sea- especially if you are an iPod.  I narrowly escaped losing my iPod to the crack between my bed and the wall- in today's blog post I recount this harrowing adventure!

Journey Not Quite to the Center of the Earth Strikes Back

For the Unobtainium Falcon to travel inside the earth, it has to have a lot more features than your parents’ minivan. First it needs to be able to travel through the ocean, then it needs to drill through solid rock and then it needs to be able to move through incredibly hot magma that can be thicker than honey.

The Puzzle of Tectonic Plates

To understand the science of our expedition, students need to know that the Pacific Ocean plate is moving over a hotspot to create the Louisville Seamount Trail. This may be hard for students new to the concept to understand, particularly since most of them probably associate the word “plate” with dinner accessories.

Core Description to Kevin Bacon in Six Degrees

What the scientists are doing on the JOIDES Resolution right now may seem like a small, isolated event (particularly since we are out in the middle of the ocean where no one, except the bird that keeps hanging around here, can see us), and yet the work they are doing here will have rippling effects that spread around the world.

How do we know our samples are clean?

Obtaining clean samples from seafloor drilling can be a challenge- the drilling itself pumps massive amounts of surface seawater into the borehole as lubricant for the drilling machinery.  This seawater contains lots of potentially contaminating microbes, such as phytoplankton (who have no place living in the dark subseafloor!), but there's no way around using it.  Luckily, there are ways of checking to see that your samples are not contaminated, and I discuss that here.

Journey Not Quite to the Center of the Earth

Take a trip with me, the Blogfish, in my ship the Unobtainium Falcon to find out a little about what scientists know about the inside of the Earth.

Science Detectives

One question that students are probably asking as they learn a little about our current expedition is: What exactly are those 30 scientists doing on that boat in the middle of the ocean?

The Decline and Fall of a Volcanic Island

Someday, seventy million years from now when the cockroach people are the dominant species on the planet, they are going to have their own marine research drilling program and are going to be drilling on a seamount whose top is 1,500 meters below the surface, and are going to be surprised when they discover a sedimentary core that has a Don Ho record in it, because it turns out the seamount is

Why Physical Properties Rule!!

All the scientists on the JR are here to describe the rocks and sediments we are drilling. While most of the geologists are describing the cores by using their eyeballs and their brains (and maybe a hand lens and a microscope), Physical Properties Specialist Patrick Fulton is able to describe them by using instruments with cool names like Pycnometer and Whole-Round Multisensor Logger.

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