The Countdown Begins

Ever since I joined the National Institute of Oceanography, Goa for the doctoral work and chose to work on microfossils, I had a dream of going on a drilling vessel one day. I got his opportunity now, thanks for the initiative of the National Center for Antarctic and Ocean Research, Goa supported by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, India.

Telling Time with the Earth's Magnetic Field

Paleomagnetism is the study of the Earth’s ancient magnetic field. Such studies have helped lead to important discoveries like seafloor spreading and plate tectonics. Here on the JOIDES Resolution during Expedition 354, one of the main uses of this tool is to find out the age of sediments from the Bengal submarine fan. So how do we actually do that?

Inspiring Designs: Expedition 354 Logo Contest


It’s a tradition on the JOIDES Resolution to hold a contest to design the expedition logo, which will be printed on t-shirts and featured on a wall onboard. The Bengal Fan expedition received six entries from the Science Party and Education Officers. The designs were displayed in the galley for two days so that everyone could vote for their favorite. The winner was this beautiful design submitted by Kimberly Rogers. Here, each participant describes in their own words the different elements of their logo and the inspiration for their design.

Understanding the Moon Pool (or, How Does the JR Keep From Sinking?)

There is a hole in the bottom of the JOIDES Resolution. And not a small one - it’s 22 feet wide. The hole is in the centre of the ship, directly below the derrick. It’s called a “moon pool” and is an essential part of our drilling operations. The drill pipe hangs from the top of the derrick, passes through this hole, into the ocean and all the way down to the seafloor.

Super Steve: Interview with JR Operations Superintendent Steve Midgley

Steve Midgley completed his bachelor's degree in Marine Engineering at the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Steve began his career in the oil industry, where he worked for 23 years. Steve has been the Operations Superintendent on the JOIDES Resolution since 2004 (before that he sailed as Staff Engineer and Rig Manager) and sails 2-3 times per year.

In this interview, I ask him about his role on the JR, drilling for oil, operating during stormy seas, and his most difficult expedition.

Fun with Forams

Recently, one of our paleontologists Petra Dekens celebrated her birthday on the JOIDES Resolution. Fellow paleontologist Lyndsey Fox decided to do something special and came up with this creative idea to write “Happy Birthday Petra” using foraminifera, the tiny fossils that the paleontology team spends their days trying to find and identify.

Life on the Other Side


For the last few days, I have been trying to transition from night shift to day shift. It hasn’t been easy. Near the start of the expedition, Lisa (the other Education Officer) and I decided to make this change so that we could accommodate schools in other time zones around the world. It seemed like a good idea at the time...

Exp 354 Halfway Milestone


Yesterday was "Hump" Day. This means we are halfway through the expedition, which officially started on January 29 and will end on March 31. Camels started to appear literally everywhere around the JR. There were camels in the stairwell, camels on the television screens, and there was even a camel in the chem lab.

Days on the JR

Mobile alarms, oh, it is already 23:20. ‘Wake up’, mind strikes and forces me to get up from the bed. After taking a shower, I prepare my backpack for the next 12-hour working shift. My roommate, who is working the opposite shift, is going to be here any time for the next twelve hours. After finishing all my morning ‘rituals’, I climb up the stairs full of enthusiasm to go to the core lab where we sedimentologists describe cores.

Drilling into the Depths of the Bengal Fan

Preparations are underway at our third and deepest site. Our target depth is 1500 meters below the seafloor, which is made even more challenging by the fact that the seafloor is 3600 meters below the ship!

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