More Questions From Windermere Boulevard Elementary School

Here are some more questions from the kids at Windermere Elementary School.  Keep them coming!

Question: Have you found anything interesting in the ocean?

Yes, we’ve found lots of interesting things.  The picture here is a fossil of something called a diatom. I’ve seen lots and lots and lots of these since I got on the ship.  When you first see them, they look like mud.  They are mud.  But some kinds of mud look really interesting under a microscope, and this picture was taken with a microscope.  Fossils that you need a microscope to see are called microfossils and there are many different kinds.

Here’s another bunch of microfossils:

This picture, like the first one, is a picture of a tiny bit of a tiny bit. I used a toothpick to scoop up just a little bit of mud and smeared it around on a microscope slide.  Before you put it under the microscope, it looks like this:

This picture is of the slide that has the fossils that look like snowflakes.  Those snowflake-like microfossils, are just a tiny bit of that brown stuff that looks like mud.  Microscopes are cool. 

Question: How is the food on the ship? 

The food on the ship is pretty good. There’s a pretty big kitchen, but not as big as the one at school. I’m a vegeterian, and there are a couple others in our group of teachers on the ship.  It took the cooks a little getting used to cooking for us, because none of the people who are regularly on the ship are vegetarians.  Now that they know us, we get really good food.

We were surprised that the ship has an icecream machine.  We were more surprised that when the icecream machine broke, they had a spare to replace it!

Question: What are you doing on the JR?

I’m doing lots of different things, but the main reason that I’m here is to learn.  I made the slides of the microfossils and took the pictures to help teach you and kids (and teachers) in other places about the ocean and how important it is. It’s really important to understand the ocean for lots of reasons — if you look at a globe, you can see that most of Earth is covered by water.

As you grow up, I think the most important things the world will be dealing with include climate change, where our energy comes from, and how we can make sure everyone on Earth has good clean water. All of those things are closely connected to the ocean.  I want to understand those things better and help other people understand those things better.

All the work done on JOIDES Resolution is to help us better understand how the Earth works. I’m working with scientists who are studying mud from the sea floor, and the water in the ocean to see how the climate has changed and to better understand earthquakes, and lots of other things.

I like to think I’m also helping the scientists to better explain some of what they do to people like you and me!

Question:  Do you miss your daughters?

I sure do. Not seeing Nellie and Kiana and their mom is the hardest thing about being at sea.  I think about them all the time. 

We decorated some styrofoam cups that we sent down to the seafloor.  That’s almost a mile below us, so the weight of the water above the seafloor is really heavy. You know how you can squeeze styrofoam? The wieght of all that water squeezes all the air out of the styrofoam. Here’s a picture of the cup I decorated next to one that shows what it looked like before it was decorated and sent to the bottom:

Tell them hi for me!