The JR isn't just big. It's a big deal.

The JR is big. The derrick, pictured above, stands 62 meters tall -- the equivalent of about 20 stories. She's 143 meters long.  That's about one and a half football fields. The lab section is seven stories. But The JR isn't just physically big.  The JR is a big deal.

In a conversation with one of the ship's scientists as we set sail on Thursday, he described the ship as the ocean-going equivalent of the Hubble Space Telescope<. I think that's about right. The JOIDES Resolution is helping us understand the global ocean in ways very similar to the way the Hubble is helping us to understand space.

The work is a big deal because the ocean covers about 71% of the surface. Stop reading and try to think about what that really means.

The ocean drives climate and is likely where life began. It's also where most biomass is. Without the ocean, we wouldn't be here. And yet, most of us don't know much about ocean science. 

We as individuals and collectively as scientists, communities and governments ought to know more. The JOIDES Resolution can and should be central to helping build scientific and broader public understandings. Of course, it's already doing that. The JR has been central to building understandings of plate-tectonics and sea-floor spreading, methane hydrates and their roles in the Earth system, and so much more. On this expedition, we'll be placing a CORK on and in the sea-floor that helps to better understand earthquakes and more. And, I'm part of a group of 17 "School of Rockers" who are educators thinking about and working on ways to help the public understand what The JR is doing and why it matters.

It's kind of a big deal.


Hi from Kiana's Class

We are in the computer lab and we got a chance to look at your website. We were wondering if you are having a good time. How far are you from shore? Have you been able to see the ocean floor yet? What was your most frightening moment?

We hope you have a good time on the rest of your trip and we hope we hear from you.

Kiana's 4th Grade class

Hey Don!

Nice post, Don! Hope you are getting everything you expected and more on the JR this week. I might see you at STANYS but haven't decided for sure.

Heather Renyck

Undersea earthquakes

Hey Don, enjoyed reading your entry about the science goals. One of my students asked that the following question be sent to you: if there is an earthquake under the sea where the ship is, will you (on board) feel it? How will you know it is happening? We have talked about how we could make a model that would test this, but have not come up with a great idea yet. Any hints?
We are off to a good start for the school year and looking to you to help broaden our horizons.
Barney Peterson
James Monroe Elementary
Everett Public Schools, Everett, WA

Sorry I missed these questions!

I'll make sure to answer them tonight!