To My Shipmates

To my JR shipmates:  My first blog for the JR website recounted an embarrassing introduction to the ship in Panama that involved a tender, a rope ladder, a lost suitcase, and a skirt.  I titled the blog “A Lesson in Humility.”  As this expedition draws to a close I am even more humbled, but for far different reasons.

Kelly and I sit in the pubs office day after day remarking about this special person and that great guy or gal.  “So-and-so is brilliant.”  “I’ve learned so much from (fill in any name).”  We’re sailing with the most dynamic and innovative scientists, the most experienced, qualified, and resourceful technicians, drillers, cooks, welders, crane operators, electricians, engineers, able bodied seamen, roustabouts, roughnecks, mechanics, and crew on any vessel anywhere.  Each and every person was selected because of his or her special skills and talents, and each has made an impact or special contribution to this historical expedition.  I have been and will continue to be honored to tell your story.

Thanks to your commitment to education, your patience and generosity, here’s what we’ve accomplished so far:

1    New interactive website

1    Education director who understands how things work on the JR, including APC and XCB coring, DP, stratigraphic correlation, the mysteries of paleomag, and that forams are much harder than she thought

1    Monthly electronic JR newsletter distributed to 2000 educators – make sure your settings allow for photo downloads

1   Traveling kit full of cutting shoes, shear pins and other cool artifacts

1   Retired drill bit ready for display at the Smithsonian

1   Retired ship’s bell ready for display…

3   Short instructional videos

5   Links to scientist blogs on external sites – What a great extension for us!

7   Spectacular video conferences to 500 elementary, high school, and family participants in San Antonio, TX and Ontario, Oregon

8   Photo sets posted to Flickr with more to come

16 Shipboard videoconference participants

20 Video clips loaded to YouTube for use in blogs and on Facebook (and more to come)

21 Video conferencing tests with five locations including Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Maryland Science Center, Ocean Leadership and Oregon State University

60 Facebook posts

71 Blogs from 8 contributors, many of which can be repurposed as content pages

128 Facebook fans — let’s double that number with every expedition —

and 2425 YouTube views!

Soon after we left Honolulu, it became very clear that we’ve got two or three distinct audiences ranging from children, to middle and high school classes, to your own college and university students.  One remedy is the development of a lively “Just for Kids” page that should appear before the end of the month.

Our plans for PEAT 2 include some exciting video surprises you won’t want to miss – really — and our fourth School of Rock Expedition for Earth and Ocean Science Educators.  John Firth is our academic lead and we’ll be sailing 14 educators from the U.S., Japan, and Europe during the transit from San Diego to Victoria.

This science, this ship, and this great blue sea are a heady combination for a teacher.  If I’m dreaming, please, please don’t wake me!

Leslie (#1 JR fan and evangelist)