After almost two months at sea, we have reached the last week of our research cruise here on the JR. While we’ve all had a great time meeting new people, coring interesting sediments, and doing some fantastic science, most of us are a little tired of being so isolated and are ready to go back home so we can sleep in our own beds, binge-watch Netflix shows, talk to family and friends in person, and eat all the bananas we want (we’ve been banana-less since week 3). In honor of American Thanksgiving and with the end of the expedition fast approaching, I want to take the opportunity to thank the staff of the JR for making it all possible. In addition to the many scientists doing research on the JR, there are about twice as many people behind the scenes, making sure we scientists can focus on analyzing core, writing reports, and discussing scientific topics. This blog post would be unwieldy if I were to list everyone by name and job, but believe me, each and every person has been nothing but helpful, professional, and kind. It’s been a long and busy trip, but overall a great (and sometimes entertaining) experience.
So, on behalf of the science party, I’d like to thank:
· The JR’s captain and bridge crew, who take our ever-evolving science plans and organize them into actual directions and schedules, while keeping an eye on the weather, safety, and logistical issues.
· All of the shipboard staff and specialists responsible for keeping the JR running and providing propulsion, fresh water, electricity, and many other necessities.
· The camp boss, chefs, cooks, and bakers who made four meals a day plus all sorts of snacks from scratch and still managed to remember how everyone liked their eggs.
· The doctor, who dealt calmly with all crises.
· The stewards and stewardesses who made sure everything from clothes to stairways was clean and tidy, and who were very tolerant of all of the sediment that we tracked everywhere, despite our best efforts.
· The drilling supervisors, core techs, and drilling team, who managed to strategize, set up, and execute coring operations with accuracy and precision, despite bad weather, rough seas, and a large amount of sand and clay in our sediments.
· The computer technicians, photographer, and other technical staff who made sure we could connect to the outside world, and who assisted us in representing what we do to the public through photographs and social media.
· The staff scientist and all the science staff who cut, split, log, curate, and wrangle meters and meters of core, operate and repair instruments, and chase down everything from more tape to replacement watch batteries. It’s due to them that this process is organized and that everyone has the opportunity to get samples and collect data.
· The education team, who developed broadcasts, video packages, and scientific animations for students and the general public, and also turned my ramblings into coherent blog posts.
· My fellow scientific collaborators, from whom I have learned so much about so many things and hope to learn more in the future.
· And finally, thanks to all of you who took the time to read the JR blogs (Hi Mom and Dad!) or participate in our broadcasts.
One of the things I particularly like is reading books, though unfortunately there’s not been a lot of time to do much pleasure reading on this trip. So, in honor of all the reading I will be doing on the upcoming 20+ hour trip back to Oklahoma, here’s my last pair of 5 things:
Last 5 books I’ve read or re-read:
1. An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth: Chris Hadfield (in progress)
2. As You Wish: Cary Elwes
3. Pride and Prejudice: Jane Austen
4. Fashion: The Kyoto Costume Institute
5. Lean In: Sheryl Sandberg
Next 5 books I plan to read:
1. Word by Word: Kory Stamper
2. The Undoing Project: Michael Lewis
3. Paper: Mark Kurlansky
4. Consider the Fork: Bee Wilson
5. Indigo: Catherine McKinley
Photo credit: William Crawford, Kirsty Edgar, and Viv Cumming