Last Day at Sea
All-Aboard the JOIDES Resolution! An amazing core drilling ship that specializes in marine research. We are Olivia and Eddie and we will guide you through our last day at sea! Olivia is a junior at Penn State University studying earth science with a minor in marine science, and Eddie is studying geophysics at Boise State University.
[Eddie] We started with our morning as usual with taking a COVID test to make sure we are all healthy and COVID free before breakfast. We then proceeded to discuss our thoughts on our trip so far including what surprised us and what we want to explore further. JR Academy has provided an incredible opportunity for us to create new friendships with people from across the country and learn about their interests. Olivia and I came across some common similarities in our research interests. Little did I know that my interests in oceanography plays a role in coral reef studies. My skills in instrumentation development sparked interest in Olivia for her research.
[Eddie] We began the morning with a scenic sunrise and a tour of the Down Hole Lab. This is a room full of exciting technology that can better help us understand the environment in which we take our samples. I was particularly intrested on the acquisition of CTD data (Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth). This is important information for other scientists who want to study the oceans physical properties; the change in conductivity and temperature with depth. In the lab we also learned about the uses of Vertical Seismic Imager, the function of the VSI also helps determine depth while working as a seismic imager from within the borehole. We also discussed magnetic susceptibility, and thermo-gradients. I didn’t leave the lab with-ought some amazing images of the lab…
[Olivia] In the Down Hole Lab, I was particularly interested in the Caster Tool which is used to take water samples at depth for chemical analysis back in the lab. After touring the Down Hole Lab, we had some free time to work on our group and personal presentations. I spent my time in the Core Lab talking to a few of the lab techs about their career paths. I was interested to hear that they all have very different career paths with vastly different backgrounds and specialties, yet they all love their jobs and are content where they ended up. Before boarding the JR, I thought I had a clear career path set, but after talking to some of the crew, I am beginning to reconsider.
[Eddie] Lunch aboard the JOIDES Resolution was amazing! There is nothing like grilled food to really bring people together. It is tradition on the JR to have a BBQ on Sundays. The grilled food on board really makes me feel like I’m at home again. We had everything from grilled veggies to pork belly, finished off with a savory conversation about how everyone likes to BBQ.
[Olivia] After lunch, we had a lecture from Carol Cotterill where she talked about the different vessels operated by IODP. It was interesting to hear how each vessel pulls cores from the sea floor, but the flow of operation and labs aboard each vessel is so different. Some vessels, such as the JR and Chikyu drill in deep water, while the L/B Myrtle is a vessel with capabilities to drill in shallower waters. Carol then shifted the conversation to talk about how to make an effective scientific poster. While this is a common topic of discussion at my lab meetings at Penn State, I enjoyed hearing a new perspective with some key points I had not heard before. We often talk about what colors are okay to use in scientific posters for accessibility, but I had never heard anything about what font style is most appropriate for readability.
[Eddie] Right after our presentation from Carol we put on our immersion suits for a comedic finish to the day! The suits are difficult to put on, and it took me a concerningly long amount of time to put on the suit… However, once that was over, with the help of about three people I waddled outside and up the stairs to finish filming our NASA educational video about the research on the JR. I forgot my line on the first try but quickly adapted to my role…check us out on the NASA Astrobiology website.”Coming soon!”
[Olivia] After dinner, we had a game night which included an intense game of ping pong on the conference room tables and a game of Poetry for Neanderthals.
[Olivia] The stars were spectacular, per usual. I laid out on the picnic tables on the bow for over half an hour watching Orion rise over the horizon. On my way back inside, I stopped to watch some bioluminescent jellyfish passing by the haul of the vessel.