What Our Scientists Packed for Expedition 401

When you’re packing for an ocean expedition there is limited space in your suitcase. Any suitcases you bring must be lugged around the world to the starting port and stored in your cabin for the entire expedition.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t bring a few special items for yourself.

We checked in with our Expedition 401 science team to ask:

What’s something special or unique that you brought with you?

“It’s the puppet that my four-year-old daughter made at school. I travel a lot for fieldwork and conferences, etc., and every time she would like me to bring the puppet (she will actually put it in my suitcase). And when we are chatting over video, she will ask where is the puppet, and I can show it to her that dad has her friend (and she is also very happy seeing that).” [featured photo]

Angled photo of an Olympus camera and large zoom lens on top of a core description table.
Simon George’s camera and lens.

-Zhiyang Li, Sedimentologist

“My camera and lenses.”

-Simon George, Sedimentologist

“Three haggis for Burns’ Supper. They came from a butcher in Delft and it took some detective-work to find them. After Brexit, it is not allowed to export Scottish haggis to Europe!”

-Trevor Williams, EPM

“I brought some of my favorite lemon ginger tea. I also brought a set of colored Sharpies (not knowing that there would be abundant markers already on board) just in case we did the styrofoam cups.”

-Clara Blättler, Inorganic Geochemist

“I have nothing unique that I brought with me, but here are a couple of items that I have that you might find interesting: a beard brush which is probably the only thing that I use everyday; a bunch of coffee beans that took most of the space in my luggage… comes out that coffee beans were a failure because the coffee machine is terrible.”

-Fadl Raad, Physical Properties and Downhole Measurements

“The special thing that I’ve brought with me on this expedition is my bracelet, which I’m sure you’ve seen. I’m not sure what it’s exactly made of (maybe jadeite?), but my mom bought the same one for my sister and me, and I wear it all the time. I thought about not bringing it because I didn’t want to lose it, but it’s nice always feeling like they’re with me. And it is very cool when it sometimes matches the sediment cores. It’s now called our alternative Munsell chart for the fashionable geoscientist.”

Dr. Sarah Feakins outside on the JOIDES Resolution wearing a gray flatcap.
Sarah Feakins wearing her grandfather’s flat cap.

-Patty Standring, Sedimentologist

“My grandfather served in the UK Marines in WWI and continued at sea in what I think is called the merchant marines for a solid decade at sea from age 15 to 25. I downloaded his public war record and have the records of when he got on and off the boat for a day at a time for a decade. He died when I was 11. I brought his flat cap with me, for sea-cred.”

-Sarah Feakins, Organic Geochemist

Kellan Moss
Freelance artist and Medical Illustrator at Rochester Institute of Technology
More articles by: Kellan Moss

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