First Day On A Research Vessel – by Diana Tucker, teacher at sea

From Blog Photos

Wow, what a journey! It’s hard to believe that yesterday morning I was in Berea, Ohio teaching science and now, just one day later, I am out on the Pacific Ocean aboard this amazing research vessel!

The crew and scientists aboard the R/V Melville have been busy all day setting up equipment and preparing to begin sampling the ocean floor and waters. It is both exciting and intimidating to set aside my role as a teacher and wear the shoes of a student. But already, just hours into this journey, I have learned so much from the graduate students and professors on-board.

As we set off from the shore of San Diego this morning and watched from the bow as the boat cut through the deep blue water, we were visited by a school of dolphins. They leapt through the air off in the distance, disappeared and then suddenly re-surfaced just below us; slicing through the water with amazing agility and just feet in front of the boat. As I watched in awe, I could not help but wonder: “Do they do they swim with the boat for fun? Or maybe they are catching a free ride from the massive push of water behind them? Do they somehow know that 20′ above them there are 5 amazed individuals watching with wonder and glee at their brilliant dance with the boat?”

As we journey to the Santa Barbara basin, seeing the dolphins this morning reminded me of why I love science so much, why I teach it and why I am excited to experience it here on the Cal-Echoes cruise. It is not the answer to what is known that drives science, but the questions that have yet to be answered.

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17 Responses to First Day On A Research Vessel – by Diana Tucker, teacher at sea

  1. Jane Darrow says:

    What an fabulous day you had! I thought about you, Steve, and the rest of the crew off and on all day Saturday. I know the students will be eager to hear about the marine life, and yesterday at a wedding many of your collegues asked if I heard from you yet.

    Have fun, wish I could be there, and take lots of pictures!


  2. 1 period CPE says:

    Wow-Dolphins ARE cool. We hope you accomplish what you intended. Don’t get sea sick. Send pictures.

  3. 2 period CPE says:

    Did the Dolphins get eaten by the squid? Is Mindi the same as in Sarah video? Are you sea sick? Did they see our projects? What are the majoir differences living on the ship?

    • calechoes says:

      We have not seen any squid yet, but we will be squid jigging tonight! No sea-sickness, pretty calm seas. The projects have not been viewed yet, but hopefully soon! Life on the ship is very fast-paced. People are working around the clock to complete all their science experiments. – Mrs. Tucker

  4. 2 period CPE says:

    What’ squid jigging, and do you have to know a special dance in order to do it? Haha, lol. : )
    We see you’ve made your movie debut, and I’m quite jealous. I’m about to lose my title as resident movie star.
    Hugh is hugh, josh says hi, and the rest are cheering. Tell Mr. B hi, and take care,


    • calechoes says:

      Squid jigging should be in Wednesday’s video! But basically, we drop large glowing lures into the ocean with lots of heavy hooks on them, in hopes that a large squid will attach itself so that we can collect it. Oh, and there is a special dance involved, but it is top secret. Mr. B says hi!

  5. Steven Jordan says:

    I hope you find out a lot of many new things, also just wanted to say that it seems you are having fun. Keep it up

  6. Austin P. says:

    It sounds as if you are having a lot of fun. What I want to know is if you are learning anything that you did not know before that will enrich your knowledge and that you will use later in life from these scientists who have reaserched these fields? If you have, what knowledge have you gained from them? Is there anything that you do not particularly enjoy about the reaserch vessel?

    What do yu think the greatest invention is? I think it is the human cell. Am I allowed to do this for the project. I already have a lot of info on the topic.

    • calechoes says:

      Austin, the human cell is definitely remarkable, but it not an invention. The word invention refers to the idea that humans have created the object. If you think the human cell is important then you may want to think about the invention that helped us discover it.

      As for learning new things…..well, I have never learned so much in such a short period of time in my life. I can’t wait to fill you in when I get back. Keep reading out blogs. You may want to check out the one written by Ben Neal.

      • Austin P. says:

        I think that the human cell is an invention because the definition of invention is “a new, useful process, machine, improvement, etc., that did not exist previously and that is recognized as the product of some unique intuition or genius, as distinguished from ordinary mechanical skill or craftsmanship.” It was invented by divine providence. It is a product of “some unique intuition or genius” and it is “a new useful process, machine improvement, etc.”

        As to the post by Ben Neil, I found it rather intriguing what he said about Dr. Rouse when he said that he( Dr. Rouse) could look at a worm in a microscope and in a flash, identify it. I think that it would be interesting to see what they( the scientists) find out about the worms that are in an area “where the pressure on their bodies is about 40 times the air pressure of the surface, and still crawl around on the surface.” I really like the pictures given after the post that show the bacterial assemblage. What do you think they will find out when they take them to the lab? What do they think that they will find?

      • Diana Tucker says:

        I appreciate your perspective and interpretation of the project. While The title “Greatest Invention in History” does not specifically state that the inventor should be man, that is what was intended. The project should be about some piece of equipment, technology, etc. that was created by man after the period of time in which man began recording events in written language. I apologize for any confusion!

  7. Jane Darrow says:

    Good questions, Austin! Mrs. Tucker, are there any scientists on the ship that also might want to give their points of view, to Austin’s questions? It would be interesting to get their perspectives, as well.

  8. calechoes says:

    Also, I have developed a new interest in the invertebrate(no back bone) chemotrophs (make energy from chemicals instead of from the sun) that live in a world we have never imagined at the bottom of the ocean. When you stop to observe the intricacies of life around you it is truly amazing how many organisms there are on Earth and how interconnected they all are.

  9. mr. zumpano` says:

    Wow, what spectacular research. I hope you can spot a whale migration. I hear they (a particulare species) are presently moving up by Ronando Beach.

    Wish I was there! Keep up the good work!

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