Posted by: adorsk | May 24, 2007

Fire & Ice

And here my travels begin…

Tomorrow I will join the R/V Knorr in Bridgetown, Barbados (there’s the fire). I’ll be training to be a shipboard technician as the Knorr makes a transit across the Atlantic. We’re scheduled to arrive in Reykjavik, Iceland (there’s the ice) on June 11th.

According to the Knorr’s Cruise schedule we’ll be measuring “Direct Covariance of CO2, DMS, and Acetone over the Ocean.”

What will I be doing specifically? In short, I’ll be the interface between the ship and the science party. Or, as my friend Ben said, “You’ll be like Commander Data on Star Trek!”.

Ok, so what does that mean specifically? The Job Description on the WHOI website says The Shipboard Scientific Services Group provides the seagoing scientific technical support. This group consists of the sea-going marine technicians and technical support personnel directly responsible for ensuring maximum utilization of ship capabilities in response to cruise requirements. They maintain, repair, and assist in the operation of the available general use research equipment including computer systems, ship installed sensors, portable vans, freezers, refrigerators, fume hoods, water sampling systems, corers, and over-the-side instrumentation handling devices. They are responsible for the arrangement and condition of the ship laboratory spaces and provide direct assistance in cruise preparations, frequently serving as the interface between the ship’s agent, crew, local contractors and the science party. They provide assistance with shipping and receiving of science equipment including the preparation of required manifest and customs documents. They are also responsible for the ship electronic mail system including hardware, software and bookkeeping issues. Deck operations aboard WHOI ships are the responsibility of the Chief Mate and under the direct supervision of the Boatswain; the ship’s technicians provide the science party interface and assist the Boatswain and crew members as needed.

So, a bit of everything, which I think will be a blast.



  1. Hi Alexander — I loved reading what you wrote and hearing about this adventure. It sounds like an amazing experience….you are so fortunate to be having such an opportunity…but then again, they are so fortunate to have you working for them! Have a wonderful time, and stay safe!


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