Student Questions from Nashville

Dear Dr. King et al.

I introduced you to my 5th grade science students by reading your first post and they had a lot of questions:

Thanks for the posts from Nashville.   I am sitting at Logan Airport waiting for my flight to Miami.   Tonight I fly from  Miami to Santiago Chile.   Tomorrow I will fly from Santiago to Punta Arenas Chile to meet the ship.   If you click on the “Where is the Melville” tab your can zoom in on the dock where ship is being loaded.   We won’t leave until next week because we have a lot of unpacking to do.

1. How big is your cabin?

The cabins are about 8×10 feet for two people.   You can get full drawings on the ship from the Scripps web page and I have posted a drawing of my cabin deck to the right.  Your class might have fun calculating the area and volumes of different spaces from the drawings.

2. Is there exercise equipment?

I will let you know in a few days.

3. What types of bacteria and viruses are you studying in the ocean?

Scientists at Bigelow have posted a good overview of the Great Southern Coccolithophore Belt, consisting of billions of coccolithophores.

4. How many people are on board? How many are scientists? Are there others who get seasick?

We have 27 scientists and a crew of  23.   I expect many of the scientists will get seasick for at least a few days.   I will send the you head count after we leave port (this is a really bad seasickness pun).

5. What food do you have?

I will write a full post on food in a few weeks.  Generally, the food is really good.  Bad food makes everyone grumpy!

6. Are there female scientists on board?

Absolutely!   The gender balance in oceanography today is about 50/50, and the scientists on oceanographic cruises reflect this balance.    But this was not always the case, women only started going to sea in large nubers in the 1960s.   You may find the article,  OVERVIEW OF THE HISTORY OF WOMEN AT SCRIPPS INSTITUTION OF OCEANOGRAPHY by Deborah Day interesting.

That’s it for now. We start our unit on Water tomorrow (Wednesday Jan 5).

Cheers,   Becky

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