Julie Nelsons’ Insights

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Leg 2 officially ended yesterday.  We had to come in early due to a malfunction with Jason, the ROV.  It was a typical summer arrival in Newport, blustery and about 50 degrees!!!! Leg 2 went by so quickly that it seemed to be done right after it had begun. 

The Leg 2 group was comprised of educators, as well as students.  The educators included a UW Tacoma professor, Cheryl Greengrove, and a middle school teacher from Clallam Bay, Kevin Eyers.  It was great to have some compadres aboard.  Cheryl, Kevin and I had opportunities to talk shop and exchange ideas and instructional strategies.

The news students on Leg 2 were primarily graduate students, or seasoned seniors in the UW School of Oceanography.  These students provided me with a wealth of information about their undertakings and their research projects.  Most were familiar with CTDs, and the analyses that are performed on the samples we take, but it did not prevent them from helping out with them.  We had two CTDs that were done during the midnight to 4am shift, and most(if not all) of the students participated each time, even though only two students were scheduled for that shift. 

Another great group of students, which I have come to expect with VISIONS expeditions.

August 11, 2017

I have been fortunate to have been participating as an educator at-sea since the VISIONS’13 expedition. Throughout the years, I have experienced a wide variety of students who have been chosen to participate in this program.  Like my classes of students on land, each group of students out at sea is different as well.

As an educator, I expect students to have at least some degree of interest in the subject matter presented in a course.  When out at sea, I expect a greater degree of interest and enthusiasm due to the fact that they were selected from a pool of 60-70 applicants.

The students from Leg 1, were among the most varied groups I have encountered.  We had high school students from the Olympic Peninsula (Clallam Bay Washington), undergraduates from UW Seattle, UW Bothell, Queens College New York, and also from the University of Puerto Rico. The student participants from Leg 1 of VISIONS’17 were also one of the most memorable groups I have experienced so far.

This group of students were very enthusiastic about all aspects of the cruise, and  they were extremely inquisitive.  They eagerly participated in all aspects of the work required of them, from logging ROV dives and helping with CTDs, to removing biofouling from recovered equipment.  They also wanted to know all about the operations that were happening around them as well.  What are we doing this for, and why? What is this going to tell us?  How does this information help to paint the picture of what is going on in the ocean?  What are these creatures growing on this platform? What information does this instrument provide?
An educators delight!!! 

Kudos to Eve, Hanis, Katie, Kelsy, Meethila, Monique, Alex, Carlos, and Willem.