13 February, 1998
Hello from the Ross Sea! Whew, we've had a busy day today! Just as our shift started, we took a kasten core. We took another one a little later, and we took 3 grab samples before our shift ended! That's a lot of mud! In addition, we continued sieving our kasten core from the other day (maybe we'll finish tomorrow), ping edited, and conducted a Multibeam survey.
Stephanie has started organizing all of our core samples so everything is ready by the time we arrive at McMurdo Station. The long cores (1-3 meters) will be shipped directly to the Ice Core Facility at Florida State University. She and Ian have gone through all of those long cores to make sure they are labeled properly both on the core and on paper. We also have taken small plastic bags of samples from every core -- some will go back to Rice University and some will go to Florida State. These bags have to be organized by core number, catalogued, and put into wooden boxes for shipping. It's amazing how much has to be done before we leave the ship! Stephanie and I will finish them in the morning. After that, we just have to worry about the new cores that we may take this coming week . . . everything else is packed and ready (from the cores, anyways)..
Today, I wanted to introduce you to the last two Marine Technicians (MTs) on this cruise. If you remember, MTs are responsible for the deck of the ship and everything on it. They maintain and operate anything that goes over the side of the ship and into the water. Christie Campbell is a 27 year old Marine Technician from San Francisco, California. She has a degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a double major in Geography and Environmental Studies. After working as a remote sensor for two years (computer mapping), she became a research diver with the University of California. Her first trip to Antarctica was as a research diver for Dr. Quentin of the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1994. On that parcticular cruise, she was parcticipating as one of the scientists. While down here, however, she learned of Antarctic Support Associates and after she returned home she applied for the job of Marine Technician. She was hired by Jim Holik (our MPC), and has worked under Barney Kane (our Senior MT) ever since.
Christie is contracted by ASA, which means that she spends about 6 months out of each year aboard the NBP. During the rest of the year, she is able to contract for work with other organizations. In 1996, she spent some time working as a laboratory technician on a CTD cruise for Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. In 1997, she worked as an MT for Scripps Institute of Oceanography. She really enjoys the fact that she has been able to travel to every continent of the world as an MT. She has even been lucky enough to see the Aurora Borealis and the Aurora Australis (northern and southern lights) within three months of each other! Christie is also the EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) aboard the Nathaniel B. Palmer. She works in conjunction with a Medical Advisory Service which provides a doctor on call 24 hours a day for the ship. She is able to give basic emergency care, and the NBP is even equipped with a 4 bed hospital. She became certified as an EMT immediately after she started working for ASA in 1995. Today, ASA provides an EMT on all research vessels. She will be renewing her EMT license this March, and Christie is very excited that she will be going to a course that has been custom designed for shipboard medicine!
The other MT aboard the Palmer is 43 year old Otis Tavlin. Otis is from Long Beach, California, but he and his wife are both currently working for ASA in Antarctica. While Otis is an MT aboard the NBP, his wife is the travel coordinator at McMurdo Station. He graduated from San Diego State with a degree in Industrial Arts. For this applied degree, he studied everything from drafting to welding, construction, and electronics. He has worked as an auto mechanic and as a driver for a moving van company. He also has his Captain's License and has spent some time delivering sail boats. Most recently, Otis was in the retail tools business and owned 3 stores in California. He and his wife decided to sell the business and go off on an adventure. They put many of their belongings in storage, packed their 44 foot sailboat, and headed south towards Mexico. On the way, they applied for jobs at ASA. They are now taking a couple of years to work in Antarctica before continuing their sailing adventure. Otis is really enjoying his time in Antarctica. Eventually, after their sailing expedition is complete, Otis wants to continue working somehow in the marine industry. He has sailed all his life and really likes living and working at sea!
Tonight, the night crew will finish our work in the Central Ross Sea and continue towards the Western Ross Sea and the coast. Tomorrow, we should be working on a Multibeam survey of the area and then we hope to begin a long seismic survey near Tucker Glacier. In tomorrow's journal, we will look at the one person working on the ship (besides the scientists) who is not employed by ECO or by ASA. By the way, the last day for email coming to the ship has been moved up 24 hours. Please do not send email to this address after 11:00 p.m. February 18th (your time). After that, you can send it to me at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. I will be able to read my mail sent to the "fayette" address from McMurdo Station. Thanks to everyone who has been writing me and sending questions. Keep sending them until the 18th! This has sure been a wonderful adventure!
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