This site provides information on and a blog from the UW School of Oceanography’s Senior Cruise to Glacier Bay, AK.
The senior class left from Seattle on the R/V Thomas G. Thompson Friday, March 14.
March 18, Jeff Bowman
Click on the question mark to ask the class about oceanography, Glacier Bay, or the cruise. Your question and answer will appear on the Questions page under Quick Links.
The University of Washington’s school newspaper The Daily recently did a great feature on our cruise to Glacier Bay.
The Thompson is due back in port tomorrow after a great cruise. The March 25 blog contains a comprehensive list of video clips uploaded so far. We have lots of additional video that we will post as soon as we get the right codec for the new hi-def format…
Cruising back to Seattle Brandon takes some time to blog about poetry night, a tradition started on the R/V Atlantis.
Some came prepared with a favorite poem or two while others had taken time to write new pieces. Rick Keil participated most with six or seven separate pieces...
We are working on sorting through lots of video and photos from the cruise. Stay tuned, we will post a comprehensive list of video very soon. In the meantime, keep an eye on the photo gallery at http://courses.washington.edu/ocean444/2008/photos/photos.php, lots of new photos have gone up in the last couple of days.
Packing it up and heading for home! We finished off a very successful trip to Glacier Bay yesterday afternoon. Check out today’s blog for a more in-depth answer to a question posed by one of our readers.
One of the readers of this blog submitted a question several days ago. This question was fundamental enough to warrant a more in-depth response than room allowed on the Questions and Answers page. The question was what is special about Glacier Bay to allow it the distinction of being one of the richest cold water ecosystems in the world? And further...
We are passed the hump, and the bulk of our scientific data is collected (now, to try and makes sense of it all…). Christine vents her frustration at the fallacy of the “Final Cruise Plan”.
I have come to realize over the past three days that there is no such thing as a “final” cruise plan. I’m not sure who originated this phrase or how it came into cruise-planning vocabulary...
Aubrey blogs about her adventure yesterday recovering one of Chase’s drifters.
As soon as I jumped out of the boat, my boots filled with water. I ran onto shore as fast as possible and lost sensation in my feet...
Erwin just passed along some really cool video that he took on the way up, of ice fracturing ahead of the Thompson.
A long, rough day yesterday. Despite some setbacks we made some major headway in our work in Tarr Inlet. Check out some video on our small boat operation to collect chunks of glacial ice.
A lot of material made it into the March 20 blog late yesterday (we lost our always tenuous internet connection for most of the day). Take a look at the links under March 20 for more video and the March 20 blog page for more photos.
Today Erwin blogs about the ups and downs of not showering for three days.
I’m currently in the middle of doing one of my incubations so I thought I’d take some time to share with you about our run and dump situation…
April reflects back on one of the less pleasant aspects of the ride up (and one that’s sure to be present on the cruise home!).
But for some of us, this subtle motion has turned sinister. And, usually only at night. That is when it pounces...
We’ve been focusing our work for the last 24 hours on Tarr Inlet, famous for the two spectacular glaciers at its head. Erwin blogs about his experience in Tarr Inlet, and the difficulty of measuring productivity with radioactive bicarbonate (the first UW student allowed to use this important research tool for a senior thesis in 9 years).
I turned to see a huge chunk of ice the size of a 4 story building begin to fall, but then it stopped and a river of ice started falling in between the gaps...
Vikki writes about her mini-expedition on March 18 to a freshwater pond near Bartlett Cove.
Expect at least a meter of ice over the pond – advice given to me through an email from Glacier Bay National Park Service ranger Chad Soisleth...
Click here for a great short WMV video of students at work on the Thompson. It gives you a good sense of the layout of the science spaces, and what some of the work looks like.
We have a great video of the box coring process, as presented by Vikki, Aubrey, and David.
Happy Birthday to Instructor Kathy Newell!
It’s been an incredibly busy day set against a backdrop of imposing glaciers. Carmella stepped away from her project for a few minutes to blog on yesterday’s visit by local school children.
The group Aubrey, David, April and I had were the youngest kids so they were really excited to just be on a real ship...
Jeff writes about some of the sampling techniques the Thompson is currently employing in Glacier Bay.
The tools used by the four groups differ considerably, and range from the low tech hand-deployed plankton tow to high end sonar and drifters...
We arrive at a snowy Glacier Bay several hours ahead of schedule, scientific work commenced immediately. Cathy writes about getting off to a running start, and taking some small casualties.
We reached station 00 about 5:45am and the madness began... "get the CTD ready for deployment!" "Marcus, how many Go-Flo bottles are you sending down?" ...
We were able to scrape enough bandwidth together to get out a picture of the pilot transfer operation the night of the 16th. Check out the short WMV video (1 minute long, Windows Media or AVI player required) by clicking here
If you’ve submitted a question, we have lots of answers coming across from students. Be sure to check out the Questions and Answers link at left to see if your question has been answered.
A rough and busy day today between heavy weather, finals, and last minute preparations.
Several hours of increasing swells ended with the decks “secured for weather” and most of the science party trying to sleep it off in their bunks…
We’re making good progress towards Alaska, but the weather’s deteriorating and the ship’s getting a little more rock n’ roll in between the protected passes. Christine blogs about the joy of 3am swells.
We hit some open water during the night and as the ship swayed back and forth and I definitely felt it on my top bunk. If you’ve never felt the swaying of the ship here’s an analogy for you…
With not many hours to go before the science starts everyone is scrambling to finalize the cruise plan. Read about how things are coming together, and the need to maintain some flexibility.
Complicating the science plan are logistical considerations, weather and navigation will come into play in the tight quarters of Glacier Bay. Several stations will need to be visited more than once, to retrieve deployed gear...
We’re off and cruising! Take a first look at life aboard the Thompson...
By research vessel standards life aboard the Thompson is pretty good. The staterooms are spacious (see “Anatomy of a Stateroom Below)…
Erwin talks about a rough first night.
Around 3:00 or 4:00 AM I thought I was in the middle of a mechanical nightmare, but I was still awake. The forward thrusters cranked on and the sound of a muted thump as my neighbors head hit the top of his bunk…
Read about what travel through the Inside Passage is like, and how a ship like the Thompson handles the complex navigational challenge.
If you’ve been following along with the ship’s location (see the link to the left) you may be wondering how the Thompson and other ships navigate the complex network of channels and passes between Georgia Basin (just north of Puget Sound) and Glacier Bay...
After a furious day spent packing, taking finals, and loading the ship Josh Hill takes some time to blog about his afternoon, and a last minute celebration...
After a last day, filled with last minute preparations, nearly forgotten equipment and early finals, vans began shuttling people to the pier...
Dan Helman talks about his last minute preparations, including finding a lifejacket that fits!
Thursday afternoon, and it’s cool and rainy here in Seattle. We continue to load the ship with tools, equipment, chemicals, etc., in short everything needed to carry out great science in Glacier Bay...
Andrew Clos reports on the progress of cruise planning, and talks about the many complications that come with planning a multi-disciplinary research cruise.
There are 21 students all with individual projects and like I said before, only four days of “science time” inside Glacier Bay. The week following our research proposal and ship time request due date was exclusively dedicated to planning the cruise. To give you more of an idea of the level of complication we were dealing with, here are some of the things we had to consider when creating our plan…
The 2008 Senior Research Cruise science party poses in front of Margerie Glacier on the deck of the R/V Thomas G. Thompson.
Pictures of the Day
By science party popular vote
March 17, Brandon Knox
March 16, Erwin Reguindin
March 15, Eric D’Asaro
March 14, April Bailey
March 19, Rick Keil
March 20, Eric Collins
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