The Mission (Transcript)
For this upcoming NOAA Oceanography Exploration mission to the Gulf of Mexico, my position is chief scientist. Basically I am the mission coordinator for biomedical research. My main job started about year ago and started with where are we going to go and I had to do literature research and put together stacks and stacks of literature papers and research on the Gulf of Mexico and try to determine where we wanted to go. We are trying to discover new deep water reefs that people have never dived on and I had to find out where people had gone. Lot of it was leg work and research in the library. As far as this cruise itself, I am kind of like a travel agent. I have to do everything from arranging getting a truck to drive us to St. Pete with all of our gear, putting together our computer programs that we will put our data in, putting together all of our collection gear, the photography gear, the dive gear basically overseeing the whole mission, working with all of the scientists, dealing with all of the problems people might have. When you are at sea it is a closed small ship and people get on each others nerves and I have to deal with that.
The main thing during the mission is to select sights, I will tell the caption where we I want to go for the next day and where I want to dive and direct the ROV dives of where we are going to put the ROV. Then Dr, Pomponi, Dr. Wright, and myself will do the actual ROV dives where we select what organisms we want to collect. Then each organism that we collect, I have to keep track of all of the documentation on it. I have to keep track of where it was collected, the taxonomy, the video and photos. I have to keep track of all that data and archive it. It is a huge amount of data.