Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Life as a Student Volunteer

Hey there, it's Kelly Brooks here, enjoying another sunny day aboard the R/V Marcus Langseth in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Although I have spent many a day on the sea in a boat, the majority of it has been only in the Gulf of Mexico for short seismic jaunts or fishing trips with my grandfather. This excursion, practically clear across the Pacific, obviously takes the cake. So far we have been at sea for 1 week and have around 6 weeks to go. We should be arriving at our study area tomorrow night to begin data acquisition. First, we will be deploying OBS's (Ocean Bottom Seismometer) to obtain seismic refraction data. We will then start the process of "mowing the lawn" using an air gun source and streamers to collect seismic reflection data. As a student volunteer, this cruise presents an amazing opportunity to get hands-on training in seismic data acquisition and processing. At the end, each one of us should be well acquainted with operating systems like Linux, seismic interpretation software like Promax, and the handy tools of GMT which aid in creating study area maps essential for research papers. So, I thank NSF for funding this unique journey to one of the oldest oceanic plateaus in the world and allowing this incredible, skill-building opportunity. Tune in again next week for the beginning of crew profiles where I will conduct short interviews to find out about what their roles are on this ship.

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