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Journals 2003/2004

Sarah Quan
Narragansett High School, Narragansett, RI

"Study of the exchange of waters between the Northeast Atlantic and the Norwegian Sea"
R/V Johan Hjort, Nordic Seas
July 10 - 30, 2003 m

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July 30, 2003
Bergen, Norway
Latitude: 60 24' N
Longitude: 5 19' E

An observation on science research: This project began about 10 years ago. Proposals had to be written, funding secured, instruments designed and built, efforts coordinated, and it all came together for this three-week cruise. It seems like a long time, but the surprising thing is that the experiment is just beginning. Data is being collected and stored over the course of the next two years. The quantity of data this project will produce is mind-boggling to me. After that it needs to be analyzed and only then can the question that was posed more than a decade earlier be answered. I am so used to experiments that require just a 45-minute class period to complete and a day or two to analyze. I didn't realize how far apart the classroom and the research were in that respect.

As we pulled in to Bergen I stood leaning on the port rail. It was a poignant, reflective moment. I'm not ready to be a land-dwelling creature again. When I stepped off the ship I felt a bit lost and deflated and like I was still on a rocking vessel. We loaded up our bags and walked over to the hotel. We were introspective and quiet. The only noise was the rhythmic knocking of suitcase wheels as they hobbled across the cobblestones. One of the goals of the ARMADA program is to foster science teacher retention.... ironically as a result of this cruise, I am wondering why I never thought to become an oceanographer.


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