January 2, 2009
The time of the end is near for this scientific expedition to the Patagonian Shelf. I have many mixed emotions. I truly miss my family and can't wait to get home. On the other hand you can't be aboard a ship for five weeks and not make acquaintances and friends. I feel that I know many of these people as though I have been around them for years. Working closely together for these five weeks has allowed us all to glimpse into one another's lives. The ship has been a good home that has carried us safely across the South Atlantic. A special thanks to the Captain and crew of the REVELLE- you have done an excellent job attending to our needs and the needs of the science. The food was fantastic and the cooperation of the crew was outstanding. Thanks to Captain Tom Desjardines; our trip has been a pleasant and a fruitful experience for all the scientists on board the REVELLE. Although not a cruise ship the REVELLE and its crew made a warm home for all of us so far from home, helping to ease the home sick feelings for many of us. A special shout out, to Matt Dunham, the Res-Tech aboard the REVELLE, and member of the A-team. Thanks for all your help and patience in teaching all of us the ropes of deployment and recovery.
To the scientists aboard the REVELLE: I have served with some of the finest people I have ever met and saw great dedication to completing the science mission. Thank you for taking me into your labs and letting me learn about the science, participate in the science, and discover the new frontiers that you are exploring for the good of our planet. Having served with you on this expedition gives me great hope that the future of the planet may not be in as much peril as I previously thought. Man has built many magnificent things, and has also caused many natural problems for our planet. Rest assured Mother Earth, I know this group of scientists will work tirelessly to better understand man's place in nature. It is quite probable that even though man has created many problems, it will be man that solves them with a better understanding of the world around us. This group of scientists I am sure will continue to travel the earth's oceans to better understand its mysteries so that we can all live on a healthier and cleaner planet. I would like to extend a special thanks to Barney (Dr. Balch), for choosing me to come along on this cruise. Your enthusiasm and tireless work has been an inspiration to me and I will share this with my students at Lowrey, student teachers at Northeastern State University, and my fellow teachers across Oklahoma and the nation. Also I would like to also thank Dave Drapeau who took a lot of time out of his day to explain to me the science and its importance and impact for all of us. Dave, like Barney is dedicated and excited about learning what makes coccolithophores tick, how and why they behave, live, and die as they do.
Thank you to all my new Argentine friends. I loved learning about you and your culture. If you are ever in the United States near Oklahoma, give me a call and I will show you some Okie hospitality. I will have fond memories of you all. The international flavor of the people on board made this trip even more special. If the people of the world would unite as those who were on this trip, the world would be a much safer and happier place for us all. Hasta Siempre Mi Amigo!
I would like to send a special thanks to the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography in Narragansett, Rhode Island and NSF (National Science Foundation) for the lifetime opportunity to be on a research project of such significance. I have seen and done things on this cruise that I would never of had a chance to do from a small rural school in Oklahoma without your help. NSF also funded some of the science on this cruise by way of Dr. William Balch (Barney) from Bigelow Labs in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Thank you National Science Foundation. I would like to thank Sara Hickox for matching me up with Dr. Balch and this cruise. I think it was a good fit for all concerned. Thanks to Gail Scowcroft who is one of the architects of the ARMADA Program for hosting me for a week at the GSO campus. I really enjoyed your lectures and knowledge of science as it applies to oceans. Ironically the port I began my journey from was known as ARMADA, which is located in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Thank you very much Andrea Kecskes and Romy Pizziconi for making all my travel arrangements, travel vouchers, and my life much simpler. I could not have traveled so far on my own without your help. I knew you were there to back me up if I had any problems. Thank you for publishing my journals in a timely manner so my students could follow along and learn the science I was a participant of. They have all learned so much. The hospitality and professionalism of the ARMADA project has excelled my greatest expectations. I have been a part of many programs throughout the years and can attest that the ARMADA Program is as complete a program that I have been a part of. There was a beginning (a week at Narragansett), a middle (this science cruise), and there will be an end (the NSTA convention in March). The program was also helpful to one of my teachers at school. As a Mentor for second year teacher, Mary Bell, I was able to share my enthusiasm for science and teaching, which will allow Mary to attend the NSTA convention. She has a great interest and excitement about science. I hope to see her teach science as a core subject someday. WELL DONE ARMADA!
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