Kia ora! I’m Claire, the Science Outreach Projects Coordinator at Otago Museum. For the next month I will be working as the onboard outreach officer on the ship the JOIDES Resolution, for Expedition 378: South Pacific Paleogene Climate. I’ll be blogging about my adventures here, but you can also follow the ships social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Blog Post Twelve- So Long!
So long, and thanks for all lava cake
Our expedition has come to an end. Finally, we are at Pape’ete, Tahiti, disembarking and going our separate ways.
We haven’t been idle during the transit time, the scientists did A LOT of report writing and data analysis, and they organised some transit experiments too. They’ve been sampling seawater in international waters to look for microplastics (too many :( ) and plankton, and to analyse the seawater chemistry. Meanwhile the magnetometer has been trailing behind the boat, detecting the magnetic field of the seabed floor (this can give an indication of its age), and trying to avoid getting chomped by sharks…. I’ve been putting together some videos and a podcast (it is on Otago Access Radio, so take a look for it!).
Image: Satisfying arrangement of tubes and beakers, for transit sampling of seawater. By Claire Concannon
It feels like our month on board has gone by so quickly, I guess 12-hour work shifts will do that to you! It’s hard to know what to think at this stage. I’m excited to go for a walk and for a swim, to get a bit of alone time, and to drink a nice, cold beer. It’s also a good thing for my waistline, it turns out having delicious food available at all times of day is dangerous thing for me…. Mmmm, Lava Cake Saturdays. But I’m also sad to have reached the end, in what feels like all too soon. I feel like I still have a lot to learn about this ship and the science that happens on it. I feel like I still have more people to meet on board!
It has been such an amazing experience, I’ve learned so much about a topic I didn’t know much about before. I’ve had an incredible experience of being on a ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, of seeing amazing sunsets and sunrises, and beautiful seabirds. I feel like I’ve contributed to the expedition in a worthwhile way, getting the message out about the science happening onboard.
I’ve also met some wonderful people and made a lot of new friends. The science team come from a total of 14 different countries. Many of them will now work together on post expedition research projects. This is the power of this kind of international collaboration for science. But, it also means that I might not see these people again, as they are scattered around the world.
But there is always a post cruise meeting a year-and-a-half after the expedition to talk about the science research that has been done, a kind of proper reflection and discussion on what has been learned. You need a nice venue, a good city, and a field trip to a local area that has nice fossil record and examples from the geological time of interest. I know of one place that fits this description perfectly that Chris Hollis of GNS and I have pitched to the group… Fingers crossed I will get to see this team again at Otago Museum.
For now, thanks for following along on my adventures. After a month of working non-stop I’m off to enjoy some surf time (I managed to get my surfboard on the boat!) and beach time in Tahiti.
See you back in Dunners. Ka kite anō.
Image: Expedition 378 Science Team photo on the drill rig floor. By Claire Concannon
Top Image: Sunrises and seabirds, two things I’ll miss – image credit: Simon George