Posted by: thediygeochemist | January 8, 2012

working at sea

Trying to get science done when your lab is 200 miles from the nearest solid ground can be a little challenging. I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I started preparing for this cruise, but luckily I had people who could give me input.

My predecessor, A, said: “It’s like being on a roller coaster…that you can’t get off.” Which is actually pretty accurate, except that it really didn’t help me understand how working at sea would be different from working on land.

Dr. HW said: “Look, you grew up in California. You prepared for earthquakes all of the time. Just think of it as preparing for an earthquake…that’s going to go on without stopping for several consecutive days.”

That turned out to be good advice, because I could look at the equipment I use and say: “This would need to be strapped to a wall…this would probably be OK on that sticky shelf-liner stuff…I wonder if I could duct tape this down?”

And yeah. Doing analytical chemistry when you’ve got 10′-12′ groundswells is challenging, to say the least. But I got used to it really fast…and my data looks beautiful!



  1. After you are two cruises down, I would request you to share how “working at sea would be different from working on land”. I heard somebody sharing his experience about collecting marine plants for natural product research. It was pretty interesting.

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