Lions, Tiger & Bears, Oh My?!

posted Jul 16, 2012, 11:14 AM by Shannon Casey   [ updated Jul 16, 2012, 11:34 AM ]
Lions, Tigers & Bears, no, not really. Now that I got your attention, I might as well tell you a little more about the San Diego Coastal Expedition. I really love being a scientist; it’s like sitting in the theater attentively watching a Jet Lee movie. Science keeps you on the edge of your seat. This cruise is truly amazing and I have enjoyed everything thus far. As I mentioned earlier, I have been heavily involved in all things on this cruise. From CTD casting and micro-bacterial filtering to multi-coring and ROV operations. Where else does an undergrad get a chance to experience such a phenomenal opportunity?

Whether it’s physical oceanography or marine biology, this cruise has truly taught me the art of team work. It’s normal to work together as a team, but to innovate and collaborate with other teams all for the cause of science is remarkable. Again, I love being a scientist.

Pulling all-nighters is normal for me as an undergraduate student who can sometimes procrastinate. However, these all-nighters are different. You get to experience some amazing things, from seeing polychaete worms to learning about the complexity of salps courtesy of Amanda Netburn. Salps are these cool tunicates that live in the epi- and mesopelagic zones. Also, I cannot forget my first look at brachiopods. These cool marine animals are filter feeders that can live at deep depths in the ocean. They often are confused with clams because they have similar morphological features.

Photo: Salps attached to the multicorer after a nighttime deployment.

Worms, Salps & Brachiopods, oh my! I am learning so much from the graduate students, I would have never thought titration could be so much fun! I did it in chemistry class my sophomore year, but like the year suggests, I was truly a wise fool because I didn’t think people would actually use it in the field.

Well, back to work I go, it’s multicoring time!

-- Jesse Andrews, Morehouse College undergraduate student