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Our First Station

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     When the ship reaches a station, the location where the scientists want to collect their data, the acoustic transducer is lowered into the water.  The transducer acts like a “telescope” underwater by sending sound waves down.  These sound waves bounce off of the layers of animals and create picture of the layers of animals.  The data are put into a computer model to help analyze the data collected and to help the scientists know at what depth to fish the nets. 



       Assistant Professor Kevin Boswell, Reading the Acoustic Data                          


                   MOCHNESS Operator Gray Lawson

     After scientists have taken readings with the transducer, the MOCNESS nets are lowered and deployed at different depths that range from 1500 meters to the surface.  The process of the nets being lowered and collecting samples can take several hours. The MOCNESS is made up of six different nets. Net 0 goes down open to the deepest depth.  When Net 0 is closed, Net 1 opens. The rest of the nets open at specific depths.  For example Net 1 may collect samples from 1500 meters  to 1200 meters. The next net would collect from 1200 to 1000 meters.  All of the net openings and closing and the data associated with the nets is controlled from a computer inside the ship. 



                                   Lowering the nets                                                                             Nets in the water

   When the nets are brought up scientists go through a process to identify the organisms that are collected.  They are identified by specialists, weighed, measured and in some cases DNA samples are taken.  For other samples, some parts of their body are selected to look for an accumulation of mercury or hydrocarbons (from the oil spill). 



                      Sorting the Organisms

Teacher At Sea,

Christia Hewlett





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  • Guest
    Sarah Juan Tuesday, 03 May 2016

    Hi! I'm Sarah from Cutler Bay Middle's COAST program. I think it's so cool how far scientists go to explore and better understand the deep unknown.

  • Christia Hewlett
    Christia Hewlett Wednesday, 04 May 2016

    Keep checking in. I will be highlighting some of the awesome scientists on board and tell you about their exciting work!

  • Guest
    Shailyn Velasquez Tuesday, 03 May 2016

    I think its cool that this website lets young scientist learn about the deep waters in our planet.

  • Christia Hewlett
    Christia Hewlett Wednesday, 04 May 2016

    Shailyn, I am glad you are enjoying the website!

  • Guest
    Janya Spivey Tuesday, 03 May 2016

    How long do you guys stay on the boat to explore the ocean

  • Christia Hewlett
    Christia Hewlett Wednesday, 04 May 2016

    Janya- The ship will be out for about 2 weeks. We left port on April 30th and will return back to port on May 14th.

  • Guest
    dalin rivers Tuesday, 03 May 2016

    Hi, this is dalin from the coast program at Cutler ridge middle and I would like to know how volunteers were accepted into the program

    Reply Cancel
  • Christia Hewlett
    Christia Hewlett Wednesday, 04 May 2016

    Thanks for checking out the website. There was a teacher workshop in February and teachers who attending the workshop were invited to apply for the opportunity to go out with the research crew. I was chosen for this trip and another teacher was chosen for the August research cruise. So only one teacher is selected per research cruise.

  • Guest
    Antonio Sanchez Tuesday, 03 May 2016

    Hi im Antonio from crms and im wondering how hard it was to sort the organism?

  • Christia Hewlett
    Christia Hewlett Wednesday, 04 May 2016

    The time to sort the organisms depends how many are collected in the nets. Some times the nets have more organisms than others. The specialists identify the organisms and then some of the other scientist on board sample them for DNA or process them in some other way. Typically it takes an average of 6 hours to sort & process the series of 6 nets.

  • Guest
    Christian Dalberry Tuesday, 03 May 2016

    This is Christian Dlaberry from Coast at Cutler Bay Middle 8th, I'd like to know how do they decided what they keep? Really would like to know

  • Christia Hewlett
    Christia Hewlett Wednesday, 04 May 2016

    All of the organisms are kept. Nothing is thrown back or discarded. Some are preserved, others are frozen for stable isotope analysis, checked for the presence of mercury or hydrocarbons. Some items are also photographed.

  • Guest
    Jonathan K Tuesday, 03 May 2016

    Hello Christia, I'm Jonathan from Cutler Bay Middle School, And I am interested in seeing the data you collect with the "pictures" created with sound.

  • Christia Hewlett
    Christia Hewlett Friday, 06 May 2016

    I will be doing an upcoming post with more specifics on acoustics. I will definitely post some of the pictures you have requested.

  • Guest
    Hannah Tuesday, 03 May 2016

    Hai, I'm Hannah from the Coast Program at Cutler Bay Middle. I was wondering how long is the preparation time for the nets to go in the water and what steps do you have to go through before they're dropped in the sea?

  • Christia Hewlett
    Christia Hewlett Wednesday, 04 May 2016

    The preparation time for the nets to go in the water is about 30 minutes. The nets are set up so that when the computer sends a signal a specific lanyard is released and it opens one net and closes another. It has to be set up so that they will open in a certain order. I will try to include some more photos in an upcoming post.

  • Guest
    Faith Tuesday, 03 May 2016

    Hi Ms Hewlet,
    This is Faith from your class. What specimens have you found so far? Have you seen anything new?

  • Christia Hewlett
    Christia Hewlett Wednesday, 04 May 2016

    Faith we have seen several different species. We have not seen any new species as of yet but we have found some items that are not as common. One interested fish that we found yesterday as the common name “Spook Fish”.

  • Guest
    Malik Tuesday, 03 May 2016

    Hi Ms Hewlett, This is Malik from your class. How does the transducerwork?

  • Christia Hewlett
    Christia Hewlett Wednesday, 04 May 2016

    Malik the transducer works just like a speaker on a stereo it sends an electrical signal to a piece that vibrates very quickly that produces the sound waves that are sent out.

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