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Posted by on in Teachers
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 Hi, I am Christia Hewlett and I teach middle school science and marine biology at Sheridan Hills Christian School.  I was chosen as the Teacher at Sea for the 3rd DEEPEND research cruise and I will be keeping you updated on all of our adventures.

We are underway!  After a day busy day spent getting the ship ready for the trip, the ship headed out to sea a little after midnight.  There was plenty to do to prep the ship yesterday.  The lab equipment had to be unpacked and secured for being out on the water.  The crew was busy preparing the ship for the research specific to this group of scientists.  They attached the pole for the acoustic transducer which allows the scientists to help locate layers of organisms before the nets are lowered.   They also had to weld on a special device to help control the MOCNESS (Multiple Opening/Closing Net & Environmental Sensing System) nets which will be lowered down to maximum depths of 1500 meters to collect the samples.

In addition, the ship’s crew had to load the ship with a tremendous amount of supplies and food to feed the seven member crew and the 16 scientists for the two weeks at sea. 

            Over the last two days scientists arrived and set up their work stations for the various projects.  Some are studying cephalopods, some deep-sea fish, some crustaceans.  Others are conducting molecular and genetic studies of organisms and some will be filtering the collected water to learn about the microbes it contains.  This will be a great learning opportunity as I set out on this new adventure!

Teacher At Sea,

Christia Hewlett

For my marine biology students I wanted to share that I overheard two scientists talking today about obligate and facultative symbiosis in sponges and because of what we learned in class you should know what they were talking about. :)



Getting the Acoustic Transducer ready and attaching it to the boom on the ship.




Putting the nets on the MOCNESS.


Before picture of the lab.                                                                     Unpacking the lab and getting the stations ready.

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  • Guest
    Fabiola Estremera Monday, 02 May 2016

    Hi this is Fabiola from Cutler Bay middle, I was just wondering ,how long did it take to unpack the lab and get the stations ready?

  • Christia Hewlett
    Christia Hewlett Wednesday, 04 May 2016

    Hi Fabiola, it took about half a day to unpack the lab. There were some general items that everyone uses and then certain groups of scientists set up their own stations. For example Cole and Jacki who are doing water filtration set up that section and Max & Travis who are taking DNA samples set up that work station. Supplies are pulled out as needed as the boat is moving and we don’t want things to slide around and some items are secured with bungie cords to keep them from sliding out from under the workstations.

  • Guest
    Niyah Fitzgibbons Monday, 02 May 2016

    Hello this is Niyah from Cutler Bay Middle and I just wanted to know how long it takes to put the nets on the Mockness.

  • Christia Hewlett
    Christia Hewlett Wednesday, 04 May 2016

    Hi Niyah. It takes about 30-45 minutes to put the nets on the MOCNESS. with 4 people. The scientists have to position each net and attach it at the top, sides and bottom. Each net also has to be checked for holes.

  • Guest
    Karlee Marin Monday, 02 May 2016

    Hello, this Karlee a student from Cutler Bay Middle... I was just wondering is there any marine organism that you are extremely looking forward to finding and studying?

  • Christia Hewlett
    Christia Hewlett Wednesday, 04 May 2016

    I did not have a most wanted list for the marine organisms I wanted to see on the trip. I was definitely looking forward to seeing some organisms with photophores. So far I have seen the several fish with that have them. I will be posting some of the pictures soon! Stay tuned!

  • Guest
    Dorian Daniels Tuesday, 03 May 2016

    Hello this is Dorian I was wondering what type. Of fishes you found so far.

  • Christia Hewlett
    Christia Hewlett Friday, 06 May 2016

    We have found so many different types. Some that you may be familiar with are the angler fish, the dragon fish, the hatchet fish, and the lantern fish.

  • Guest
    Kathlyn Cardoso Tuesday, 03 May 2016

    Hey this is Kathlyn from Cutler Bay Middle, and I was wondering how you put the net in the Mockness?

  • Christia Hewlett
    Christia Hewlett Wednesday, 04 May 2016

    The nets are attached to the frames with a series of rings and rods. The rods slide through at the top and bottom of the nets and the rings hold the net on the frame on the sides. The nets funnel the organisms into a collection point for organisms called the “cod ends”. This is what the scientists empty to find what has been collected.

  • Guest
    Devon Tuesday, 03 May 2016

    What type of orginisims have you guys bought in the nets ? -Devon Bas @coast cutler bay middle

  • Christia Hewlett
    Christia Hewlett Wednesday, 04 May 2016

    There are so many different types of organisms. Some include different types of jellyfish, ostracods, cephalopods, crustaceans like shrimps & crabs and several types of fish.

  • Guest
    Dj Robinson Tuesday, 03 May 2016

    what type of marine life are you going to be studying while on your trip

  • Guest
    Kristina Alzugaray Tuesday, 03 May 2016

    Hello, this is Kristina from Cutler Bay Middle and I wanted to know exactly how many people are on that boat or ship? Is everyone friendly?

  • Christia Hewlett
    Christia Hewlett Wednesday, 04 May 2016

    There are 7 crew members and 16 scientists on board the ship. Everyone is very friendly and helpful. They are always willing to answer my questions about what they are working on and how it fits into the project.

  • Guest
    louren ishbel pozo Tuesday, 03 May 2016

    Hello my name is louren from cutler bay middle I was just wondering have you discovered new habitats or organism on your trip \(>w

  • Guest
    Deepa Danclar Friday, 06 May 2016

    Hi this Deepa from Cutler Bay Midlle and I wanted to know if you found any new organisms?

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