Chasing Science at Sea: Racing Hurricanes, Stalking Sharks, by Ellen Prager

By Ellen Prager

To the common office-dweller, marine scientists appear to have the nice existence: cruising at sea for weeks at a time, swimming in hot coastal waters, residing in tropical paradises. But ocean scientists who visit sea will inform you that it really is no vacation. Creature comforts are few and the hindrances doubtless insurmountable, but an abundance of ask yourself and discovery nonetheless awaits those that take to the sea. Chasing technological know-how at Sea immerses readers on the planet of these who usually visit sea—aquanauts dwelling underwater, marine biologists looking unseen lifestyles within the deep ocean, and the tall-ship captains on the helm, between others—and tells the interesting story of what life—and science—is like on the mercy of mom Nature.With ardour and wit, recognized marine scientist Ellen Prager stocks her tales in addition to these of her colleagues, revealing that during the sphere ingenuity and a great humorousness are as crucial as water, sunblock, and GPS. Serendipity is worthwhile, and whereas amassing information is the objective, occasionally simply getting again to shore capacity luck. yet regardless of the actual trouble and emotional duress that include the work, optimism and adventure prompt a very hardy species of scientist to come back repeatedly to the sea.Filled with firsthand bills of the demanding situations and triumphs of facing the extraordinary forces of nature and the unpredictable global of the sea, Chasing technology at Sea is a distinct glimpse less than the water line at what it truly is like and why it is very important research, discover, and spend time in a single of our planet’s so much interesting and international environments.  (20080701)

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Extra info for Chasing Science at Sea: Racing Hurricanes, Stalking Sharks, and Living Undersea with Ocean Experts

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I had to take great care not to get within striking distance of its fluke. As I swam next to the whale, I hoped that it somehow knew we were trying to help. It didn’t go well at first, and the whale kept swimming in the wrong direction ⎯ some cattle-herding experience would have come in handy on this one. Thankfully, success came hours later when, after reaching deeper water, with one powerful thrust of its tail, the whale dove down and disappeared from sight. As we made the long boat ride back to the marine laboratory, we were all exhausted, yet rejuvenated by the experience and its outcome.

Relatively recent observations from submersibles suggest another likely candidate ⎯ siphonophores. These are long, delicate, gelatinous creatures that can form chains up to 100 feet (30 m) long. ” tales of wonder 31 N IG HTTI M E I N TH E S EA After dark the sea is indeed a very different place than during the day. Underwater, just the progression from day to night can be striking. As dusk falls, the shallow ocean begins to turn dark, and it becomes a time of shadows, when many of the sea’s visual predators most actively seek their prey.

Each of the animal’s multiple segments was a different and vibrant color. Unfortunately, the spectacular tint soon vanished, and the tiny animal became entirely transparent. The students and I spent hours searching through the ship’s library of books to identify the beautiful creature. We eventually found it, a copepod aptly named Sapphrina. Although the organism was not new to science, for us it provided a marvelous evening of wonder and discovery. A S E N S E O F D I S C OV E RY For oceangoing scientists, wonder often goes hand in hand with discovery.

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