I was picked for this job, to be one of the scientists on the NOAA Ship MALCOLM BALDRIGE's GLOBEC cruise in the Indian Ocean, through a long application process in which many qualifications were considered, including my performance in school (so keep studying hard!), my past experience in oceanography, and my record of publications in scientific journals. From Stephen Bollens, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
32) Amber Leinhauser, Kara Hodges, Leeann Wilchar, Chris Bailey, Jennifer Lonergan, and Destin Leeper all want to know, "Why did you become interested in whales and seabirds?"
Whales are among the most interesting and awe inspiring creatures on Earth. I think the opportunity to study whales, dolphins, seabirds, and other marine animals in their natural environment where there has been little human encroachment may have a lot to do with why I first became interested in studying whales and seabirds and going to sea to do it. These animals are doing exactly as they have done for millions of years and have, for the most part, been little affected by the major changes humans have made on land. Coming out on the open ocean is almost like seeing what the earth was like before humans got here, and it is a nice thing to see. --From Bob
33) Vanessa Villalba, Haleigh Edwards, Jasmine Guinta, and Ana Culajay ask, "What do you enjoy most about your work?"
Discovering new things is what I like most about my job. Sometimes this means discovering a new kind of animal in the sea, sometimes it's discovering a new fact, (like how an animal acts or behaves, for example when it's feeding), and sometimes it means discovering or experiencing a new idea or concept (like how energy flows from the sun to plants). Discovering these kinds of things provides me with a tremendous sense of excitement and adventure. -- From Stephen Bollens, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
34) Connie Mikan asks, "What interests you other than whales?"
Why, dolphins and seabirds! Actually, Bob and I enjoy dolphins, whales, and seabirds so much that we even spend some of our vacation time meeting other marine biologists and searching for species we have not yet seen. But we do have other interests as well. We enjoy sports, particularly hiking, downhill skiing, and wind surfing. We like to go to plays and concerts. Bob is a woodcarver (he carves mostly whales and dolphins, of course) and I have become an indoor gardener and enjoy a parakeet and 2 orange- cheeked wax bills (also birds). --From Lisa
35) Chris Brown and Lynette Perez would like to know, "What do you do when you are not watching whales?"
I take it you mean when we are on the ship? We have movie videos onboard that we can watch, but we haven't really had time yet to watch any movies. Lisa and I spend most of our evenings keeping our paperwork in order. When we do our survey work we collect data on all the whales, dolphins, birds and turtles we see, plus a lot of additional data on the weather conditions, oceanography, etc., and we organize all this information at night. We are also working on writing up some of the results of this and previous cruises, so we are busy writing papers.
We also brought a lot of books, mostly biological, that we are reading. But we brought some fun books too - for each of the port stops we are going to we have a field guide to the local birds so we can study up on those before we get there and know what to expect. The best thing for me about foreign ports is going out and observing the local wildlife. --From Bob
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