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Night shift at R/V Marcus Langseth


Night shift at R/V Marcus Langseth

by Tanner Acquisto
|June 22, 2022

Greetings from the night shift!

on board Marcus G.Lanceth, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Those on our research team have adapted to our eight-hour shifts, where the four-hour period often overlaps with one or two other members of the Science Party. Cascading shorter shifts in this way allows us to have more interaction with the various members of the crew and science party, reduces fatigue, and gives us more flexibility in deciding who eats first while others continue to work.

daily schedule

An outline of our sailing schedule for military time. The shifts are cascading, so there is a lot of overlap between the members of the Science Party, so most of us can get to our regular meetings in the afternoon.

As a night owl, I’ve embraced the 4am-12pm shift, which means I can communicate my time with day and night staff, and most importantly, have breakfast and lunch every day. Working on the calm sea at night creates a tranquility that, combined with the beautiful sunrise we see every morning, is unmatched.

Left: OBS technicians and two crew members preparing to deploy the seafloor seismometer around 5 a.m. CTD. Right: Sunrise captured a few hours later through a few wisps of clouds.Photo: Tanner Acquisition

Although lowering the seabed seismometer from the side of the ship requires Some preparations on our side, less work for the science party when we send sound signals to the ocean floor for our receivers to record. Between deployments/restores, during data acquisition, most of us choose to spend our “free” time in the main lab, where there’s a wall of monitors running 24/7 to keep us updated. This isn’t necessarily It’s time off because we’re still at work, but it does provide a great opportunity to get some extra work done. This includes some quality control over the various types of data we collect, as well as seismic data, including seafloor profilers and multibeam bathymetric data. As a fourth-year graduate student, I’d be remiss if I didn’t use the quiet early morning hours to set up my little workstation and handle some work related to my dissertation.

View all the monitors in the main lab from my desk where I set up my personal workstation. Anti-skid padding is used to keep our laptops and other valuables from flying as the boat rocks back and forth.

View all the monitors in the main lab from my desk where I set up my personal workstation. Anti-skid padding is used to keep our laptops and other valuables from flying as the boat rocks back and forth.Photo: Tanner Acquisition

We’ll be done sending a signal to Earth soon, it’s time to restore the instruments placed on the ocean floor and see what the data looks like!Once that is done, we will start the whole process over again Our second personal datafrom the end of the first line, all the way through the subduction trench to the coast of Guerrero, Mexico.

Tanner Acquisto is a graduate student at Columbia University Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.




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