School Email Exchange

What are the challenges working in the lab aboard the ship compared to on dry land?

Posted on October 23 2012

Question submitted by Packer Collegiate Institute

The fact that the ship is always moving, sometimes quite a bit, is a challenge for most aboard.  Imagine looking though a microscope at swimming organisms in a Petri dish where the water is also sloshing and you have to count the organisms.  Katy, the senior first assistant scientist aboard the Robert C. Seamans, finds the number of people processing samples, due to the 24-hour watch system aboard, can alter results due to different opinions while analyzing samples, even with standardized procedures.  Greg, SEA research assistant, says the small space and everything having to be secured are challenges.

A related question asked whether or not the unsteady environment could affect any of the scientific results.  While doing scientific data collection and analyses may be more difficult aboard a moving boat, great care is taken so that the results are not affected by the motion.