Ask the scientists
During the expedition, Extreme 2001 crew members answered questions submitted via e-mail. Here's a sampling of the questions published on the web site.
CRAIG CARY, CHIEF SCIENTIST AND PROFESSOR OF MARINE STUDIES, UD
Q. I want to know what it is like to be the principal scientist in this huge expedition and discover all kinds of new species, and organisms.
STUDENT AT B.L. MILLER SCHOOL, SEBRING, OHIO
A. This is my fourth time as chief scientist on the Atlantis and I love it! This expedition is special because of the diversity of research we are doing. Being chief is a lot of fun but also a lot of responsibility. I am the primary interface between the ship's crew, Alvin group, and science team and spend most of my time making sure everything on the science end runs smoothly. My primary focus is to see that all of the proposed objectives get met--hard with so many interests on board. Also as chief scientist, I get a big stateroom by myself up by the captain--nice with the long hours (1820 hours) each day.
GEORGE SILVA, R/V ATLANTIS CAPTA IN, WOODS HOLE OCEANOGRAPHIC INSTITUTION
Q. What has been your scariest experience on Atlantis? Have you been in any really big storms?
STUDENT FROM DELAWARE
A. A good captain does not have time to get scared because he/she must be able to react calmly and quickly in emergencies. Serious injuries or sickness to the crew or science party at sea are the most stressful times for me. Often we are days away from a hospital and I have to rely on my limited medical training to take care of the sick and injured, even though I can talk to a real doctor on the satellite phone 24/7
(24 hours a day, seven days a week)....Yes, I have been in quite a few storms over the past 22 years while at sea. Some are worse than others. We get very good weather reports from different places like satellites and NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Most of the time we know well in advance of approaching storms and hurricanes, so we can avoid the worst of it. Ships are very safe and seaworthy if they are taken care of properly. A storm is nothing to be too concerned about. Sometimes you have to slow the ship way down or even stop if the sea gets too rough until the storm passes. It can get very uncomfortable in a storm because the ship rocks and rolls a lot, and some people get seasick. Not me, of course. :-)
BRANDON JONES, SHIPBOARD COORDINATOR OF THE EDUCATION TEAM AND UD GRADUATE STUDENT
Q. What were your interests in high school and what would you suggest that students take if they are interested in pursuing a career in marine science?
STUDENTS AT CENTRAL FLORIDA COMMUNITY COLLEGE
A. My interest in high school was definitely oceanography. I would suggest that anyone interested in a marine science career should search the web for marine opportunities for high school students. There are many programs available for high school students with an interest in marine science, including internships and summer programs. The opportunities are many. Students interested in a marine science career should focus their studies on all the general sciences (biology, chemistry, physics, etc.) and definitely algebra and calculus.
PEGGY O'DAY, GEOLOGY PROFESSOR AT ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY
Q. What would happen if the Alvin went over a hydrothermal vent?
STUDENT FROM DEER PARK MIDDLE MAGNET SCHOOL, BALTIMORE COUNTY, MD.
A. Alvin tries to avoid driving through the hot vents. The outside does have protective shielding and working parts that can tolerate the corrosive environment of the ocean, but it's important for the pilots not to damage the outside.