Science Party Guidelines for Operations

guidelinesUnderstand the Chain of Command

While on board, the Master of the Vessel, Chief ROV Pilot and Chief Scientist work as a team, but above all others, the Master will always have the final word.

Please be courteous and professional by informing all of these parties as to your intentions and ultimate goals for the mission, as well as any actions that may affect your own personal safety or the safety of others. Please be certain to brief the Master, Chief Pilot, and members of your science party should you decide to alter your plans during the cruise.

Supplies and samples

Please bring aboard your own supplies, including an appropriate supply of digital videotapes, office supplies, any computers and related equipment you may need, MSDS sheets for any hazardous materials, and any science-related equipment not normally furnished by DMO. Remove all of your supplies, as well as your samples, immediately upon return to the dock. In the case of a Western Flyer cruise, you are expected to have all of your gear removed within 24 hours of the ship’s return to port.


Return labeled used and all unused videotapes to the MBARI Video Lab. All videos are the sole property of MBARI. See guidelines concerning copies or usage.

It is expected that members of the science party fully understand the operation of the ROV camera controls and the video annotation system prior to the mission. If you are not familiar with the ROV camera system, please review the video procedures and contact Lonny Lundsten for training.

Precruise and postcruise reports

Please be specific in your precruise report. Provide coordinates for your operations site, and also make note of any other equipment, which you are personally aware of, that may be located at the site or within its proximity. These include Homer pros, subsurface moorings, cables, dataloggers, and other deployed or stationary equipment. Please file a postcruise report within two weeks of the conclusion of your cruise as data and video will not be made available until a report is filed.

Guest Policy

Anyone participating in the cruise who is not a member of the ship’s crew is considered a member of the science party. In addition to the ROV Pilots, the Rachel Carson will take up to 10 science participants—any additional participants are by the Master’s special permission. The Western Flyer carries a total complement of up to 26 participants, including crew members. The number of slots available to the science party varies for each cruise, so please check with the Logistics Support Specialist.


Please clean-up after yourself—on the mess deck, in the control room, on deck, or in the science lab areas. Food and beverages should be consumed only on the mess deck—neither ship allows food or beverages in the control rooms. While on a Western Flyer cruise, you are also responsible for the cleanliness of your stateroom and head/shower.

At Sea

Research Vessel Western Flyer
2016 departure/arrival times
Research Vessel Rachel Carson
Research Vessel Paragon
Emergencies and contacts
Onboard cruise log
Policies and operating guidelines
Cruise planning
Marine operations policies
Departure/arrival times
Early departure
Elevator payload limits
Hazardous materials
Homer beacon policies
Lab use and chemical safety
NILSPIN ™ oceanographic ropes
Push core policies and description
RHIB operations
Rigging policy
Science party size
Cruise planning
R/V Western Flyer cruise planning
Checklist of Supplies
Cruises outside home port
Data and video: formats and specifics
Departure/arrival times
early departure
Hazardous materials
Precruises and postcruises
RHIB operations
ROV dive time definitions
ROV users checklist
Safety Management System
Science party guidelines
Scuba diving
Ship to shore communications
R/V Rachel Carson cruise planning
R/V Paragon cruise planning
Marine operations policies
Remotely operated vehicles
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ROV Doc Ricketts
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Autonomous underwater vehicles
Gulper autonomous underwater vehicle
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2015 Expeditions
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Cabled observatory
About MARS
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MARS contacts
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MARS site description
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MARS biology
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MARS connector wiring
MARS node description
More ocean observatory resources
Local notice to mariners
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