Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Hawaii Cruise
March 13, 2001 to June 2, 2001
Monterey to Hawaii and back
Cruise Participants, Leg 2

Click on any name below to read an interview:
Leg 1 Crew; Leg 2 Crew; Leg 3 Crew; Leg 4 Crew; Leg 5 Crew; Western Flyer Crew

Click on any name to read an interview:
Kristen Benchley (Summer Intern), Dave Clague, Rendy Keaton, Juli Morgan (Rice University)
Jenny Paduan, Charlie Paull, Josh Plant, Jennifer Reynolds (University of Alaska)
Kyra Schlining, Bill Ussler, Jerry Winterer (SIO)

Here is a group shot of all of the science crew from Leg 2

Dave Clague
MBARI Geologist (Volcanology)
http://www.mbari.org/staff/clague

What is your role on this cruise?
Expedition Coordinator/ Chief Scientist on Legs 2 and 4

What are your primary goals?
Understanding submarine volcanism around Hawaii, subsidence history of the islands, landslide structure.

What do you expect to find?
What types of lavas form what types of volcanic landforms, corals from drowned coral reefs to determine subsidence rates of islands, evidence for explosive submarine eruptions.

What is your favorite part of a research cruise?
Favorite part is being able to test ideas and modify the research plan to test new ideas developed from the early results. Least favorite part is being away from my wife and daughter.

Why did you decide to become a scientist/engineer/etc? How did you become one? 
Science is being able to keep asking "why?, how?, when? questions like we asked when we were young-we just ask more sophisticated questions now. I have always wanted to know how the natural world work. I started as an physics major in college, then switched to geology quite late (because of one class and one great professor), went to graduate school in oceanography/earth science. Most important thing to becoming a good ocean scientist is to have broad scientific background and interests. I took nearly a full major in physics and math, lots of chemistry, and some biology as an undergraduate. In graduate school, I was fortunate to work with professors who let me pursue a variety of interests while providing encouragement and guidance.

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Rendy Keaton
MBARI Graduate Research Assistant

What is your role on this cruise?
There are several tasks that we all rotate through in the control room. Right now I'm taking notes for the dive logs. For each sample taken that includes the sample number, location the sample is placed onboard the Tiburon along with a small sketch of the rock, depth of the site, time code on the recording video, and GMT time. We do this so when the ROV comes onboard the ship, we can get each rock correlated with a sample number as we unload it. Another control room task I do is recording sample info in the ArcView file generated realtime during the dive.

We also have lab activities that the science group all works together on. After the rock samples come onboard we wash, measure, and photograph them right away. When we do two dives in one day this has to get done quickly so we have room to work with the next set of samples. We cut rock slabs onboard for microscope thin sections (which I haven't done yet) and as soon as they dry we'll pack them to be shipped back to MBARI. 

What are your primary goals?
My primary goal is to learn; about how lava behaves in an underwater eruption, what the variety of cooling textures look like, how it 'weathers', and how it interacts with sediments and coral reefs. This is my first dive cruise and seeing first hand the topography of the ocean floor is fascinating!

What do you expect to find?
I expected basalts of various types, which we've seen, along with carbonate reefs, which we've also seen.

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise?
My favorite part is watching for the green flash, I'm almost convinced is a myth, invented to encourage people to watch sunsets. My least favorite part is being away from my family. 

Why did you decide to become a scientist/engineer/etc? How did you become one? 
I came to geology by way of civil engineering. I was working with a engineering geologist and decided geology was much more interesting. I'll be finishing up my MS in geology next December. 

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Juli Morgan
Rice University, Assistant Professor

What is your role on this cruise?
I will serve as a geologist on the cruise, and will assist with video observations, data collection, and rock sampling.

What are your primary goals?
As a structural geologist, I will be focused on identifying and interpreting evidence for deformation of the submarine flanks of the island's volcanoes, especially along the active south flank of Kilauea. I hope to integrate our shipboard observations with seafloor bathymetry and subsurface seismic data to understand the structural evolution of Hawaiian islands.

What do you expect to find?
One target of this cruise is an unusual region of uplifted and folded strata along the submarine south flank of Kilauea volcano, possibly related to an active submarine landslide. Through this window, we hope to look into the flank and determine the materials that compose it. We will also look for evidence for deformation of the exposed rocks or the seafloor that might support the landslide hypothesis, or constrain alternative interpretations.

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise?
My favorite part of a research cruise such as this one, involving ROV surveys of the seafloor, is having the opportunity to "see" places on the earth that are typically hidden from view by an ocean of water. Direct submersible observations allow us to test ideas and refine our understanding of earth processes. These advantages far outweigh the temporary discomforts of being either seasick or homesick.

Why did you decide to become a scientist/engineer/etc? How did you become one?
I was certainly inspired by my parents, both of whom are physicists. Through them I learned to ask why things work the way they do, and to seek out the answers if they weren't obvious. I was drawn to geology by the grandeur of earth, especially high mountain ranges that expose rocks from great depth and record evidence for major tectonic upheavals. I can't walk anywhere without wondering how things got there. The ocean basins are even more exciting, because we're not even sure what lies within them. I took a back entrance into geology as a career, as I was more interested in the humanities, history, and languages in high school. I took time off after high school, traveled, explored, read books, and within 2 years knew I would pursue a Ph.D. in geology. From then on, my path was very focused: I took many classes in math, science, and geology, as well as humanities, thereby gaining a very broad view of the field that I can draw on in all of my work.

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Jenny Paduan
MBARI Senior Research Technician
http://www.mbari.org/staff/paje

What is your role on this cruise?
I will be assisting with collecting rock and sediment samples with the ROV and over-the-side gear, annotating the video, maintaining the gear, subsampling the samples for analyses, and safely shipping everything home. 

What are your primary goals?
That everything works, that we have everything we will need (kilometers from a hardware store!), and that we get great samples everywhere we look!

What do you expect to find?
LAVA! ...shards of lava glass, pillows and flows of lava, ancient lava, and maybe even some fresh lava (though I don't want to get too close if we should be lucky enough to be the first to see an eruption underwater)!

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise?
Favorite: the excitement of new discoveries
Least favorite: being seasick

Why did you decide to become a scientist/engineer/etc? How did you become one?
I have always loved science: What are the plants around me, the animals, rocks, landforms, the stars? What are they made of? How did they get to be the way they are? What makes them function and persist? How are we impacting them? I love the interdisciplinary nature of Oceanography: to understand the ecology of an animal, you must also understand the chemistry, physics, and geology of its habitat. When I was young, I wanted to study volcanoes, then to become an astronomer, then a veterinarian. I was a biochemistry major at a liberal arts college, and went to graduate school to study marine biochemical ecology. Fortunately, along the way I took several geology courses, because my path has taken me full circle back to studying volcanoes!

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Charlie Paull
MBARI Marine Geologist
http://www.mbari.org/staff/paull

What is your role on this cruise?
I will be the Chief Scientist on one of the legs of this cruise. 

What are your primary goals?
To learn whether there is a substantial amount of water that is discharging to the seafloor through the flanks of the Hawaiian Islands. Fresh water associated with the terrestrial aquifers may be flowing down hill and offshore from the high rainy mountains. Also, cold seawater may be entering the flanks of the islands at depth, become heated and rise within the rock to discharge at shallower depths. Both of these process with effect that diagenetic history of the rocks and cause chemical changes in the adjacent seawater.

What do you expect to find?
Chemical and isotopic shifts in the seafloor rocks and fluids.

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise?
Seeing the seafloor through the ROV's cameras. 

Why did you decide to become a scientist/engineer/etc? How did you become one?
Long term interest in the oceans. How did you become one? 24 years of school, college, graduate education, and post-doc experience.

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Josh Plant
MBARI Research Technician
http://www.mbari.org/staff/josh

What is your role on this cruise?
As a research technician, I'm here to help out with the scientific operations on this cruise including night time gravity coring and processing samples rocoverd by the ROV. In addition one dive is dedicated to recovering two Osmosamplers which are monitoring hot venting fluids within the pit crater of Loihi Seamount. These samplers were deployed over a year ago by the submarine Pisces V.

What are your primary goals?
My primary goal is to make sure the Osmosamplers get recovered and processed. I'm also looking forward to learning more about the geology of the Hawaiian islands. Additionally, if some helpless tuna swims by I hope to help it become dinner.

What do you expect to find?
I hope that the Osmosamplers will give us a good view of how the chemistry of the hydrothermal fluids in the pit have changed over time. In August 1996 Loihi's summit collapsed, forming the pit and several new vent sites. Since that time the vents have been "recovering". Osmosamplers have been placed around these vent sites for several years to monitor this chemical evolution. The changes in temperature and chemistry of the fluid will give insight about the water circulation through the rock as well as information about the formation of the rock itself.

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise?
So many parts of research cruises are enjoyable. The science dives are kind of like easter egg hunts since you never know exactly what you will find. The diversity of ongoing projects always keeps life at sea exciting. A BIG plus is having good food cooked for you. In addition, there is usually neat marine life to see while transiting from place to place and maybe a fish to catch.

Why did you decide to become a scientist/engineer/etc? How did you become one?
Most of my free time has always been spent around the water diving in it, fishing on it or hiking near it. In high school I had the best teachers of my life and they really got me excited about science though at that point I still wanted to be an archeaologist. My high school physics teacher also taught me how to SCUBA dive which was probably the turning point. 

During my first year of college I took a great archaeology course about Bronze Age Greece. Unfortunately the class was a slide show type lecture in a dark room with comfortable chairs. Needless to say I usually fell asleep. So that was that for archaeology. My geology and biology courses on the other hand were pretty exciting so those were the areas I focused on. But by the end of college I was pretty tired of school so I spent a year as a commercial urchin diver and a lobster fishing in Maine. Then I headed back west to Alaska and fished for crab in the Bering Sea for a little bit. Eventually I ended up back in my home town of Inverness, California. I had good timing coming home. I started working as a field technician on a science project trying to better understand the chemical, biological, and physical interactions between the ocean and watershed connecting Tomales Bay. Now this was luck. I was getting paid to drive boats, dive and collect samples on the bay I grew up around. One of the project leaders was from Hawaii and he asked me if I was interested in going back to school. I said yes. For 4 more years I got to play detective with mud cores, using changes in stable isotopes and organic compounds to decipher the past land use history in the watershed. After that I worked as a research diver for California Dept. of Fish and Game and then as a research technician for MBARI for the last 4 years. So I guess science always interested me, but I never had clear direction of where it was taking me. It all just seemed exciting and fun.

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Jennifer Reynolds
University of Alaska

What is your role on this cruise?
General science operations, especially related to dives on submarine volcanics. 

What are your primary goals?
To learn more about eruptive behavior of the Hawaiian volcanoes, and about Tiburon ROV operations.

What do you expect to find?
Clues to how the islands form.

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise?
Favorite: finding new things. Least favorite: being seasick.

Why did you decide to become a scientist/engineer/etc? How did you become one?
I became a geologist because I liked the combination of field work + lab work + office work (library/computer stuff). Geology is one of those things that becomes more interesting the more you learn about it.

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Kyra Schlining
MBARI Research Technician
http://www.mbari.org/staff/schlin

What is your role on this cruise?
My primary function on this cruise is as a biologist to help the geologists try to identify the creatures that we encounter. I will also be annotating the video during the dives and assisting in the labs with the samples that are collected. 

What are your primary goals?
My main goal is to observe many interesting, new, deep-sea animals. I also plan on learning as much as I can from the geologists.

What do you expect to find?
I definitely expect to see many bizarre animals that are not found in the Monterey Bay area, and therefore will be new to me!

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise?
This will be my first extended research cruise, so I am eagerly looking forward to the experience, but can't say what my favorite or least favorite part is until after the cruise.

Why did you decide to become a scientist/engineer/etc? How did you become one?
When I was in Grade 9, I visited Sea World in San Diego and decided instantly that I wanted to become a Marine Biologist. I got my bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Victoria, including summer courses at the Bamfield Marine Station which were the highlight of my education at UVIC. I had an amazing Invertebrate Biology professor there, Dr. Fontaine, who really sparked my passion for the beauty of spineless critters. I went on to get my master's degree in Marine Science (Invertebrate Zoology) from Moss Landing Marine Labs. I would recommend getting involved in volunteer and/or internship opportunities to meet people in your field of interest and get your foot in the door.

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Bill Ussler
MBARI Senior Research Specialist
http://www.mbari.org/staff/methane

What is your role on this cruise?
My primary responsibility is the operation of our portable chemistry lab van. This 16 foot long custom-built container contains a complete analytical laboratory for the analysis of the fluids and gases contained in marine sediments. There are 3 gas chromatographs configured to analyze methane and the low-molecular hydrocarbon gases ethane, propane, butane, and pentane, dissolved carbon dioxide, and dissolved hydrogen sulfide. Two ion chromatographs comprise a system to analyze dissolved cations (sodium, calcium, magnesium, strontium, and ammonium) and anions (chloride and sulfate) in sea water and waters extracted from sediment cores. I will also assist in the collection and analysis of water samples for the concentration of radium and radon isotopes.

What are your primary goals?
My main focus on this expedition is determining the chemistry of fluids and gases contained in surface sediments and ocean waters around the flanks of the Hawaiian islands. 

What do you expect to find?
It is very likely that the fresh water aquifers contained within the volcanic edifices that comprise the Hawaiian Islands have discharge points off-shore. The chemistry of meteoric waters discharging into the ocean should have a chemical signature that is easily distinguished from sea water. Dr. Billy Moore, who is accompanying us on this expedition, has developed a method for using radium isotopic measurements to identify water that has percolated through rock before entry into the oceans. He will be assisting us in the application of this technique to water samples we will collect using the Tiburon ROV.

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise?
My favorite part of any research cruise is the discovery of new and interesting facts about the ocean. My least favorite parts are finalizing all the important details necessary for packing the equipment and supplies; and feeling seasick while at sea.

Why did you decide to become a scientist/engineer/etc? How did you become one?
I have had a long-standing interest since childhood in science, especially chemistry and geology. Becoming a scientist requires persistence, adaptability, inquisitiveness, and a willingness to learn and do many, often mundane, tasks. Tenacity combined with many years of formal education has allowed me to pursue a rewarding career in the Earth Sciences. I have two suggestions for future ocean scientists: 1. obtain an undergraduate degree in one of the core sciences (chemistry, physics, or biology) in preparation for graduate work in the marine sciences; and 2. develop technical and engineering skills that can be applied to the development of new techniques and instrumentation. 

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Jerry Winterer
Scripps Institution of Oceanography Research Professor of Geology

What is your role on this cruise?
Gather data on sunken reefs. 

What are your primary goals?
Inspect and sample inner walls of depressions in reefs.

What do you expect to find?
Either erosional or, conversely constructional features.

What is your favorite/least favorite part of a research cruise?
My favorite part of a research cruise is when my research program is being carried out. My least favorite is the end of the cruise.

Why did you decide to become a scientist/engineer/etc? How did you become one?
My father was a geologist, so I guess it is in my blood. I had a very linear path: majored in geology in college, summer jobs in earth sciences (4 years of military service focused my attention on getting on with a real life). My suggestion for you is to be an omnivore: everything that you learn will one day be important.

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Kristen Benchley
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute


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