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
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
ROV dive time definitions
RHIB operations
ROV users checklist
Science party guidelines
Scuba diving
Ship to shore communications
Research Vessel Rachel Carson
R/V Rachel Carson cruise planning
Research Vessel Paragon
Emergencies and contacts
Onboard documents and logs
Policies and operating guidelines
Marine operations policies
Departure/arrival times
Early departure
Elevator payload limits
Equipment design guidelines
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
Marine operations policies
Remotely operated vehicles
ROV Ventana
ROV Doc Ricketts
Mini remotely operated vehicle (ROV)
Autonomous underwater vehicles
Gulper autonomous underwater vehicle
Seafloor mapping AUV
Long-range autonomous underwater vehicle Tethys
Investigations of imaging for midwater autonomous platforms
Benthic Rover
Autonomous surface vehicles
Wave Glider
Wave Glider-based communications hotspot
2020 Expeditions
2019 Expeditions
2018 Expeditions
2017 Expeditions
2016 Expeditions
2015 Expeditions
2014 Expeditions
2013 Expeditions
2012 Expeditions
Cabled observatory
About MARS
MARS contacts
MARS science experiments
Ocean Soundscape
Soundscape Listening Room
MARS hydrophone data
How to connect to MARS
MARS contacts
How to interface
MARS site description
MARS instrument deployment
MARS biology
MARS technology
MARS connector wiring
MARS node description
More ocean observatory resources
Local notice to mariners
Mooring data
Research tools
Administration & planning
Marine operations technicians