Teachers at Sea: Farewell Marion!

2 Jul

In the last couple of weeks, GeoLog had the pleasure to host reports from Teachers at Sea. This educational programme, co-sponsored by the European Geosciences Union (EGU) and the French Polar Insitute (IPEV), gives school teachers the opportunity to take part in oceanographic cruises with scientists. This year, Sandrine Vivier and Ana Sánchez, teachers of Biology and Geology in Rodez (France) and Madrid (Spain), respectively, together with EGU’s Education Chair Carlo Laj, joined scientists on board of the Marion Dufresne. The research vessel navigated the South China Sea where teachers worked alongside scientists in collecting marine sediments to retrieve the secrets of deep ocean circulation and understand past variations of the Asian Monsoon. This is the last post of the series. Check out previous posts here.

Report 9: Farewell Marion!

As the Marion Dufresne heads back to Singapore, the cruise enters its last few days.

The scientific team on board has been very busy updating all measurements taken, storing them in different computers, writing the final cruise reports, cleaning all the equipment used, and packing some of the instruments used to send back home.

The cores in the refrigerated container (photo by Catherine Kissel)

The cores that will be shipped to France are now stored in a refrigerated (4°C) container, ready to transit first to the Réunion Island on the Marion, and from there to France in the same container but on a different vessel. They will be delivered at the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement (LSCE) at Gif sur Yvette near Paris in early September. The cores for Tongji University will have a shorter journey: from Singapore, where they will be disembarked, they will be shipped directly to Shanghai.

During the short seven days of coring, much work was done. We have obtained 350 meters of cored sediments, collected water samples for measuring the pH (to study ocean acidification), obtained several CTD (Conductivity/Temperature/Depth) profiles, just to mention a few of our activities.

End of the cruise party in the forum of the Marion Dufresne (photo by Ana Sanchez)

End of the cruise barbecue dinner on the rear deck (photo by Ana Sanchez)

After all the work, we have had a well-deserved ‘end of the cruise party’ at the forum and an ‘end of the cruise barbecue’ on the back deck, now clean and free from the coring equipment. We have also taken the traditional group photo of all the scientists together with the crew of the Marion Dufresne.

The team on board of the Marion Dufresne

We express our deep thanks to the French Polar Institute (IPEV) and to the European Geosciences Union (EGU) for making it possible for us to participate in this session of the Teachers at Sea programme. Many thanks to the IPEV personnel on board who were always very patient with us. Special thanks also go to Bárbara Ferreira, for editing our texts and publishing them in such an attractive blog!

Thank you also to the crew of the Marion Dufresne, particularly to Captain Lassiette and Chief Engineer Rolland.

And of course, we wish to thank all the scientists on board, especially co-chief scientists Catherine Kissel and Zhimin Jian.

The Marion Dufresne from the Zodiac raft (photo by Hélène Léau)

Long live the Marion Dufresne!

By Carlo Laj (with Sandrine Vivier and Ana Sánchez)

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