Nov 16, 2013

UC San Diego! Where on Earth is Jesse Andrews?

Wow! This summer proved to be the best experience of my life! I traveled on R/V Melville, the boat that was in the original King Kong. For research of course. I went to Mexico with a wonderful Friend E. Hernandez. I got to meet law makers and politicians for a much needed discussion on health care in America. From Dallas to Washington D.C. and Chicago!
UC SD used me also as model to be posted on busses and bus stop advertisements.
This post will be pictures and articles that I wrote of the experience that I had. You can visit the site as well,
A True Champion posted Jul 16, 2012, 11:29 AM by Shannon Casey   [ updated Jul 16, 2012, 11:46 AM ]
A famous quote by the late Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays, world class educator and civic leader, says “Life is just a minute only sixty seconds in it, forced upon you, can’t refuse it. Didn’t seek it, didn’t choose it, but it’s up to you to use it. You must suffer if you lose it, give an account if you abuse it, just a tiny little minute, but eternity is in it.”

I can truly say I have been a true champion with my 248 hours of sea time! I am quite proud of myself and this achievement will be the highlight of my life for years to come. As I reflect I must do so with appreciation and gratefulness for such an opportunity.

Photo: Jesse is grateful for his experiences on the San Diego Coastal Expedition.

The environmental changes that take place in the ocean are real and this cruise collected data to help us understand the effects. Effects such as hypoxia, or reduced dissolving oxygen, acidification due to the increase pCO2 levels and low pH, and also ocean warming of 1°C, are issues we must address.

I was glad I was on the Shelf Team, the team that used the ROV as the medium in which to assess these issues. The ROV allowed us, at times, to see what’s going on and what to expect. By no means is this information conclusive, as we only looked at summer conditions, but it is a guide as to where and what we should look at.

The intensity with which the ROV team worked was, well, INTENSE! The research technicians worked just as hard as the ROV team. What better way to learn what is common and what is not, then by actually studying it? Being on the team made an impact on my understanding of marine ecology and marine animal behavior. Mike Navarro is an outstanding graduate student mentor. There was nothing I couldn’t learn from him and nothing he was not willing to teach me.

At times we had to trawl at the bottom of the ocean which was a learning experience. The trawl captured some valuable information as to how the marine organism’s habitat changes with depth.

Photo: Jesse (right) and his fellow student scientists make trawl operations fun!

I met some amazing people. Faculty, graduate students, crew members, and other undergraduates I will work with in the future. They were very patient and very persistent. They enriched and enhanced my skill set by letting me work on many of their different projects. They even challenged me to broaden my perspective and to step outside my comfort zone.

The San Diego Coastal Expedition was a fun and memorable experience and I look forward to many more oceanographic ventures this summer!
-- Jesse Andrews, Morehouse College undergraduate student
Lions, Tiger & Bears, Oh My?! posted Jul 16, 2012, 11:14 AM by Shannon Casey   [ updated Jul 16, 2012, 11:34 AM ]
Lions, Tigers & Bears, no, not really. Now that I got your attention, I might as well tell you a little more about the San Diego Coastal Expedition. I really love being a scientist; it’s like sitting in the theater attentively watching a Jet Lee movie. Science keeps you on the edge of your seat. This cruise is truly amazing and I have enjoyed everything thus far. As I mentioned earlier, I have been heavily involved in all things on this cruise. From CTD casting and micro-bacterial filtering to multi-coring and ROV operations. Where else does an undergrad get a chance to experience such a phenomenal opportunity?

Whether it’s physical oceanography or marine biology, this cruise has truly taught me the art of team work. It’s normal to work together as a team, but to innovate and collaborate with other teams all for the cause of science is remarkable. Again, I love being a scientist.

Pulling all-nighters is normal for me as an undergraduate student who can sometimes procrastinate. However, these all-nighters are different. You get to experience some amazing things, from seeing polychaete worms to learning about the complexity of salps courtesy of Amanda Netburn. Salps are these cool tunicates that live in the epi- and mesopelagic zones. Also, I cannot forget my first look at brachiopods. These cool marine animals are filter feeders that can live at deep depths in the ocean. They often are confused with clams because they have similar morphological features.

Photo: Salps attached to the multicorer after a nighttime deployment.

Worms, Salps & Brachiopods, oh my! I am learning so much from the graduate students, I would have never thought titration could be so much fun! I did it in chemistry class my sophomore year, but like the year suggests, I was truly a wise fool because I didn’t think people would actually use it in the field.

Well, back to work I go, it’s multicoring time!
-- Jesse Andrews, Morehouse College undergraduate student
Made at Scripps™ posted Jul 4, 2012, 11:27 AM by Shannon Casey   [ updated Jul 4, 2012, 5:21 PM ]
Everything seems to be made in China, but when it comes to oceanography at Scripps, a majority of the tools used on this voyage are made by Scripps. This ranges from filters in the lab to nets used in the bio box on the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). These past few days teams have been working, collaborating, and adjusting these tools as necessary, and it’s amazing to see it all happen right before my eyes.

Photo: Undergraduate student Jesse Andrews helps deploy
Scripps' Remotely Operated Vehicle in San Diego waters.

I have been a part of many operations that include the CTD casting, which is a tool used to measure conductivity, temperature, and depth of the water in the ocean, specifically in the oxygen minimum zone (OMZ). This helps us measure the salinity of the water (conductivity), temperature, and depth so we can better understand and analyze the biological processes, such as metabolism, photosynthesis, and respiration that take place in the organisms.

Could you imagine mud underwater?! The Shelf Team, which includes me, uses an ROV to examine the conditions of the organisms on the seafloor, includng one of my favorites, the 
Sebastes saxiola, or Rock Fish. We also have been able to use a miniature CTD to analyze the conditions many of these organisms live in. This is by far the coolest because we're 350 meters underwater!

Photo: Jesse and fellow student scientists and volunteers learn the ropes from a
research technician in preparation for retrieval of the CTD.

And if you thought I was done then you’re absolutely wrong! Scripps graduate student Kirk Sato is leading a really “mini” project analyzing, filtering, and looking at bacteria in the ocean. When I say “mini” I mean microscopic, just on a bigger scale. Kirk is curious to know what bacteria live at certain depths in the ocean. These bacteria make up the organisms that inhabit the ocean and matter to their biological processes. I have been working on Kirk's team as well.

There is plenty to do on the San Diego Coastal Expedition aboard R/V Melville, and I am glad I am able to learn on-the-spot and in-the-trenches. Oh wait, I've got to go. ROV time! I’ll tell you more later.

-- Jesse Andrews, Morhouse College undergraduate student
A New Found Venture posted Jul 1, 2012, 11:38 AM by Shannon Casey   [ updated Jul 1, 2012, 2:16 PM ]
What was built in 1969, weighs 2,516 tons, and is 215 feet long? The greatest research vessel built by the U.S. Navy for research ever! Yup, R/V Melville.

I am excited and in awe to know I will be assisting graduate students on the San Diego Coastal Expedition; a venture I never thought I would be taking. My motto is when opportunity knocks, answer it.

Photo: Scripps graduate student Mike Navarro works with
Jesse Andrews in the lab aboard R/V Melville

Photo: Jesse Andrews (left) with Scripps graduate students and
fellow ROV team scientists Mike Navarro and Amanda Netburn.
For this expedition I will be working with very talented scientists on the Shelf Team using Scripps Institution of Oceanography's new Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). I had just taken a crash course in oceanography and I learned that in order to understand the ocean and the effects on it, we have to make scientific observations through the data we collect including salinity, dissolved oxygen, and carbon dioxide concentrations. The process is complex and the knowledge behind it is drawn out, but know that as these concentrations change, the ocean changes in response. These changes could be ecological or environmental. The rest will be explained in my later blog.

As nervous as I am about being at sea for the first time, I'm confident that this will be an enriching experience for me as I get to see science up-close and personal and also collaborate on multiple levels to accomplish scientific research. As the French say in France, "Bon Voyage!"

-- Jesse Andrews, Morhouse College undergraduate student

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