Question: Were you nervous when you were transfered from one ship to the JOIDES Resolution?
Name:
Lucas
School: San Isidro Jr. High, San Isidro TX
Response: Lucas, we flew into Townsville and actually boarded the ship from the dock. It was just a little difficult to get our luggage up the gangplank stairs, over the bulkhead doors, and into the cabin. Fortunately, I had a nice gentlemen from ODP at Texas A&M who assisted me. I have transferred numerous times at sea from one vessel to another and I have been a little apprehensive about it. Actually, I usually become scared afterwards when I think about what I did. However, it was easy to get on the JOIDES Resolution from the dock.

Question: When will you start drilling? Also
when was the first core sample taken aboard the Joides Resolution?

Name:
2nd period 8th Grade class
School:
Rocksprings Jr. High, Rocksprings TX
Response:
We actually started drilling last week and the first core was up at about 2:15 A. M. on January 11. I am going to be talking about that in the broadcast; it was quite exciting!


Question: How long do you plan to stay out there on Leg 194?
Name:
5th period science
School:
Rocksprings Jr. High, Rocksprings TX
Response:
I shall be staying on the ship until we arrive in Guam around March 5. Each leg is approximately two months so the scientists have a lot of work to do in that short period of time.


Question: How many scientists are aboard the ship? Has there been any new scientific evidence of earth's past history from the study of the core samples?
Name:
Norma
School:
Charlotte Middle School, Charlotte TX
Response:
Norma, There now are twenty-four scientists on board; we had twenty-five, but one of our young female scientists cracked her femur and had to be evacuated by helicopter to MacKay to the hospital. It really is too bad because this is important to her and her learning as well as being in a hospital in a strange place where you have no family with you. She would like to return to the ship, if possible, but it is very difficult to get around on a ship like this with lots of steep stairs and constant movement. In addition to the scientists, we have twenty-four technicians many of whom have Ph.D's or other advanced degrees and just enjoy the work. They are out here for two months and then they are on land for two months. Some are permanent employees of ODP (Ocean Drilling Program) and some just come for the two months. As far as results, those will not be know until everyone gets through with all the tests, but it looks promising!


Question: Can you explain how they are able to drill off of a boat?
Name:
Ann
School: Bellaire High School, Houston TX
Response: Drilling a deep hole from a ship in the ocean requires a drilling platform which is capable of maintaining it's position over a specific location on the seafloor. Without this capability, the platform would be moved by the currents off location resulting in either pulling the drill pipe out of the hole or breaking of the drill pipe. The Ocean Drilling Program uses the JOIDES Resolution as its coring platform. This ship has a computer-controlled system which regulates 12 powerful thrusters in addition to the main propulsion system. These thrusters are located around the vessel to allow moving in all compass directions. Using an acoustic beacon set near the drill site on the seafloor, this system keeps the ship positioned over the drill hole despite wind and waves, permitting drilling in water as deep as 8,235 meters. Pieces of drill pipe are threaded together and lowered from the steel derrick through the "moon pool," a seven-meter-wide hole in the bottom of the ship. A heave compensator in the derrick acts as a giant shock absorber, so that the up and down movements of the ship are not transferred to the drill pipe. Thus cores can be cut and lifted smoothly. To drill through soft sediment or mud, a hydraulic piston corer is used. This device uses seawater to drive a steel barrel through the sediment. To penetrate into harder sediment and rock, drill bits with cutting heads are used. As the hydraulic piston corer or drill bit cuts through layers of sediment and rock, cores of subseafloor material in segments as long as 9.5 meters are collected in tubes. The tubes are attached to a wire cable allowing the crew to pull the core up through the drill pipe.

Question: Mrs. Guerra's 8th grade science class would like to know what some of your biggest fears were when you were selected to go on this assignment.
Name:
Mrs. Guerra's 8th grade science class
School: San Isidro ISD, San Isidro, TX
Response: My biggest fear in being selected for this adventure was related to how much I really needed to know about geology. My background is geography; although I have taught the physical geography component of world geography, it is not as in depth as geology in recognizing various types of sediments and other more detailed aspects of the research here. However, as I have mentioned before, everyone is wonderful in helping me and explaining their research. I thoroughly enjoy traveling, being on the ship, learning all about the research here, and sharing it with you.
I think it is very interesting to see all the young scientists here, some of them not much older than you are, but they have worked hard and were able to be selected to participate on this project. Most of them seemed to decide at the middle school or high school level that they really wanted to know about the earth and this was one way to do it. JVL


Question: Will this be an adventure that you will not forget? What are the pros and cons on this voyage that you are making??
Name:
Gorge
School: San Isidro ISD, San Isidro TX
Response: So far, this adventure has been an exciting, learning experience that one could never forget! There is something new constantly. To me, learning about anything is exciting and here I have all sorts of teachers. If I have a question, there is someone who can answer it from one of the drillers to one of the ship's crew to one of the scientists. I was a little apprehensive about getting in the way of someone in the middle of special research, but, so far, no one seems to mind stopping what he/she is doing and explaining the research or answering a question as to what this rock has on it. They also help me with answers to questions coming from the students. As far as I am concerned, there are no "cons" other than feeling sometimes I am in a time warp; the other day I had to consult with several to make sure what day it was. Most of them were not sure either. My working shift is 6:00 P.M. to 6:00 A. M.; yesterday at 1:00 P. M. we had an abandon ship drill in the middle of my breakfast. Some might consider that a "con", but I just consider it a new and different experience. My suggestion to you is to consider seriously going into science so that one day you can have this experience as a scientist. JVL