Monday, November 26, 2012

Two Lincoln High Students Join Crew on UCSD Research Ship

Julie Alvarez on
the R/M Melville
Lincoln High seniors Jonathan Franco and Julie Alvarez are spending 23 days on the R/V Melville, joining researchers from UC San Diego in a voyage off the San Diego coast to take scientific observations and perform other duties.

 The pair are blogging to keep family and friends up-to-date on their trip. Alvarez wrote on her blog that the the Melville is a "really big boat" and that she's not scared to be aboard. They are assigned duty shifts like any other crew member but are the only high school students on board.

"I have the shift from 4am to noon," she wrote on her blog Nov. 15. "Then i got the rest of the day to do what i want 7 is breakfast, 11:30 is lunch, and 5 is dinner but if you do skip a meal they put the left overs in the fridge or just go in and get the snacks they have."

Jonathan Franco
on the R/M Melville
The ship is taking measurements that include the ocean's temperature, salinity, oxygen, pressure, density. In response to a question, Jonathan wrote on his blog that he wasn't concerned that they'd be in danger if a big storm hit.

"I am not fearful of a heavy storm putting my safety at risk," he wrote. "The ship is a dynamic positioning ship roughly 279 feet long i feel even with significant wave heights of 5+ meters we will all be safe and free from harm." Their teacher, Danny Blas, said the Marine Sciences course at the Lincoln Park neighborhood campus helps prepare students for a university education in the field.

"The course builds on the physical and life science concepts learned in previous science courses," he said, "and applies those concepts to the exploration of the living and nonliving environments of our bays and oceans."

 Geoff Cromwell, a research scientist and Ph.D. candidate at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (UCSD), serves as the class' resident scientist. For more information, check out Blas's website or