Our training, such as the Seafloor Mapping Summer School, prepares students to participate on sea-going expeditions. Once trained, students join long-range missions aboard international research vessels, including the flagships of the German research fleet, R/V Sonne, R/V Merian, R/V Meteor (www.ldf.unihamburg.de/en.html) and R/V Polarstern (https://www.awi.de/ueber-uns/logistik/expeditionsplaene.html), with access to 14 other vessels through Eurofleets (www.eurofleets.eu), Schmidt Ocean Institute (R/V Falkor), as well as US (https://www.unols.org/) and Canadian vessels. In Canada, large sea-going infrastructure is accessed through STAC (NSERC Ship Time Allocations Committee) and partnerships with DFO and NRCan. In Germany, funding for ship time is obtained by application to the German Ministry for Research and Education led by GEOMAR, CAU, FAU, and through the BGR. The first 6 research cruises started in 2019 and will continue through 2023; ship time has been secured, and applications are being prepared for additional cruises through 2027. Berths for trainees are also routinely available on ships of opportunity; already in 2020, three Canadian graduate students participated at short notice on mapping cruises in the Atlantic aboard German and American research vessels. iMAGE-CREATE now maintains a registry to ensure that spaces on cruises are always filled. High-bandwidth telepresence (already implemented for R/V Sonne) brings other trainees to sea through virtual reality.
Days at sea:
In the last 3 years, HQP now in the iMAGE-CREATE have accessed ~300 days of ship time. Thirteen (13) students/postdoctoral fellows participated on 12 research expeditions as part of their training:
30 days MBES and rock sampling, M168, November 2020
28 days Sonar technology testing, R/V Atlantic Kingfisher, October 2020
28 days MBES mapping transect, MSM88-2 December-January 2019/20
21 days MBES mapping transect, MSM88-1 November-December 2019
21 days ROPOS/ROV sampling project, INDEX November-December 2019
41 days marine seismics, MGL19 Langseth July-August 2019
10 days MBES mapping transect, AR35-02 R/V Neil Armstrong, July 2019
14 days sediment coring and EM technology, PO-535 May 2019
47 days Lau Basin transect, SO-267 December-January 2018/19
To learn more about the SO-267 cruise check out the SO267 blog
29 days ROPOS/ROV mapping and sampling, R/V Pelagia, November 2018
26 days NE Lau sampling program, SO-263 September 2018
26 days OBS deployment/recovery, R/V Kilo Moana, April-May 2018
In the next year, an additional ~100 days at sea are planned (see EXPERIENCE … At Sea). Travel and other support for the students during the cruises is provided partly by the CREATE.
In addition to research training, students at sea receive specialized instruction in marine technology and safety, and additional courses are being developed with GEOMAR, including short training cruises on its local vessels. Experience shows that first-time participants on research cruises are almost always invited to participate on additional expeditions once they have been trained. A ship-time registry for training has been developed to identify those opportunities, taking advantage of efforts of research planning platforms such as the Scientific Committee on Ocean Research, SCOR, InterRidge, Eurofleets, and the OFEG – Ocean Facilities Exchange Group).