Mission & Objectives
Scientists & Crew
Anja runs the rescue boat each week to be sure that it is
all set to go in an emergency. She checks that the engine is running and in good shape,
and that all the emergency equipment is stowed on board.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a teacher. In high school, I was interested in science and sometimes
taught junior science classes to elementary school kids in after-school programs.
I really liked doing that. Kids have great imaginations and tend to love learning
about science and technology. I've been thinking that when I stop going to sea
as a mate on research ships, I will become a teacher.
is responsible for checking the safety and readiness
of the emergency equipment on board RV Melville. Here,
she checks the firehoses in the Main Lab.
When did you get interested in the oceans and decide to work on ships?
Well, that was sort of strange. I had never been around boats much, but one weekend
while I was in high school, I was invited to go on a weekend cruise off the southern
California coast with the Explorer Scouts. I loved it, and right after the weekend,
I decided I wanted to spend a lot of time at sea and maybe work on a ship. When
I started to look at what colleges I wanted to apply to, I heard about the California
Maritime Academy in northern California. Students there spend the summer months
working on different ships and leaning about the oceans. That sounded great and
I decided that was the school for me. I really liked it there and got a degree
in Business Administration and my 3rd mate's marine license.
What did you do after you graduated?
At first, I worked as a trainee on a super-tanker for a month. That was OK, but
I wanted to get more involved in oceanography. Being on the tanker was a great
experience, but it was also like traveling on the super-highway rather than taking
local routes and back roads. We would steam between Valdez, Alaska, and Oakland,
CA, so it was kind of like driving a bus. I knew about Scripps Institution of
Oceanography -- just about everyone in California does its so well known
-- and kept inquiring about job openings. After a few months, I heard that Scripps
had an opening for a seaman, I applied and a few months later was hired, and
started to go to sea on their research vessels. The first cruise I went on for
Scripps, I joined the RV
Melville in Cape Town, South Africa. It was great because I got to
visit my family who still lives there, and I got to sail around the Cape of Good
Hope; that was a thrill. I have also worked on the RV
Sproul, the RV
New Horizon and, most frequently, the RV
plots a position on the Bridge during her 0800-1200 hours watch.
What are your duties while on the Melville?
I stand the 0800-1200 hours watch, mostly doing navigation on the bridge and
making sure that nothing goes wrong with the operation of the ship. I check the
radar and all the radios to make sure they are functioning properly and to see
if there are any other ships nearby. Once a week, when I am not on watch, I check
all the safety equipment and the rescue boat. I am also in charge of the operation
of the rescue boat. During my free time, I generally relax by working out, reading,
or talking with the scientists and crew. I've got to keep active because the
food is so good on board. When I first started sailing on research ships, I thought
my shorts were shrinking in the dryers down below. But I found out...I was expanding!
I wont let that happen again.
What are your hobbies? Can you do them while you are on board?
I love to read, ski and travel. Certainly being on a research ship that goes
all over the world, especially to distant ports in the Pacific Ocean, is a real
plus because I usually take some time at the beginning or end of cruises to travel.
I recently spent six weeks traveling through Thailand. That was fantastic; a
wonderful country, culture, and the people are so friendly.
What is your favorite part of you job?
I think its watching the sunsets and sea life, particularly the whales.
I also enjoy all the people on board, and meeting lots of different people doing
different types of research and oceanography. The crew is like a family, we all
help each other out. Its like having lots of big brothers.
What is the worst part of your job?
The availability of too much ice cream on board the ship! Seriously, it does
require that you be away from home and family for long periods of time. Ive
been away as much as 10 months a year- that is hard on you after a while.
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