06 July 2009

Field work: anything less than success is normal

When we marine biologists go to sea we call it a "cruise." I never really thought about this term much, until the other day when an IT guy at my work commented on how misleading that word is to non-science people. I mean, if I were to tell my parents I was going on a cruise, what they would picture would based on that word would be very far from the actual experience.

I bring this up because a student in my lab directed me to this most awesome documentation of oceanic field work. One thing I learned when I used to do field work (I miss you Mitchell Lake!) is that things will go wrong. Something always goes wrong, whether you mislabel a bottle, or forget gear back at the house, or toss your notebook with a summer's worth of data into the drink (I'm looking at you, Cricket) - things never go according to plan. As the video says, anything less than success is normal.

The story behind the video is here.

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