A Day In The Life Of An Oceanographer
July 8, 2022
Sydney Brant, Winston Preparatory School, Norwalk, CT and Harper Fortgang, Proof School, San Francisco, CA
In our morning Oceans and Society class, we discussed the environmental and societal impact of the lobster industry. Every year, hundreds of Right Whales are fatally entangled in lobster trap rope. As a result, only 336 Right Whales remain, 80% of which are scarred from lobster traps. We watched the documentary Entangled which highlighted the tension between the importance of sustaining the lobster industry and the need to fight the impending extinction of Right Whales. The documentary filmed interviews from the perspectives of lobstermen and environmental advocates and also emphasized the challenges of lobbying fisheries management organizations to enact conservation laws.
In our Oceanography class we had Career Day. A physical oceanographer, data manager, and boat captain talked to us about their career experiences. They explained what they love doing, and also some difficulties of each of their jobs, so we could get a sense of what it would be like to work in an oceanographic career.
We started our afternoon Oceans and Society class by discussing our reactions to Entangled and then participated in our book clubs. My partner and I (Harper) are reading Under the Sea Wind by Rachel Carson. We each shared our discussion questions and then researched the history of Rachel Carson to better understand the context of the book. I (Sydney) am in a more interactive book club learning how to tie different boat knots. My partners and I work together to figure out the different ways the rope needs to go to be successful in tying different knots. I have many boats back at home, so this is something I find interesting to learn how to do.
Finally, we ended the day with our evening exploratory. We each shared a piece of maritime culture from shark attacks and sea shanties to mermaids, giant squids, and movies. It was an exciting day to learn about the ocean!
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