Where can we go?
Though our “homeport” is typically Seattle, OIP frequently makes trips out of many ports in Puget Sound, from Tacoma up to Bellingham. We try to accommodate groups from around the Sound as best as we are able.
What stations do we go to?
We try as best we can to sample from stations that are part of an extended time series, so that we may compile a database that is usable and useful for “real science”. However, we will accommodate requests for specific stations within reason.
What activities will we do?
A typical station sampling consists of conducting zoo- and phyto-plankton tows, examining the species assemblage using onboard microscopes, analyzing the water chemistry for nutrient and oxygen load, as well as a CTD cast using a top-the-line piece of oceanographic equipment. We typically also have a diving station as well, where divers equipped with a video camera explore the benthos and bring a few critters up to examine.
How long is a cruise?
Cruises are generally 6 hours long, though we can accommodate shorter cruises if need be.
Who are the instructors?
The instructors are real ocean scientists, often grad students on the cutting edge of ocean research. Participants get the benefit of not only performing real data collection, but also hear of how those same kinds of data are used in research.
What do I need to bring?
The temperature out on the water is generally at least 10 degrees colder than on land, more so if it’s windy or while the boat is moving. In addition the water reflects UV rays from the sun, greatly increasing the odds of sunburn even on a cloudy day. Pack warm clothes, closed toed shoes, sunscreen, and sunglasses. Rain coats are also handy—make sure to check the forecast!
How many people can we accommodate?
Currently, we can accommodate up to 18 or 30 participants, depending on boat availability. The larger boat incurs a slightly higher cost, and is less flexible in terms of where and when it can go. Stay tuned, we’re looking to make more options available!