Apr 112012
Authors: Erik Carman

Students of Professor Ursula Quillman’s NR 150 oceanography class will take a virtual tour on board the scientific research vessel Joides Resolution this Thursday at 10 a.m in Clark A101.

Quillman, who said the experience would be similar to a 45-minute Skype conversation between the scientists on board and the 341 students in her class, expressed how happy she was to provide her students with an oceanography experience so far from sea.

“Were so landlocked in Colorado,” Quillman said. “We can’t take the students to the ocean.”

Luckily, Quillman said the scientists on board the Joides Resolution were willing to give the NR 150 students a tour of their ship, and answer questions afterward.

The Joides, which stands for Joint Oceanographic Institutions for Deep Earth Sampling, is currently drilling into the ocean floor of the Lesser Antilles, located in the Caribbean. They are trying to learn more about volcanic activity in the area, Quillman said.

“Most of our understanding of these island volcanoes is from studies on land, which provides only part of the geologic record,” the ship’s website said. “But now during Expedition 340 we will explore the rest of the geologic story by recovering cores and marine deposits of volcanic debris from the ocean floor.”

Brent Brady, a senior mechanical engineer and NR 150 student, said he was looking forward to the virtual tour.

“I’m really excited,” Brady said. “It’s going to give an interesting perspective to the class, an opportunity a lot of people don’t come across.”

Quillman added that she asked every student in the class to write down a question for the scientists on board, of which she would submit 50 for the scientists to choose from.

“I’d like to know how they handle broken equipment with a lack of resources,” Brady said of his question.

Another NR 150 student, junior vocal performance major Mira Madorsky, said she was also looking forward to the virtual tour.

“It’s a really great experience for us to see the practical applications of the course,” Madorsky said.

Madorsky added that she submitted a question asking if the scientists on board Joides ever get bored, and what they do for fun.

Though the virtual trip is intended for students of her NR 150 course, Quillman also said there would be some room for other interested parties.

“Anyone who wants to come see, can,” Quillman said. “We have some room for a few more.”

Collegian writer Erik Carman can be reached at news@collegian.com.

-Prof. Quillman’s NR150 class will take a “virtual fieldtrip” Thursday at 10 a.m. aboard the Joides Resolution
-The Joides resolution is a scientific research ship that drills for core samples at the bottom of the ocean
-Scientists on board will give the class a tour of the ship, before answering a few questions submitted by students of the course
-Students not in the course are also welcome to come see the virtual tour.

 Posted by at 4:10 pm

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