Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Day 34 – Sophisticated Surveys

After all the birthday celebrations, we finally returned to work. The winds subsided and the seas calmed slightly so that the visual team could stay “on-effort” all day today along the ship’s track line. Two teams of four persons rotate throughout the day in two hour shifts. Three people on the team look through the big-eye and regular binoculars while the fourth person records the sightings and the environmental effort on a small laptop.

A member of the MMRM project team designed software specifically for use on the Sirena cruises to record the sighting data. In seconds, the data recorder enters the species type, animal behavior, number of animals, aspect, presence of juveniles, distance, and bearing to the animal. In addition, the ship position is automatically entered and then the software calculates the location of the animals. The software makes it much easier to accurately record data – much better than the days of scribbling with pen and paper!

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