7-29-2010: New (uprighted) video loaded on "Nitty Gritty" :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

SciMath Career #5: Chief Scientist

On shore, Dr. Andy Fisher studies groundwater, streams and seafloor hydrothermal systems as a hydrogeologist at UC Santa Cruz in California. On board, he's one of our amazing (!!) co-chief scientists. He, the other amazing co-chief Dr. Takeshi Tsuji and many others wrote the proposal for this expedition, helped plan it to the last detail and have led us on this extraordinary journey to the bottom of the sea and beyond! Andy is all about the science and math. In fact, I'm pretty sure he dreams at night about CORKs, the seafloor and fluid flow calculations. :) It's that enthusiasm that makes him such a successful hydrogeologist and wonderful co-chief to work with here at on the JR. That's Dr. Andy in the blue hat watching operations with Dr. Jim Cowen.

In order to do all these calculations for how fast water moves through the seafloor, Dr. Andy needs to know a lot of math! I'm talkin' heavy duty trigonometry, calculus and solving complicated equations! In addition to all that hand-written work, he writes a lot of computer programs for his research that require algebra and geometry. Whew! That's a lot of math! But Dr. Andy wouldn't be able to do the science that he loves without the math. And without the science that he loves, he would not have a job. Yikes!

Dr. Andy breathes, eats, dreams and lives science to his very core (pun definitely intended). His research back in California covers all the bases - physics, geology, chemistry and biology - and he gets his kicks out of combining all four to figure out how the water in the world works and where it goes. He gets paid to learn new science! How cool is that?! On top of all that, he gets to excite the minds of students with all his cutting edge discoveries on the seafloor and on land. On top of THAT, he gets to help design expensive instruments and lead awesome expeditions to areas of the Earth we know so little about. He's got to have the coolest job in the world but he wouldn't be able to do it without science!

That's Dr. Andy on the far right in the blue shirt. Dr. Andy and Dr. Takeshi are responsible for planning and overseeing all the science here on the JR. They're what you call the "Big Cheeses"! Their expert planning and guidance has been a key reason why this expedition has been such a success thus far. Aside from our shipboard research, Dr. Andy has reminded us how incredibly fun math and science are, in general. Math and science are essential to being thoughtful citizens, critical thinkers and friends to our Earth. It's inspiring to be able to work with Dr. Andy and crew - reminds us all of how rewarding science and math can be!

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