Twenty Pajaro Valley High School CTEP Green Careers students were granted a rare and special tour of two different types of research vessels at the end of November. Scientists George Matsumoto, Senior Education and Research Specialist, and Jared Figurski, Ocean Observatory Technician from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), gave the class a tour to remember. Since the vessels are large and contain proprietary technologies, the students were required to wear security badges in order to be admitted to the vessels.
The first vessel that the class toured was the Western Flyer. This long-range research vessel is 120 feet long and can sustain a crew of twenty-five people for up to two months. The Western Flyer had a Remotely Operative Vehicle (ROV) named “Doc Ricketts.” The students were able to sit in the ROV pilot control station and learn that being video game masters is a crucial job requirement! The Western Flyer also has three unique laboratories on board to enable the crew to immediately analyze samples and specimens. The students were impressed with the various job duties that exist on a vessel that large.
The second vessel that the students toured was the R/V Paragon. This vessel was tiny in comparison to the Western Flyer. The R/V Paragon is 36 feet long and the newest addition to the MBARI fleet. The students learned that a small vessel is useful in helping to perform day-to-day research and marine operations. The vessel had just returned from deploying an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) that morning which was programmed to perform transects while collecting samples.
After the tours, the students concluded their visit with a presentation on the many summer internship opportunities and different career opportunities that MBARI brings to our community. The goal of the outing was achieved when the students were able to experience the wide variety of green careers in the marine science research environment.
Thank you to Darren Gertler, Watsonville Wetlands Watch.