Daily Update: At sea with Dive and Discover
22 deg 33S
Longitude: 65 deg 32E
Wind Direction: SE
Wind Speed: 15 Knots
Sea State 3
Swell(s) Height: 3-5 Foot
Sea Temperature: 80 °F (26.7°C)
Barometric Pressure: 1015.9 MB
Visibility: 18+ Nautical Miles
By Amy Nevala
Creating the Dive and Discover website is a lot like working in a
newsroom. We have meetings to discuss stories, we think carefully
about picture captions so that they are accurate, and we
operate under a nightly deadline.
The four-member Dive and Discover team includes its creators, Susan
Humphris and Dan Fornari; Web Developer Lori Dolby, who has created
web pages since 1998; and Writer Amy Nevala, a journalist with
a graduate degree in science.
We receive a lot of help to produce the website each
day. On the ship, scientists, the DSOG Team, and the ships crew patiently
answer our questions for stories and graciously allow a camera
flashing in their faces. We also rely on the websites designer,
Danielle Fino, for support, advice and coaching from Woods Hole
Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts.
Each day we develop a new story on a new topic. Sometimes
we have breaking
news, such as the elevator floating away or The Great Snail Escape. When
news happens, Amy asks a lot of questions to get the facts straight for the story.
Other days we focus on a particular subject, such as symbiosis or bacteria. Amy
watches the action and interviews people, then writes the story each evening.
Photography is important to show ongoing events first
hand. Amy, Lori and Dan snap about 75 pictures a day with digital
cameras. We try to get a mix of images, from scientists doing research
to crew members working on the ship. At the end of the day we pick
the best seven to 12 photos and add captions for the daily Slide
Links from the Daily Journal page provide readers
an opportunity to learn more about hydrothermal vent research.
Some days Amy writes a new interview or hot topic to go with the
story or Dan will prepare a video. While this happens, Susan responds
to incoming email from readers following the expedition. Over the
last month Susan has answered nearly 400 Dive and Discover Emails.
When students ask a tricky question such as what is the biggest room on the ship? Susan
runs around measuring or asking crew members so she can provide an accurate answer.
Loris job is to present all of the text, images, graphics and interviews
in the sharp-looking package that readers see on the Dive and Discover website.
She creates icons, adjusts and crops pictures and enters all the formatted text
to work on both a Macintosh and a PC.
We usually finish the site each day between 8 and
10 pm, our time. With the United States 8 to 11 hours behind us,
we can have new material to U.S. readers in time for morning access.
Since we do not have a landline to access the Internet, SSSG Techs
Amy Simoneau and Dave Sims send our updates via a satellite using
Even though producing the site is a huge amount of work every day, its
rewarding to know that were exposing people of all ages to deep sea exploration, said
Dive and Discover team member Susan Humphris.
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