Mission & Objectives
Scientists & Crew
Interviews: Research Associate Josh Curtice
Josh spends much of his time carefully recording data about the rock samples and enter it into a compute spreadsheet. This will help him, Mark, Denny and Dan keep track of all the sample information.
How did you become involved with the job you have now?
Mark Kurz, Josh helps prepare the wax corer for deployment.
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution needed
someone with a technical background who would be interested in going
to sea a lot to help process water samples and run equipment. They
didnt want someone with a Ph.D. because they didnt need a scientist.
I had just graduated with a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering
so applied and started working with Bill Jenkins. Ive been working
there nine years now, the last four have been with Mark Kurz. The
job has taken me to sea on the research vessels: Melville, Oceanus,
Knorr, Revelle, the NOAA Discover and the Cape Henlopen research vessels. Ive sailed to Australia, Sri Lanka, Tahiti, Easter
Island, Chile, Azores, Madera, Trinidad, Tobago, Singapore and now
the Galápagos and Costa Rica. With Mark, Im out at sea about
once a year.
and Kate Buckman bag up the larger rocks from dredge 39 and
transport them to the van for storage.
What do you enjoy about going to sea?
Im really happy when I go out to sea because
I can put my wallet away when I get on the ship and Im two minutes
away from work and food. I usually get into an exercise routine and
read more when Im out. Except for this cruise where it would have
been nice to have more information or be at home right now, usually
when I leave I enjoy getting away from the daily worries. And when
I return everything seems fresh again at home. We are usually in a
place where there are nice sunsets and sunrises to see, depending
on your shift. The ports of call that we visit make it well worth
going through 30 days at sea. For me, a 30-day cruise once a year
is a good break away from the normal routine, but Im a landlubber,
I think six months a year would be too much.
What have you enjoyed about this cruise?
The people on this cruise are extraordinary.
You know youre getting along when you can still joke and laugh with
each other after 30 days. I think a big factor is how well the co-chief
scientists interact with the scientists and the ships crew. Even
when things go wrong, like losing the camera, it might be stressful
but we havent had any personality conflicts and we've all stayed
focused and positive.
What is your day to day work like at WHOI?
Well take the rock and glass samples back to
the lab where we will crush the rock and pull out the olivine minerals.
Then well run it through the mass spectrometer to measure the helium
ratios. Since we've chipped the glass off of the rock samples, it
will skip the crusher and go straight into the mass spectrometer.
Sometimes the equipment can be very fickle so Im often going between
labs keeping equipment running. Its nice because Im not stuck behind
a computer all day. I also dont have to wear a three-piece suit for
what I do. Ill go to work in a T-shirt, shorts and running shoes
and be just fine.
for the rock dredge to be deployed. Volcán Ecuador can
be seen in the background.
What did you do growing up?
I grew up on Cape Cod and, from the time I was
12 till the time I started working for WHOI, I worked in a boat yard.
I would help rent small boats, such as sunfish, lasers and catamarans.
I've always had some connection with the ocean. As I got older, I
wanted to get involved in mechanical engineering, working with fluid
flows and machinery. But I believe my job is not my life; that my
job allows me to enjoy life. Ive been married now almost two years
and my wife and I make sure to get away for awhile in the wintertime.
We go snowmobiling in Maine with our families. Im the youngest of
four kids, and my oldest sister, Lynn, is celebrating her birthday
on Sept. 19 so Id like to wish her a happy birthday. I have three
nieces and a nephew that range from 1- to 7-years-old. My family is
very important to me and I love being able to work in the same area
I grew up in, Cape Cod.