Daily Updates: March
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Daily Updates: April 2001
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30          
Daily Updates: May 2001
    1 2 3 4 5

View Today's Slideshow!

sunny weather
86°F (30°C)
Latitude: 22 deg 33’S
Longitude: 65 deg 32’E
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

what's to eat today?


Daily Update: At sea with Dive and Discover
April 29, 2001
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 ship’s crew patiently answer our questions for stories and graciously allow a camera flashing in their faces. We also rely on the website’s 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 Show.

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.

Lori’s 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 SeaNet.

“Even though producing the site is a huge amount of work every day, it’s rewarding to know that we’re exposing people of all ages to deep sea exploration,” said Dive and Discover team member Susan Humphris.

Learn More About...

[Back to top]