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partlycloudy weather
Partly Cloudy
61°F (16.1°C)
Latitude: 45° 17'N
Longitude: 127° 40'W
Wind Direction: Variable
Wind Speed: 3-5 Knots
Sea State: 1
Swell(s) Height: 5 Foot
Sea Temperature: 55°F (12.8°C)
Barometric Pressure: 1008.0 MB
Visibility: 10 Nautical Miles

what's to eat

Sausage patty
Grilled Spam
Blueberry pancakes
Scrambled eggs
Home fries
Orange raspberry muffins

Split pea barley bacon soup
Corn bread
Black bean chicken chili with onions and cheese
Steamed rice
Grilled tomato and cheddar on pepper cheese bread
Tuna salad roll
Ice cream

Roast leg of lamb and gravy
Baked fish with Newburg sauce
Sugar snaps and carrots
Mashed potatoes
Salad bar
Yellow cake with fudge frosting

Anthropology Underwater
June 7, 2004
By Amy Nevala

Stefan Helmreich is a scientist, but unlike the biologists, geologists, and chemists on board Atlantis, he is not at the Juan de Fuca Ridge to study microbes, rocks, or hydrothermal vent fluids. As an anthropologist, he has flipped the script.

While the scientists study, he studies the scientists.

I’m here to learn what makes scientists tick,” Stefan said in a Saturday afternoon talk before about 15 curious researchers interested in learning why this professor from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has joined them for more than two weeks at sea. “

Most know anthropologists as researchers who work among people living in out-of-the-way places, like Samoa or the upper reaches of the Arctic. But anthropologists have lately become interested in looking at the people next door, particularly those who help shape the way we see and live in the world. Today, many anthropologists examine the works and lives of scientists, from nuclear weapons researchers to genetic counselors to oceanographers.

As the scientists on Atlantis do their fieldwork, Stefan does his fieldwork, listening and observing as scientists work and talk. Sometimes Stefan joins in too. Last week he took nightwatches with graduate students sampling with the CTD instrument. More recently, he went to the seafloor in Alvin. By participating in their work, Stefan can see how the world of oceanography looks from the inside.

What he’s learning will become public when he finishes a book on the topic in two years. But he did give one example of an observation he made during this cruise. While oceanographers on Atlantis are interested in learning about the sea just outside their berths, they are often too busy to go outside and look at the ocean.

“People sit inside and look at their computer screens. Or work with microscopic samples in freezers,” he said. And even when they encounter the sea, “it’s in the eggshell of Alvin.

Why is it useful to know how scientists work? Stefan said that oceanographers studying heat-loving microorganisms at vents are asking big questions: What are the limits of life? How can we link the very small (such as microbes) with the very big (such as global climate)? An anthropologist can tell us how oceanographers answer these questions, how they think about the sea, and how their tools of inquiry—from rock dredges to Alvin—shape their data.

Deb Glickson, a graduate student at the University of Washington, said she attended Stefan’s talk Saturday because she’s interested in knowing how nonscientists view her marine geology work.

“Scientists are often so immersed in their culture that they don’t see their research as outsiders do,” she said. “We get only a glimpse of how other people see our work when they say ‘boy, that’s weird’ or ‘hey, that’s really cool.”