Expedition Journal

January 19, 1996
Setting Up

Hi, this is Todd Viola. I am reporting from the site of the JASON VII January Expedition.

Crissy Torruella and I arrived yesterday at the Keys Marine Laboratory (KML). We flew from Boston, Massachusetts to Miami, Florida, and then drove about two hours to Long Key. Crissy and I have spent the past day checking over our supplies, setting up computer equipment, and making sure we have everthing we need for the January Expedition. Most of the production crew, scientists, Dr. Ballard, and the Student and Teacher Argonauts will be arriving in the next few of days. We begin field work on Monday. I think we'll be ready.

We will live at KML this week and use their classroom and lab facilities. The first thing I did when I arrived was unpack my computer and set it up in a corner of the lab where I could connect to the Internet. It worked, and I'm sitting there now, typing this message.

The staff at KML was surprised to see how many boxes and crates arrived for the JASON Project. In addition to supplies for the January Expedition, we shipped additional supplies that we will use in April. Our supplies included batteries, film and cameras from Kodak, JASON t-shirts, hats, and life jackets for the expedition team,a computer, several telephones, a small library of field guides and other books, and plenty of plastic bags to keep things dry in the field. I'm sure the production crew and scientists will bring even more equipment with them.

One of the coolest things to arrive was our handheld GPS receiver. GPS stands for Global Positioning System. We will use the device to help us determine our exact location when we are in the field.When we find an animal, like a crocodile, we want to be able to record exactly where we found the animal, as well as other data. You'll learn more about GPS this week as the Argonauts conduct their field work.

When we send equipment and supplies to our expedition site, we have to be very organized in order to keep track of everything. We keep lists of everything we ship, and when it arrives we check each piece against our packing list. Keeping track of all our JASON gear in the field can be tough. To make it easier, we mark all our gear with JASON Project stickers from a big roll. Everything is marked -- crates, books, computers, bags -- even the phone!

That's all for now. Stay tuned....

Todd Viola
JASON Foundation for Education

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Gene Carl Feldman (gene@seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov) (301) 286-9428
Todd Carlo Viola, JASON Foundation for Education (todd@jason.org)
Revised: 19 Jan 1996