Friday, June 9, 2017

Crew Spotlight: Helen

Hey friends!
Today, we'd like to share a little bit about our third scientist on board, whose energy and knowledge helps keep this ship afloat. Helen grew up in New York, and spent parts of her childhood visiting Florida's Gulf coast, where she first fell in love with the ocean while exploring the miles and miles of beaches. She grew up wanting to learn as much as she could about the natural world, and that enthusiasm for learning carries over in everything she does on board the Seamans. Helen describes her position as third scientist as a great mix of a learning and a teaching opportunity - she benefits from the knowledge that different students bring to the voyage, and gets to share the work she loves with others.
After three sessions on board, Helen says that she misses her family and her dog the most, but gets to see them during her breaks. At sea, she loves developing a community that grows together, similar to some of her communities at home like her family and her college team. Her favorite part of traveling is the people she gets to spend time with, whether they are the people living in the port stops, or her fellow crew members. When on the ship, she loves getting to know the students and staff, and having fun with all aspects of ship life. Helen's favorite lab work is the Neuston net tow 100-count; she loves the process of identifying all the cool critters that the tow brings up, from copepods to siphonophores to lobster larva.

Helen's eagerness to learn new things is contagious. She is always bright, cheery, and helpful, through the worst weather or the roughest seas. Thanks to Helen for bringing unique perspectives and an incredible breadth of knowledge to Stanford@SEA 2017!

Hometown: Troy, NY
Hobbies: When I'm not on the ship I'm usually sailing
Favorite book: The adventures of Bloody Jack (12 book series)
Favorite place to travel to: New places!
How long have you been sailing?
 I sailed on the Seamans when I was in high school; sailing became a big part of my life in college when I started racing dinghies.
What draws you to sailing? We have created a community where we live simply, look out for each other, and travel to places few have seen.
Worst job on the ship? Depends on your perspective.  A tough day on the ship beats a great day in an office.
What are you looking forward to most on this trip? Learning about all of the student projects. I learn as much from my students as they do from me.
Favorite sea creature (or one you relate with the most)? Sea turtle

Crew Quotes:
"She doesn't appreciate when you call a species 'gooey goop' or 'halo sword'." - Chris Leboa, Stanford@SEA Student
Author's note: Chris is referring to a siphonophore, a gelatinous marine organism, when he says 'halo sword'.

"Helen is extremely organized and makes working in the lab much more enjoyable, and less stressful. She's really detailed when she's teaching, and helps makes sure that you know what you're doing and why you're doing it. And she always lets us have fun!"  - Andrew Henning, Stanford@SEA TA

"She's so caring and always down to chat, whether about sailing, science, or life beyond the sea." - a Stanford@SEA student 

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