By: Rachel McEvers, Project Oceanica
Some of you might be wondering why we're aboard
a NASA vessel. Don't they do "space stuff"?
Well, we interviewed Captain Joe Chaput about
NASA's involvement in our project. As most of you know NASA is the National
Aeronautic and Space Administration. So what are they doing mapping
coral reefs?! Captain Chaput took the initiative to encourage a high
level agreement between NASA and NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric
Administration) to combine their resources for bigger and better projects.
He believes that the government's public assets should be better utilized
to gather knowledge and achieve goals that benefit everyone. (We agree!).
Although NASA has already done some work with the weather division of
NOAA, this is one of the first times that NASA, NOAA and private and
public organizations have all teamed up for one big project. The benefit
to NASA in getting involved in this type of research is that their immediate
group becomes more aware of the ocean environment in which they live
and work, as well as getting NASA a big thumbs up from the public for
showing they care about our oceans and want to help. Just think how
much we can accomplish if all our government organizations thought this
His favorite part of the job is the maritime
atmosphere. Just being around ships and water is enough to make him
love it. He had a hard time deciding what he likes least about it but
decided it was the under utilization of government assets to benefit
His duties include piloting the ship, which requires navigating and planning. He does the scheduling, proposes budgets for operations and helps with the maintenance of the ship when required. He is basically in charge of making sure everything runs smoothly, the crew is taken care of and the ship stays in tip-top order.
When asked the infamous "which fish would
you be?" he decided to expand it to marine mammals. He said he
would be an Atlantic Bottle-Nosed Dolphin because they always look like
they're having a good time.
Lowcountry Hall of Science and Math
College of Charleston
Charleston, SC 29424