Chasing Science at Sea: Racing Hurricanes, Stalking Sharks, and Living Undersea with Ocean Experts

Paperback | June 15, 2010

byEllen Prager

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To the average office-dweller, marine scientists seem to have the good life: cruising at sea for weeks at a time, swimming in warm coastal waters, living in tropical paradises. But ocean scientists who go to sea will tell you that it is no vacation. Creature comforts are few and the obstacles seemingly insurmountable, yet an abundance of wonder and discovery still awaits those who take to the ocean. Chasing Science at Sea immerses readers in the world of those who regularly go to sea—aquanauts living underwater, marine biologists seeking unseen life in the deep ocean, and the tall-ship captains at the helm, among others—and tells the fascinating tale of what life—and science—is like at the mercy of Mother Nature.

With passion and wit, well-known marine scientist Ellen Prager shares her stories as well as those of her colleagues, revealing that in the field ingenuity and a good sense of humor are as essential as water, sunblock, and GPS. Serendipity is invaluable, and while collecting data is the goal, sometimes just getting back to shore means success. But despite the physical hardship and emotional duress that come with the work, optimism and adventure prompt a particularly hardy species of scientist to return again and again to the sea.

Filled with firsthand accounts of the challenges and triumphs of dealing with the extreme forces of nature and the unpredictable world of the ocean, Chasing Science at Sea is a unique glimpse below the water line at what it is like and why it is important to study, explore, and spend time in one of our planet’s most fascinating and foreign environments.
 

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To the average office-dweller, marine scientists seem to have the good life: cruising at sea for weeks at a time, swimming in warm coastal waters, living in tropical paradises. But ocean scientists who go to sea will tell you that it is no vacation. Creature comforts are few and the obstacles seemingly insurmountable, yet an abundance ...

Ellen J. Prager is currently the chief scientist at the world’s only undersea research station, Aquarius Reef Base in the Florida Keys, and a freelance writer. Among her publications are The Oceans and Furious Earth: The Science and Nature of Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Tsunamis, a series of children’s books including Sand, Volcano, an...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:196 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.6 inPublished:June 15, 2010Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226678741

ISBN - 13:9780226678740

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

A Note on the Title

1. The Invisible Crowd

2. Mega-Slime, Seduction, and Shape-Shifting

3. Let’s Talk Snails

4. The Riddle of the Reef

5. Armed and Dangerous

6. Cabinet of Curiosities

7. X-Games

8. Radical Living

9. Danger Looms

10. The Good News

11. How You Can Help

Bibliography

Acknowledgments

Sponsors and Partnering Organizations

Editorial Reviews

"Ellen Prager’s delightful and engrossing book, Chasing Science at Sea, is a compilation of hundreds of field stories from marine scientists of all disciplines. They are woven together with interesting facts, descriptions of various field activities, and the lessons learned from setbacks to create a rich and multifaceted portrayal of the world of marine field research. But the purpose of these stories is more than just to entertain. As ocean science has become increasingly dependent on remote technologies, fieldwork has become harder to fund, less prevalent, and more difficult to undertake. Ellen Prager’s hope is that these stories will illustrate the value of fieldwork, inspire the next generation of students to a renewed commitment to field-based research, and help preserve some of the history and experiences of modern marine scientists. . . . . Chasing Science at Sea truly succeeds in communicating the challenges, excitement, and sheer fun of marine science in a way that is accessible to all."