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A day aboard the Dan Moore

READ MORE: A day aboard the Dan Moore
Three miles off the coast of Morehead City, as sun comes up, eager Marine Technology students on board the Dan Moore prepare for the final stretch of their five-day training voyage. "What we have planned today, are a couple things. The first thing we're going to do is we're going to steam a little bit north, up towards Cape Lookout, toward the actual lighthouse itself. We have a trawl, a 20-foot trawl we're going to drag, looking for anything - fishes or other invertebrates that might be on the bottom. Many of our students who get fisheries jobs will actually tow a trawl just like this. So this gives them the hands-on experience that they need when we're out at sea they see how a trawl works, how you rig it, how you fish it, and then identification of all the animals that come on board, after it's been fished," describes department chair Jason Rogers. Students gather around a bucket with their chosen catch to learn about the behavior and characteristics of the different species. "If we go to work for National Marine Fisheries or any other type of fisheries agency, we have to be able to deploy the nets, haul them in, and identify the catch," said Marine Technology student Marissa Salvitti. Around lunchtime, it was time for the second experiment - the side-scan sonar. "This is a piece of instrument; it looks like a little torpedo. It is hooked to the computers that we have in our lab, and it actually sends out 'pings' on either side. it listens for the returns and it paints impressive images of structures that are on the bottom,” describes Rogers. Bright and early the following morning, students prepare for their last mission – it is a tricky one. The first day of the trip, students threw a sonar device overboard to measure the speed and direction of the current. It is called an Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler and it is sitting on the ocean floor 25 miles offshore. Now, their job is to locate and retrieve it. "What we want to do today, is send a transducer to send a signal to it, to wake it up, tell us where it is, and then we'll send another signal to it, to have it come to the surface,” Rogers said. On board the Dan Moore, the work load is tough, the days and nights are long, but there is not one complaint. The students feel at home on the open waters. They know this training determines their future, and they embrace it. Wednesday we will learn more about the students and find out what it's like living aboard a research vessel, crammed alongside 2 dozen other people.

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So, funding for this

So, funding for this research might be in jeopardy.........Here's an idea.....let the ones that are on board, getting an education pay for it.

We do pay for it

Having been in this program, I just want to say...we do pay for it! Our *working* parents paid for it via taxation, and the 80+ percent of us that actually go out and get jobs in our field of study are...hold on to your butts for this one...taxpayers as well(and well paid one's at that)! Yeah, that's right, we actually get up off our butts and get jobs, again 80+ percent in our field, instead of feeding off the government for the rest of our lives, which is probably what will end up happening to those 80+ percent when this program is cut! So, now that you see my side, would you rather your hard earned tax dollars go to someone who will in turn become a contributing member of society, or would you rather feed another deadbeat!?

Please do not stop funding this program

This story brings back memories of my trip aboard the Dan Moore and of all the training I received there. If it were not for that specialized training I would not have the job I have now. Currently I am in the position to be able to hire more of these graduates as the economy rebounds and if they take away this program I feel that the these students would not meet our requirements. I can not stress how important this program is to the public, its not all biology, but real science from oceanology to seismology.

Thank you!

It is good to hear another alumni speak up. I have been trying to spread the word and it has been a hard road. I too am working in a Marine Tech. field that would not have been possible without the survey experience I received at CFCC. I currently work with Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Co. It is so nice to hear how well our program has done in the past and know that we do have something to take to the government to fight about. The number of people who may not get jobs if their training is cut short...well, it's just a sad testimony to how we treat education in the US!