A person appointed to be chief scientist must be an experienced seagoing scientist. The chief scientist is responsible for the accomplishment of the planned work of a cruise or segment of a cruise, and has other responsibilities listed herein. Since the ships are either owned by the University of California or are operated by the University under charter-party agreements with the Navy, the University has legal responsibility. The chief scientist, regardless of actual employer, is therefore the representative of the operator - the Scripps Institution of Oceanography of the University of California - in the eyes of the law. The chief scientist is appointed by the associate director; this appointment cannot be redelegated without permission. CO-chief scientists are sometimes named if there is a compelling operational reason for this. In such cases, it is imperative that the division of responsibility be specified in advance. A letter is sent to the proposed chief scientist(s) prior to the cruise, making the appointment and designating the dates, source of funding, and the length of the cruise.
Scheduling: The on-line submission of a Ship Time Request Form (NSF-UNOLS Ship Time Request Form) initiates scheduling and planning for a cruise. This form contains information that is needed to determine specific scheduling requirements and to help ship personnel and support groups to prepare for the cruise. If you do not ask for certain equipment on this form, it may not be on the ship when you want it. Therefore, please be sure that the form is filled out completely, with any extra notes or comments necessary, and if changes in plan occur, a new updated form should be submitted. This is the same form submitted with NSF proposals (NSF Form 831) and it should also be used to initiate scheduling for projects funded by other agencies.
Scheduling of the Scripps ships is done by the ship scheduler, under overall guidance from the associate director. As a member of UNOLS (the University National Oceanographic Laboratory System), SIO schedules in cooperation with other UNOLS member institutions. Requests should name a "first choice" ship if there is any reason for such choice, and list ship capabilities that are necessary. If scheduling cannot be done on the first choice, the request is taken through the UNOLS Ship Scheduling Panel by the SIO scheduler, to find a ship that can carry out the program. It is, therefore, necessary to know the capabilities needed.
How much time do you need? Some chief scientists put down on their requests only the number of days that they expect to spend "on station," or doing underway observations, or (somewhat better) the days from departure and arrival at the nearest port, and are then surprised when the real number of days charged to them (or to the funding agency) is considerably larger. According to the standard terminology recommended by UNOLS and agreed to by NSF and ONR, a "sea day" is a calendar (00:00 - 24:00 local time) day any part of which is spent at sea, and an "operational day," on which charges are based, is a "sea day" or any day in a port other than home port, except for breakdown and maintenance days. By agreement between NSF and ONR, "transit days," needed to get the ship to that "nearest port" (or to start and end at a more suitable port) are also allocated to the project. The cost per day of operating UNOLS ships is arrived at by dividing the annual cost by the number of "operational days;" all of these days have to be charged to someone.
If you plan to start and end your trip at San Diego, your time actually at sea is only slightly less than the days charged. Departures and arrivals from San Diego are normally during the working day (0800-1600 local time). Therefore, your working time is about 15.5 hours less than the total time charged.
Loading and offloading time in San Diego is not charged to projects. However, accurate and timely information about the scope and complexity of your loading/unloading needs should be provided to the Ship Scheduling Office so that in-port time for the ship before and after your cruise can be scheduled rationally.
An exception to this scheduling scheme is R/V Robert G. Sproul. Charges for her are figured on 24-hour periods; if you depart after 0800 one day, and get back to port before 0800 the next, you are charged for only one day.
If your cruise is to start or end at a port other than San Diego, port time should be added to the request at the rate of one day in port for every week at sea. The port time is divided between the departure port and the arrival port. For further details see Section III. "Expeditions and Foreign Clearances".
All the foregoing considerations of planning and scheduling are best addressed before you write your proposal. If you submit a proposal specifying a ship that cannot do your work, or list an amount of ship time that is far too long or too short for your purpose, this will lead to subsequent rewriting, resubmission, budget revisions, etc., and perhaps to the rejection or delay of your research. Good advance planning and consultation makes the scheduling process smoother, and it also makes for a better proposal at the outset. The Ship Scheduling Office is ready to help in such planning, and to put you in contact with other elements of the enterprise (e.g., Marine Facility or Shipboard Technical Support) who also can help. Filling out a Ship Request Form in consultation with the ship scheduler, with enough time to amend your proposal before its submission if the consultation turns up problems, is the best single planning and communication mechanism in this regard.
Cruise Plan, Cruise Prospectus: Before the ship sails, a cruise plan (for short one-leg cruises) or cruise prospectus (for long cruises) will be needed. A cruise plan is a one-page summary of the scientific work to be done, a track chart, and a list of the personnel to go on the cruise (name if known, job title, employer). Obviously, early in planning one doesn't always know the names of all the participants. In such cases, "to be named" is acceptable. It is most desirable to get a copy of the cruise plan to the Ship Scheduling Office as soon as scheduling has been confirmed. For work off southern California, advance information about the planned location of stations (and alternative locations) can be critically important. We have to coordinate our work with Navy and other military operations in these areas, to avoid interference and damage to equipment and ships. A cruise prospectus is a more formal document, which covers the work to be done on all legs of a long expedition. It gets wider distribution than a "cruise plan," and serves many purposes. As examples: 1) it is used in requesting foreign clearances, 2) it gives the ship's crew information about what to expect on the cruise, and 3) it is sometimes given to ship agents, media, foreign officials, and others.
Size and Composition of the Scientific Party: The size of the scientific party is limited by the bunk capacity of the ship and by U. S. Coast Guard regulations based on the amount of lifesaving gear. The maximum number of persons allowed is listed in the ship handbook or can be obtained from the SIO Ship Scheduling Office.
In general, membership in the scientific party is intended
for those qualified scientists, technicians, and students who are bona
fide participants in the scientific work, whether salaried or non-salaried,
employed or serving as volunteers. Any foreign representatives required
as a condition of foreign clearance are bona fide participants in this
sense. Occasionally, and only by specific invitation of the chief scientist
or the associate director, additional persons such as special guests,
government officials, media representatives, etc. are permitted to join
the scientific party in order to learn about seagoing oceanographic research
if space is available. Use of this category is to be kept to a minimum.
All participants except such foreign representatives and invited additional
persons are expected to assist the scientific program. Foreign representatives
and invited additional persons may assist depending on individual abilities
and on insurance situation (see below). These regulations apply not only
to SIO-staffed cruises, but also to those staffed in part or entirely
by non-SIO scientific personnel. Persons over 16
but under age 18 may be members of scientific parties only after special
steps have been taken to establish their employment status and insurance
In advance of the cruise you will be asked to fill out portions
of a "Scientific Party List," - see http://shipsked.ucsd.edu/General_Info/Forms/documentation.php - listing information about the scientific participants on your cruise
leg such as name, job title, passport and citizenship particulars for
foreign cruises, function aboard ship, and employment/insurance status
- UCSD, another institution, etc. Detailed definitions, instructions for
completion, and a UC waiver of liability that may affect some members
of the scientific party accompany the form. This list will be incorporated
into the cruise prospectus or cruise plan. Any changes or additions to
this list must be brought to the immediate attention of the Ship Scheduling
Office. Information from this form is used to complete official sailing
lists for port authorities. Both domestic and foreign authorities may
have different and substantial advance submission requirements for sailing
lists, so last-minute entries or changes can delay sailing. Please finalize
and submit your Scientific Party List as early as possible.
All cruise participants are required to complete certain forms in advance of the trip. When they join the ship all must sign the appropriate section of the final version of the same "Scientific Party List" noted in the preceding paragraph, thereby affirming their correct employment/insurance status
As the instructions for the Scientific Party List make clear, it is STRONGLY preferred that ALL members of scientific parties be in an employment status - salaried or volunteer, via UCSD or another institution - that carries Worker's Compensation Insurance with it. Those who cannot claim such status or acquire it - e.g. by enrolling as a UCSD Staff Volunteer where appropriate - must sign a UC Waiver of Liability form as detailed in connection with the Scientific Party List. Regardless of any signed waivers, chief scientists should exercise prudent judgment and refrain from involving uninsured persons in hazardous aspects of the work at sea.
Medical Requirements: There is no medical officer associated with the SIO fleet. All ships maintain a small supply of medicines which are under the control of the ship's captain. At least one of the ship's officers has had first aid training. If you, the chief scientist, believe there is justification to have a medical person on board during any portion of the cruise, you should make this request to the Ship Scheduling Office, and it will be considered by SIO authorities.
Medical examinations generally are not required for scientific personnel. For their own safety it is required that all members of the scientific party fill out the SIO Questionnaire on Physical Ability for Work at Sea, except on cruises that operate very close to shore or within easy, rapid reach of medical evacuation. This form also contains a space for the voluntary provision of personal emergency contact information. In addition, there is a voluntary more detailed Medical History form intended solely for their self-protection at sea. These forms are used in conjunction with services provided by Medical Advisory Services, a consulting medical service ashore that will be contacted should anyone aboard have an injury or illness.
If a potential cruise participant has any medical problem which might interfere with the a) safety or b) scientific accomplishments of the cruise, whether or not this problem is revealed by the completed form, it is the responsibility of a) the captain, or b) the chief scientist to accept or reject that participant. Any controversy regarding acceptability of cruise participants shall be referred to the associate director for decision.
Radioactive and Other Isotopes: The use of radioisotopes, or other isotopes in concentrations not found in nature, is strictly controlled on Scripps vessels. In some cases it is prohibited, because of the necessity to prevent contamination of ships that may be used for the measurement of low-level natural radioisotopes. Permission to use radioisotopes must, therefore, be obtained from the associate director in writing, following written application (which is reviewed by our Isotope Committee) describing aims of the work and the isotopes, quantities and procedures to be employed. This application will be sent to you if your Ship Time Request Form indicates isotope use; it should be completed and returned promptly. Such usage must be consistent with strict rules for 1) safety and 2) preventing contamination of the ship. All spills must be reported promptly, cleaned up by those responsible, and a report of use must be submitted at the end of the trip. Please remember that any spill that can be detected by the relatively insensitive equipment available aboard ship or used by Radiation Safety Officers concerned with human safety is a major spill from the point of view of contamination of scientific measurements of natural radioisotopes. Regular monitoring of UNOLS ships for contamination at very low levels is carried out by a team from University of Miami. However, by the time they find that there is a problem, scientific data may have been ruined by an unreported spill.
Isotope work is carried out in approved vans. Contact the resident marine technicians for information on these vans. If any abnormal spills take place and are not satisfactorily cleaned by the science party, the cost of cleanup will be charged to the persons or groups responsible for the spill. A document Isotope Usage on SIO Ships is available from the Ship Scheduling Office, and is attached to the application for isotope use.
Scuba Diving: Scuba diving is a normal part of oceanographic research vessel operations. All diving from SIO vessels, whether for sport or in support of research, and no matter by whom, is controlled by the SIO Diving Control Board. Such diving must be conducted under the auspices of a program that meets the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) Standards for Scientific Diving Certification and Operation of Scientific Diving Programs. If your Ship Request Form indicates diving operations, you will be sent a form on which to provide pertinent details. Please return the completed form to the Ship Scheduling Office for review and approval well in advance of your cruise.
Loading and Stowage: The Resident Technician Group, coordinators of scientific logistics, will make an effort to contact you before a cruise if there is reason to believe that you will have logistics problems. However, it is really up to you to contact the resident technicians early and provide information about the approximate size and weight of your equipment, where you want it placed on the ship, when and how you need it unloaded from the ship, and so on. If you are shipping your equipment to San Diego for loading onto a ship, send it to: Nimitz Marine Facility, 297 Rosecrans Street, San Diego, CA 92106. Mark the boxes: "Attn: Resident Technicians". Put the name of the cruise, the ship, and/or the name of the chief scientist on the box.
A reasonable amount of time and effort is provided by the Marine Facilities Shop and the Shipboard Technical Support Groups (notably the resident technicians and computer engineers) to load each ship for a cruise. What is "reasonable" varies with the length of the cruise and the size of the ship. A few hours of effort will be provided for a cruise of a few days. Some tens of days effort is not unusual for the initial loading in San Diego for a multi-leg expedition lasting months. This time and effort is to assist the scientific party in loading the ship. If the scientific party doesn't show up, the technicians and shop personnel will not do it for you. Material such as wire, straps, line, tiedown fittings, and steel stock for welding to secure vans and equipment to the deck or in the hold will be provided by the shop, the ship, or the resident technician.
Use of the Marine Facility cranes is provided without charge for loading. If a load is so heavy that an outside crane must be rented, you will be billed for the rental.
Shipboard Technical Support (STS): The SIO Shipboard Technical Support division is composed of 4 units: 1) the Resident Marine Technical Group (Res Techs), 2) the Shipboard Computer Group (SCG), 3) the Shipboard Geophysical Group (SGG), and 4) the Oceanographic Data Facility (GDC). The separate Geological Data Center (GDC) carries out archiving of various underway and other data sets acquired on SIO ships, in addition to higher-level tasks involving geophysical data sets from other sources and user tools for investigating those data. Provision of appropriate technical support in the form of personnel at sea and/or effort ashore prior to and following a cruise on a SIO research vessel is a complex matter. At least four major, sometimes conflicting, constraints apply:
1. The limited cadre of seagoing technicians and instrumentation must be scheduled for the most effective support of ALL projects on ALL ships. Seagoing technicians at SIO spend approximately 6 months of the year at sea, and must be allowed proper amounts of time working ashore and on vacation.
2. SIO reserves the right to specify that certain skills or persons be aboard so that certain kinds of difficult operations (e.g. explosives work) can be carried out safely, and so that certain kinds of equipment will be used properly and without damage.
3. Chief scientists often desire particular personnel or services to be aboard. While great effort is made to honor these requests, there is no guarantee that it can be done.
4. A daily fixed rate technical services fee is assessed for each operational day for each of the SIO research vessels. There are specific policies stipulated by the funding agencies, e.g. NSF, which pay these fees. Shipboard technicians are assigned a daily set of general purpose support activities. Agencies prohibit the use of these funds to pay for routine watch-standing by shipboard technicians to the detriment of their primary duties, for support of project-specific technical work, or for data analyses.
The manager of STS works within these and other constraints and in consultation with the chief scientist to achieve the most reasonable and effective configuration of technical services for each cruise. In most cases, the result is that a resident technician sails on all cruises and in addition a member of the Shipboard Computer Group sails on Melville and Roger Revelle. Following the consultation, a cost estimate will be sent to the chief scientist for services which are in excess of those provided by the daily fee.
Resident Marine Technicians: The duties of the resident technician are in part specified by the Institution rather than by the chief scientist. The resident technician is responsible for safeguarding and maintaining scientific equipment that is permanently assigned to the ship, organizing and carrying out the storage of scientific gear and supplies throughout the cruise, acquainting oncoming scientists with the ship's procedures and equipment, taking ancillary observations not of direct interest to the chief scientist, supervising encoding of routine data for shore processing, preparing required data report forms, and ensuring the proper return of data to SIO. The resident technician is available to instruct scientists on the use of equipment, to assist and advise the chief scientist, and to carry out any other work requested by the chief scientist that does not interfere with these responsibilities. The resident technician is paid for an 8-hour day, 7-day week. If the chief scientist wishes to have the resident technician work longer than regular hours this should be clearly understood in advance and the overtime paid from the scientific budget. The resident technician is counted as part of the total scientific party.
A member of the Shipboard Computer Group is normally assigned to each cruise on the Melville and Roger Revelle. This person will be either a programmer with some hardware training or an electronics engineer with programming experience, and has duties of a) maintaining the computer facility aboard the ship with its associated peripherals, interfaces and software, b) instructing scientific personnel in its use, c) operating the digital systems which acquire, log and archive various routine or underway data sets, and d) assisting the chief scientist as requested. As with the resident technician, this work cannot interfere with daily duties and is not to exceed an 8-hour work day. Additional work should be planned in advance and compensated from science project funding. The computer engineer is counted as part of the total scientific party.
Modest efforts at special programming for at-sea use will be performed without charge; larger programming efforts and electronic interface design and fabrication are recharged at standard rates plus material costs.
As a rough rule of thumb, science parties should not plan for either the resident technician or the computer engineer to have more than approximately half of their time available for work as directed by the science party, with the other half allocated to institutional responsibilities noted above.
Technical support personnel at sea are not doctrinaire about overtime, and occasional extra effort is part of the unpredictability of going to sea. But if demands on these personnel for uncompensated extra effort/overtime by the science party become unreasonable in frequency or in amount, or if the need for extra effort was clearly known in advance, the affected personnel are directed to bring the situation to the attention of the manager of STS, who in turn may seek additional compensation from the science project(s) involved and/or direct that the STS personnel at sea adhere to normal hours and amounts of work.
Varying degrees of "standard" berthing assignments exist on the different ships in respect of the shipboard technical support personnel noted above (resident technician, computer engineer, electronics engineer, data processor), in recognition of the large amounts of time they spend at sea. These arrangements generally afford them single accommodations to the extent possible. Filling every science bunk in the ship is certainly legitimate if the needs of the research demand it, but it is expected that doubling up the accommodations of these persons will be the last step in the berthing assignment process. Unless the chief scientist wishes to do so, the resident technician will work out scientific berthing assignments.
Welding, Bolting and Wire: All of the ships have boltdown fittings on deck (some have more than others) to permit quick attachment and removal of equipment and tiedowns without welding or cutting. Welding to the decks is a last recourse. It produces rough spots that may cause injuries or damage to equipment, and it may in time weaken the structure of the underlying deck. Some ports prohibit or restrict welding aboard ships at the dock, and no cutting or welding can be done when explosives are aboard. Science parties should either arrange for the ship's force to do any necessary welding for them or should obtain permission from the master to do their own welding.
Usually, equipment can be fastened down using the boltdowns provided. If the pattern of the boltdowns doesn't fit the equipment and the particular equipment is to be used regularly, with sufficient advance notice we can sometimes put in special boltdowns in the right spot. Otherwise, strap steel should be bolted to the deck, and the equipment welded to the strap so that the entire assembly can be lifted off without cutting.
Persons doing unauthorized welding to the ships will be required to reimburse for the cost of remedial action. In some cases this may involve some tens of thousands of dollars.
Winch wire is provided, in most cases out of supplies provided by an NSF "wire pool." Investigators are, therefore, not charged for wire - if we have it. For expeditions, wire arrangements are normally decided at the pre-cruise meeting. Wire takes time, effort, and money to change. It is not easy, and often impossible, to change wire at sea. Sometimes "junk wire" is deliberately put on a winch for some special purpose that would damage a good wire. The chief engineer keeps a wire log; ask the chief which wire is good and which is not. CTD wire can be damaged by clamping equipment to it. Wires should only be used for their intended purpose. A listing of the types and lengths of wire available for each ship is in the respective ship handbooks. If you ask to have a "nonstandard" wire placed on any winch you will be charged for the labor cost of spooling it on and of respooling the regular wire afterwards.