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UPDATE in progress

 The following is an outline of some of the logistics for which the Chief Scientist (CS) of a cruise is responsible. This list is intended to help standardize and clarify non-scientific procedures.  Also see NOAA Marine Operations General Information for Scientists.  The CS is responsible for matters pertaining to all scientific personnel on the cruise, regardless of affiliation. Delegating certain obligations is up to the discretion of the CS. It is important that all procedures are completed in a timely manner. AFSC/RACE maintains a CS notebook that deals in more detail with some administrative matters and RACE policies than are mentioned here. Nothing here supersedes those RACE policies.

Chief Scientist Check List


Pre-season meeting: early in January for spring cruises, early in July for summer and fall cruises.
A pre-season meeting will be held with ship's operations personnel to discuss:

bullet Cruise objectives and operations,
bullet Loading the ship,
bullet Transferring equipment between cruises,
bullet Coordinating with other cruises,
bullet Equipment needs,
bullet Project requirements,
bullet Lab space,
bullet Storage space,
bullet Etc.
CSs should submit an overview of their cruise to the Field Operations Leaders (FOLs) and the FOCI Liaison Officer (FLO) that addresses these issues prior to this meeting. To prepare the overview the CS should review the PDF given to them by the FOCI Coordinator (FC)Direct communication with Project Scientists is encouraged prior to preparation of the overview. The overview should include itinerary, area of operations, type of operations (mooring deployment, CTD/bongo grid, MOCNESS, etc.) and any equipment requirements that are out of the ordinary. (It is not necessary to submit a complete set of project instructions at this time.)

Cruise Planning: prior to writing draft cruise instructions.
Based on Project Description Forms (PDF) submitted by Project Scientists and allocations made by Marine Centers, the FC and FOLs allot ship time to participating PIs and designate a CS for each cruise. This information is posted on the FOCI Field Operations schedule. It is the responsibility of the CS to contact the PIs whose work is scheduled on their cruise and gather the necessary information to plan the cruise. The information the CS will need to plan the cruise and write the cruise instructions will vary depending on the type of operations and the logistics involved in conducting the operations. Below is a list of items that may be helpful to consider when talking with other PIs and planning the cruise.

bullet Project objectives- (these need to be stated in the cruise instructions and are also published in the Field Operations Report)
bullet Participating scientists- How many people are you sending on the cruise? (if available, their names and sex)
bullet Type of operations- What type of work is involved and what gear is required?
bullet Ship's equipment- What type of equipment are you expecting the ship to provide?
bullet Project equipment- What type of equipment are you expecting the program to provide?
bullet Gear and sample storage- How large is the equipment and what type of space is required? How are samples to be stored, do they require freezer space, how much room will the samples and equipment occupy, etc?
bullet Lab bench space- How much bench space is needed?
bullet Any special electrical or other requirements?
bullet Gear deployment/operations- How is the gear deployed, how are the operations conducted?
bullet Time requirements- How much wire time do you need, how long will operations take?
bullet Hazardous materials- (For CS and PS) What hazardous materials are you bringing, how do you plan to get them to the ship, how are you going to get them off the ship and dispose of them? Submit a 'hazardous materials use plan ' (see hazardous materials in this document).
bullet Shipping equipment and supplies- How are you going to get your gear to the ship and from the ship? (Does loading and unloading require a crane or require that the ship be along side the pier?)

Once the CS has discussed the generalities of the operations, it is strongly recommended that they send a Sample Request Form  (SRF) to each PI to complete. The SRF includes a query for project purpose, gear type and sample type. These are essential pieces of information for the Discrete Sample Data Base (DSDB). All samples taken on a cruise must be logged on the DSDB. To insure that this is done correctly, the AFSC Data Coordinator must have these at least 60 days before sailing so that s/he can modify the DSDB (if necessary).

Draft Cruise Instructions: 95 days prior to cruise.
CSs submit draft Cruise Instructions to the FOLs and FLO 95 days before the start of the cruise. After review and correction, Cruise Instructions are sent to MOC-Pacific (MOP) via the Directors, AFSC and PMEL. A cover letter is attached requesting comments from the Ship and the Marine Center by a specified date. Draft instructions are due to MOC-Pacific (MOP) 90 days prior to a cruise. An additional 5 days is included to allow time for processing (checking logistics, copying, writing the cover letter and mailing).

Use the most current templates (CI  and CR ) and instructions available at the time to insure that recent changes are included in your Cruise Instructions. A new format has been developed to reduce the bulk of Cruise Instructions; however, the same careful attention to detail is still required.

The operations section (Section 2.0) should include an overall description of the cruise including order of events / itinerary.

Include tables and figures with station positions and intended cruise track line. If specific information is not available at this time, include a general overview. Format for station positions is provided in the section on final Cruise Instructions.

Weights and storage requirements should be included for moorings and large equipment. Every cruise that involves mooring deployments should include information about the mooring equipment.

Draft instructions should describe the best cruise plan at the time. Include possible contingency plans, if appropriate.

Submit Cruise Instructions to the FLO in both hard copy and digital format. The FLO will submit draft instructions to MOP. MOP will circulate the instructions to the ship and through MOP operations and engineering for comments. Comments should be received from MOP and the ship in time to make adjustments to the final cruise instructions.

Safety Training: 90 days prior to cruise
AFSC personnel are required to complete several safety / medical emergency courses to qualify for sea duty. Bill Flerx (206 526 6643; coordinates this training. The AFSC FOL should assure that personnel have needed training well before cruise dates.

Final Cruise Instructions: 35 days prior to cruise.
Submit Final Cruise Instructions to the FLO (hard copy and digital format).
Final instructions are due to MOP 30 days prior to a cruise. The additional 5 days is included for processing time similar to draft instructions. Final cruise instructions need to be signed by the Directors of PMEL, AFSC and MOP before MOP operations can send them to the ship. Each step takes time.

Station Positions
Include station positions and plots when appropriate. The NOAA Ship Miller Freeman requests that station positions be submitted electronically in the following Excel format.

file name *.xls
Col A - "N"
Col B - Latitude - degree - 2 digits i.e. 54
Col C - Latitude - minutes and tenths - 6 digits i.e. 45.543
Col D - "W"
Col E - Longitude - degree - 3 digits i.e. 171
Col F - Longitude - minutes and tenths - 6 digits i.e. 43.123
Col G - Station labels - up to 8 characters do not leave any spaces between characters.

Make any necessary changes to draft instructions.

Amendments to Final Cruise Instructions: As changes occur.
Submit amendments to the FOLs and FLO for routing.
Any changes of operations, itinerary, etc. must be submitted in an amendment to the Final Cruise Instructions. The header for an amendment is similar to that of the Cruise Instructions. The body briefly outlines the changes. Personnel changes no longer require an amendment; however, it is still necessary to inform MOP and the Ship of these changes.

Amendments are routed through the Director, PMEL; however, signatures are not required in most cases.

Pre-Cruise Meeting: 3-4 weeks prior to cruise.
It is suggested that each CS meet with their scientific staff prior to the cruise to discuss scientific operations and review logistical details. Some of the following requirements can be addressed at a pre-cruise meeting.

Request for security assurance:
It is no longer necessary to receive security clearance for non-NOAA members of the scientific party.

Foreign National Access and Deemed Export Controls on NMAO Vessels: The CS is responsible to ensure the following is provided to the Commanding Officer before any foreign national will be allowed on board for any reason:
1. Written notification identifying the NOAA Program individual who is responsible for ensuring compliance with NOAA and export regulations for the foreign national (see Foreign National Sponsor responsibilities below).
2. A copy of the DOC/OSY clearance authorization for access by the foreign national.
3. A copy of Appendix B of NAO 207-12 with NOAA Chief Administrative Officer concurrence endorsement.
4. Written notification that the foreign national has been cleared against the State, Commerce and Treasury departments' Lists to Check
5. Provide the NOAA Foreign National List spreadsheet for each foreign national in the scientific party.
Escorts – The Chief Scientist is responsible to provide escorts to comply with NAO 207-12 Section 5.10, or as required by the vessel’s DOC/OSY Regional Security Officer.
Ensure all non-foreign national members of the scientific party receive the briefing on Espionage Indicators (NAO 207-12 Appendix A) at least annually or as required by the servicing Regional Security Officer.
Export Control - The Chief Scientist is responsible for complying with NAO 207-12 and the development of Technology Access Control Plans for items they bring aboard. The Chief Scientist must notify the Commanding Officer of any export controlled items they bring aboard and any access restrictions associated with these items.
The Commanding Officer and the Chief Scientist will work together to implement any access controls necessary to ensure no unlicensed export occurs of any controlled technology onboard regardless of ownership.

Medical History Questionnaires: Four weeks prior to cruise
There has been a change in policy for medical history forms for scientists going to sea on NOAA vessels. It is no longer necessary to receive medical clearance from the Regional Director of Health Services (MOP). Instead, scientists and other embarked personnel need only submit a copy of the NOAA Health Services Questionnaire (NHSQ). The NHSQ replaces the SF-93, Report of Medical History form.

 Pass NHSQs to the FLO as soon as is practical. S/he will forward it (marked confidential) to MOP Health Services. The NHSQ must be updated every two years for individuals under the age of 50 and every year for those aged 50 or older.

Authorization for Overtime: Two weeks prior to cruise (NOAA only)
Form CD-81 "Authorization for paid overtime and/or holiday work, and for compensatory overtime" must be completed for each individual and submitted to supervisor for signature at least one week prior to cruise. Both PMEL and RACE require an overtime request form for their respective scientists.

Travel Arrangements: Three weeks prior to cruise
Travel arrangements for all NOAA scientists are made through the respective division travel departments. Both travel departments have a check sheet for travel orders to be filled out, signed by supervisor, and submitted to the appropriate travel person. To request invitational travel orders for persons not affiliated with NOAA, fill out the check sheet and include the individual(s) social security number. Invitational travel orders for foreign scientists may require more time, please plan accordingly.

The Miller Freeman has asked that departing scientists not book morning flights on the day the ship returns to port.

Hazardous Materials:
FOCI has developed a detailed Hazardous Material Plan that must be strictly followed. A Chemical Inventory Form and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) are required to be on board for all hazardous materials. MSDS are also required to accompany the products during any type of transport (i.e. automobile, aircraft, etc.) MSDS should be included in the Cruise Instructions or be presented to the Chief Survey Tech when the materials are loaded onto the ship. The CS is responsible for providing the necessary clean up materials in quantities appropriate to the supply of chemicals. It is also the responsibility of the CS to either remove or make provisions for removal of any unused hazardous materials brought onboard.


During the cruise, the CS is responsible for planning and coordinating all scientific operations. Additionally, the CS is responsible for the following logistics.

Safety Drills:
Insure that all members of the scientific party know and perform their duties during safety drills.

Overtime: Thursday before the end of the pay period.
Actual overtime worked must be transmitted to the timekeepers of RACE and PMEL. RACE has an OT form to be filled out and signed by each individual and the Field Party Chief. The form should be faxed to the time keeper on the Thursday, prior to the end of a pay period. PMEL hours should be transmitted to the timekeeper.

The CS is responsible for ensuring that the following is maintained:

bullet ADCP daily log
bullet SCS daily log
bullet Logs for specific operations

The CS is also responsible for delivering the data turned over from the ship, to the appropriate data base managers.

Ship-Shore Communications

The CS or designee(s) will need access to the communication systems (ccmail, fax, direct phone lines) during the cruise. It may be necessary (and beneficial) for the ship's ET to demonstrate how to use these systems at the beginning of each leg and assist in transmittals during the cruise. It will be expected, however, that persons in the scientific party will perform the bulk of these tasks.

The project will be responsible for the payment of all communication fees incurred by scientific party during the course of the cruise. Any conflicts as to which part of the project will pay which part of the bill will be settled either prior to or upon return from the cruise.

Telephone and e-mail instructions


Ship Operations Evaluation Form: End of cruise
The CS will be asked to complete a Ship Operations Evaluation Form. This form is sent to the Director, Office of Marine and Aviation Operations, through the FLO. It does not go to MOP or the ship.

A requirement for a post-cruise debriefing between the CS and the Commanding Officer or Operations Officer has been added. This is an effort to establish a more direct line of feedback between CSs and the Marine Center. The purpose of this debriefing is for the Command to identify and respond to problems in a timely manner.

The following data, when applicable, should be distributed to the specified individuals. Please make certain you leave the ship with all the required data in your possession.

total # of copies Data Data manager
2 Electronic-Marine operations abstracts Rugen and Strausz
2 Cruise Operations Database (COD) diskette 1 diskette to Rugen and 1 diskette to AFSC Chief Sci or Strausz
1 COD logs (hard copies) Bahl
2 Navigation printout of area of operations Strausz and Rugen
2 Navigation file on disk Strausz and Rugen
1 Ship's deck weather logs Strausz
1 Autosal. logs Strausz
1 Autosal calibration report Strausz
  Other calibration reports (Dewitt) Strausz
1 CTD logs Strausz
1 PMEL CTD weather observation logs Strausz
1 CTD audio cassettes Strausz
1 ADCP daily logs Strausz
1 ADCP backup disks Strausz
1 SCS backup disks Strausz
1 Mooring logs DeWitt
1 Midwater trawl logs Rugen
1 MOCNESS trawl logs and data files Napp
  Other operations logs Rugen
2 Cruise report Strausz and Rugen
1 Digital copy of cruise report Editor
2 Electronic copy of DCI, FCI and cruise report Sullivan and DeWitt

Deliver plankton samples and sample inventory to Dr. Jeff Napp for processing in Poland.

Cruise Report

A Cruise Report should be submitted to the FOLs within 30 days of completion of the cruise. Preferably, it will be completed on the ship, prior to debarking. This is a basic document stating what occurred on the cruise. There is a standard template available to facilitate preparing this document. The following is a brief outline of the cruise report format. A more detailed description of the cruise report requirements and format will be available and should be consulted by the CS.

PURPOSE: The purpose of the cruise report is to provide a summary of the cruise for use as a reference for FOCI researchers. It will also be an integral part of the annual Field Operations Report summarizing all field operations for the year.

REPORT: The cruise report should include the following:

Header: Cruise number, FOCI number, ship, dates, area of operations and participating organizations.

CS and personnel list.

Cruise Objectives.
These are the program objectives, not operations, and will be reprinted in the Field Operations Report.

Cruise Summary.
Summary of operations and data collection, days lost to weather and breakdowns. Include a narrative of what took place, how the cruise went, problems and noteworthy occurrences, mooring ID numbers when applicable.

Required Attachments:

Operations Summary.
Station/sample table generated by the Discrete Sample Data Base (DSDB). DSDB software will be provided by the program to generate this table on all FOCI cruises. (Note: A corrected version will be provided by the AFSC Data Coordinator for the annual Field Operations Report.)

Station Plots.
A plot of stations/operations using a logical grouping chosen by the CS (plot by station, gear type, experiment, etc.). Plotting software will be provided aboard Miller Freeman. These plots will be published, as is, in the annual Field Operations Report. A computer plot file should be submitted to the FOCI Coordinator via electronic file transfer or on disk. Titles and abbreviations should be hand written on the hard copy attached to the cruise report. Do not include the title and abbreviation key in the plot file. They will be included at the time of publication by the publisher to insure consistent formatting.

Include any additional information that should be documented in the annual Field Operations Report.