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Field Season & Cruise Planning Overview

January 2002

 Personnel Responsible for Planning  Calendar for Planning Process  Planning Documents

During the summer of the year before the field season, the FOCI Coordinator (FC) calls a meeting to develop general plans for the season. Principal Investigators desiring to be Participating Scientists (PSs) in the field season submit Project Description Forms (PDFs) to the FC. The FC and Field Operations Leaders (FOLs) draft a Field Operations Schedule using the PDFs and available time aboard assigned research vessels. A Chief Scientist (CS) is designated for each cruise. The CS uses PDFs and additional material such as Sample Request Forms (SRFs), Chemical Inventories (ChemIs), equipment lists, Medical Forms, travel requirements, etc., to develop Cruise Instructions (CIs). Instructions are reviewed by the FOLs and the FOCI Liaison Officer (FLO) who submits them to respective marine centers. FOLs and CSs meet before the field season with marine center and vessel personnel to discuss general operations (NOAA vessels only); CSs submit a short cruise overview if their CIs haven't been submitted.

CSs hold a meeting with their respective crew about a month before the cruise to review specifics of the cruise. CSs hold a meeting with their staff and vessel personnel on arriving at the vessel. CSs conduct their cruises, communicating scientific essentials to the FOLs and incidentals such as overtime and travel changes to appropriate personnel ashore. The CS submits a Cruise Report to the vessel captain and the FOLs within 30 days of completion of the cruise (preferably the report is completed before the CS departs the vessel). The FOLs conduct a debriefing at the end of the spring and fall seasons.

The Field Operations Schedule on the World-Wide Web is the FOCI Archive for cruise instructions and cruise reports.

Users of NOAA research ships will benefit from reading NOAA Marine Operations General Information for Scientists.

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