Blue Notes, Part 2: Oceanography as a Patiently Put Together Mosaic
May 14, 2020
In this post, Professor Melody Jue (University of California, Santa Barbara) discusses her observations during a research cruise in the Santa Barbara Channel. This is the second entry in the Blue Notes Series, edited by Aylin Malcolm. You can read the series introduction here and Part 1: Wet Globalization in Viral Times (by Steve Mentz) here.
In December 2019, I had the pleasure (thanks to an invitation by Dr. Alyson Santoro) of joining an oceanographic research cruise on the R/V Sally Ride, a research vessel managed by the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in San Diego, California. While this was an unusual opportunity for an English professor, it gave me the chance to observe the knowledge-making practices of oceanography in the field. As an alibi for occupying a bunk, I decided that I would be the photographer/documentarian for the cruise, providing a bank of usable media for the scientists and students. Yet even this was a cover for an experiment of my own: testing whether or not oceanography, as I saw it, was like a mosaic.