Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Meet Ruth Cooper

I'm backtracking a bit since I had technical difficulties uploading posts from the Healy. The ship is wired in every capacity. Satellite tracking systems, intraship communications, radios galore and more scientific equipment than you could imagine. But for some reason the Internet connection at sea was not so good. Imagine that!

One of the most dynamic members of the science team was Ruth Cooper, the 11-year-old daughter of chief scientists Jackie Grebmeier and Lee Cooper. Ruth had just finished fifth grade, but she was experiencing the education of a lifetime aboard the Healy. Ruth helped with the stations (see May 25th "Sea of the Midnight Sun" post for details) and counted the brittle stars and other animals that came up in the nets. She also provided much entertainment around the ship.

When we were bouncing around in the little Zodiac launch next to the giant Healy, I asked Ruth if she wanted to become a scientist. She said, "No, I'm going to be a lawyer and then the first (or second) female President of the United States." Not a bad alternative career path.