Chasing Science at Sea: Racing Hurricanes, Stalking Sharks, and Living

Chasing Science at Sea: Racing Hurricanes, Stalking Sharks, and Living Undersea with Ocean Experts
By Ellen Prager
Publisher: University Of Chicago Press
Number Of Pages: 178
Publication Date: 2008-09-15
ISBN-10 / ASIN: 0226678709
ISBN-13 / EAN: 9780226678702
Product Description:
To the average office-dweller, marine scientists seem to have the good life: cruising at sea for weeks at a time, swimming in warm coastal waters, living in tropical paradises. But ocean scientists who go to sea will tell you that it is no vacation. Creature comforts are few and the obstacles seemingly insurmountable, yet an abundance of wonder and discovery still awaits those who take to the ocean. Chasing Science at Sea immerses readers in the world of those who regularly go to sea—aquanauts living underwater, marine biologists seeking unseen life in the deep ocean, and the tall-ship captains at the helm, among others—and tells the fascinating tale of what life—and science—is like at the mercy of Mother Nature.
With passion and wit, well-known marine scientist Ellen Prager shares her stories as well as those of her colleagues, revealing that in the field ingenuity and a good sense of humor are as essential as water, sunblock, and GPS. Serendipity is invaluable, and while collecting data is the goal, sometimes just getting back to shore means success. But despite the physical hardship and emotional duress that come with the work, optimism and adventure prompt a particularly hardy species of scientist to return again and again to the sea.
Filled with firsthand accounts of the challenges and triumphs of dealing with the extreme forces of nature and the unpredictable world of the ocean, Chasing Science at Sea is a unique glimpse below the water line at what it is like and why it is important to study, explore, and spend time in one of our planet’s most fascinating and foreign environments.
Summary: Sea Stories–and the Science from Them
Rating: 5
What a wonderful little book! Very accessible; very enlightening.
The sea stories–all by ocean scientists–are engaging and often quite humorous. They share important knowledge about the ocean, but also the unexpected ways much of that knowledge is gained.
The stories include scientists SCUBA diving, sailing, making long cruises on research ships, and living for days underwater. They give a great sense not only of the results, but of the unique challenges for scientists working in the ocean environment, and the importance of them continuing to do so.
Summary: Interesting, But Lacks Scientific Detail
Rating: 4
"Chasing Science" is a relatively short, yet informative look at the world of marine science. Covering oceanography, geology, marine biology and other lesser known sciences, the book provides a feel for the life of a marine scientist. It is well written and very easy to read, but is lacking in depth. It consists mainly of very short stories of what can be expected if you enter the world of marine science. There are a few facts, but do not expect great detail.
If you are expecting moderate or heavy science from this book, you will be disappointed. The book, however, works well as an introductory look at the world of marine science and I would highly recommend it to non scientists and to students who may be interested in making marine science a career.

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