Sailing For Science has Embarked!

At the moment, two of our volunteers - Dunia and Helene - are on a sailboat in the mediterranean as a part of the Sailing for Science-research cruise. Over the next weeks they'll be sharing their experiences on this blog!

Sailing for science is a new initiative being launched by faculty and students at NTNU. The goal of this project is to facilitate interdisciplinary marine research and offer students the opportunity to take part in hands on field work. Students and faculty will be spending ten days on a sail boat in the Aegean sea, collecting water samples for a broad range of analyses. Topics of interest include organic contamination, trace metal analysis, impacts of tourism on marine chemistry, phytoplankton studies and the impacts of microplastics.

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Students from both a bachelor and master level are joining this year’s cruise along with associate professors from the faculty of chemistry. Our chief scientist, Murat Van Ardelan hopes to continue growing the Sailing 4 Science program, eventually acquiring a sailing vessel. This year we are working with Asteria sailing on two 46ft sailing vessels starting our journey in the Turkish town of Turgutreis, and sailing to multiple Greek islands before our return.

This weekend the participants of the Sailing 4 Science project arrived in Turkey. We then met in Turgutreis marina and entered our two sailboats. During the first few days we have been planning and preparing our equipment. On Sunday we sailed from Turkey to Kos, Greece. Today we are sailing to a nearby beach to take seawater samples for three different projects. Masters student Maria Villegas will be looking at the effects of sunscreen used by tourists on propagation of hydrogen peroxide in seawater. Here she is describing the apparatus she will be using to fellow masters student Dunia Rios Yunes.

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The second project will analyse the levels of organic pollutants found in beach areas, while the last project will be looking at the types and quantities of trace elements found in these areas.

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In addition to our research, we will be spending some time speaking with locals and sharing our research goals. Here Dunia and Helene can be seen getting a sign ready to hang in the Marina where they spent the morning chatting with curious tourists, local Greeks and some friendly stray cats.