For those of you who are unfamiliar with the terminology used for scientific, research cruises; a chief scientists is the de facto boss of the science party and coordinates the research plan with the captain and crew of the ship. This role often incorporates traits from other positions such as diplomate (between crew and science party), translater, and decision maker into one thankless role. Since this position requires skills outside of those which are traditionally taught in graduate programs, the National Science Foundation has sponsored a program to train young and advancing scientists. This Chief Scientists Training Cruise (CSW) involves seminars on how to request ship time in grant proposals, what capabilities and design features to look for in a ship, and how to organize everything while at sea.

For my particular CSW the focus is on marine geology and geological oceanography, which not only lies outside my area of expertise yet is also a valuable corollary to my own work. Only time will tell us how the program works out.