Starting late next month, I’ll be at sea in the middle of the Bay of Bengal as part of IODP Expedition 354. Going to sea for months at a time is something new and exciting for me. I’m going to be blogging here about my experience, starting with preparations for the cruise. I hope that you, the reader, will find something here that excites you as much as it does me. I’m a paleomagnetist, which means that part of what excites me about this cruise is the chance to track Earth’s magnetic field through geologic time. So if I want you to follow me, I’ll have to explain why I think geological magnets are freaking awesome.

I’m also secretly hoping that you, reader, will hear me out when I make a fool of myself in front of my colleagues or get seasick (wait – do I get seasick?), because, frankly, I’m also a little terrified. The cruise is TWO MONTHS long. I’ve never been away from my wife and kids for this long before. I’ve never been to this part of the world. Research-wise, working with magnetism of sedimentary rocks is relatively new to me. I may be a scientist, but I’m a human being, too, and I may at times just need to connect with you people in the outside world.

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