Author: Josh Manger
I know a lot of people who love TV programs like No Reservations, Dirty Jobs, Deadliest Catch, The Layover, An Idiot Abroad, and countless other Discovery-like programs about the oceans and science. I too love these shows, but I think I have a slightly different viewing experience than the general public. That’s because my life is kind of a mix of all these shows wrapped up into my single human existence. My show would be called The Deadliest Catch of an Idiot Abroad with a Dirty Job on Layover with No Reservations presented by the Science Channel, and I’d bet you’d watch it.
I’m what they call a ResTech (Research Technician) at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. It’s a job in which I wear a lot of hats, but basically I help science parties plan, prepare, and carry out research cruises while making sure they don’t kill themselves (literally) in the process. So where is the entertainment value in this and why should you keep reading? Well, while technically I’m a “Scientist” as far as the coast guard is concerned (I do have a Bachelors of Science from Northeastern University in Biology with a Marine concentration), I’m really just a sailor who gets sent around the world to work on research expeditions. I get to see some pretty cool places, do some pretty cool things, and meet some pretty cool people. I often find myself walking through a market in some foreign country thinking “man, I feel just like Anthony Bourdain right now.” I’ve even come home and flipped on the TV to find Tony walking down the same street I was walking down just weeks before. And like Tony, I get sent to these foreign lands on someone else’s dime… actually, being that my job is funded by the National Science Foundation, it’s on all of your dimes. So, being that you all have been so kind to pay your taxes, I figured I should start sharing some of my stories on Strictlyfishwrap.
When I first started traveling, I was big into taking pictures to document my experiences but a little more than a year ago I bought a GoPro video camera. My focus quickly shifted from taking photos, to capturing video clips. I now have hours and hours of footage from foreign lands sitting on hard drives. I started to edit this footage down to into short movies, but the computer I was using made the editing process extremely slow and frustrating. Now I have a new computer, and with Strictlyfishwrap, a new reason to start making some movies for you to enjoy (hopefully).
To be honest, I’m not sure how entertaining my experiences and stories are going to be to a bunch of strangers but if the Kardashians can do it, I think this 27 year old sailor/scientists from New Jersey can get some of you to tune in. Now, if I could only figure out a way to have Kanye’s child…
So, just the other night I started posting some videos of my travels to my YouTube account for the first time. These first few projects using the GoPro take place in Kaohsiung, Taiwan and are basically music videos. The format of my future videos, however, will likely evolve as my audience and purpose changes. In less than a month, I will be traveling to Japan and I think I’m going to take a different filming approach. We’ll see what happens. So stay tuned, and let’s see if you get sucked in like a jellyfish in the conductivity cell of a CTD*.
* This fulfills my nerdy oceanography joke quota for Strictlyfishwrap.