If you’d like to volunteer on the 2018 Fall Bottom Trawl Survey aboard NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow, your help would be greatly appreciated!   Volunteers are a very important part of our program.

We need the help of every scientist and volunteer who sails.  You do not need to be a scientist to volunteer, but must have a keen interest in what we do and a willingness to work hard alongside our scientists. The information below explains how to sign up for a cruise. Please be aware that we work twelve-hour shifts, which means that you may be standing on your feet for twelve hours. Therefore, please only sign up for a cruise if you are serious about making the commitment.  If there is an emergency, or you anticipate that you will not be able to participate on a cruise that you are scheduled for, please contact me immediately.

The required forms may be downloaded from the Ecosystems Surveys Branch website in the forms link of the Cruise Volunteer Information section.  Helpful information for new participants on what to expect at sea and what to bring on the survey can be found in the Preparing for a Cruise tab of the website.

Three easy steps toward volunteering on a survey:

You must be at least 18 years of age.  Volunteers are responsible for all travel related expenses.  While at sea, all meals will be provided by the vessel.

1. Submit a volunteer questionnaire with the dates you are available to participate.  If space is available, you will receive confirmation to participate on a cruise.  The Volunteer Questionnaire must be sent to:

Katherine Sowers

National Marine Fisheries Service

166 Water Street                                      

Woods Hole, MA  02543


Fax:   508-495-2258

2. Wait to hear confirmation that you have been scheduled.  Confirmations are sent as early as possible and not later than three weeks prior to departure.  If we are not able to find berthing for you, you will have the option of being placed on standby status to fill in if there is a cancellation.

3. After you receive confirmation that you are scheduled for a cruise, submit a medical form that lists all medical conditions to the Health Services Office.   Please list NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow as your project ship.

As noted on the health form, you must have a negative TB test (taken within the last 12 months). Additionally, you must have a current Tetanus shot (received within the last 10 years).  If either is out of date, you will need to obtain them at your expense.  If you have a new TB test or Tetanus shot scheduled, please note the date on your medical form, rather than leaving it blank. Medical clearance must be completed and confirmed two weeks prior to the scheduled departure date.  Please contact the Health Services Office for the status of your medical clearance.

NOAA Health Services Office

Phone: 757-441-6320

FAX: 757-441-3760

E-mail:  moa.health.services@noaa.gov

2018 Fall Cruise Schedule – NOAA Ship Henry B. Bigelow

Please note that the identified regions are where we anticipate to sample: environmental or mechanical problems may force us to change the area of operation.

Leg 1:  September 4 to 21

(18 days at sea)

Ports:  (depart/arrive Newport, RI)

Planned Survey Area:  Mid-Atlantic


Leg 2:  September 25 to October 5

(11 days at sea)

Ports:  (depart/arrive Newport, RI)

Planned Survey Area:  Southern New England


Leg 3:  October 9 to 25

(17 days at sea)

Ports: (depart/arrive Newport, RI)

Planned Survey Area: Georges Bank


Leg 4: October 30 to November 12

(14 days at sea)

Ports: (depart/arrive Newport, RI)

Planned Survey Area: Gulf of Maine