Greetings, Classroom Connectors! Today’s interview is with James Pelowski, the Data Processor that sails with the ROV Jason team on their expeditions. He is responsible for making sure all of the computers are working, that data is being collected from the specialized equipment on the ROV, and for ensuring that all of the data and information from each cruise is preserved. If you have any questions for James about what it is like to be a ‘computer guy’ at sea, let us know. – Beth
James Pelowski is another member of the ROV Jason-II team, working with Tito who I interviewed two weeks ago. James’ home is in Endicott, New York, where he spends most of his time when he is not at sea. James went to school at Stony Brook, and during his time as a student there, he applied for an intern position at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to work with the ROV Jason. After his internship and finishing his studies as a math major, he decided to work for the ROV program about 5 years ago, and he has been ever since.
James is the Data Processor for the ROV team, or, as I like to think of him, he’s the computer guy. When at sea, James spends his time setting up computer networks, verifying that data from the multiple sensors on the ROV are recording data correctly, and then ensuring that all of the data is backed up and archived. I often see Jasmes in the computer lab, hunkered over one of his several computers, working on files or labeling one of the copious DVD discs of video we generate everyday. It requires a lot of organizational skill to keep track of the hundreds of high resolution photos we take with the ROV every day, plus the gigabytes of high definition video we record with the video cameras on the Jason, plus the various data streams. Luckily he has a lot of computer programs to help him keep track of everything.
When asked, James wouldn’t say that his job is terribly exciting, but he likes it because it allows him to travel a lot all over the world to different ports. Also, he only has to work four months out of the year at sea, and then he has the rest of his time off. As a bonus, he also thinks it is cool that he gets to see the bottom of the ocean with the ROV cameras every now and then – not many people can say that about their job.