Sailing Science Center News
March 2020
Vol. 3, No. 7
Welcome to the March issue of the Sailing Science Center News! Our theme this month is Stewardship. Read our Leadership Corner to learn what that means to us and why it's important. And don't miss out on the upcoming events we are now posting under the title On the Horizon. If you are an SSC volunteer, we are implementing new onboarding policies that will apply to volunteers who want to participate in our volunteer events. You will want to complete this process to ensure you stay in the loop.
We have become, by the power of a glorious evolutionary accident called intelligence, the stewards of life's continuity on earth. We did not ask for this role, but we cannot abjure it. We may not be suited to it, but here we are.

Stephen Jay Gould
Volunteer Spotlight - Prochlorococcus
This month’s volunteer spotlight is on Prochlorococcus Marinus, a species of tiny marine cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria, whose name comes from their color, are also known as blue-green algae, and are a group of photosynthetic bacteria that live in water and moist soil. Marine cyanobacteria are, to date, the smallest known photosynthetic organisms, measuring only 0.5-0.7 micrometers (millionths of a meter) in diameter. What make Prochlorococcus so special is that they are probably the most abundant photosynthetic organism on our planet, as well as possibly being the most plentiful genus on Earth – and they live in the ocean.

Prochlorococcus were first discovered in 1986 by Penny Chisholm of MIT and Robert J. Olson of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. They live in the sunlit zone of the world’s tropical oceans. Along with Synechococcus–another species of cyanobacteria that coexist with Prochlorococcus–these capable critters are responsible for approximately half of marine carbon fixation, establishing their role as one of the most important contributors in the world’s carbon cycle. They also release oxygen, accounting for ten to twenty percent of the oxygen in our atmosphere. Now that’s my kind of bacteria!
Through recent studies we are learning that the growing concern with plastic in our oceans is impacting this meaningful microorganism. In 2019 scientists from Macquarie University in Australia reported that chemicals leaching from plastics in the ocean interfere with the growth, photosynthesis and oxygen production of Prochlorococcus. We can now add Prochlorococcus to the list of reasons to demand reduction of the plastic entering our oceans.

We were first introduced to Prochlorococcus in July of last year, during Sebastian Nicholls’ presentation at the St. Francis Yacht Club’s Wednesday Yachting Luncheon speaker series. Unlike most of our volunteers, Prochlorococcus never went through the Social Sailing program on Treasure Island, they never got a 4-year college degree and they don’t even have an email address, but they are one of the biggest contributors to all that we do. We are grateful for Prochlorococcus, this little volunteer who has done so much.
Head shot of Sebastian Nicholls
Sebastian Nicholls
Principal, Sea Blue Consultants
San Francisco Model Yacht Club
On February 8 we visited the San Francisco Model Yacht Club for the second time, this time as the speaker at their annual meeting. We had a full house for the presentation, and afterward got to spend time sailing Ed Schoenstein's boat on Spreckels Lake.

We have long felt that the Model Yacht Club should be a close partner to the SSC, as the vision for the Sailing Science Center includes a plethora of model boats. This meeting moves us one step closer in that relationship.

Q&A After the Talk
A Full Clubhouse
Mary Rose Wins the Puzzler!
SSC Volunteers Emma Sarkisyan and George Tall checking out the models
The model they are looking at has a working, miniature steam engine
February Volunteer Event - TIMA Lecture
Our February Volunteer Event just barely made it under the wire with SSC volunteers attending the monthly lecture series of the Treasure Island Museum Association (TIMA) on February 29. This was a low-key event compared to past events, as we gear up for busy months in March and April. The lecture was on the Golden Gate International Exposition of 1939 (GGIE 39), San Francisco's celebration of its two new bridges—the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge—along with its newly-built Treasure Island, where the fair was held.

GGIE 39 License Plate
The license plate on the car of TIMA VP, Anne Schnoebelen
TIMA Lecture
Lisa Rubens addressing an audience of about 45 people
Paul Kamen & Ed Schoenstein
Paul Kamen & master model-builder Ed Schoenstein in front of Ed's model of the Tower of the Sun, complete with illumination
Tower of the Sun
The Tower of the Sun was central to the GGIE
Discipline is not about the rules, it is about respect. It's respect for those around you, the things you own and for yourself. Discipline is part of being a steward.

– Janna Cachola
All Knotted Up
Picture of an Iridescent Knot
The lead article in the February issue of the BoatUS email newsletter was about work being conducted at MIT on the mathematics of knots and the stresses in their fibers. This led to a phone call to Jörn Dunkel, MIT Professor of Mathematics, and a second call to Brian Mernoff, Education Coordinator at the MIT Museum. Mernoff created a knots workshop where he is teaching mathematics through knots and origami. This is an area where science and mathematics is just beginning to reach an art that has existed for thousands of years. We are looking for ways to incorporate this into the SSC.
This Month's Newsletter Banner
Southeast Farallon Island
The banner for this month's newsletter is no accident. The image is of Southeast Farallon Island, a rugged wildlife refuge 26 nautical miles west of the Golden Gate. In addition to being known as a feeding site for great white sharks, it is well known for ocean swell turning deadly when it hits the shallow areas around the island. In 2012 five sailors on a boat named Low Speed Chase lost their lives when they got too close to the island and their boat was rolled in the breaking waves.

We have incorporated this image into an exhibit on eyeball navigation that asks "How close is too close?" It will be premiered this month at the Latitude 38 Crew Party . The exhibit will demonstrate distance measurement using angles. This image is also timely, as Saturday, March 28, is the date for this year's Double Handed Farallones Race .
Latitude 38 Crew Party - March 5
Photo Courtesy Latitude 38 Media
Good looking people courtesy of the SSC

Be sure not to miss the Latitude 38 Crew Party, this coming Thursday, March 5, 6 pm to 9 pm at the Golden Gate Yacht Club. The SSC will be there with volunteers, prizes, signup sheets and our latest exhibits.

A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit.

D. Elton Trueblood
Social Media Corner
Social Media Logos
Get Social With Us...
Follow us on  Facebook Instagram LinkedIn  and  Twitter !

If you've followed us recently, you've likely seen we've gone into high-gear sharing news, discoveries, events and of course, sailing science.

We want to highlight some of the amazing things you're living and learning on the water. It's easy:

  1. Simply follow us on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn and Twitter. You'll not only get awesome sailing content in your feed, but you'll help get the word out about our mission.
  2. Tag us on Instagramboth in posts and storiesat @sailingsciencecenter. We'll share our favorite contributions! #todayonthebay

Got something bigger to share with our community?

Small Stuff
Man scanning the horizon with binoculars
On the Horizon
March 5 - Latitude 38 Crew Party at the Golden Gate Yacht Club . SSC will have a table - come say Hi!

March 25 - Wednesday Yachting Luncheon at the St. Francis Yacht Club . We will be the presenter.

April 4 - Golden Gate Park 150th Anniversary . SSC will be there with the San Francisco Model Yacht Club .

April 16-19 - Pacific Sail & Power Boat Show . SSC will be there.
Move the Needle!
These are things YOU can do to move the SSC vision forward:

Make a difference. Move the needle!
Leadership Corner - Stewardship
In my December 16 blog post I described the tripod upon which the Sailing Science Center stands. The legs of the tripod are  technology leadership  and  steward-ship . These are fundamental values we are promoting to create lasting change in the world. Why these three?

New Volunteers

We want to give a big shout out to those who raised their hands in February to say they could help. This included Ed Schoenstein and David Sands , both of the San Francisco Model Yacht Club . We are very excited to have both of you making waves with the Sailing Science Center team! Welcome!
That's all for this month.


Jim Hancock
President and Founder
The San Francisco Sailing Science Center is a Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation recognized under IRS Section 501(c)(3), Tax ID 82-3631165. Your donation to the Sailing Science Center is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.




*STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math

Ron Young * James Hancock * Meagan Strout * Travis Lund * Jeff Owens
Carolyn Davidson * Kira Hammond * Mike Beller

Morgan Davidson

Christine Cid

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