This information is intended to help scientific user groups in planning and carrying out their MERIAN cruise. It also details the information needed by the METEOR/MERIAN Operations Support Office. More specific information for coordination can be found in the MERIAN Guidelines (pdf, German only).
The METEOR/MERIAN Operations Support Office at the University of Hamburg is responsible for the scientific, technical, logistic and financial planning, execution and support of the ships' operations. On the one hand, it works together with the expedition coordinators and chief scientists. On the other hand, it works in partnership with the contract shipowners Briese Schiffahrts GmbH & Co. KG. The Support Office is the place to contact regarding all questions regarding MERIAN. Higher-ranking contractual obligations also exist to the DFG and the BMBF as owner and funding agencies.
For the Support Office, the preparation for a cruise begins with the cruise scheduling ( 2016, 2017 [pdf]) according to the stiplations of the Senate Commission on Oceanography (German only) of the German Research Foundation.
Diplomatic application forms
Regarding diplomatic aspects, the preparation for the individual legs of the cruise begins at least 8 month before the cruise. According to the International Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Diplomatic application form must be submitted to the contract countries at least 7 months before the cruise (9 months for Brazil). It is filled out by the chief scientist, completed by the Support Office and conveyed to the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin for submission to the relevant coastal states. National Claims To Maritime Jurisdiction you will find here.
The scientific and logistic preparations usually begin about 4 months before the cruise with the Coordination Meeting. The minutes of this meeting are then the planning basis for all participants. At this meeting, the Health bulletin is distributed to be filled out and signed by all participants.
In principle, all important points are discussed and planned at the meeting. This includes the punctual submission of the MERIAN Checklist (doc) 2 months before the cruise begins. It is the planning basis for the contractual shipowner and the ship with regard to the necessary equipment such as winches, cable lengths or duration of the work at the stations and the time needed to reach each station. This also applies to certain services supplied by the agent and the contractual shipowner. Details are to be found in the MERIAN Handbook (pdf).
The camera-ready manuskript and a pdf-file of the Cruise Brochure (docx, German only) must be submitted to the Operations Support Office 2 month before the beginning of the cruise to permit timely publication in print and on the home page.
Modalities for embarkation and insurance map
The detailed modalities for embarkation (xls) and the insurance map (xlsx) should be related to the Operations Support Office no later than 3 weeks before the beginning of the cruise. For this, there exists a standardised Excel-file. It includes a list of the scientific crew members in the international IMO standard format as well as designation of the cabin and laboratory occupation and a list with transfer wishes. This information will be conveyed by the Operations Support Office to the ship before it reaches the different harbours of departure. This is then the basis for planning of the harbour activities by the ship and the agent. In addition, the Operations Support Office expects detailed information about scientific equipment to be loaded. For air freight, the AWB (Air-waybill) numbers are needed [This is particularly the case for air freight of foreign users. Experience has shown that a lack of information here can be a cause for friction.]. Embarkment procedure takes place after international safety standards (pdf, German only). Therefore, the information provided in the above mentioned Excel-file is required.
During the expeditions, the Operations Support Office expects a Weekly Report each Monday morning. It conveys these to the members of the advisory board, the contractual shipowner and the cruise chiefs for the subsequent legs of the cruise. In addition, the weekly reports are published on the home page of the Operations Support Office.
Short Cruise Report
Two months after the conclusion of the expedition the Operations Support Office needs the so-called Short Cruise Report to fulfill diplomatic obligations. This report, which should be about three pages long, must be in English and must contain a map of the ship's course. It can also contain other relevant information such as a list of stations. The Operations Support Office conveys this report along the appropriate diplomatic channels and also uses it for its annual report.
By about one year after the conclusion of the cruise, the Final Report (German only) is due as the last part of the cruise cycle.
German Oceanographic Data Centre
All data collected during the cruise are archived at (and can be retrieved from) the German Oceanographic Data Centre (DOD) hosted by the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency in Hamburg.
With this information and the links, the Operations Support Office hopes to provide all participants and interested parties with the support necessary. For more specific aspects pleayse contact us(leitstelle"AT"ifm.uni-hamburg.de) directly.
Hamburg, April 2014