CLEVELAND — Today’s United States Navy needs ships, sailors and scientists. That's the message during Cleveland Navy Week at the Great Lakes Science Center.
“It’s just another important detail for the big picture. I don't know that we could go without it,” said E.J. Hodge, a physical scientist with the Naval Oceanographical Office.
Hodge is a geologist, it's his job to take core samples of the ocean floor from the around the world and analyze them. Along with a team of scientists, Hodge is improving navigation and security for the Navy.
“We have physicists, we have chemists, biologists, marine geologists, geologists all throughout our department,” Hodge said. “So it's extremely important that we stay on the front edge of technology.”
In short, the Navy wants to know everything that is happening above and below their ships. From a geology perspective, they want to know what sea floor is made of in case they need to anchor something.
“Anything that we want at depth that we want to make sure that we can get it down there and it stays down there and it doesn't float off or it can stay attached or it doesn't sink into the into the mud,” Hodge explained.
The Naval Oceanographic Office also uses sonar and other tools to collect data, from the water’s surface all the way to the bottom.
“Our group gets a new batch of cores in. 'Oh, what is this? Oh, what happened here? What's the depth of what age do you think this is?' It's just a general excitement for science,” said Hodge.
Hodge says it can be an exciting career.
“And my job changes from, I'm at the office experimenting in the lab to I'm on a ship and I'm physically taking the cores and we're cataloging, and I get to travel the world,” stated Hodge.
And the information collected doesn’t just benefit the Navy. Hodge says he’s seen improvements in detecting earthquakes and notifying small countries so people can get to safety fastest.