August 15, 2007
Latitude: 40° 14.5' N
Welcome to my journal, which will chronicle my research experience on-board, the National Oceanographic and Atmospherics' research vessel the Delaware II. I left San Francisco on Sunday, arrived in Providence, Rhode Island, and on Monday drove with Chief Scientist Jerry Prezioso of the National Marine Fisheries Service to the ship, which is docked at Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Upon arrival we unloaded gear and I met NOAA Teacher at Sea, Amy Pearson who would be sailing with us. Together we toured the ship, continued to off load materials and had a great tour of the little town of Woods Hole. Quietly impressive was the arrival of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's research vessel Knorr. The Atlantis II, a former Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute vessel, was also in port. Woods Hole is truly a mecca for marine science. Yesterday, our ship left Wood's Hole at 1730 (5:30 PM). Today, we have been sampling plankton, which means towing a Bongo type net (2 nets side by side) and collecting plankton. After the plankton is collected, the nets are rinsed, sending the plankton to the bottom of the net, called the cod-end, at which point they are put into a sieve, and then transferred to the sample jars, where they are preserved in seawater with a small amount of formaldehyde.
To see a picture of a Bongo Tow view the podcast at: http://web.mac.com/bwet/iWeb/BWET/Welcome.html
As we sample plankton, we are getting different amounts and species. For example, our first stations were filled with amphipod plankton and they held onto the net so tightly that it was difficult to get them. In later stations, we had less plankton in total and very few amphipods. Hopefully in the next couple of days, we will understand more of why that is.
I am working a 3AM-3PM shift, which means I get up really early! All in all, it's beautiful here. Pretty calm seas, but we may be getting 8-10 foot waves tomorrow, so we will be rocking and rolling! Check back to see what is up.If you would like more information about our project, visit the following websites: