24 June, 1998
This day certainly had all the indicators of lots going on, but nobody was certain of quite what the immediate plan was. The SHEBA detour remains the hot topic and who in our group might be staying aboard is a close second. The off-loading/on-loading evolution that will take place in Barrow is of concern for those not going on to SHEBA and flights out of Barrow seem to be in question. I am not too concerned about any of it but will help out with "big red" (a huge 4 door Chevy P/U) as much as needed once we get to town. But still, science never sleeps so on we go for one last station!!! We are heading to the 50-meter depth contour on the shelf to the E of Barrow Canyon and NE of Barrow the town. The canyon wall is quite steep on this side but if we go just a smidgen out of our way we can access a nice shallow shelf that should make for a good last hurrah.
Tish and Tara have decided to stay aboard because their last set of experiments from the 1000-m station won't be finished until Sunday. Whether or not they off-load by helicopter, as the ship steams north has not yet been decided. Lisa, Pete, Laura, and David will also be staying and doing whatever science they can whenever they are able. This will also entail packing up all the gear in their labs which are going to be big jobs.
The ice remains consistent but lacking the pressure of just a few miles north. The ship is making good progress as we head towards Barrow and we are not bucking and heaving around quite as much as yesterday. Both the Captain and Operations officer have been in to discuss the likelihood of Polar Sea disrupting any whaling activities that might be going on around Barrow. My thought is that whaling is over and if we are lucky we might be there for Nalukataq which is the festival held at the end of whaling season to celebrate a good and safe harvest. The traditional blanket toss and community feed are part of this celebration and the whole town turns out for a good afternoon of eating and playing. It would be pretty neat if some of the beakers and coasties got a chance to partake in the festivities.
MEET THE BEAKERS
Anna Liljevik, working with the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, is one of the scientists studying the defensive chemicals produced by the marine micro-critters living in the mud and sand on the bottom of the ocean. Compounds that specifically target viruses, bacteria, and fungi are her main areas of interest. She is working with Dr. William Fenical, also of Scripps, while on AWS 98. She was born in Sweden and has lived in Tanzania, the Seychelle Islands, and the U.S. She did her undergraduate studies at the University of Washington and has recently been accepted to graduate school at the University of Newcastle in England. Anna enjoys traveling, learning foreign languages, and scuba diving. While on AWS 98 she has become an aunt and is very much looking forward to meeting the new addition when she returns.
Laura Beer, also known as the mud queen, can usually be found on the fantail, searching in the bottom ooze for anything living, and she still channels a bit of energy into trying to start a mudfight with anybody present. She is originally from Seattle and currently lives in Greenville, North Carolina where she attends East Carolina University and is a graduate student of Dr. Lisa Clough. Laura's work involves brittle stars (ophiuroids) and how they are able to change their chemical composition in response to available food sources. In parcticular she is investigating how the RNA composition of the critter changes such that it can produce different digestive enzymes that matches what the critter is currently using for it's main food source. As the food availability changes with the seasons the mechanisms by which the stars are able to produce a completely different array of chemical substances is of interest to her. Running and fishing are Laura's pastimes and anytime she can wet a line in the Carolina surf, she is a woman fulfilled.
Cindy Hahm is a graduate student of Dr. Bill Baker at the Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL. She received her undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Florida State University. She is also considered one of the "druggies" on AWS 98 and was involved in the trawls during which the benthic critters of interest to her were collected. Cindy is interested in the allelochemistry of the bottom dwellers and the chemical pathways that keep the sessile organisms free of harmful parasitic freeloaders. She is a fan of all water sports and is looking forward to getting back to Melbourne where Spinx, her 6-toed cat, eagerly awaits her return.
Dr. Will Ambrose is a Marine Biologist from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. He is a friend and fellow researcher of Lisa's and is also very interested in the impact of ice algae on the benthos. He teaches classes in Marine Sciences at Bates and has two of his senior students, Pete and Melissa, on board for this trip. Will wrote the grant that financed the use of the ROV on AWS 98. The National Undersea Research Center is the funding body for the ROV and pilot. Trying to better understand the relationship between surface ice, under ice algae, and the grazing of this algae by benthic critters is Will's area of interest and he has been like a kid in a candy shop while watching the ROV footage in the wet lab. He is married to Kirsti Sandoy and they have a daughter, Emma, who turns eight this month. They all like to ski and in the summer enjoy canoeing the rivers of Maine and hiking in the Mahoosuc Mountains.
Pete Tilney, originally from Kennebunkport, ME, is a student at Bates College, and studies environmental science. During AWS 98 Pete is involved in most everything. As one of Will's students he is up to his armpits in mud every time the box core comes up with a fresh load of mud and mud loving critters. He works out on the ice with the CRREL crew collecting cores to melt and check for total algae content. He has a great attitude and on different days will switch tasks from being "drill boy" to "saw boy" to "jiffy boy". There are no tasks in which he has not taken part. Pete is quite the adventurer and just last year was in Alaska with a NOLS group on Mt. McKinley. He wound up being airlifted off the mountain due to acute appendicitis and had the good sense to not let the little vestigial structure pop a leak till he was on the table and being opened up.Climbing, hiking, canoeing, and spending time outdoors are his pleasures in life. He has a dog, Meadowlark and a cat, Lewis that keep him company while home.
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