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3 December, 2000


I have been talking about phytoplankton over the last few weeks. Today I have pictures for you of the elusive plant. On Thursday of last week I went with Kirk, Wendy and Sylvia to Station B to collect water samples and conduct a couple of casts. One of the casts was a phytoplankton net. When it was brought on the zodiac I didn't see anything in the collection jar but phytoplankton is very small and needs to be observed using a microscope.

The last few days during my free time, ha ha, I have been learning to use a dissection microscope equipped with a camera connected to a computer. Today I spent several hours looking at the sample we collected and snapped several pictures. The most frequent variety of phytoplankton I saw was the Corethron. The other two types are the Chaetoceros and the Thalassiosira. It was fun looking for the various types and I hope to find more over the next few weeks.

Today is a day off at Palmer, but you will still find many people working. Science rarely takes a day off at Palmer. Time is a precious commodity. Ray and Sarah were working on the ac9. I spent my day running chlorophyll samples, using the microscope and working with the group studying krill. The krill group took a zodiac out to collect more for their ongoing study. More on that later.

Computers are wonderful tools. Mostly they teach me patience. This is the third time I have written this journal entry. The first two times my computer froze. The second time I had five paragraphs written and thought that I should look at my pictures to determine which ones I would use with my journal entry. The moment I clicked on the picture everything stopped, even my heart for a moment. I only slept for about 4 to 5 hours last night. My brain woke me up this morning at 6:30. I could have sworn I put a wake up call for 8. Anyway, the Moral to the story is, don't forget to save often!

Don't miss tomorrow's exciting episode --

Krill hunters of Antarctica


Pulling up the ac9 from 100 meters below the ocean's surface.


-- Bill

The phytoplankton Corethron. The most dominant variety I have found.

Me working on chlorophyll samples.

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