Collaborative Research

Escaping the Storms
by -- January 22nd, 2013

Today’s waves at sunset! (Picture by Jennifer Walker)

Greetings from 38 deg. N, 160 deg. W! My name is Maria de Oca and I am a graduate student in Dr. Johnson’s Lab. I am writing to you as we prepare for the rough weather ahead of us. Tomorrow we will not be able to sample and everything in the labs will be left well secured to avoid any accidents through the night. Three storms surround us, so we have changed direction to head north. There we hope to find an oasis of calm weather where we might remain for a couple of days, until the storms appease.

Isobars map posted by the galley – our position is marked by the pink X in the middle of the map

With or without sampling, I will be waking up early tomorrow. During this leg of the POWOW project I am working on primary production and this requires a three-day long protocol! Tomorrow I will collect my incubated samples and measure the samples that I incubated the previous day. The hope is that this data will help us to understand better the contribution of Prochlorococcus to the primary production in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre (NPSG). This is interesting because the NPSG is the most extensive gyre in the world’s ocean and, as such, it accounts for a large part of the global primary production. Also, Prochlorococcus is the most abundant oxygenic photosynthesizer in the NPSG and given that it was discovered very recently, in the late 1980’s, we still know very little of its role in oceanic processes.

Stay tuned to our blog as we will continue to report on the results and insight we will gather the the following weeks on board the Kilo Moana!

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