Collaborative Research

Research and Relaxation at Sea
by -- January 14th, 2013

My name is Jennifer Walker and I am a junior at Duke University. I’m majoring in Earth and Ocean Sciences with a minor in Biology. My research on this cruise focuses on experimentally testing the temperature effects on phytoplankton abundance and health using size-fractionated chlorophyll.

Molly and I also started a side project using our iPads. We take multiple seawater temperatures throughout each day using a temperature probe and the iCelsius iPad app. Then we will compare them with the ship’s sea surface temperature records. We also take pictures on our iPads of the ocean every day at noon using the Theodolite app which provides position, azimuth, and elevation for each individual picture. Then we will break the pictures down into separate colors and hopefully be able to use those to see, for example, how much chlorophyll is in that area of the ocean. This is the same process that satellites use, but it is just on a much smaller scale – so that anyone could possibly do this if they have the Theodolite iPad app. Hopefully, these projects will introduce ways that people can better connect with and contribute to scientific research.

Besides the early morning casts and experiments throughout the day, we still have some free time. There is a lounge with hundreds of movies and a library. Everyone enjoys naps in our state rooms or spending time on deck, relaxing or reading or looking out on the expanse of never-ending waves. Today, we saw flying fish jumping out of the water, and we even saw a bird swoop down and catch one right above the waves. And it all occurred under a beautiful rainbow that touched the horizon at each end. We’ve had wonderful weather with warm, sunny skies every day. Being on board the Kilo Moana or “one who is looking for understanding of the deep sea” for the last few days has certainly been the beginning of a great adventure!

1 Comment

  1. Alex Glass
    Jan 14, 2013

    Jen and Molly, this is awesome! Keep the pictures coming! How is the seasickness….?

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