Collaborative Research

The Big Ten
by -- January 28th, 2013

Pop quiz: What is the difference between this cast…

…and this cast?

It’s not the time of day, or who is helping with the cast… Today was the Big Ten aboard the Kilo Moana, and no, that has nothing to do with Duke Basketball.  At 10C, Prochlorococcus are no longer able to survive in laboratory settings.  At our cast this morning, we finally sampled from water which was 10C.  Luckily, the weather improved from yesterday, and the sea was calm enough for us to deploy the CTD at 6AM (which, believe it or not, means sleeping in – 4AM is the typical CTD cast time).

Sampling from seawater at this temperature is very important to see how well what we see in the laboratory matches up with what we see in the actual ocean.  While we were taking our samples from the CTD, we turned around and headed south to avoid some inclement weather which is headed toward the North Pacific.  Thankfully, the weather remained pretty calm throughout the day.

For me, it was a rare day with less to do than usual. Yesterday, we completed the last day of the second set of experimental incubations.  Since we need to sample water at 18C, we have to wait for a few days to begin the next experiment.  We sample at 18C because at this temperature, the two major strains of Prochlorococcus coexist at relatively equal concentrations.  Since we’re now headed full steam ahead to the South, we will hopefully begin the next experiment in a few days time.  I’m excited to complete my analysis of the second experiment to see how it compares to the first set of data.

Today was also a great day since today was “Chili Cook0ff” for lunch – it may be too cold for the Pro to survive, but the scientists and crew still have plenty to eat at 10C!

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