Collaborative Research

When this Boat’s a Rockin’…
by -- January 28th, 2013

Hello again!  As Sam mentioned in the last post, we’re back in the North, donning our sweatshirts and long pants.  One difference from our last trip up is that before the waves sent us running for Dramamine; now—as experienced mariners—we are merely annoyed.   Tomorrow, however, we might reach our destination and begin our southwest journey.

Our current location and past testing sites.

We aren’t aiming for a specific threshold latitude, but a threshold temperature of 10° Celsius.  From our data and past cruises in the Atlantic Ocean, this is the temperature where Prochlorococcus throws in the towel and is no longer present in the water column.  Last week we had to divert our course due to storms before we could reach that 10 degree mark.  Hopefully we can avoid storms long enough to confirm whether our hypothesis is indeed correct, giving us for example a way of better predicting the spatial extent of Prochlorococcus.

 

Yesterday, we had a meeting with all of the science team to discuss each of our findings.  This was a very beneficial opportunity, learning about the other projects and bringing about thoughtful remarks and suggestions.  Though most of the synthesis and data analysis will occur once we reach land, it was nice to get the preliminary ball rolling: Does the distribution of ammonia with depth mirror that of pH?  Do your chlorophyll readings support my primary productivity measurements?

 

Finally, I must mention that we had a wonderful Thanksgiving-themed dinner last night, replete with turkey, stuffing, and the works.  It was definitely a highlight of the cruise (I’m eating leftovers as I write).  There are also rumors of pink lemonade and cookies in the works; I’ll keep you posted.

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