Collaborative Research

Yogis at Sea
by -- January 22nd, 2013

Hello from the middle of the ocean! I’m Carrie Schmaus and I’m a sophomore at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. I’m a biology major with a marine science and environmental studies double minor. I got involved with this project as part of the study abroad program I’m participating in this semester at the Duke Marine Lab. My project concerns depth profiles of our friend Prochlorococcus. I’m looking at how the concentration of phytoplankton changes with depth and different latitudes of the water. To do this, I take some of Molly’s sample that she takes from different depths and run them through the flow cytometer (as Catherine explained in detail a few posts earlier!) Lots of science happens between the hours of 4 am and 8 am, but then we have the day to enjoy as we please!

Most people, myself included, promptly nap after we finish our sampling. No matter how early we go to sleep, 4 am is still a rough hour to be awake! Other activities include watching many movies (last night we watched Ted and Get Him to the Greek) and lots of card games! One of our fellow scientists from Tennessee brought a book called “100 Card Games for Kids,” which has been both fun and funny! There is an extensive DVD collection, including “Advanced Yoga,” which we tried a few nights ago. Unfortunately, a ship in constant motion is not a good environment for trying out a headstand.

Yoga, as taught by Rodney Yee (a famous yogi)









Kilo Moana’s crew have been extremely hospitable, and we have enjoyed hearing stories of their adventures at sea! The first mate was also nice enough to give us a tour of the bridge, which is where they control the ship. There are many navigational machines, and in case these fail, a magnetic compass. There is even a map room and they know how to read the stars! In the second mate’s words, “backups for the backup!”

Though storms have been chasing us from all directions, the rocky waves are not enough to dampen anyone’s spirits! Most of us have been able to get used to the motion, (I even stopped taking my sea sickness medicine yesterday!), so we are free to enjoy working and relaxing on the sea!

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