Research Aboard the Palmer

Bethany is dipping a small filter disc into liquid nitrogen.  The nitrogen is about -176 degrees Celsius (-270 Fahrenheit) and flash freezes the sample.  The sample is then moved to a -80 Celsius freezer (-112 Fahrenheit).  The samples need to be frozen quickly to preserve the genetic information.  The samples will be processed back at URI to better understand exactly which species of plankton are in the water.


Kerry is making notes and keeping track of samples.  She has taken hundreds of samples on this trip.  Being organized and keeping good records is very important.


Becky is keeping track of core samples.  Everything is labeled so it is can be sorted out later and matched to other samples.


Each net tow sample is labeled and stored.  All of the samples will be shipped home at the end of the cruise.  Some are stored in solutions to preserve them.  Some samples are frozen and need to be shipped cold.


Gang is filtering seawater to sort phytoplankton.  Seawater is being pulled through different sized filters.  This separates the different size plankton so we can see what sizes are the most common in the water.  Thus far we have found that there are very few large plankton and lots of small plankton.


In our last multicore we captured this jellyfish that was likely swimming just above the bottom.   The multicore collects sediment and the water just above it in a clear plastic tube.  You can see the top of the sediment in this picture.  This jellyfish was later set free.


This is the ship’s forward dry stores.  Things like cereal, crackers and flour are kept here, just like a giant pantry.


This is the walk in refrigerator.  The ship can hold food for 70 people for 65 days.  We’ve been out here for about 3 weeks, and are now starting to run out of fresh vegetables.


This is the walk in freezer.  Meats and frozen items are kept here.  Since the ship does not go back to the United States the food is from local ports.  A lot of the boxes from Chile are labeled in Spanish.


The galley is kept spotless.  Bill is one of three cooks on board.  It is often said that the cooks are the busiest people on the ship.  Three people cook four full meals a day for more than 50 people.  They also do the dishes, clean the galley and keep the self serve pantry stocked.


Here is  a close up of a krill in a tank.  You can see how it moves in a swimming motion.


Categories: Life at Sea, Science Updates! | Leave a comment

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