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> Lots of little questions from an Oakwood mom
Jeanie Siegel
post May 15 2006, 09:51 PM
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[size=1]Hey, Sam --

I am following along in Renee Yongue's footsteps and am excited to have recieved your contact info after cleaning out my son's backpack. Nicholas, Jacob, and I have just finished reading some of your journal entries, and love the conversational tone you use. We can't wait for tomorrow's installment! We've got some questions for you, if you have time. Here goes:

How clear was the water at the beginning of the trip that you were able only to see the blowholes for the Dall's porpoises? Was it murky, or was that camoflage thing in effect?

What is the temperature change from day to night?

How big are the samples in each of the CTD cannisters? How many cannisters are there? What portion of those samples do you need from each station to conduct your research?

Similarly, how much do you get from each vanVeen sampling?

How long will the research for your project take? Will it continue after June 7, or is it a month-long project? When will the results of the project be posted?



I remember meeting you briefly at the Oakwood auction and also in the teachers' break room, and seeing the excitement on your face as you talked about your upcoming adventure. I hope that this expedition is everything you imagined!

Thanks for keeping us informed!

Jeanie Siegel
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Samantha_Dassler_Barlow
post May 19 2006, 04:43 PM
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Hello Jeanie, Jacob, and Nicholas,
I think your questions are wonderful and I would be delighted to answer them. Keep checking back and I will have them posted soon. Thanks so much for your patience and I am so glad to hear that you are reading my journal!
Sincerely,
Samantha Barlow

Hello Jeanie,
I am ecstatic about having a small following of Oakwood parents and students outside of my classes. The more, the merrier! I am delighted to answer each of your questions, no matter how big or small!

How clear was the water at the beginning of the trip that you were able only to see the blowholes for the Dall's porpoises? Was it murky, or was that camouflage thing in effect?

The reasons why I could only see the blows the spouts of water from the porpoises were because they were mostly under the surface of the water and because they stayed pretty far off the bow. They were bow riding along with us at a distance. One did jump out far enough for a crewmember on the bridge to see the white of its belly and make a positive identification based on a marine mammal guidebook. At that distance, the backs of the porpoises also looked the same color as the water.

What is the temperature change from day to night?

The ocean temperature has been hovering between -1.5C to 1.7 C (29.3F) about according to the Chief Scientist, Jackie Grebmeier. The air temperature is currently -0.6C (30.9F) and it is 6:56 p.m. One of the Coast Guard marine science technicians (Chad Klinesteker) tells me that it was 30F last night after the sun went down.

How big are the samples in each of the CTD canisters? How many canisters are there? What portion of those samples do you need from each station to conduct your research?

The CTD canisters are called Niskin bottles as I am told by Chad, and they hold 30 liters each. There are 12 bottles on the CTD rosette. The scientists need every last drop of that water in the bottles that capture the bottom, middle, and top water samples. They even had to work out a compromise and share those 30 liters in each of those bottles. But, all the bottles at other depths do get sampled even if all 30 liters in them is not used.

Similarly, how much do you get from each vanVeen sampling?

The scientists bring up 7 vanVeen grabs. I would compare the amount of mud and organisms in each grab to an amount that could fit in a large punch bowl OR the size of 2 regular party balloons, filled. Various scientists have claimed each grab for different purposes. One wants only the first grab for sorting and counting organisms. Another wants just the mud so that they can measure the amount of chlorophyll in the sediment from the phytoplankton that falls to the surface. Jackie gets the next 4 grabs and Jason and Chris get the last 2 grabs. Jason and Chris are looking at food webs and Jackie is counting and weighing all of the animals in the mud.

How long will the research for your project take? Will it continue after June 7, or is it a month-long project? When will the results of the project be posted?

We are on the Healy for about a month, but that includes a few days at the beginning and a few days at the end for traveling to and from the sampling area. The scientists will collect data from each of our stations. There are about 38 stations in our current sampling area southwest of St. Lawrence Island, and a possible 12 more if the Chief Scientist takes us north of the island. After they collect all the data and the boat comes into port, the scientists ship all of their samples and supplies back to their respective universities. We have scientists from Wyoming, Virginia, Tennessee, Russia, Massachusetts, Hawaii, Alaska, and more. For some, it will take the next several months to process and analyze their data. A few of them will do more tests on their samples when they get them back to the lab. Then, they have to write the paper which takes another few months to a year. After the paper is written, it gets subjected to a peer review and eventually they can even publish their research, which often takes several more months and sometimes years. This area of the Bering Sea is part of a long-term study that has been going on since 1988, so it is long term and ongoing, even after this cruise is over.
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