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> Excited to be on board...!
post Jul 6 2005, 10:11 PM
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TEA Teacher

Group: TEA Teacher
Posts: 41
Joined: 6-July 05
Member No.: 20

Iím excited to be on board the Canadian ship, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, when it departs from Kodiak, Alaska on July 9. Iíll be working with Dr. Jackie Grebmeier from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, as she continues her study of benthic organisms. Itís important to understand what organisms live on the bottom and the characteristics of their environment in order to see what role they play in the cycling of carbon, the element thatís so critical for all living things. During our two-week cruise, weíll sample at several stations in the Bering Sea, Bering Strait, and the Chukchi Sea. Along the way Jackie will sample three ďhot spotsĒ where the water is shallow and most of the food in the water column goes to the sediments. By studying the same three areas over a number of years, Jackie gets a time series to better understand the ecological forces at work in the water column and the sediments. For example, she looks at the carbon supply to the sediments, recycling of carbon in the sediments, and the community structure of the invertebrate macrofauna. These three areas are also important because they are home to important top predators such as the spectacled eider (a threatened pollution of diving sea ducks), walruses, and gray whales.

My role on board will be to help with the sampling, including work with the van Veen grab and the Haps core, two instruments used to obtain samples from the bottom.

Weíll be on deck a lot of the time, collecting, processing and preserving the samples to be taken back to the University of Tennessee for analysis. Having worked with Jackie on board the USCGC Healy for six weeks in the summer of 2002 and last summer on a similar cruise on the Laurier, (both related to the Teachers Experiencing Antarctica and the Artic program), I think Iím prepared for the long hours of work once we get on station. I know Iím anxious to be back on the ship working as a part of the science team. Members of my school and local communities have enjoyed reading about my past adventures in my daily journals, and Iíll be posting journals and photos again this summer. When I return to school in the fall, Iíll have new stories and new information for my students. They love hearing about what itís really like to ďdo scienceĒ in the field! Iíll also have new slides to add to the presentation that I do each winter to all the 6th grade classes in a neighboring district as a part of their unit on the Arctic.

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