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> mud samples, mud samples
post Sep 14 2005, 07:44 PM
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what actually do you do with the mud?
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post Jan 5 2006, 05:37 PM
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QUOTE(Ray @ Sep 14 2005, 07:44 PM)
what actually do you do with the mud?

That's a big question! We do lots of things with the mud while on board the ship, but most of our work is processing the mud to take back to the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, for analysis. Here's a brief summary of our work:

Once the mud gets on deck, we take a small sample from the top to be used to analyze chlorophyll. Since chlorophyll is found in plants, and plants use it for photosynthesis, this gives the scientist an idea of "productivity" or how much food is available We also take a small sample to use for pigment analysis. The pigments (chemicals that determine the color of a substance) are an indication of the phytoplankton (tiny plants) in the water. Once the small samples have been taken, we wash all the mud to get at the organisms in it. We then preserve the organisms and send them back to be counted and analyzed. We turn over two of the best core samples to Jackie Grebmeier (the scientist) who will use them in respiration experiments. She allows the 'critters' to stay in a somewhat natural environment for 12 - 15 hours, so she can get an idea of what's going on in the mud community.
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