You have got to love mud if you are on the benthos team. Organisms that feed many Arctic animals including the walruses and eiders (birds) live on the bottom in the mud. Many scientists on the Healy are sampling the bottom for organisms, trace metals, isotopes, and carbon. One team from Solomons, Maryland, grab, core, wash, slice, and dry mud. This team includes the lead scientists of the expedition, Drs. Jackie Grebmeier and Lee Cooper. Other team members are Christian Johnson, biologist, Laura Gemery, ecologist, Kathleen Marshall, chemist, and Mengji Zhang, PhD graduate student.
A step-by-step grab
Jackie and Lee are holding the piece of equipment that grabs the mud from the bottom.
The grab is set open as it is raised into the air and lowered into the water.
MST Liz directs the winch to lower the grab into the water
When the spring loaded grab reaches the bottom, it clamps shut grabbing a volume of mud.
The grab is pulled out of the water
Sometimes the Marine Science Technician (MST) need to pole the ice away from the grab
Raising the grab over the lifelines
The grab is pulled on deck
The grab is lowered onto a platform over a bucket
Collecting samples of the top 1cm of mud
Tapping the sediment down into the tube using your hard hat!
Collecting the rest of the top two centimeters of sediment into a bag
Kathleen opens the grab for the rest of the mud.
The mud (sediment) drops out
Rinsing all of the mud out
Carrying the bucket of mud to the box screens
Washing the mud with hoses
Do you see some organisms in the mud?
Washing mud on a beautiful day
Equipment to process the grab sample on the capstan
What is left from the grab after washing the mud away
Part of the benthos team- Laura, Mengji, Christian, and me.