Water Temperature: 57 degrees Fahrenheit

    Depth: 79 feet

    A foggy day on DBO 2

    Today we traveled eastward along our third transect line, called DBO 2. There are 6 DBO lines in Alaska. These are places scientists revisit year after to track how the ocean and organisms are changing.

    Deploying the CTD at sunrise
    Deploying the CTD at sunrise.
    benthic organisms
    These are some benthic organisms found at a station on DBO 2. Scientists sample the organisms at the DBO lines year after year so they can see how the community is changing.

    foggy water
    Today's still waters are ideal for deploying equipment off the ship.

    The Robot on Board…

    …is the Imaging Flow CytoBot (IFCB). It probably won’t take over the ship. Every 20 minutes, the IFCB sips 5 mL of seawater (about one teaspoon) from a pump that draws water from beneath the Norseman II. The seawater then flows past a laser in a very narrow stream. PlanktonPlankton are small or microscopic organisms that float or drift in fresh or salt water, especially at or near the surface, and serve as food for fish and other larger organisms. and other objects in the water pass by the laser beam, triggering a camera to take a picture. The result is a photograph of every particle in the water. These photos are then sorted by size and shape so we can identify the different organisms easily.

    IFCB in lazaret
    The gray tube is the IFCB. It is inside a protective can. It is installed in the lazaret, a storage area under the aft (back) deck.

    IFCB at woods hole
    On the ship, the IFCB is stored inside a metal canister. When I visited the Woods Hole lab, I got to see what an IFCB looks like outside of its protective can.

    The IFCB is a great tool because it keeps a record of what plankton are at the water’s surface everywhere the ship goes. Evie and other scientists can check the photos throughout the day to know what plankton are out there in real time. If they spot something interesting, they can investigate it further. For example, yesterday Evie noticed that the IFCB had taken pictures of a bunch of Alexandrium in one of the samples. Because of that information, we were able to take more water and plankton samples than originally planned in order to investigate why there were more Alexandrium in the area.

    IFCB Display
    The IFCB display. At the top, you can see a graph showing the number of photographs taken from each water sample. On the left, you can see the photographs taken from one water sample, sorted by size. The dark circles are Alexandrium. On the right, the map shows all the locations in the Bering Sea that an IFCB has sampled and photographed plankton over the last few years. This makes it easy to compare the plankton at different locations.

    Off of Cape Rodney
    Weather Summary
    Foggy in the morning


    Mark Goldner

    Rebecca, I'm fascinated by the various sampling methods your team is using, especially the IFCB. Are there other ships using the same or similar surveying techniques, and does the team compare their IFCB data with data from other sources? I also noticed that the water temp was 57°F which seems high to me. Is it higher than expected?
    I'm thoroughly enjoying reading about your adventure and can't wait to hear more from the team on August 4!