Sea state: 3 foot swells

    Sea Surface Temperature: 41 F

    Depth: 24 meters (78 feet)

    Back on Track

    The seas calmed down around 9:00pm (2100 on a ship) on Thursday night and we were able to resume science operations. We kept going all day Friday, despite lumpy seas and 3-4 foot swells. The CTDA research tool that is submerged in the water to measure conductivity (salinity), temperature, and depth. team did a fantastic job launching and landing the instrument safely.

    Cruise Ship
    We were surprised to see this cruise ship on Friday afternoon. After some internet sleuthing, I found out that it is the National Geographic Resolution. If you have $32,000 to spare you can cruise on it through the Northwest Passage from Nome to Greenland.

    Going Grabbing

    Every three stations, we use the Smith-McIntyre grab to sample the sediment. Evie, Kali, and Nate take a small sediment sample from the top of each grab. When they get back to the lab, they will count the number of cysts each of these samples. They will use that to map out where the cysts are in the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas.

    Cyst Map
    In 2018 and 2019, Evie and other researchers took sediment grabs in the same locations that we are taking sediment grabs in 2022. They counted the Alexandrium cysts in the grabs and used them to make this map of where Alexandrium cysts can be found in nothern Alaska. It will be interesting to compare cyst distribution in 2022 with this data from 2018 and 2019 (Source: Anderson et al. 2021).

    We also sample the invertebrates living in the sediment. When Patrick gets back to his lab in Seattle, he will analyze them to see how much saxitoxin they contain. This will help scientists to understand how saxitoxin travels through the food web.

    What’s in the Grab Today?

    Nut clams
    These tiny Nut Clams (Ennucula tenuis) were too small to keep. Patrick needs at least 0.5 grams of material to run his analysis. Pretty cute, though!
    Sand dollars
    Usually we find a mix of worms and clams in the grab. However, the grab at station CC-19 was entirely sand dollars.

    Sipunculid Worm
    Sipunculid Worms, also known as Peanut Worms, live in burrows in the mud. They have brains but no blood vessels.

    This fine representative of the Maldanidae family (also called Bamboo Worms) lives in a tube made out of mud particles.

    Terebellid worms live in tubes made out of sand grains and shell fragments cemented together.

    Chukchi Sea, off of Point Lay
    34 F
    Wind Speed
    27 Knots
    Wind Chill
    34 F