Friday (4/29) was spent processing samples from Thursday’s fieldwork, as well as prepping for the last day of water sampling on Saturday. I spent some time with Tara and Karie (Yager Team) talking about the scope of the project before they headed to the lab. Tara (Dr. Connelly) is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Georgia whose research focus is on the utilization of nitrogen by heterotrophic bacteria. Karie is the Research Professional who runs the Yager research lab at UGA. Both have had amazing experiences in the Polar Regions!
Tara spent 6 mos. wintering over on the icebreaker Amundsen in the Canadian Beaufort Sea in 2003-04and Karie has had many experiences in Antarctica. They were both part of the 2 month ASPIRE expedition this past year studying the Amundsen Sea polynya on Dr. Tish Yager’s team.
Using radioactive isotopes, the team is measuring: bacterial production (to see how they productive they are); relative abundance (to identify what communities they’re looking at); respiration (to see how much carbon is being respired and how much is used for production); and how temperature is affecting the bacteria. Tara is focusing on a kinetics study using mixture of14 different amino acids to plot the maximum uptake of substrates (food). She is interested in the relationship between temperature and substrate uptake.
The day ended with a special meal celebrating the Jewish Sabbath hosted by Marc and Steven. Marc explained the ceremony and shared some prayers in Hebrew. A scrumptious vegetarian dinner of pasta and salad followed. It’s always great to spend time together learning more about each other and building camaraderie. Thanks Marc and Steven!
The team met in bldg.36 shortly after 9 to head out to ice camp for the last time. The campsite this time was moved to the same general location we were at in January to compare data. Adriane and I had a plan for filming today to make sure we got footage of just under the ice, as well as of the floor of the ocean. Ice thickness at this location was about 1.3m, and the depth was 8.3 m.
We had a slight delay in sampling as we waited for a piece of equipment to be retrieved from bldg.36. Adriane and I went right to work with cameras to take advantage of the extra minutes. We were not disappointed this time! Images from the video this time showed a very different underwater scene. We saw interesting ice structures that raised questions about what the ridging was doing to the floor, and whether we were seeing submerged ice that was part of the process. We also caught images of an isopod crawling along the bottom, and some ctenophores, a gelatinous type of zooplankton (they look like tiny jellyfish in the picture).
In less than 2 hrs, sampling was done and packed up for the last time this season. Tara and Steven will be back out in about an hour to drill more ice cores, and Adriane and I will come back out with them to film some more with her camera. More on ice coring in the next post!
Time for a quick lunch and warm up! Check back for more!