Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Monday, December 26, 2005
Sunday, December 25, 2005
We had a great Christmas here on the station. We started the day off with a quick sampling of the ice freed Station E. But soon after that we were enjoying gift exchange and an all out fun gathering. We ate homemade truffles, drank hot buttered rum, told stories and opened wonderful handmade presents. All together it has been an unforgettable Christmas. I miss my family but it was still a great day.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Normal sampling for us includes collection of water at specified depths and analyzing them for dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP), dimethylsulfide (DMS), dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO), chlorophyll pigments and chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM). Experiments that show how these compounds behave under specific conditions are in addition to these measurements.
DMSP is important to our study because it an organic sulfur compound that is produced by phytoplankton most likely as a cryoprotectant. What this means is that DMSP might help protect the phytoplankton’s tissue during periods of freezing. This compound is also suspected of having antioxidant properties, helping protect tissue against oxidation compounds like hydroxyl radicals.
DMSP is the precursor of DMS. It is not fully understood why phytoplankton break down DMSP into DMS, but we observe it regularly. The importance of DMS is that it breaks down under different circumstances to become a sulfate aerosol which acts as a cloud condensation nuclei. What this means is that the more DMS that is produced, potentially, more clouds will be formed. This is one of the most important focuses of our studies. We are most interested in the biogeochemical organic sulfur cycle to see how exactly sulfur effects our environment, and how t is transferring from one place to the other.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
For this trip out we took an extra set of hands (John Dacey) to help drive the boat into the wind while Kerry and I do the sampling. This is totally necessary once we reach station B due to the benthic topography. We were headed out to Station E with a big white line across the horizon. As we got a little closer we could see that Station E was completely obstructed by thick brash ice and we had to turn around.
Sampling at Station B made us very happy that we had brought John to steady the boat. We stopped on station, swapped drivers and changed some of the positions of our gear. Within this 3min period we had drifted 500 ft. The wind and waves made every aspect of the sampling event an adventure. The boat is rocking and the person tending the Go Flo bottles legs’ are dipping in and out of the water, while waves are inviting themselves into your lap. This sampling was a bit on the hairy side but was a lot of fun to experience.
Monday, December 12, 2005
Well the real reason that I told this story was to show the kind of event that would keep us from sampling. Ya, there was no chance that we were going to head out into this weather to sample today. This allowed us one more day to try and get caught up with our samples. True, we have not yet totally excavated ourselves from our built up workload, but we are very close. Two of our GC’s are now functioning perfectly and we are keeping them working at all hours possible. We are pulling shifts to keep things running; this is allowing the “off” person to get some much deserved “me-time”. Things are really great right now, and I even had time today to get back to the RAD VAN.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Other good news is that we were able to sample from both stations today. We have been sampling on Monday from station E and then on to station B on Tuesday. We then have to do the same thing on Thursday to cover two days a week in both stations. It can take up to two hours to get fully prepared to head out to sample. 2 hours x 4 days = way too much wasted time. Sampling two stations per day is extremely helpful due to the decreased amount of time involved in preparation.
Saturday, December 03, 2005
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Monday, November 28, 2005
Saturday, November 26, 2005
Wish us luck our late arrivals should be showing up tomorrow on the Clipper Adventurer, but right now we are iced in and the captain does not like ice. This is the third time that these people will have crossed the Drake Passage. I hear that they have had mostly good rides.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Our day in a nutshell runs like this. We have been getting up at 530 to hit the gym and wake up, but more recently that has been a luxury that we could not afford. Then on to the lab at about 700 where we start organizing and processing samples left over from the day before. As sampling time gets closer we switch over into prepping to go out in the Zodiac, this would not seem to be that big of a deal but you have to remember everything you could possibly need, including cameras and some food. We head out to our first station about 1100 in the morning and collect out depth profile samples. This takes us about 2 hrs per station. Lately we have been only able to sample one station per day. Our scope is two extreme stations. One is called Station B and it is located within a quarter mile of Palmer Station. It is relatively shallow at a max depth of 65 meters. Station B supplies growth earlier in the season because of its deptha dn location. The other Station is E, located about 2 miles from Palmer. This stations unique aspect is its depth at 165 meters and more a continuously harsher wind pattern. Station E will bloom late in the season and will show different outcomes and activity. After sampling our stations we head back and Kerry starts her long day preparing samples. This process takes about four to six hours, filtering, basifying, acidifying, measuring, pouring, it goes on and on. During this period I get the equipment functioning and start preparing for samples from Kerry and start setting up my isotope experiments down in the RAD VAN. We are almost always still at it until about 2300. It all starts again the next morning at 0530. Well it is keeping us on our toes. That is for sure.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
Saturday, November 19, 2005
George - I'm curious as to how Palmer station gets its power and how
Environmentally friendly it is.
This is an extremely good question. I had to ask about this because there are not any obvious signs around the station. We produce all of our power by diesel fuel. This is not an environmentally friendly form of power production but currently friendly forms of energy are not stable enough to sustain human life in Antarctica. I submitted that this was a very backward relationship. “We are down here to study how we can repair the damage that we have inflicted upon the earth while we are at the same time we are supplementing the problem.” I was told that our impact down here is extremely minimal. After a little thought it occurred to me that we are a small station of a maximum of 42 people living here in the summer. Plus all of the people here are extreme conversationalists that make every effort to use the minimum of electricity. I am also assured that the station does not use near the quantity of resources that the same number of people do on average in the US. This is due to the quality of structures, insulation and management of resource use.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Monday, November 14, 2005
Sunday, November 13, 2005
Friday, November 11, 2005
Oh ya, you have got to check out my gallery for the newest in photos and VIDEO, ya video. Check it out and tell me what you think.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Maybe something will happen soon.
Paty, The PI in charge of organizing everything down here is leaving on Tuesday of next week. She is not happy about not being able to start any real science.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Monday, November 07, 2005
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Today started quite crazy like. We came into Palmer on the Friday of last week that was seven days ago and the ice was still here (check out photos at my gallery). That evening while the Gould was at the dock, and we were still staying on the boat, the wind picked up from the north and started blowing the ice out to sea. The next morning started to show more water and sparse ice, by the end of the day the ice had almost fully retreated, and by the next day all was clear. Now the bay remained clear for two days and yesterday all was calm and the ice rolled back in slowly but surely. This is not a good sign. Our science relies on cleared ice so we can traverse out to our stations, some of which are two miles away. So I woke up this morning and saw the ice is packed in even tighter. Now we are all hoping for a good sized storm. Today is my brothers birthday. Happy Birthday Geoff!
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
We have been setting up all of our equipment, organizing the lab and checking our methods to smooth out any issues over the last six days. This was all in preparation for gathering samples from two predetermined stations here outside of
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Friday, October 21, 2005
We have spent the last few days down here in
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
This is it... Our last night in
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
This Blog will be used to update the public about the daily activities of our research teams down in
On the opposite side, SUNY ESF's other research group will be stationed at Palmer station, a