Calm wind and water greeted us on our first full day on the boat.
Some ambitious people woke up with the sun to collect samples at Western Arm Station #1, which was our second sample site for the trip. When we stop for sampling we collect data in many different ways. Here are some examples:
This high tech piece of equipment is called a “rosette.” This machine is able to instantly detect the water’s temperature, chlorophyll and dissolved oxygen. It is also equipped with 12 eight liter sample bottles which collect water samples from various depths. When the machine is at the bottom, the marine technician is able to calculate the stratification zones in the lake. Collecting samples from different depths allows us to study the different zones in the lake.
This next piece of equipment is a zooplankton net. It is vertically dropped in the water up to 100 meters.
Here is what we catch in the net when it is drawn back into the boat:
Is it breakfast time yet?!
Chef Lisa and Carl prepared a wonderful hot breakfast, including egg sandwiches, fruit, hash browns, pancakes, bacon, sausage, grits and oatmeal.
Meanwhile we are underway… three more sample sites today!
Another piece of equipment is the secchi disk, which measures water clarity. Here it is being prepared by Josh, a helpful crew member. This simple device is dropped into the water until it cannot be seen anymore. Then that depth is recorded. After three readings we found that the secchi disk depth was almost 15 meters (almost 50 feet!).
The last piece of equipment we will share with you today is called a PONAR. This digger like tool grabs sediment from the bottom of the lake. Awesome research is being done on macro invertebrates that live in this mud.
What happens when you send a styrofoam cup down to 312 meters?
Can you guess when the cup would shrink?? And by how much?
After dinner we had an invitation from the captain to tour the pilot house. Captain John generously shared some of his stories and experiences from many years navigating the waters.
Today we divided into our research groups. In the next few days these intelligent scientists will be leading our groups. We are grateful for their guidance and patience!
It’s midnight and the last team is still out pulling up PONAR samples. It’s been a long, exhausting and wonderful day!