Day 2- Adventures in the West Arm

July 11, 2016 | 3 Comments



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.




Max in the rosette control room.


Photo Credit:



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:


Zooplankton sample


Mysis, many copepods, magnified.







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.


Jacob chooses from the cereal stash.

Meanwhile we are underway… three more sample sites today!


This map shows the boat’s location and estimated arrival time.




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.







The messy work! Filtering the muck.



We can’t forgot the tools that are invented along the way! Way to go Owen!


What happens when you send a styrofoam cup down to 312 meters?















Can you guess when the cup would shrink?? And by how much?




Afternoon and evening research schedule.


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.



Good ole paper maps.


Captain John has four GPS devices!








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!


Joel Hoffman,leading Team Diporeia


Christy Meredith (far right), leading the Zooplanktonators



Glenn Warren (mid. right) leading the Water Quality Team, and Paul McKinney (mid. left) watch the monitor as the rosette returns to the surface.


It’s midnight and the last team is still out pulling up PONAR samples. It’s been a long, exhausting and wonderful day!



  • Marte Kitson July 11, 2016 at 8:45 am · Reply

    Lots of great pictures. Really captures part of life on the boat!

  • kathybiernatgmail-com July 12, 2016 at 10:29 am · Reply

    WOW! Excellent job, guys – thank you!

  • guts0007umn-edu July 13, 2016 at 6:57 pm · Reply

    Very cool posting! I love it!

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