January 22, 2019 (Note: this is #21 in a series of posts describing my NSF-sponsored fieldwork in Antarctica aboard the Laurence M. Gould)
At lunch today, my colleague Kim Thamatrakoln asked me if I have been able to collect all the samples I hoped to get. I’m not sure if I audibly sighed, but I certainly sighed a little on the inside. I told her that I was getting a lot of good samples, but I really hoped to get a station with a lot of Calanus propinquus. I’d been able to collect some, but I really wanted enough to do a substantial experiment. I was still hopeful but a little bit discouraged.
I guess that sometimes pouting works… At the very next station, along the shelf edge, we collected a whole bunch of my coveted Calanus propinquus! I preserved plenty of specimens and also had enough to start a feeding experiment. Life is good!
After we finished the station, we moved back into the ice. It was too icy to deploy the CTD, so we turned back to continue on our path. As we doubled back, we could see our old tracks as a yellow line through the ice, just like the “Yellow Brick Road” from the “Wizard of Oz”. The yellowish color is from the diatoms that were released from within and between the chunks of ice. Earlier in the day, Kim collected some chunks of the ice so she can study viral interactions within the ice algae. It’s not every day someone makes good productive use of “yellow snow.”