It’s a big day at Palmer Station–the sea ice has blown out, and so open water has surrounded the station for the last twenty-four hours. That means it’s time to drop everything and go boating. OSAR (the Ocean Search and Rescue team) is out right now for their final training, and the other grantees (scientists) and I may go this afternoon, weather permitting.
This exciting development puts the next couple days in question for the grantees: we had been planning a 24-hour sampling day, which would tell us about diurnal rhythms in the local microbial community. During this 24-hr period, Conor and I planned to sample from the Arthur Harbor seawater intake hose every two hours, from 3 pm Wednesday until 3 pm Thursday. The Rutgers phytoplankton group graciously agreed to sacrifice sleep in order to get us chlorophyll data every two hours, and another scientist planned to collect phytoplankton community genetics data at 3 pm Wednesday and 3 am Thursday. We’re all slaves to the weather, though, so we’ll play it by ear and do whatever the weather gods want, perhaps postponing our observation. For now, we’re just grateful to get out on the water!