The ice giveth and the ice taketh away…

…the opportunity to boat. We made it out on the water last Wednesday for Boating II class, during which we learned to drive and land the Zodiacs, and pull Oscar, a sad-looking Man Overboard dummy, back into the boat. As a bonus, we even saw a leopard seal and two penguin colonies! Yesterday, hoping to test our instruments in the water, we set up Bruiser, the boat we share with the phytoplankton group. Unfortunately, the weather went south (get it?) and the ice blew in again, so much so that we can’t even see clear water on the horizon anymore.

Although we can’t begin our normal sampling routine yet, we have gotten to do some pretty neat science. Last Thursday-Friday, the phytoplankton group, Shellie the microbial geneticist, Conor, and I pulled our all-nighter for the diel experiment. Besides one of our incubators springing a leak, and my announcing around 2 a.m. that I never wanted to do science again, things went smoothly. We got a great, continuous data series for that 24 hours, and look forward to putting everyone’s results together into a comprehensive picture of the day. What’s more, we even managed to stay up for the Halloween party that evening (I went as an iceberg).

The next day, Saturday, the Gould came back, bringing a load of scientists, contractors, mail, and fresh fruits and veggies. I was especially excited to meet three scientists from University of Alaska Fairbanks, learn about their research, and talk about home. Now they’re spending the next couple weeks camping on two different islands as they install radar systems, data from which will help them map sea surface velocity.

A lot more cool science is on the way, now that the penguin and pteropod researchers are here as well. For now, check out the newly-set-up PenguinCam on Torgerson Island by going to this link, clicking “Palmer Station Webcam” on the far right, and clicking the tab “Torgerson Island Penguin Camera”. Enjoy!


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