TEA Banner
TEA Navbar

9 January, 2002


After a day and a half at Palmer Station, the LMGould departed for three weeks of work. The ship, its crew, and the scientists on board will be in the waters near Palmer Station. The scientists will be looking at phytoplankton and zooplankton. These small plants and animals are essential to the food web in the ocean. Scientists take water samples and then they count the numbers and kinds of these microscopic plants and animals.

Some scientists are specifically looking for krill in these waters. Many of the other animals in the Antarctic food web eat krill. Scientists take water samples from the ocean in order to see how many krill there are at this time of the year. They also look for krill that are reproducing (scientists collect krill and count their eggs). If there seems to be a lot of healthy krill, then it is more likely that the other animals in the Antarctic coastal food web will be healthy.

Because this is summertime here (even though it doesn't feel like it!), the animals should be busy eating lots of food and raising their young.

Captain Robert Verret is the captain of the Laurence M. Gould. This photo was taken on the bridge of the ship.

Tracy Ruhl is a ship officer. The Gould has a captain and three officers. Each hour when an officer is on watch, he must report the ship's position, sea state (how high are the waves), wind speed, other ship traffic, and the distance the ship has traveled in that hour. There are additional ship crew members, such as the deckhands, the chef and assistant, and the electronic technicians. Michele Cochran, a POPs team member, is also in this photo. Michele and I have reallly enjoyed visiting the bridge and talking to the officer on duty.

As you can see, the seas were not too rough for most of the time we were crossing the Drake Passage. I am wearing one of the official jackets from the United States Antarctic Program. I will have to return this to the warehouse when we get back to Punta Arenas, Chile, in March.

Contact the TEA in the field at .
If you cannot connect through your browser, copy the TEA's e-mail address in the "To:" line of your favorite e-mail package.