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5 March, 2000

Still heading to the Drake Passage and on to Palmer Station in Antarctica. The first data collection has begun. Chief Scientist, Dr. Dave DeMasters collects a water sample each hour. The sample is filtered for plankton and ice, and then analyzed. The latitude and longitude, and water temperature of each collection site is logged. The water is analyzed for nitrates and silicates. The nitrates would come from fecal material an decaying organic matter. The silicates come from the "skeletal" structure of diatoms, a microscopic organism.

The results from the cruse in November indicated that in the warmer waters, the nutrients at the surface were used fairly quickly by organisms there and the remaining nutrients sank to the benthos (the bottom) where they remained. In the colder waters the unused nutrients also sink to the benthos but wind mixing of the layers of water causing an upwelling from the benthos reintroduced the

nutrients to the upper layers in the water column keeping the amounts there at a higher level. Dave is collecting more data this March to determine the nutrient levels at this time of year.

Dr. Dave DeMasters collecting a water sample in the lab for nutrient analysis.

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