4 February, 1998
Today I received my own experiment that I will be starting tomorrow. This will be a component of the study of oxygen that I alone will be responsible for doing. Last summer, Dr. Karl and I had discussed my doing a study on the relationship of size of cyanobacteria (bluegreen algae) to its productivity. However, it appears that an algae bloom has not occurred in the areas that we have tested so far. Also, since I have been working with dissolved oxygen testing, it made more sense to involve me in a study of that bio nutrient. More details tomorrow. Tonight I have to practice my technique as it is easy to get false data from samples poorly collected.
Of course, all of these studies are intended to compliment and augment each other. Wendy Kozlowski is the Field Team Leader for PI Maria Bernet of University of California San Diego / Scripps Institute of Oceanography. She and others on her team, such as Mike Crowder, Karie Sines, and Marnie Zirbel, are working on the phytoplankton (small photosynthetic organisms floating in water) ecology component of LTER. The big picture of what they are doing is relating pack ice to how it affects phytoplankton and the regular seasonal variability of phytoplankton cycles. It is more of a monitoring project to get baseline data to see if changes are short anomalies (unusual occurrences) or actual long-term trends. The work takes in consideration data that other studies, such as the bioptics by PI Dr. Smith and the carbon fluxes by PI Dr. Karl, collect at the same time to make a total picture all of the biological processes. Such things as pigment analysis which utilizes the "signature" of groups of pigments found in each of the different species of phytoplankton, help Wendy know the numbers and species of organisms present by the ratio of pigments indicated. The seasons are short here and activity occurs only in brief pulses, so data must be collected to take advantage of the correct timing. Wendy has been doing this for 4 seasons now, so it means that she has had to be here in the austral summer 4 years in a row from October through March. Christmas away from family has been the hardest part of the whole deal, but she remains positive and enthusiastic about the field work.
How would having the bioptics state that the readings indicate very clear water likely affect the oxygen production? What are the needs of phytoplankton to have high productivity of oxygen? What does high productivity indicate what is happening with the phytoplankton in regard to nutrients? Stay tuned to this channel - answers tomorrow!
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