6 February, 1998

Gould-en Greetings!

I have been so busy today with my project and with doing dissolved oxygens I have not had the time to talk with anyone about another project. However, I did have a question about the incubators for the oxygen samples. Unlike incubators for raising chicken eggs or bacterial cultures, this incubator keeps the bottles of water cold - very cold. These incubators are located the second deck to be out of the way of deploying nets, sediment traps, and PRRs. They are large troughs through which raw sea water flows to keep them at the same temperature as the surface water. In other words, the same temperature the water was when we collected it. Gases are very sensitive to temperature changes. What happens to the gases as the liquid heats up? Think warm soft drink..... To be an effective test of the production rates of the phytoplankton in the bottle, the temperature must be the same as it is normally or we will get false results. It will read a lower amount of oxygen than was really produced if we let it warm up. Some of the bottles were kept in the dark so they would not support photosynthesis. They were wrapped in foil and kept in an ice chest to further prevent any light getting to them. The ice chest also had raw sea water flowing through to keep the "dark" bottles the same cold temperature as the "light" bottles. So these incubators are a bit different from what is normally thought of as an incubator, but they serve the same useful purpose. They keep a growing organism or a process at the correct temperature for the growing/testing procedure in progress.

We had a safety drill earlier today. when the alarm goes off, we have to go to our rooms and get our flotation devices and our survival suits. We were also shown a video at the same time that showed us the proper sequences of evacuation one should take if it is absolutely necessary to abandon ship. Basically the message was stay dry for as long as you can. Do not leave the ship unless ordered by the captain and then try to find something floating to climb up on. Sounded like good advice to me.

Warm regards,

Mrs. D

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