17 July, 2003
Call me sample cop. My beat is the Baltic Room of the R/V Palmer. My job is simple: I keep the order.
I record data too. My work begins with the retrieval of each rosette. For the deeper water casts when all 24 bottles have been opened, making sure that every bottle is sampled for the appropriate variable in the correct sequence gets a bit hectic at times.
On the day watch it usually goes something like this:
1. Dr. Jim Swift (Chief Scientist) begins the process by drawing a sample from a Niskin Bottle on the rosette into a small flask that will be used to measure the amount of dissolved oxygen in the sea-water while observing the temperature of the water too;
2. Dr. Dean Stockwell (University of Alaska, Fairbanks) collects chlorophyll and phytoplankton;
3. Jeremy Mathis (graduate student from the University of Miami) obtains DOM (dissolved organic matter) and POM (parcticulate organic matter) specimens; and finally,
4. Craig Aumack (graduate student from the University of Texas, Austin) takes nutrient, salt, Oxygen 18, Carbon 13, and Nitrogen 15 samples.
In reality, everyone takes turns and pitches-in to help with whatever needs to be done on each cast. Sometimes I even draw samples. But my job is mainly to help them keep track of what bottle and sample type needs to be done next. To facilitate that, I have a data chart for each station that I record everything from the flask number and draw temperature of Jim's dissolved oxygen to checking-off the appropriate Niskin Bottle that Dean has taken his chlorophyll sample from.
From the TV monitor in my room, I can see that it's time for me to put on my badge, head down to the Baltic Room, and keep the order for another cast.
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