23 January, 1997
From the modern lab in the remote field camp:
Today I checked those rotifers again. I found that some rotifers left in FLM and filtered lake water, had eaten between 18 and 32 beads. These rotifers had access to the beads for 24 hours. There were some rotifers who had eaten no FLMs at all. Should I be concerned about those that eat nothing? Do I count them in the feeding rate that I calculate? I also found another interesting thing. I found 6 rotifers who's entire bodies were glowing greenish, the same color as the FLMs. None of the glowing rotifers had any beads in their guts. The only place that I find glowing rotifers is those rotifers exposed to the FLMs. How do I deal with these rotifers. Have they eaten the beads and excreted them already? What other questions does this raise in your mind? Send me your ideas.
I have now decided to make some fluorescently labeled phytoplankton and feed these to the rotifers. Maybe they don't all like to eat latex beads. I want to find some way to collect more consistent data with rotifer feeding. SO, I will try the phytoplankton. But that will have to wait until tomorrow because today I am walking across the Canada Glacier with the New Zealand moss and plant physiologist people. They arrived at our field camp yeaterday and will be here for several days.
The hike was really fun. We used crampons and grippers to climb up onto the glacier. The view from up there is spectacular with as many as 10 glaciers in clear view. The surface is quite smooth and covered with about 6 - 10 cm of snow. The walking is easy until you hit a patch on ice where wind has removed the snow. I can see all the measuring stakes in the glacier as well as the instrumentation for radient energy measurement. The narrow part of the glacier is about 4 km and the walk takes about an hour and a half. I am getting all sorts of help from the three men with whom I am hiking. Since I am a first timer on the glacier surface, they are all eager to help and explain what needs to be done. We all carry ice axes and one begins to feel like a real mountineer up here. The huge granite peaks of a multitude of colors surround us. Many ice falls are clearly visible. The only thing that interrupts the serenity is the hum of the onmipresent helicopters. Some of the pilots like to buzz the "beakers". Beakers are the scientists that they find in the field. We are no exception.
Once we reach the other side of the glacier, we scramble down the rock debris and on to the fields of moss and lichen. While there are not many species, there are lots of plants in the terraine protected from the wind by the glacier and getting water from melt of the glacier on its sunny side. Some of the algae are bright green, others are a real yellow. All of the mosses and lichens are very tiny. I would not have recognized the moss for what they are without the help of the experts.
The moss scientists are measuring the recovery rates from destruction that occured from footprints before it was declared a SSSI site. We spent several hours measuring the growth spread that has occured over disturbed areas. This site was last measured in 1989. Care musat be taken when doing the measuring to not cause more damage. When walking in this area, one can only step on rocks. One's path must be carefully planned.
After doing the science, we hiked back along the face and leading edge of the glacier. Sometimes this led us onto the lake surface. It has been a long and interesting day. I heard much about the New Zealander's opinion about research done by U.S. scientists. They do not have the funding support nor the facilities that our scientists have. They were quite pleased to have been invited to stay at our field camp.
Tomorrow I will get back to the rotifers. We are expecting many DVs including the prime minister of New Zealand and some folks from the Office of Polar Programs. Busy times here. Study Hard!
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