The Last cycle

We are starting another sampling cycle after moving to another site along the front.  In each cycle samples were taken to measure the net rates of change in the ambient physical and chemical environment and the biological community. Also experimental studies were done to assess the contributions of phytoplankton, bacterial growth, micro- and meso- zooplankton grazing and active vertical migrations to particle export and net community change. Much of the data will be analyzed back in the lab, some of the experiments were processed at sea.  The plankton samples were preserved and will be looked at back in the lab.   It will be really interesting to see what picture can be put together about biological processes across the front after all the data has been analyzed and compared.   Everyone is getting a bit tired, but still enthusiastic about what we are looking at.

Gulper Eel (Photo credit: Fabio Companello).

We will be surveying with the MVP and looking for our last sampling site tonight.  The military is doing some practice missile launches and we have to leave the area Tuesday night and Wed until about 5pm. Then we will go to our sampling site and start our next cycle at midnight.  The Oozeki brought up some really interesting fish, including a beautiful specimen of a Gulper Eel.  Very strange looking critter.  He is also the symbol for MBARI ( Monterey Bay Research Institute).

Dragon Fish (Photo credit Rob Palomares).

They also got a really nice Viper fish and some more dragons.  Which I have included in the pictures.  The cups were shrunk Tuesday morning and look great.  I am also including an example of our sampling schedule. It varies slightly, but not much. Each instrument has to be put in the water by itself, so in order to get all the sampling done for all the groups it’s a pretty full schedule.  And the gaps in time are usually used to process stuff in the lab.
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