Our budding oceanographers have cast at least 20 nets ranging from the surface to 600 meters down. Neuston, Tucker, and Meter nets go over the side, and when they come up we're examining the contents, getting the biomass, measuring the biodiversity and storing animals in vials, taking DNA samples, examining animals under microscopes and counting a lot of species. We've counted copepods, angler fish, myctophids, and gulper eels. Jellies, shrimps, ostracods and squid, amphipods, salps, halobates and octopi.
Our arrival in Palmyra is scheduled for tomorrow at 9am. This will mark a transition to our Line Islands phase- where student projects will be intertwined with the ecology of these very unique coral atolls. Its been a super first leg, great sailing, wonderful vistas, remarkable energy and real teamwork. Our class has really come together out here- and with beautiful weather its been an easy first leg!
-Dr. Barbara Block