Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Spanning the Latitudes - The Canadian's turn to Blog

Last year at the end of October, I was returning from 32 days in the Canadian Arctic as a participant in the Joint Ocean Ice Study (JOIS), a collaboration between Canada, the USA and Japan. This project set out to study the Beaufort Sea and its ice coverage as well as look at the variability in the Beaufort Gyre. We collected water for multiple analyses (oxygen, salinity, nutrients, dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) to name a few), took plankton samples, deployed both floating and ice-situated moorings and took ice thickness measurements from the ship. All the while being amazed by the Aurora Borealis, Polar Bears and sunsets over an ice-covered vista,

On the ice in front of the Canadian Coast Guard Ship, Louis St. Laurent  (Photo by Jeffrey Charters)
Skip ahead a year and I am preparing to head to the other end of the world. This time 30 days in the Antarctic, as the token Canadian aboard the Laurence M Gould. As an Acoustic Research Technician for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, my interests lie in the fields of fishery and plankton acoustics. What this basically means is looking at fish and plankton in the water using a big, fancy, scientific fish-finder. When the opportunity to apply to participate in the 2011 Antarctic Salp cruise was presented to me, I jumped at the chance. Not only would I get to see Antarctica, but acoustics were going to be a major part of this cruise. For the next few weeks, I plan to annoy...I mean learn from the researchers on this cruise as they utilize acoustics and different methods of plankton sampling to answer the questions posed on this survey. Needless to say, I am very excited to be here! The learning should start soon, as we spend today at Palmer Station unloading supplies for the station, hoping to head out and start our Salp survey tomorrow. Wish us luck in the form of ice-free waterways and little to no wind!

Happy to be at Palmer Station (Photo by Melissa Mazzocco)

-- Chelsea Stanley, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (Sidney, BC)

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