Week 10: Field Report


Week 11, October 11-17, 2011, Written by Joe Grzymski This was a busy and very successful week for the group. We continued our light adaptation experiment on cultures and sampled three times from Zodiac. And given that it was my second to last week here at Palmer things were incredibly busy for me. We collected a lot of great data. On Monday Deneb, Iva and Austin went to station E to collect water and tow the plankton net for RNA concentrations, fluorometry measurements and species identification.

Tuesday was a repeat of Monday but this time it was Deneb, Joe, Bethany and we were joined by Phil Spindler who is the Palmer Station Lab Supervisor and general all around great guy. He is done here for a short time and given the weather was not able to do ANY boating so we invited him along. It was a spectacular day – clear and calm with little ice…in fact, it was so calm and it was low tide that we were able to pass by the sunken Bahia Paraiso. The Bahia was an Argentine Transport ship that ran aground near Palmer Station in the Austral Summer of 1989. The ship sank after all passengers and crew were safely evacuated but the ship spilled about 200,000 gallons of fuel.  (http://www.antarcticmarc.com/bahia.html).

Wednesday was also a busy day as we had experiment sampling at 0900 and 2100 and a weekly time-series measurement. As well, the Laurence M. Gould arrived – that is my ride home.  We were greeted with people and freshies; the station was hopping. On Thursday there was more ice and we were only able to get to Station B. Deneb, Austin and I did the sampling and towing. Another incredibly enjoyable day on the water- and, I think, it will turn out to be my last day of boating during this field season.

Friday was an incredibly exciting day – I was able to do a live video tele conference with the Dilworth STEM academy (a middle school in Sparks Nevada) from around Palmer Station. It was incredibly cool. The kids gathered in the auditorium and I ran around station with a computer/webcam. I started up on the balcony of our GWR building and overlooked the labs, the LMG and the glacier and gave a brief introduction. Then I went to the Bio building because it was pretty cold out. We toured through the kitchen, overlooked the boathouse, went through the labs and then headed into my office. The kids then asked questions for about 20 minutes. It was a great experience. I really look forward to returning to the school to meet and work with them. Capping off an incredible day was a sushi surprise party for Clair (see photos). Keith made sushi and the winter group surprised her up in the Terra Lab. It was a lot of fun and delicious.

Saturday we had another sampling extravaganza at 0900 and 2100. In between that we participated in station cleanup, station meeting and yet another incredible dinner by our cooks – Marci, Keith and our newest cook Francis – as Keith is leaving after spending the entire winter here.  All in all it was a great week- the end of which began my countdown to finish everything up before the boat leaves on the 20th of October.