Monday, August 13, 2012

Research on the Centennial

For me, field research has to be the ultimate lab that one can have.  Spending time on the Centennial and working the CTD is a great opportunity.  It is the hands-on research that I think that I learned the most from.  But it is also being in environments that I'm studying seeing the beauty of the San Juan Islands and the waters that surround brings value to the research that I am doing. 
With the CTD we are able to take and activity temperature and depth readings.  The program gathers information on the salinity, temperature, fluorescence, turbidity, photosynthetically available radiation (PAR), depth in the water column and dissolved oxygen.  We also gathered water samples using the Niskin bottles at various depths.   From the samples gathered we are able to test for nutrient levels in the water but also to check for dissolved oxygen.

Many of the samples were taken right after the CTD came out of the water.  By filtering them from the Niskin and storing the filters for further lab testing.  Other samples are taken to the galley and ran through a larger filtering system.  It made it fun to try and run the filtering system when we hit rougher waters going out to the further parts of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  To be honest, the rough waters were kind of hard on me and I had to go a top for air.  But these are the sacrifices one has to make.

 I’ve attached a video showing the CTD in action.  Sorry for the volume, you may have to turn up your speakers.

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