Thursday, June 13, 2013

Charnelle Bland's Internship, Summer 2013 - Part 1

Hello everyone! My name is Charnelle Bland and I am interning with the NOAA-Northern Gulf Institute Diversity Program here at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, GA. I will be a senior in the Fall of 2013 at Emory University. My first day of research was on the Research Vessel Bellows gathering and filtering samples from the Gulf. The two types of data that were collected from water filtering are for counting and chlorophyll analyzing. Throughout the research cruise, the chlorophyll samples were collected to look at the different pigments of the phytoplankton. We are using their pigments to count the amount of phytoplankton that are present in the different locations of the Gulf.

Here I am filtering the chlorophyll samples!
The samples can take longer to filter if there are jellies present (as noted above).

After bringing the samples back to Valdosta with my mentor Dr. James Nienow, I worked with other researchers in the lab (Anastasia Nienow & Courtney Bryller) to acid wash the samples. The acid washing involved using nitric acid and potassium dichromate to clean our samples. The nitric acid and potassium dichromate oxidizes the solutions and washes away organic matter. This leaves the silica remains of the different diatoms for analyzing. Our next step will be to observe the different amounts, associations, and structures of the phytoplankton!

Extra Fun Addition:
One of my crew members (Sarah) reeled in an awesome sized blue wahoo!

Posted By:
Charnelle Bland, Valdosta State University


  1. Charnelle,

    Great job! It sounds like you are getting a lot of on the job training! I hope you enjoyed being on the water. What a great introduction to the Gulf. I hope the rest of your internship goes well and I look forward to reading about it!

    Cheers, Tina Miller-Way