Thursday, July 18, 2013

Charnelle Bland's Internship, Summer 2013 - Part 3

Hello again! I had an awesome time on the R/V Weatherbird II for 11 days doing research and enjoying serene views of the sea! On our trip I worked with great scientists and crew members. I assisted Dr. Stan Locker with his sonar equipment and Dr. Ian McDonald with his millet operation. In addition, I filtered some more water samples and observed the different phytoplankton species back at the lab in Valdosta.

While on the cruise we mapped part of the ocean seafloor using the towfish. The towfish was monitored continuously when it was placed in the water. Everyone had two shifts: I worked the 4-8pm and 4-8am shifts along with Chelsea and Dana. As the towfish monitored the seafloor and mapped out the bathometry, sediment, temperature, velocity, and different characteristics of the ocean floor and the water in general, we had to monitor how far out it was being dragged in the water. There was a time (the early morning shift) where the towfish HIT the bottom of the seafloor and we ran out frantically to pull it up! However, it survived and so did we.

Chelsea, Stan, and I letting out the wire for the towfish to settle in the water.
The towfish also has many other capabilities, such as identifying where “lost” beaches were years ago, climate changes, sea level changes, habitats, sediment movement, contaminated water movements, and how the current moves on the shelves, along with many other interesting aspects! In addition to monitoring the seafloor, we also used the millet to view the different ocean communities and study physical sediment traits.

Towfish preparation for the “big drop.”
Additional commentary:

Here I am helping with the CTD for filtering!
Mauricio caught a huge Mahi, and we had it for dinner!
Thanks for reading!

Charnelle Bland, Valdosta State University

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading your blog again. Very interesting, Keep up the the Amazing work.