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Journals 2007/2008

Morgan Hardwick-Witman
Smithfield High School, Smithfield, Rhode Island

"Linkages between larvae and recruitment of coral reef fishes along the Florida Keys shelf: an integrated field and modeling analysis of population connectivity in a complex system."
R/V. F.G. Walton Smith
29 July - 14 August 2007
Journal Index:
July 29, 30 - 31
August 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9
           10 - 11 - 12 - 13

Additional Resources

2 August 2007
"Swim Call"

Location:off Long Key and Hawk Channel
Lat: 24° 46.770' N
Long: 80° 48.795' W

The sampling routine is getting familiar as we look over the transect track for the day. Starting in the shallow near Key waters and working our way to the deeper waters for the final stations. The shallow frame net is over the side in 5 meters of water by 7:30 am. Volunteer Zoe and I washed down the plankton samples that were full of floating Sargassum weed and turtle grass. After the CTD is retrieved, we filter the surface and deep chlorophyll maximum (DCM) water samples and freeze the residue on filter paper for future analysis.

I'm filtering water collected with the CTD to concentrate the chlorophyll from the primary producers. View full version pop-up.

We examined colorful maps of the Gulf of Mexico and Florida Straits with Chief Scientist Bob showing real time mesoscale altimetry from satellite images that show subtle differences in sea surface height (cm) with a spectrum of colors from blue to red. All you have to do is type in the latitude and longitude. More amazing plankton continues to be brought to the surface. I took a picture of the narrow pipefish that graduate student Joel was holding. Research associate Cedric said he would share some of his stunning larval photographs that he takes through the microscope.

Bob is explaining the altimetry maps to Martha.
Cedric is taking photographs of larval fish through the dissecting microscope. View full version pop-up.

I got a chance to interview steward Susan Sanchez. She admits she spent the first 4 months plagued by sea sickness. But she likes being onboard and being in charge of the galley. Her face lights up when she says she'd like to run her own bed and breakfast in Tennessee someday.

Had a great look under the microscope at a fiery colored copepod, one of the most common members of the plankton. It swims in a spiral and was hard to catch but I will be bringing it back to look at in class. Crocks seem to be the foot ware of choice when deploying nets on the stern deck (wish I'd known as my sneakers are starting to self destruct). After the last station the seas were dead calm and the air was hot and still so Bob made a brilliant suggestion. Swim call! We leaped into the bluest warmest saltiest water. It felt fabulous.