Pteropod Experiments in a Mobile Laboratory

It all starts with the idea, a hypothesis really, that we are interested to know about the system of our investigation. The subjects of our investigation are pelagic calcifiers called pteropods (also sometimes called “sea butterflies”), that are put in an experimental setup in which we control a variety of different physical and chemical conditions. Continue reading “Pteropod Experiments in a Mobile Laboratory”

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What does this all mean for the fish that I want to eat?

So far you have been learning a lot about the chemistry of our oceans and the microscopic critters that live in it. I thought it might be fun to take a step back and think a bit about what these changes may mean for the animals that we like to catch, eat, and observe. What is the impact of ocean change on larger sea creatures (such as fishes, whales, dolphins, and sea birds)? And how does what we are doing on this research cruise matter to them? Continue reading “What does this all mean for the fish that I want to eat?”

Carbonate: The Building Block of Marine Life

Seashells use calcium carbonate to build their shells. Photo Credit: Melissa Ward

Next time you are walking along a beach, pay attention to how many unique types of shells you see: scallops, gastropods (snails), oysters, pteropods, and many other marine organisms rely on shells for protection and housing. Just as humans build our homes from brick and wood, these marine organisms build their homes out of a chemical compound called calcium carbonate. Continue reading “Carbonate: The Building Block of Marine Life”

Tinker, Watch, Repeat

If you’ve read the title of this post, you already have some idea of what it takes to develop and assemble a novel scientific instrument. For the past week or so, my colleague and I have been taking ordinary parts you may find in a lab—tubes, pumps, bottles, a glass cell—and assembling them carefully to achieve a greater purpose. Continue reading “Tinker, Watch, Repeat”

Visit the cruise Photo Gallery!

We’ve created a West Coast OA Cruise Photo Gallery to house some of our favorite images. We’ll post a variety of pictures here: candid photos of the folks on board the Ron Brown, data collection action shots, views from the ship, critters we pull up in the nets, and more. New photos will be added regularly, so visit often. Continue reading “Visit the cruise Photo Gallery!”