"The Slocum glider RU06 and RSV Laurence M. Gould rendezvoused on January 31 at station 200.000 after a successful 22-day deployment. A gliding autonomous under water vehicle (AUV) built by Webb Research Corporation (WRC), RU06 was being remotely operated by Rutgers University in NJ for this NSF pilot program. Deployed near Palmer Station, RU06 flew to station 600.100 and then bisected the LTER grid by flying from North to South starting at line 600 and flying to station 200.100 through before making a left hand turn down to 200.000. Sensors include a conductivity, temperature, and depth (CTD) probe and two optical packages; a three wavelength backscatter and a three channel fluorometer. Combined, this sensor suite helps to map where potential areas of biological productivity are located. Surfacing every three hours, the glider contacted Rutgers via Iridium satellite and transferred a data set. Rutgers compiled the running data set and emailed a daily image as shown in the POD to the ship for planning purposes and scientific review. U06 was re-deployed in the selected process study area near Avian Island on 1 Feb."
"One of the wonderful scenes that we experience passing by the ARSV L.M. Gould, particularly when we are close to glacial sources are icebergs. Many of the exotic shapes are the bottoms of icebergs that have become unstable and flipped over. Since the density of pure water ice is ca. 920 kg/m3, and that of sea water ca. 1025 kg/m3, typically, around 90% of the volume of an iceberg is under water, and that portion's shape can be difficult to surmise from looking at what is visible above the surface. This has led to the expression ""tip of the iceberg"", generally applied to a problem or difficulty, meaning that the problem is only a small manifestation of a larger trouble., as in ""Sending out the POD each day is just the tip of the iceberg describing our work down here. """
"Another scientific objective is to learn about the currents and ocean circulation in the LTER study region along the Peninsula. Working in cooperation WHOI, we deployed surface current drifters at 16 stations in our sampling grid. The drifters follow the current in the upper 10 meters and radio their positions to a satellite, from which data are downloaded in Woods Hole. Over time, the sequence of drifter positions builds up a map of the regional currents. Top Left: deploying drifter.The grey material in her left hand unrolls in the water and acts like an underwater sail or drogue against which currents drive the drifter. Lower Picture: drifter about to begin its journey. Some drifters continue to drift and transmit positions for over a year, and may travel hundreds or even thousands of miles. Others lose battery power or get crushed in ice. The map on the left shows the drifter tracks as of 2 February. The red dots are the release locations and the blue lines show where they have gone. Summaries of the drifter tracks are available as movies at the Palmer LTER Website (pal.lternet.edu/)."
"One scientific tool that the PAL-LTER utilizes during the January cruise and throughout the year is satellite imagery. Images created from orbiting satellites provide crucial information for planning and guiding the January cruise. The data produced by instruments on board the satellites includes physical, optical to biological properties at the surface of the ocean. he MODIS (Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) provides measurements of sea ice in the vicinity of the Palmer Peninsula. he image in the upper left shows an area around Anvers Island where Palmer Station is located. The image shows the presence of sea ice surrounding Palmer Station during October. SeaWiFS stands for Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-View Sensor. The sensor of the SeaWIFS instrument records information in the visible light spectrum. The image in the lower right shows the areas of high chlorophyll (red). In general, this image suggests a phytoplankton bloom along the coast. Another important thing that satellites provide is communication back home."
"The Adelie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) is one of three Pygoscelis penguin species occurring on the west Antarctic peninsula. Other Pygoscelis species include the Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua) and Chinstrap penguin (Pygoscelis antarctica). Adult Adelie penguins are approximately 70-71 cm in height and weigh 4-8 kgs. Adelies are distributed around Antarctica, and forage primarily on crustaceans such as Antarctic krill, as well as some fish. Juvenile Adelies are distinguished by their white chin patch (see Adelie chick photos), unlike the black chin patch of breeding adults (see top middle and bottom right photos). Juvenile Adelie penguins are covered in down at hatch and lose this down as their feathers grow-in just before fledging from the breeding colonies. Thus, during the summer in Antarctica, Adelie chicks can be found with an array of humorous hairdos (see Adelie chick photos)! The Adelie penguin chicks can also often be found resting on their bellies as in the bottom middle photo. The seabird component of the Palmer LTER focuses much attention on Adelie penguin breeding and foraging ecology given that this species is considered a sensitive indicator of environmental conditions, or ""a bellweather of climate change""."
"Palmer Station is one of three research stations operated by the US National Science Foundation in Antarctica. It supports scientific research on the Antarctic marine and terrestrial environment year-round and has a capacity for 45 scientists, students and support personnel. The GOULD serves a dual role as a supply vessel calling at Palmer Station approximately monthly, and as an oceanographic research vessel. The picture was taken from Torgersen Island, about one kilometer offshore from the Station. The island hosts a colony of Adelie Penguins. Adelies are one of the top predators in the Antarctic coastal marine ecosystem, and the population near Palmer has declined by about 70% in the past 30 years in response to regional warming, decreasing sea ice and changes in the local foodchain."
"LM Gould is the main means of supply and transportation to Palmer Station and also serves oceanographic research in the Antarctic Peninsula region. Operated by Edison Chouest Offshore, Louisiana. Science support aboard provided by Raytheon Polar Services, Denver. Transit across the Drake Passage from Punta Arenas, Chile is four days. Most days are taken up preparing for the cruise. Highlight of the crossing is to enjoy the scenery around Anvers Island and the Neumeyer Channel before docking at Palmer Station. Palmer Station is the main field camp for the US Antarctic Program on the Antarctic Peninsula. We arrive with a warm welcome which you can see in the picture on the lower left. Within the 36 hour port call supplies for Palmer Station are off loaded and the scientists and their equipment come aboard to begin the PAL-LTER cruise. The map depicts the general station grid that has been sampled for the last 15 years during the month of January. The cruise began January 7. We have sampled the 600 line and are now on the 500 line. "
"Recovery of the PAL-LTER sediment trap. A sediment trap is deployed and recovered every January during the first part of the PAL-LTER cruise. The trap is held afloat 150 meters above the ocean floor (in 350 meters depth) by glass floats. Once we arrive at the location of the sediment trap it is released by an acoustic signal sent from the ship. Trap collects particulate matter that settles from the surface of the ocean to the ocean floor. It has 21 cups that rotate into position under the collecting funnel during the year of deployment by a motor and computer located on the sediment trap. It is programmed to move weekly during the summer season of Antarctica and monthly during the winter. Bottom left picture is an example of the sediment trap cups recovered in January 2003. The cups show that there is a pulse of particulate matter in the surface waters during the summer due to increased biological activity. Top left picture - Raytheon marine technicians recovering the trap on the back deck of the RV LM Gould. Sample cups are visible under the yellow funnel. Bottom right picture shows scientists suited up ready to begin cleaning the recently recovered trap.
"At Palmer Station, we work on all 3 species of Pygoscelis penguins (Adelie, Chinstrap, and Gentoo) that breed within the local study area. Our work includes population monitoring, as well as breeding and foraging ecology studies. We have documented divergent population trajectories among these species; Adelie penguins have been declining coincident with increases in Gentoo penguin numbers. One primary hypotheses is that between species variation in numbers of penguins at Palmer Station is related to the seasonal ice dynamics around the local study area. On the cruise we will visit Adelie penguin breeding colonies at higher latitudes, which may be experiencing different seasonal sea-ice conditions than the local Palmer study area because of their geographic location. Accessing these high latitude breeding colonies helps us to understand how variation in sea-ice dynamics may be related to population trends along the west Antarctic Peninsula. On the ship we will conduct bird observations as the ship transits between sampling stations, allowing us to better understand how oceanographic conditions are related to community composition of seabirds."
"The five science teams at work on board are studying microbial ecology and biochemistry, phytoplankton community and optics, krill and other zooplankton, penguins and other seabirds, and Clayton Jones in control of the Slocum Glider. We also have physical oceanography, which is done for the scientists by our shipboard technicians from Raytheon. These groups, with others not aboard the cruise, are an interdisciplinary team focused on ecosystem response to climate change in the Antarctic Peninsula region."
The sun normally sets around midnight and rises about 4 am at the latitude where we are cruising (64-67 degrees South). Each photographer's name is placed on his or her picture. The top right picture was taken just off Anvers Island near Palmer Station. The setting sun provides a stunning image as it illuminates the mountains of the Antarctic Peninsula. The top left picture was taken 200 kilometers off the Antarctic Peninsula on the 400 line of the PAL-LTER sampling grid. There were many sea birds around the ship that evening and gave good contrast to the setting sun and softly lit clouds. The bottom pictures offer a glimpse of the dazzling array of colors that are seen nightly. Created By: Mary Engels, Clayton Jones, Kel
"Water sampling is accomplished using the CTD-Rosette system deployed through a large door in the side of the vessel on a winch and conducting cable system that can go to over 5000 meters depth. The CTD (conductivity-temperature-depth) is an instrument package that measures water properties at high resolution as the package is lowered through the water column. The results are reported by electrical conducting cable to computer displays in the vessel, and scientists can decide what depths to sample from, based on the data return. Then the CTD operator (one of the ship's 2 ETs) triggers Niskin bottles, 10-liter cylinders for water sampling, to close at specified depths. We have a rosette with 24 bottles so we can collect water at up to 24 discrete depths, or trigger all the bottles at any one depth, or anything in between. The lefthand picture shows LMG Marine Tech Greg Buikema in the Baltic Room, about to retrieve the CTD Rosette at Station 300.060. On the right, microbial team member Noelle Yochum, safely clad in fashionable purple nitrile gloves, samples a Niskin bottle for analysis in the lab."
"Each year during a period of peak demand for food for the growth of the Adelie penguin chicks (~ 15 ? 25 January), we conduct a fine-scale survey of the foraging region of the Adelie penguins nesting near Palmer Station. The high density grid (see chart in picture) is a 10 km by 20 km grid with 2.5 km horizontal spacing of the transects that lies just outside the boating limits at Palmer Station located on Anvers Island. During the high density grid we conduct two types of operation; (1) the along-track observations of seabird and marine mammal activities, zooplankton biomass from a scientific echosounder towed from the ship, and phytoplankton biomass, and (2) target tows of the zooplankton in the foraging grid and diet samples of the Adelie penguins in the nearby colonies. Team members from the seabird component observe seabird and marine mammal abundance, direction of swimming or flying and activities from the bridge. The biomass of Antarctic krill within the high density grid was much higher this year than last, with nearly continuous layers of krill in the upper 50 m observed on the echosounder screen (see bottom right). "
"There are four people on the bridge that keep this ship moving and make it possible for us to run our science operations. The Captain, Marty Galster; Chief Mate, Jes Sylvester; Second Mate, Larry Brisette; and Third Mate, Brandon Bell are in charge of keeping the ship on station while we run CTDs, drag nets, and deploy the PRR. Their patience and expertise maneuvering the ship help us accomplish our work even in the most adverse conditions.The engineering crew includes: Chief Engineer, Paul Waters; Assistant Engineers, Mike Brett and Fernando Avila; and oilers, Frank Ferber and Noli Tamayo. These guys keep the Gould running. The main engines, electrical generation, air conditioners, refrigeration, pumps, fresh and saltwater systems and generators are just some of the machinery that they operate and maintain. They are also in charge of keeping the equipment on deck working, including the winches and cranes that are used to deploy our oceanographic equipment."
"Activities aimed at collecting the data that allow us to compare the size of Antarctic krill available for the Adelie penguins to eat, and what is in their diet. One of opportunities for this comparison is during the high density grid conducted near Palmer Station (POD 22 January). The trawling zodiac, Rubber Duke III (upper right), came out from Palmer Station . Langdon Quetin (standing to right) joined them from the LM Gould with information on the location of zooplankton (mostly Antarctic krill) schools from the first part of our along-track surveys. They conducted target tows, and brought the samples (lower right) back for total length measurements of the Antarctic krill. On land, the team for the seabird component collects diet samples from the Adelie penguins, and later analyzes for diet composition and the total lengths of Antarctic krill in the diet. The team that went to Renaud Island earlier in the cruise to census the colonies (upper
"There are two other important departments on the Gould that are instrumental in keeping science operations running. The first is the Galley Department. The Chief Steward Carl Pratt, his Cook Romeo Agonias, and the galley hand Leandro Polante prepare wonderful meals to fuel us during our busy days. The science operations on-board run 24 hours a day which means that we have 4 meals a day prepared for those of us awake. Breakfast is from 7:30 to 8:30; lunch 11:30 to 12:30; dinner 17:30 to 18:30 and midrats 23:30 to 00:30. There are always snacks and yummy desserts out for us to pick at in between meals. The Deck Crew is another integral part of ship operations. The ship s bosun Ernest Stelly and the three seamen: Guillermo Cifuentas, Elfrin Prado, and Gustavo Canas are in charge of the maintenance and cleanliness of all the ship equipment exclusive of the engine room. They are involved in back deck operations including the mooring and anchoring of the vessel and run all the winches and cranes for science operations. They also are in charge of the sanitation requirements within the ship and keep our labs and hallways clean."
"The study on Antarctic phytoplankton, and understanding the dynamics of the factors influencing their ecology. To measure the amount of light in the water, a freefalling Profiling Reflectance Radiometer (PRR) is cast from the stern of the ship before each CTD cast. As the instrument descends, it sends back information to the lab about the intensity of light at 16 different wavelengths, ""looking"" both up and down in the water column (top left: deploying the PRR on an unusually sunny day). The top right photo is of the tube rack for the primary productivity (carbon incorporation) incubations. Water is collected at the light depths determined by the PRR, spiked with a tracer, and incubated for 24 hours in tubes covered with sheeting that mimics the source light conditions. In the lab, water is processed for levels of dissolved inorganic nutrients (bottom left: master the nuances of the autoanalyzer), biomass (center: read chlorophyll a samples on a fluorometer), particulate carbon and nitrogen, and pigments (bottom right: filter many liters of water to later be processed on a High Performance Liquid Chromatograph)."
"Raytheon Polar Services employees who work along side the scientists assisting with everyday operations. Andy Nunn, Marine Project Coordinator works with the Chief Scientist on the daily schedules and our plan of action for the days ahead. Keeps communications between the ships crew and the scientists clear and concise. Marine Technicians on board run back deck operations which include deploying equipment over the side, running zodiac operations while maintaining a safe working environment. Maintain an elaborate shop where it is possible for them to fabricate practically everything needed for scientific operations. Marine Technicians are Meghan King and Greg Buikema, ensuring that our equipment is safely deployed. Marine Science Technician Addie Coyac works with the scientists in the labs and maintains scientific equipment provided by Raytheon. Makes sure the scientists are running a safe lab and have supplies they need. Electronics Technicians: Fred Stuart and Kevin Pedigo are responsible for maintaining on-board oceanographic scientific electronic equipment. Maintaining and assisting users with the on-board network and computer systems."
"To celebrate the middle mark of the cruise, Monday January 22nd, the day was declared Crazy Hair Day and everyone was encouraged to celebrate. This day is a beloved tradition of the LTER and people even plan ahead, bringing dye from Punta Arenas. Braids, pigtails, hair goop and even stuffed animals were styles of choice. The following pictures are a small sample of the fun! Upper left: Marty Galster (Captain)
"Adelaide Island - British Base - Rothera: During the day we have a personnel exchange, with about 15 Rothera personnel coming out on the vessel to conduct sampling and cross-calibration operations in the vicinity; and 15 LMG people spending the day at the base. In the evening there is a big dance party, a greatly anticipated event for both groups. Upper Left: going ashore in the personnel basket. Top Center: On the ridge near the memorial cross. Top Right: Rothera Base; airstrip, Bonner Lab and other buildings. Bottom Left: Rothera's house band. Bottom Right: LMG shore party at the memorial cross. Rothera supports research locally and at diverse, far-flung field camps and has a maximum population of 135. Some people deploy for up to 2 years at a stretch."
"Seabird crew spends 5 days working at Avian Island (center photo) located between the 200 and 300 lines of the Palmer LTER regional grid. The island provides breeding habitat for a large number of Adelie penguins (center and lower right photo). We conduct surveys of breeding Adelie penguins, Blue-eyed Shags, and Southern Giant Petrels (lower right photo). We deploy satellite transmitters on adult Adelie penguins that are provisioning chicks in order to better understand the penguins' foraging ecology during chick rearing (upper left photo). We are interested in how seasonal ice-conditions, food availability, provisioning demand (1 or 2 chicks), and adult sex (i.e., females or males) influence foraging locations. We observed a Macaroni penguin (lower left photo). These penguins are very rare in this part of the west Antarctic Peninsula as they are generally considered a sub-Antarctic species. The reasons for the Macaroni penguin's presence on Avian Island this year is unclear as the species is not currently breeding anywhere near the island. We saw a ""blonde"" penguin resting in the evening among the breeding colonies (upper right photo).
"The Microbial Biogeochemistry group investigates the role of bacteria in the ocean carbon cycle. Our group maps the spatial and vertical distributions of bacterial abundance, dissolved CO2, oxygen and organic carbon within the LTER sampling grid, from the ocean surface to the bottom; thus building up a 3-dimensional picture of the variations of carbon cycle components in space and time. Upper Left/Lower Right: working in the radioisotope van on the back deck. Uper Right: Determining the concentration of dissolved oxygen using a potentiometric titrator. Lower Left: examining a water sample on the epifluorescence microscope aboard the vessel. "
Palmer Station is a Western Antarctic Peninsula marine biome LTER site.