South Pacific marine ecosystems

Bathymetry from the Kilo Moana vent field, mapped in 2005. Each grid cell in this image is 25 cm. Image: SOI/Dr. V. Ferrini

Zeroing in on Life Around a Hydrothermal Vent

Vicki Ferrini has spent a lot of time working on mapping the ocean floor, and now she’s sailing in the South Pacific to get a closer look.

by |April 13, 2016
Preparing the Zodiac to transport the injured crew member to land.

Adapting to the Unexpected

I grew up outside of Chicago and I wasn’t a Boy Scout, so sometimes I feel like I missed out on learning the type of practical—albeit rarely used—skills that would have garnered merit badges. Now that I’m nearing the conclusion of my fourth research expedition at sea, I think I have amassed a few badge-worthy tricks.

by |March 24, 2015
Sampling in Storm

Sampling up a Storm

I’m writing from where L’Atalante is currently parked, 18S 170W, right in the middle of a giant, anomalously high sea surface chlorophyll patch. Such a high concentration of chlorophyll—a pigment that helps photosynthetic organisms harvest energy from sunlight, and the one that’s responsible for the green color of plants—can mean but one thing in the ocean: a phytoplankton bloom.

by |March 16, 2015
Samples at Sea

Navigating the South Pacific Using DNA

I’ve never been good at navigating. When I come out of the subway I invariably turn the wrong direction, even though I already have my nose buried in Google Maps, and then walk around the block to save face.

by |March 10, 2015
A large population of Trichodesmium, known as a bloom, seen from the side of the R/V L'Atalante.

A Swirling Stew of Trichodesmium

Greetings from the center of that eddy I mentioned in my last post! We’ve been here for five days so far, but tomorrow we are finally moving on.

by |March 9, 2015
Sunset over the South Pacific ocean at the end of Station One.

Trichodesmium is Everywhere!

We have completed the first two stations of the OUTPACE cruise and we are steaming to Station 3. By noon tomorrow we should be in the center of an eddy that our colleagues back on dry land have used satellite data to identify.

by |March 5, 2015
Filling dewar flasks with liquid nitrogen at a nickel mine in Noumea in preparation for the OUTPACE research cruise.

OUTPACE Cruise: Setting Sail

The OUTPACE 2015 cruise has set sail on February 20! We left port in Nouméa at 8:30 a.m. last Friday morning. I lost sight of land around 10 a.m. or so, and I won’t see it again until we return to port in Papeete, Tahiti on April 3.

by |March 3, 2015
The research vessel L'Atalante in port in New Caledonia.

Bonjour de Nouméa!

Scientists from research institutions around the world are participating in a research expedition aboard the R/V L ‘Atalante to study how microorganisms in the South Pacific Ocean influence the carbon cycle. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory graduate student Kyle Frischkorn is among them; this is the first in a series of posts in which Kyle shares what it’s like to do research at sea.

by |February 18, 2015