Tamil Maldonado, July 22, 2005

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Tamil Maldonado
Onboard NOAA Ship Fairweather
July 18 – 28, 2005

Mission: Hydrographic Survey
Geographical Area: North Pacific
Date: July 22, 2005

Science and Technology Log

FOCI… Today I have been working hand in hand with scientists, throwing nets, collecting depth, pressure, temperature, and chlorophyll data.  We have also been washing nets, getting survey of larvae, writing it down in sheets database, labeling, freezing larvae and chlorophyll samples.  We analyze some graphs we were getting from the experiments.

Here are some questions I have… how is global warming affecting ecosystems? How do fish overcome these changes?  Do they go up or down in the ocean columns?  Are they changing their nursery places?  How is their behavior in comparison to other years? Which parameters affect them most: salinity or temperature?  Some of these questions are being answered by the scientists, and others are still unanswered for which we are trying to find the answers. It seems that Alaskan fish can adapt easily to salinity changes.  Remember that glaciers are melting more continuously than before and fresh water (since it is less dense than seawater) stays in the surface, which means there is a change in salinity and temperature in the ocean.  Therefore there could be changes in fish behavior and in their ecosystem.  It seems the larvae and fish will be affected by temperatures.  They could be moving from ocean columns to get to the right temperature.  But they also need food like plankton that maybe stays at a different column of seawater.  That will be a survival problem.

Scientists are focusing their work on commercial fish such as Pollock and Pacific Halibut. It is the first time they have done this survey during summer.  They want to have a template for next year to compare data with.  Later we could do some statistical models, and mathematical models to compare in terms of years or data columns.

Navigation… This afternoon I as actually sailing the boat…  I had the power on my hands.  I needed to be really focused and follow instructions at all times.  We also calculated times for some positions, stations where we were going to do survey.  I also calculated True Speed, which depends on relative speed, wind speed, angles and locations of the boat.

I had the chance to see whales, little fish and a jelly fish of the size of my 4 fingers.

I also did some hydrographic studies of the region,  got some data, pictures and depths of the ocean.

We had problems with the coaxial cable again and I got some other information about sonars that I started to read.  I even worked out today!

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