Patti Conner, July 31, 2006

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Patti Connor
Onboard NOAA Ship Albatross IV
July 31 – August 11, 2006

Mission: Sea Scallop Survey
Geographical Area: Northwest Atlantic
Date: July 31, 2006

Weather Data
Air temperature = 17 C0
Water temperature = 18.3 C0
Weather = Fog, haze
Depth of trawl = 60.9 meters
Water salinity = 31.03 ppm
Wind speed = 13 knots

The ALBATROSS lV moored at port, Woods Hole, MA
The ALBATROSS lV moored at port, Woods Hole, MA

Science and Technology Log 

I woke up at 11:00 PM (23:00) Monday and started to get ready for my first 12-hour watch.  The ship changed to two 12-hour watches this year instead of the 6 hours on, 6 hours off, 6 hours on, 6 hours off watches.  I would think that the 12 hour watches are less disruptive to our biological clocks, and would make it much easier to get into a working, eating and sleeping pattern.  The scientists and crewmembers on my watch seem quite happy with this schedule.  We are sailing around Georges Bank, and doing 15-minute dredging samples at computer predetermined sites.  Some of the sites are close together and others are spaced farther apart.  When the dredging gear is brought aboard, there is a scramble to sort through the material.  We are separating fish and scallops and counting them, and then the other invertebrate animals are returned to the sea. The scallops are taken to the wet, biology lab and weighed and measured using computerized equipment and a program which tallies the data for scientists to interpret here and on shore. Since the scallop industry is such a large economic industry, these studies help to ensure the survival of the business and ecosystem.

Personal Log 

What an amazing journey this has been. I will never forget seeing my first sampling of marine organisms dredged up from the bottom of the sea.  Sorting through the algae, fish and invertebrates is just an exciting experience. It is fabulous to see fish that I have never seen before, and see their mouth shape and structure which allows them to eat and survive. The invertebrates such as mollusks, sponges and echinoderms are fabulous and abundant. To reinforce our invertebrate phyla, I will be posting an animal picture of the day and asking you to identify the phylum.  I will post the answer the next day. Do you remember these guys (or gals)?

What phyla do these animals belong to?

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