NOAA Teacher At Sea
Aboard NOAA Ship Henry B Bigelow
May 2 -13, 2017
Mission: Spring Bottom Trawl
Geographic Area: Northeastern Atlantic
Latitude: 4311.534 N
Longitude: 06938.601 W
Science and Technology
As a math teacher accustomed to measuring and collecting data in the classroom, a simple measuring tool caught my interest in the wet lab. Among the computerized scales and measuring system is a tool that has been around for a long time. This tool is referred to as “wind chimes” and is used to measure the volume of the contents of the fishes’ stomach. It’s proper name is “volumetric gauge”.
The contents of the stomach of the fish is aligned next to one of the “wind chimes” in the thickness that matches the diameter of the “wind chime.” The units are measured in cubic centimeters. The number on the gauge will be entered into the computer for further study of that particular fish.
Once the stomach content, the prey, is measured, it is examined and separated into species and the percent of the total is recorded as well as to the extent it has been digested: fresh, partial, well.
While sorting the fish, I have been able to put aside some starfish for a nice photo before they are released back into the sea.