Kathy Schroeder, May 18, 2010

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Kathy Schroeder
Aboard NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson
May 5 – May 18, 2010

Mission: Fisheries Surveys
Geographical Area: Eastern Bering Sea
Date: May 18, 2010

5/18 Goodbye Dutch Harbor

Wild Horses
Wild Horses
I was able to spend time on the bridge as we pulled into port. It was great seeing the officers work together to get us to Dutch Harbor safely. Today was my last night in Dutch Harbor.Amber and I spent some time running errands and later cutting out fish out of fire hose and spray painting them for the local middle school’s tour of the ship the next day. There are not a lot of options while in port, so we headed to the Airport.
Oscar Dyson bridge
Oscar Dyson bridge
I was able to see the Coast Guard helicopter practicing maneuvers.We made our way to the Grand Aleutian Hotel, and then to the UniSea for some pool and pizza.Ms. Miller is the middle school science teacher on Dutch, and she took us on a bumpy but beautiful ride to see the wild horses.
Bonfire
Bonfire
We ended up having a bonfire on the beach thanks to Amber’s coordination, not to mention all of the people that it took to get the fire started. It ended up being a fantastic evening at the end of our trip together! I enjoyed my experiences and everything I learned on the ship. I look forward to bringing back what I have learned into my classroom.
Thank you and goodbye Oscar Dyson!
Oscar Dyson in port
Oscar Dyson in port

Kathy Schroeder, May 17, 2010

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Kathy Schroeder
Aboard NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson
May 5 – May 18, 2010

Mission: Fisheries Surveys
Geographical Area: Eastern Bering Sea
Date: May 17, 2010

5/17 “Picking”

Walleye Pollock
Pacific Hallibut
 two of the scientists and myself "picking" through the collection that was taken off the Bongo tow
Two of the scientists and myself “picking” through the collection that was taken off the Bongo tow
Arrow Worms
Walleye Pollock

Here are pictures of two of the different types of species we have seen on this cruise. On the left are two of the scientists and myself “picking” through the collection that was taken off the Bongo tow. This is done on every tow. It usually takes on average about 30 minutes. You use a pair of forceps and gently pick out any fish that are swimming amongst the krill, copepods, and chaetognaths (arrow worms). They are then placed in a glass quadrant petri-dish that is placed in a tupperware container on ice. The fish are then put under the microscope to determine species and how they will be frozen (different researchers want different methods). The species on the top is a Pacific Halibut and the small one on the right is a Walleye Pollock. Notice the measurements that are seen through the microscope. The are being measured in millimeters.

Kathy Schroeder, May 16, 2010

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Kathy Schroeder
Aboard NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson
May 5 – May 18, 2010

Mission: Fisheries Surveys
Geographical Area: Eastern Bering Sea
Date: May 16, 2010

5/16-“Order of the Cups”

The cups that go down with the CTD
The cups that go down with the CTD
The CTD with the cups attached
The CTD with the cups attached
Well, it finally happened! We were at a depth that was deep enough for us to put in the CTD (conductivity, temperature, depth). Each of the different gray cylinders collect water samples at different depths. We were around 1200 meters. A piece of equipment on the CTD can only go to 600 meters so that is what we were shooting for. Notice how bright it is outside–it’s about 11:00PM!! The CTD was lifted with the wench and lowered over the side of the ship. Once at 10 meters it stops to make adjustments. Every science experiment always has flaws along the way–right!?! Yep! We noticed 5 cups are now floating on the surface of the ocean. The look on my face must have been pitiful. Everybody looked at me and asked if they should bring it back up. I said, “Nope, go for it!” What seemed like forever, but was really only 45 minutes later, it was back at the surface. I looked in the bag from across the deck and I really thought there were only 3 in there. We got wire snips and cut off the zip ties that were holding the bag to the rail. Some cups had fit into larger cups. We ended up with 11. I took a picture of the ones that were left. They are upside down because I had to reshape a few of them, and I left them there to dry. They still look pretty big in the picture but the smallest is actually only 1 1/2 inches. They are packed and ready to come home. I have “Order of the Cups” certificates to give to the students whose cups were chosen to be pressurized.

Kathy Schroeder, May 13, 2010 part2

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Kathy Schroeder
Aboard NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson
May 5 – May 18, 2010

Mission: Fisheries Surveys
Geographical Area: Eastern Bering Sea
Date: May 13, 2010

5/13 Sea Ice!

Sea ice
Sea ice

I woke up about 6:40 am and heard a thump on my wall. My room is on the lowest level of the ship. I worked on the computer for a while then headed upstairs for what I thought would be our first station around 8. There was nothing but white ice all around us.

More Ice
More Ice

I was so excited you would have thought it was Christmas morning. I spent the next two hours on the bridge watching as we slowly made a pass through the ice to get to our next destination-St. Paul Island. Most of the ice is broken up into large pieces, so when the waves move through you can see them rolling. Staring at ice chunks is like looking up at the clouds. You start seeing all kinds of shapes: swans, hippos, Lockness monster. It’s amazing how calm the waters get when there is ice to slow the wind. We finally made it to our first station around 5:30pm. During the Bongo tow it pulled up a piece of ice from the surface. It was small, but I got to hold sea ice!

Ice from the bongo net
Ice from the bongo net

Kathy Schroeder, May 13, 2010

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Kathy Schroeder
Aboard NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson
May 5 – May 18, 2010

Mission: Fisheries Surveys
Geographical Area: Eastern Bering Sea
Date: May 13, 2010

5/13 My boat ride!

Getting on the rescue boat
Getting on the rescue boat

After the ship made it’s way through the ice we made it to our destination, which was about 2 miles off the island of St. Paul. We were supposed to arrive around noon, but it wasalready almost 3. We were there because the scientist (Bill) who was in charge of releasing the Mooring buoy had to get to the airport for a flight at 4. Bill was supposed to get off the ship when it came into port on May 3, but due to ice he was unable to release the buoy on the last trip, so he stayed onboard and was able to release it on this trip.

On the rescue boat
On the rescue boat

While on the bridge the CO (Commanding Officer) asked who wanted to go on the rescue boat to take Bill, and I smiled and raised my hand. He asked if I really wanted to go—of course I said yes! Next think I knew I was putting on my foul weather gear (the orange jacket and pants), gloves and boots. The boat can only hold 4 people so Dennis, Amber, Bill and I got ready to leave. As we were waiting I got to see Grey whales off in the distance. I would guess about 4 of them. They lowered the boat, with Dennis and Amber aboard, into the water with a crane. The boat then came around the starboard side to pick up Bill and me. We had to climb down the Jacob’s ladder (about 9 meters from the ship to the boat) to get onboard.

Being pulled back up onto the Dyson
Being pulled back up onto the Dyson

I was the last one in. We were on our way. Or so we thought. Dennis started yelling to the ship that he lost throttle. Could only go forward-not reverse. We came back to the ship and tied up. The waves were really pushing us into the ship. They told Bill and I to get out. An engineer climbed down, and 5 minutes later the problem was solved. It was just a pin that had come loose inside the gearbox.Time to board again! And we were off to St. Paul. The waves were nice and rolling so we didn’t get a lot of splash. We went past a red metal buoy that was really dented. Look like a boat ran it over, but they said it was from the ice. The dock where we were supposed to drop off Bill had been taken out of the water because of all the ice.

We went to a boat ramp and let him off there. Amber and I took our picture on St. Paul. Back in the boat—time to get back to the ship.The ship looked so little and far away, but we made it back in about 15 minutes. It was much rougher going this direction. This time I got to say on the boat as they attached the crane and brought us up. I was nothing but smiles for the rest of the day. This has to go down as the best day so far. Started off with sea ice, found my chapstick I lost about 4 days ago, went in the rescue boat, saw a Grey whale, filet mignon and au gratin potatoes for dinner, and played Apples to Apples for the first time. Wow! What a day!

Kathy Schroeder, May 12, 2010

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Kathy Schroeder
Aboard NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson
May 5 – May 18, 2010

Mission: Fisheries Surveys
Geographical Area: Eastern Bering Sea
Date: May 12, 2010

5/12 Mooring Buoy

Launching a mooring buoy
Launching a mooring buoy
Today we launched another type of buoy. It is called a Mooring Buoy. Its height is 5 meters above the surface (pictured on left) and 72 meters below the surface, which ends with a concrete dome that weighs 4110 (pictured on right). You can see the mooring being towed by the ship to get it into the right position. It has a barometer (measures atmospheric pressure), an anemometer (measures wind speed) and a thermometer on the top. There are sensors at different depths that measure salinity, chlorophyll, temperature, pressure, and nitrates.The information is transmitted to satellite Pacific Marine Environmental Lab (NOAA) that monitors the surface and subsurface of the Bering Sea. This piece of equipment costs $250,000. There are two other moorings already in this location. One measures ocean currents the other measures acoustic plankton. On one it has an underwater rain gauge. Can you figure out what that means? Headed to the Pribilof Islands today. On the way some crew saw sea ice. I’ll be looking! I love reading everyone’s comments. Keep them coming!

Kathy Schroeder, May 10, 2010

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Kathy Schroeder
Aboard NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson
May 5 – May 18, 2010

Mission: Fisheries Surveys
Geographical Area: Eastern Bering Sea
Date: May 10, 2010

5/10 Drifter Buoy

My hard hat
My hard hat
Deploying a drifter buoy
Deploying a drifter buoy
Last night I couldn’t sleep. I still saw my glow-in-the-dark alarm clock at 1:15am. I guess I was looking forward to waking up in the middle of the night to deploy the drifter buoy. It was 5am and it was time to go. It was still dark and I put on my float coat, gloves and hardhat. We went to the stern of the ship where it was lightly snowing and set up the drifter. I was able to write on the side of the drifter! 🙂 Key Biscayne Community School is now being represented in the Bering Sea! Of course I drew a Green Sea Turtle for Jonah on the top!A drifter buoy floats on the surface and is tracked by satellite. Some drifters make observations of currents, sea surface temperature, atmospheric pressure, winds and salinity. The ball floats on the surface of the water. It is attached to a wire that is 40 meters long and attached to a holey sock drogue, which looks like a tunnel Jonah would play in. They usually are active for 3-12 months. This particular drifter will just be tracked only by location because we are placing it close to large amounts of larvae pollock to determine where they are headed. Usually they are headed closer to shore. Once I return home I will be able to track it for our science class. We hope to deploy two more on this trip. The water got much rougher tonight. Using two hands to hold on while going up and down the stairs. Headed towards the Pribilof Islands tomorrow.

Kathy Schroeder, May 9, 2010

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Kathy Schroeder
Aboard NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson
May 5 – May 18, 2010

Mission: Fisheries Surveys
Geographical Area: Eastern Bering Sea
Date: May 9, 2010

5/9 Finding Jellyfish!

Jellyfish
Jellyfish
Me with a jellyfish
Me with a jellyfish
Found three different types of jellyfish yesterday and today. About 10 in total. The largest so far is about the size of the opening on a 5 gallon bucket. Who can figure out how many meters it was? Seas are getting rougher today.

Kathy Schroeder, May 8, 2010

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Kathy Schroeder
Aboard NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson
May 5 – May 18, 2010

Mission: Fisheries Surveys
Geographical Area: Eastern Bering Sea
Date: May 8, 2010

CTD Water Samples 5/8

Today I was able to see a different type of equipment deployed. It is called a CTD (conductivity temperature depth). The CTD went down 150 meters. On the metal frame that holds the CTD are 12 water bottles with caps at each end. The frame is lowered with both end caps open.

Once at its depth the end caps are closed to take a water sample. This is then repeated at 5 different depths on its return to the surface. The water is then put into plastic containers of known volume, which are then taken to a filter (about the size of a quarter) that separates the microscopic plants called phytoplankton from the seawater. The filters with the phytoplankton are then frozen in small plastic vials to be sent to a lab in Seattle where they determine how much chlorophyll was on each filter. The amount of chlorophyll tells us how much phytoplankton was in the water at each depth. Another water sample taken from the CTD is to verify the salinity values measured by the CTD. We haven’t found much pollock the last few hauls. We are now finding Pacific cod, and of course krill and arthropods such as copepods, amphipods, barnacle nauplii. Amber spotted a Minke whale this morning. I hope to see one soon!

Kathy Schroeder, May 7, 2010

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Kathy Schroeder
Aboard NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson
May 5 – May 18, 2010

Mission: Fisheries Surveys
Geographical Area: Eastern Bering Sea
Date: May 7, 2010

Bongo Nets

Bongo Nets
Bongo Nets

Here are two pictures of the Bongo Nets. I am holding the canister that collects the samples, which is then removed to sort through or store the samples. The other picture shows the two different sizes as it is about to be lowered into the cold water.

Me with the bongo nets
Me with the bongo nets

Kathy Schroeder, May 6, 2010

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Kathy Schroeder
Aboard NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson
May 5 – May 18, 2010

Mission: Fisheries Surveys
Geographical Area: Eastern Bering Sea
Date: May 6, 2010

Out at Sea!


We left Dutch Harbor at 9pm on May 5th. I went to the bridge (where the Captain pilots the ship), which is 4 decks higher than where I sleep, and watched us depart. On our way out through the pass we passed a volcano. A scientist, Brian, works on the bridge watching birds. He has great binoculars and let me borrow them. I got to see my first Puffin! The sunset at 1030pm was gorgeous! Woke up 7 hours later to get to work. My shift will change, but for now it will be 7a-7p or 9a-9m. Began the day with a fire drill! Got to put on my survival suit! Now it was time to get back to work. I put on my orange suit (called a float coat) and went on the starboard side of the ship to help with releasing the tows. The first is the Neuston tow. It looks like a rectangular metal box with a net attached and a cylinder tube at the end. It collects plankton from the surface of the ocean. The tow stays at a 45 degree angle for 10 minutes and then is pulled onboard. We take the collection and put it in a quart size glass jar. On average, it is not very full. We then add sea water and formalin to preserve the specimens. Then we release the Bongo nets. They look just like two pairs of bongo drums, one large and one small.There are four circles (two different sizes) attached to nets and then connected to the collection containers (cups at the bottom of the net). They go down 300 meters or 10 feet off the bottom, and are then pulled back up. This takes over 30 minutes. (During this time a Laysan Albatross came along side the ship, and just wanted to hang out with us!) Once the nets are pulled in, three containers are preserved. We take the last container and sift through it using tweezers to pull out any larval fish (mostly pollock) and put them in a glass petri dish on ice. They are then taken to the microscopes and looked at closely for classification. Some are flash frozen on slides, others are individually preserved in alcohol. My best find last night was a squid the size of a tic-tac! After 14 hours of work it was time for me to go to bed. It was great waking up to so many messages and emails. Keep them coming. And for the questions-NO! I have not been sick 🙂

Kathy Schroeder, May 5, 2010

Dutch Harbor 5/5

Bald Eagle
Bald Eagle

Made it safely to Dutch Harbor yesterday. I have seen so many bald eagles I have lost count. They are so beautiful. Also saw an Arctic Fox today. We are leaving here tonight (a day early) at 9pm. There has been a lot of ice up north so we are hoping the ice has moved so the scientists can do their work. Saw a couple ships from the show “The Deadliest Catch.” There are so many crab traps everywhere you look. They are stacked and ready to go for next crab season. I spent the early afternoon tying down everything in the labs. Bill said there is a storm out there and we should have 30 foot waves. Still getting to know the ship. My room is on the lower deck. There are bunk beds that I am sharing with Amber. Her’s is the top! 🙂 I will spend a lot of time on my laptop on the desk in my room and in the science labs. I look forward to bringing back samples for everyone to see. Once we depart in 6 hours I will be at sea until May 18th. Thanks for all the messages! Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Kathy Schroeder, May 3, 2010

Anchorage, Alaska 5/3

Moose
Moose
After 14 hours of traveling I made it to Anchorage, Alaska last night. I went out to dinner with a friend that lives there. Alaskan Crab Legs-YUM! I joked that I wanted to see a moose, so we went on a moose hunt. We found two very close to the airport. She was beautiful! The time change is 4 hours behind. The sun set about 10:15 pm and rose at 5:45am. Didn’t make for much sleep. Off to Dutch Harbor in 6 hours. (notice no coat-mid 50’s today!)

Kathy Schroeder, April 27, 2010

NOAA Teacher at Sea
Kathy Schroeder
Aboard NOAA Ship Oscar Dyson
May 5 – May 18, 2010

Mission: Fisheries Surveys
Geographical Area: Eastern Bering Sea
Date: April 27, 2010

Getting ready for Dutch Harbor, Alaska

Dutch Harbor on the map
Dutch Harbor on the map
Thank you for following me on my journey to Dutch Harbor, Alaska. I will do my best to post pictures as often as I can (hopefully daily), so check back often. 🙂 I begin my journey on the morning of May 3rdwhen I fly from Miami to Seattle and then overnight in Anchorage, Alaska. I have my morning free to sight see and then fly three hours to Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska.

Yes, this is the Dutch Harbor where they film the show “The Deadliest Catch.” On board the ship the Oscar Dyson I will be working with 15 crewmen and 8 scientists. We will board the 208 foot ship on the morning of the 5th to go through Federal Inspection, fire drills, man overboard drills, etc. The ship will disembark the following morning and return the morning of the 18th. Talk to you soon, Love, Ms. Schroeder