Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute






Antarctic Expedition 2009
March 6 - April 15, 2009
Northwestern Weddell Sea


Research Team Ken Smith, Chief Scientist 
Bruce Robison, Stian Alesandrini, Stephanie BushAdrian CefarelliDiane ChakosCraig DaweJacob EllenaMichael FoxDani Nicole GarciaJohn HellyCole HexelAmanda KahnRon KaufmannAlison KelleyScott KindelbergerHai LinDavid Long, Larry LovellPaul McGillDebbie MeyerAlison MurrayVivian PengKim ReisenbichlerTim ShawRob SherlockAlana ShermanKarie SinesGordon StephensonBenjamin TwiningMaria Vernet

Ken Smith Ken Smith
Senior Scientist, MBARI
http://www.mbari.org/pelagic-benthic/deepsea.htm

Your specific role on the cruise:
Antarctic Expedition Chief Scientist.

Research interests:
Particulate carbon export from free-drifting icebergs.

Have you been to Antarctica before?
Yes, many times.

What are you looking forward to?
Conducting field research at sea with a great group of scientists and engineers.

What are you not looking forward to?
I look forward to everything, but will miss my beautiful wife.

What specifically will you do on the cruise, and how does that tie in to the big picture?
Orchestrate the entire cruise and keep the research program running smoothly as chief scientist. Measure the export of particulate matter from icebergs using Lagrangian sediment traps.

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
Lagrangian sediment traps.

Bruce RobisonBruce Robison
MBARI

Though Bruce Robison could not make the cruise, his research team will be utilizing the Phantom ROV, ICECUBE, to characterize the submerged ice surface and associated macrofauna, assess the near-iceberg pelagic zooplankton community via video and plankton net surveys and to collect concurrent physical oceanographic data. This data set can then be used in conjunction with the MOCNESS tow data to work to develop a complete picture of the zooplankton/micro-necton community dynamics around the iceberg. The team will also be studying the stomach contents of fishes collected during the MOCNESS tows to determine feeding dynamics of the predominant fish species.


Stian Alesandrini
Raytheon Polar Services Company

Research interests:
As a member of the support staff, my goal is to aid the science groups in achieving their goals. The fun part of my job is that I get to be involved with every bit of science that happens on the ship. I'm far from an expert in any of the fields but in helping with equipment and operations I get to be involved, in some small way, in everything.

Your specific role on the cruise:
Herding cats. It's a support role. I'm the Marine Projects Coordinator on this cruise. My job is to oversee the RPSC support staff and work with science parties, the science staff and the ship's crew to ensure that everything runs smoothly and that all the equipment is operating properly.

I work closely with the captain and Ken Smith, the chief scientist to ensure that the goals of the cruise are being met. A large part of my role is to act as the chief liaison for the different science groups, NSF, RPSC and ECO. That's an easy task this trip with the great folks we have aboard.

Have you been to Antarctica before?
Many times. Sometimes they even let me go home.

What are you looking forward to?
Pushing back the frontiers of science.

What are you not looking forward to?
Gaining ten pounds on all the desserts.

What specifically will you do on the cruise, and how does that tie in to the big picture?
My big picture is making sure that the whole operation runs smoothly. From ensuring that cargo arrives to the ship in South America and that all the support folks get paid on time to making certain the we have a workable daily schedule, my day is spent juggling details so that operations and data collection run well.

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
If they use it, we support it.

Stephanie Bush Stephanie Bush
MBARI
University of California, Berkeley

Research interests:
I am interested in the differences in biological systems that occur near and far from icebergs.

Your specific role on the cruise:
I will be assisting with ROV operations and helping with the MOCNESS (beast).

Have you been to Antarctica before?
Yes, with (pretty much) the same group last year.

What are you looking forward to?
Open water, pack-ice, penguins, SCIENCE!

What are you not looking forward to?
This is my longest research cruise yet - I'm sure it will be fine though....!

What specifically will you do on the cruise, and how does that tie in to the big picture?
I will either help tend the tether during ROV deployments, making sure we have the right amount out at any given times, or be stationed in the control room watching the video feed and checking that it is being recorded. I'll help pull in the MOCNESS full of animals after night tows and sort what we have caught during the day. By doing both we hope to get a good picture of the biology on the iceberg, near the iceberg, and far from the iceberg.

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
ROV and MOCNESS (multiple opening/closing net and environmental sampling system) .

Adrian CefarelliAdrian Cefarelli
La Plata University-Argentina

Research interests:
Phytoplankton

Your specific role on the cruise:
A member of the phytoplankton group, studying phytoplankton diversity using microscopy.

Have you been to Antarctica before?
Yes, June 2008

What are you looking forward to?
I am looking forward to sunny days!

What are you not looking forward to?
I am not looking forward to cloudy days!

What specifically will you do on the cruise, and how does that tie in to the big picture?
Biology graduate working with Maria Vernet taking samples of phytoplankton and analyzing them microscopically.

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
Nets with a mesh size of 5 and 20 um. Phase contrast Nikon E 800 light microscope equipped with a digital camera.

Diane ChakosDiane Chakos
Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego

Research interests:
The effect of icebergs on phytoplankton.

Your specific role on the cruise:
I am part of the phytoplankton group and will be focusing on their productivity in relationship to the icebergs.

Have you been to Antarctica before?
Yes. This is my 6th voyage to the Southern Ocean.

What are you looking forward to?
Being a part of the Antarctic environment, the many shades of blue, and what we will find.

What are you not looking forward to?
Running out of Freshies...but there's always chocolate, so I think that counts when you're out at sea.

What specifically will you do on the cruise, and how does that tie in to the big picture?
I will collect water from the CTD and the ROV near and far from the iceberg to study the productivity of phytoplankton throughout the water column.

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
The CTD rosette and incubation tank.

For more information:
http://icestories.exploratorium.edu/dispatches/index.php

Craig Dawe Craig Dawe
ROV Ventana Chief Pilot, MBARI

Your specific role on the cruise:
ROV pilot, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Pilot, deck monkey.

Have you been to Antarctica before?
No.

What are you looking forward to?
The total experience, being in a part of the world that few get an opportunity to visit.

What are you not looking forward to?
Being on board a ship for 42 days. Been there, done that, and it can be very trying.

What specifically will you do on the cruise, and how does that tie in to the big picture?
We will provide some of the tools (hopefully without incident) that will allow the researchers to complete their work. I will bring my 25-plus years of experience as an ROV pilot to the table to help contribute to a successful mission series with ROV Phantom.

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
I will work with the ROV (modified from a standard model) to accomplish the science, and will pilot the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to bombard the icebergs.

Jacob Ellena Jacob Ellena
Research Technician, MBARI

Research interests:
Overall impacts that free drifting icebergs have on surrounding water bodies.

Your specific role on the cruise:
I will be in charge of data management for all research groups and in charge of conducting sea bird assessment surveys. In addition to that I am also a support technician for the UAV's (airplanes) as well as a backup pilot if need be.

Have you been to Antarctica before?
Yes. I’ve been twice before on previous iceberg cruises.

What are you looking forward to?
I’m very much looking forward to seeing the ROV film the underside of the icebergs. Also I’m interested in seeing all the animals that will be collected with the various towed nets we will be using.

What are you not looking forward to?
The Drake Passage can get a little rough at times....

What specifically will you do on the cruise, and how does that tie in to the big picture?
I will be taking all the data each research group generates and organizing that into a central location, which researchers will be able to reference in the future. Every day I will also conduct a survey of every bird I can see around the iceberg. Lastly I will help get the UAV’s ready for flight and if our other pilots are indisposed I will fly those missions myself.

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
The UAV’s are modified model aircraft. We’ve installed a deployment mechanism to drop our GPS beacons on the icebergs. In order to do that with any form of accuracy we’ve also installed a camera system that will allow us to see what is directly below and in front of the UAV.

For more information:
Audobon Magazine: "Life on the Ice"
Audobon Magazine: "Iceberg article"

Michael FoxMichael Fox
University of San Diego

Research interests:
The influence of free-drifting icebergs on surrounding pelagic communities and the effects icebergs have on carbon cycling in the Southern Ocean.

Your specific role on the cruise:
Biological oceanography. As a research assistant I will be studying the macrozooplankton and micronekton communities in the waters surrounding icebergs.

Have you been to Antarctica before?
No, I have never been to Antarctica.

What are you looking forward to?
Being involved in a project like this is an incredible opportunity. I’m looking forward to living and working at sea, learning many new things, experiencing new places, meeting new people, and just about everything else.

What are you not looking forward to?
The cold!! I primarily work in tropical climates and have been strategically avoiding cold weather for the past five years. I also spent the past seven months working in the Caribbean, so this climate change is going to be a real shock!

What specifically will you do on the cruise, and how does that tie in to the big picture?
I will be helping to examine the zooplankton communities around icebergs in order to study their effect on the structure of planktonic communities. Zooplankton communities play a critical role in organic carbon cycling so it is important to learn how they are impacted by the presence of icebergs. This information will help develop a better understanding of how icebergs impact carbon cycling in the Southern Ocean.

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
Two MOCNESS trawls. One has a one-square-meter opening for sampling the smaller zooplankton communities and the second has a large net with a 10-square-meter opening for sampling the larger zooplankton and micronekton communities.

Dani Nicole GarciaDani Nicole Garcia
University of San Diego, Undergraduate

Research interests:
Influence of icebergs on pelagic animal communities, especially the effects of these icebergs on the physiological condition of Antarctic krill, Euphausia superba.

Your specific role on the cruise:
Biological oceanography, specifically the study of macrozooplankton/micronekton communities in the waters around icebergs.

Have you been to Antarctica before?
Yes, this will be my second trip. I participated in the last iceberg cruise in June 2008, so I am familiar with the Nathaniel B. Palmer and ship operations, and I know many of the veterans in the science party.

What are you looking forward to?
I am really looking forward to being in such a beautiful and unique place, surrounded by people who are all focused on the same goal and working cooperatively to achieve it. I am also looking forward to the endless and delicious banana bread that will be supplied by the kitchen crew :)

What are you not looking forward to?
Nothing that would make me reconsider my decision to go on the trip, but I will miss a few things about being home, especially my pet rabbit! I'm also a little disappointed to be missing NCAA March Madness.

What specifically will you do on the cruise, and how does that tie in to the big picture?
I will be assisting Dr. Kaufmann in sampling zooplankton in the waters around icebergs. We hope to characterize the role of these organisms in the organic carbon cycle by better understanding how icebergs are affecting these communities.

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
We will be using two different MOCNESS trawls to collect samples. Having two systems with different sizes of nets and mesh will allow us to focus on sampling organisms in a particular size range.

John Helly John Helly
University of California, San Diego / San Diego Supercomputer Center
http://www.sdsc.edu/~hellyj

Research interests:
Iceberg structure and dynamics, remote sensing, 2- and 3D mapping of the water column and the sea surface.

Your specific role on the cruise:
Finding icebergs, measuring their size and abundance, and quantifying the meltwater plume and the forces governing the motion and transport of icebergs.

Have you been to Antarctica before?
Yes, this will be my third research cruise there.

What are you looking forward to?
A lot of great new data.

What specifically will you do on the cruise, and how does that tie in to the big picture?
Navigate to icebergs, measure their physical geometry, analyze shipboard data to quantify the meltwater plume and try to model the forces governing the motion and transport of icebergs.

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
Onboard physical oceanographic and meteorology instruments, computer systems, laser ranger, and inclinometer to measure icebergs.

Cole Hexel Cole R. Hexel
University of South Carolina

Research interests:
Atoms, molecules, and isotopes.

Your specific role on the cruise:
I will be focusing on water chemistry, and maintaining the trace metal collection equipment.

Have you been to Antarctica before?
Yes, May 2008.

What are you looking forward to?
I always look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. In addition, the stories, experience, and research are always memorable and told for years to come.

What are you not looking forward to?
The never ending supply of bananas and chocolate cakes. I dislike chocolate and after the last cruise, I hate bananas!

What specifically will you do on the cruise, and how does that tie in to the big picture?
I will be collecting, as well as measuring, radium and thorium isotopes from surface and deep waters. These samples will enable us to estimate the flux of terrestrial material from the icebergs as they move across the southern ocean.

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
Both the surface and deep water trace metal wings, and a cleanroom.

Amanda Kahn Amanda Kahn
MBARI, Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
http://mlmlblog.wordpress.com/students/amanda-kahn/

Research interests:
Invertebrate zoology, public outreach.

Your specific role on the cruise:
I am assisting Debbie Nail Meyer with the expedition log, which documents the research we do in Antarctica. I will also help the engineers with their work, as needed.

Have you been to Antarctica before?
No, it is my first time! This is only my second time out of the United States, and my first time out of North America.

What are you looking forward to?
I love observing ship operations. I am also excited to watch the project progress and adapt as we’re out at sea. Finally, I look forward to seeing icebergs, seabirds, and penguins.

What are you not looking forward to?
I am a compulsive email-checker, so going six weeks without access to my email accounts is going to be tough!

What specifically will you do, and how does that tie in to the big picture of the project?
I will talk to people on board and share stories about our experiences and our progress on this website, so the public can get an idea of our Antarctic research. I will also write about life on the ship, including what it takes to get down to Antarctica, stories about the people involved, and just general stories about how we’re doing out at sea. I’ll also be a helper for the engineers, which would involve preparing equipment for deployment and maintaining equipment on the ship. Finally, I will help any of the research groups that need help, which may involve sorting trawl samples, labeling sample vials, working in a cold room, or many other things.

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
I really only need a computer for my outreach role on board!

Ron Kaufmann Ron Kaufmann
Marine Science and Environmental Studies Department
University of San Diego

http://www.sandiego.edu/~kaufmann

Research interests:
Influence of icebergs on pelagic animal communities, especially in relation to organic carbon cycling.

Your specific role on the cruise:
Biological oceanography, specifically the study of macrozooplankton/micronekton communities in the waters around icebergs.

Have you been to Antarctica before?
Yes. I first went to the Antarctic in 1992 to study the effects of seasonal pack ice on macrozooplankton/micronekton communities in the Weddell Sea. This will be my seventh cruise in the waters around Antarctica.

What are you looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to another trip to this amazing part of the world and to seeing how the patterns we’ve detected on our previous two trips compare to what we will see on this trip.

What are you not looking forward to?
Seasickness. I usually adapt pretty quickly, but the first couple days can be unpleasant. Other than that, it’s hard to be away from home for such a long time, but the excitement of the trip will make up for that to some extent.

What specifically will you do on the cruise, and how does that tie in to the big picture?
I will be sampling zooplankton in the waters around icebergs to evaluate the effects of icebergs on the structure and dynamics of planktonic communities. Zooplankton are important participants in the cycling of organic carbon, and it’s crucial to study how icebergs affect zooplankton in order to understand the effects of icebergs on carbon cycling in the Southern Ocean.

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
My primary tools will be two MOCNESS trawls . The smaller trawl has a on-square-meter mouth opening and fine mesh nets to collect small zooplankton, and the larger trawl has a 10-square-meter mouth opening and collects larger zooplankton and micronekton.

Alison KelleyAlison Kelley
Earth and Ecosystem Sciences, Desert Research Institute
http://peripatetic-wanderer.blogspot.com/

Research interests:
We'll be looking at the role of microbes in the organic carbon cycle in the micro-communities of free-drifting icebergs.

Your specific role on the cruise:
I'm gal Friday to the Murray Field Team, which will include anything from CTD casts, culturing microbes, and isolating DNA to making lattes.

Have you been to Antarctica before?
As part of Dr. Murray's GenEx2 field team, I've been to Palmer Station in 2001 and 2002.

What are you looking forward to?
Learning about the amazing floating communities that lurk beneath the icebergs.

What are you not looking forward to?
Watching my compadres suffer seasickness.

What specifically will you do on the cruise, and how does that tie in to the big picture?
Part of my role as a generalist is that I fill whatever role needs to be filled. That's what is so interesting about these projects, is not knowing what I'll be doing until I'm actually doing it.

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
ROV, CTD, Pellicon Pump.

Scott Kindelberger Scott Kindelberger
University of South Carolina, Department of Chemistry

Research interests:
Trace metal chemistry, environmental chemistry.

Your specific role on the cruise:
Hydrogen peroxide measurements in seawater.

What are you looking forward to?
Meeting new people who share the same research interests as me, discussing/formulating new research directions, appreciating the beauty of Antarctica that I have only previously seen in books.

What are you not looking forward to?
Having never been on a large ship before, I hear that a rough crossing of the Drake Passage can make for a rather interesting first few days.

What specifically will you do on the cruise, and how does that tie in to the big picture?
Given that icebergs may play a role in supplying vital nutrients to the ocean as they melt, I will be measuring hydrogen peroxide levels, which play a role in the oxidation of iron in seawater and could affect its bio availability.

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
I will be using a field portable flow cell instrument that can measure nanomolar concentrations of hydrogen peroxide in seawater. The project will rely on water supplied by the trace metal wings deployed in either a surface or deep water collection configuration.

Hai Lin Hai Lin
University of South Carolina

Research interests:
Iron in the ocean.

Your specific role on the cruise:
I will be focusing on the concentration and speciation of Iron (Fe) in seawater.

Have you been to Antarctica before?
Yes, May 2008.

What are you looking forward to?
I am looking forward to seeing more iron and penguins near the icebergs.

What are you not looking forward to?
Sleeping in the cabin right next to the engine room.

What specifically will you do on the cruise, and how does that tie in to the big picture?
I will be measuring iron from surface and deep waters, which will enable us to test the role of icebergs on phytoplankton growth through the release of iron from melting ice.

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
Felume (flow injection chemilumescence) --- to measure iron.

David Long David Long
Center for Remote Sensing, Brigham Young University
http://www.mers.byu.edu/long/long.html

Research interests:
Scatterometry, radar, signal processing, and polar ice.

Your specific role on the cruise:
Shore-side support by identifying and tracking potential icebergs for the scientists at sea to study.

What specifically will you do on the cruise, and how does that tie in to the big picture?
David Long will collect, process, and identify icebergs in the Weddell Sea that would be good targets for the scientists on the RVIB Nathaniel B. Palmer to focus on.

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
Scatterometry from the QuikSCAT satellite.

Larry Lovell Larry Lovell
Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts

Affiliation:
I work for the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, but I am going to Antarctica on my own time. I previously worked with Ken Smith on his research cruises when we were at Scripps Institute of Oceanography and I was the manager of the Benthic Invertebrate Collection.

Research interests:
I will be part of the MOCNESS crew lead by Ron Kaufmann. I am an invertebrate taxonomist by training and will be part of the team identifying the krill and other animals from the MOCNESS samples. I did this work previously during ERUPT V at Deception Island in 2000.

Your specific role on the cruise:
Biological oceanography.

Have you been to Antarctica before?
Yes in 2000, I participated on ERUPT V at Deception Island. The ERUPT Program was an earlier project of Ken Smith's.

What are you looking forward to?
Another chance to be where few people go and to experience the natural beauty of Antarctica. I hope to see penguins, sea birds, and other Southern Ocean species.

What are you not looking forward to?
The Drake Passage. I can get seasick and that will be place it will likely happen, going and coming back.

What specifically will you do on the cruise, and how does that tie in to the big picture?
To track changes in the species composition (diversity) and abundance (density) of the zooplankton population with increasing distance from the icebergs.

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
I will be working with the MOCNESS nets.

Paul McGill Paul McGill
Electrical Engineer, MBARI

Research interests:
I'm interested in using advanced electronics and instrumentation to enhance the scientists' ability to understand the Antarctic ocean environment.

Your specific role on the cruise:
I'm an electrical engineer, and my role will be to maintain and operate a variety of specialized instruments.

Have you been to Antarctica before?
This will be my fifth trip to Antarctica. The first three trips were on land, to McMurdo Station and to the South Pole. Last year was my first trip by sea, where I got an up-close view of all those icebergs I'd flown over in years past.

What are you looking forward to?
The scenery in the Southern Ocean is spectacular. I also enjoy not having to commute to work, buy food, cook food, or do dishes!

What are you not looking forward to?
I'll miss my wife terribly, and eating in the same "restaurant" morning, noon, and night for six weeks can get very tedious.

What specifically will you do on the cruise, and how does that tie in to the big picture?
I'll work with my fellow engineer, Alana Sherman, to make sure that all of the specialized equipment we bring will be operating smoothly. Everything we bring will have to be reassembled and checked out on the ship. One tiny mistake can result in the loss of the equipment and the scientific data it carries.

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
Alana and I are responsible for the Phantom ROV, the Langrangian sediment traps, and the GPS drop tags. These three very different platforms will allow us to gather data alongside, under, and over the icebergs. We'll prepare the equipment before it's deployed, guide the operation of the ship while the equipment is deployed, and then retrieve, analyze, and archive the data after the equipment is recovered.

For more information:
For a video of last year's GPS Drop Tag deployments, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDK7v_cTV-Q

Debbie Nail Meyer Debbie Nail Meyer
MBARI

Research interests:
Science communication, polar oceanography, and technology.

Your specific role on the cruise:
Outreach coordinator. I will be writing about the research activities for posting on the expedition log.

Have you been to Antarctica before?
Not until now!

What are you looking forward to?
Talking with scientists about their research, seeing icebergs, being at sea.

What are you not looking forward to?
Being away from my family for six weeks.

What specifically will you do and how does that tie into the big picture of the project?
I will be asking lots of questions and taking pictures while the scientists and engineers are working, then writing about it. I'll work closely with Amanda to plan, edit, and email daily updates to MBARI where they will be posted on the web. I also look forward to helping with net samples, equipment preparation, and any other tasks.

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
I'll be using a computer and camera for my work. On a ship, however, even these seemingly simple devices require careful planning, especially on a cruise this long and remote. I won't be able to search the internet, call technical support, or order a replacement part if something breaks.

Alison Murray Alison Murray
Associate Research Professor
Earth and Ecosystem Sciences, Desert Research Institute

http://iceberg.dri.edu

Research interests:
Microbial ecology—understanding how microorganisms interact with their environment. In this case, studying microbial activity and diversity in the iceberg zone of influence as compared to outside the areas affected by icebergs, and testing the hypothesis that activity is enhanced due to micronutrients such as iron that are enriched in the iceberg-influenced waters.

Your specific role on the cruise:
My group is working with Maria Vernet’s group to study biological oceanography of the plankton and iceberg-associated microbiota.

Have you been to Antarctica before?
Yes, this is my 11th trip. I’ve worked at Palmer Station for five field seasons, been on the teaching staff for a Graduate Training course in integrative biology at McMurdo several times, and worked out of a field camp at an ice-sealed lake (Lake Vida) in the Victoria Valley, one of the McMurdo Dry Valleys.

What are you looking forward to?
Seeing some amazing icebergs, which are living up to their status as “hotspots” of biological activity. Also, working together with this large team that’s been assembled to answer some relatively complicated oceanographic questions.

What are you not looking forward to?
Missing the rest of the ski season and barfing in the rad van.

What specifically will you do on the cruise, and how does that tie in to the big picture?
My group will be collecting seawater in the upper 500 meters of the water column surrounding the icebergs. We will collect samples for determining the biological diversity and identifying the organisms that are most active in the picoplantkon, (defined as those organisms less than two microns, includes the same group defined as bacterioplankton). We’ll also be measuring the growth rates of picoplankton and their abilities to degrade (hydrolyze) different types of organic carbon. Lastly, we are conducting experiments to test whether the picoplankton are iron-limited in Southern Ocean waters that we’re sailing in – and whether picoplankton are relieved of this stress in the iceberg zone.

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
We’re using the CTD/rosette which is instrumented with various devices to measure pressure, temperature, salinity, fluorescence, and carries 24 Niskin bottles that are triggered to collect water at specified depths. We also will work with the ROV team to collect samples from the iceberg, and with the chemical oceanographers who are collecting large volume water samples (LVWS). With the large volume samples, we will harvest the microbial cells from the seawater using a tangential flow filtration (TFF) system.

Vivian Peng Vivian Peng
Desert Research Institute
http://ontheiceandbeyond.blogspot.com/

Research interests:
Studying the microbial community structure under the influence of the icebergs.

Your specific role on the cruise:
One of the Microbe Gals.

Have you been to Antarctica before?
Yes. To Palmer Station for the International Polar Year project in 2008 and on the Iceberg2008 cruise.

What are you looking forward to?
Being out in the open ocean, the sight of Punta Arenas as we pull into port, the mocha in a local chocolate shop in Punta Arenas, sorting salps.

What are you not looking forward to?
The dreaded Drake Passage, relearning how to tie a bowline knot, seeing salps (but I like sorting them!)

What specifically will you do on the cruise, and how does that tie in to the big picture?
I will be partaking in the collection of water and filtering of said water to collect microbes. I will be running ectoenzyme activity assays to measure the activity of the microbes in the surrounding waters of the iceberg.

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
We will be using the CTD rosettes and the TOWfishes (from the Shaw group) for our water collection.

Kim Reisenbichler Kim Reisenbichler
Senior Research Technician, MBARI
www.mbari.org/staff/reki/

Research interests:
My general area of interest is the study of midwater and deep sea animals. , My specific interests for this project/cruise are to study the effects that the large icebergs we’re studying have on the distribution of mesopelagic fishes found around them. I'm also interested in determining the diets of midwater fishes and how their diets vary in relationship to the relative abundance of specific potential prey items found around the icebergs we’re studying.

Your specific role on the cruise:
I am a Sr. Research Technician with Dr. Bruce Robison’s Midwater Ecology Group at MBARI. I will be identifying the fishes collected by the MOCNESS and Tucker trawls. I will be in charge of running the Tucker trawl, assisting Craig Dawe with the operations of the Phantom II ROV (tether handling, piloting and sampler adaptations) and will be Chief Pilot for the remote control airplane operations.

Have you been to Antarctica before?
I have previously participated in 5 expeditions to the Antarctic: The first two were to conduct midwater trawling operation in McMurdo Sound and the Palmer Peninsula in 1983 with Bruce Robison; the third was to conduct midwater trawling operations under sea ice from the NBP in 1992 with Ken Smith and Bruce Robison; and the fourth and fifth deployment were to help investigate the effects of large, free-drifting icebergs on the surrounding water column in 2005 and 2008 as part of this current project.

What are you looking forward to?
I'm looking forward to doing the science, some great opportunities for photography and working with a very talented group of people in a spectacular environment that very few people have the opportunity to see and appreciate first hand.

What are you not looking forward to?
I'm not looking forward to being away from my family, friends and home for 47 days. However, my family is very supportive and accepts that this is part of the job and one of the reasons I find my job to be so interesting.

What specifically will you do on the cruise, and how does that tie in to the big picture?
See Research Interests.

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
I will use the ROV, the RC airplanes and the MOCNESS and Tucker trawls.

Tim Shaw Tim Shaw
University of South Carolina

Research interests:
Trace element geochemistry, environmental analytical chemistry. Developing techniques for trace elements in the environment, geochemical cycling of trace elements in the environment.

Your specific role on the cruise:
Chemical oceanography.

Have you been to Antarctica before?
Yes.

activity of 224RaWhat specifically will you do on the cruise, and how does that tie in to the big picture?
We will measure tracers of terrestrial material flux to the Southern Ocean, which requires the development of specialized sampling equipment and new analytical methods. The figure to the left shows the activity of 224Ra, a tracer of terrestrial material, in waters of the Drake Passage and the Weddell Sea. Using 224Ra and other tracers we have begun to evaluate the importance of free drifting icebergs in the export of carbon from the Southern Ocean.

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
Both the surface and deep water trace metal wings, and a cleanroom.

Rob Sherlock Rob Sherlock
Senior Research Technician, MBARI

Research interests:
I’m interested in the abundance and distribution of mesozooplankton. Mostly the snotty, squishy things who eat the krill, copepods, and crustaceans that many other (odd) scientists are interested in.

Your specific role on the cruise:
I’m going down as part of the ROV crew but biological oceanography is my research interest.

Have you been to Antarctica before?
This will be my third time though I’ve only been on the continent, briefly, once.

What are you looking forward to?
The ice. Really.

What are you not looking forward to?
Cocking the sixth and last MOCNESS net—or the off-chance of bunking with John Helly. Six weeks without a pisco sour!

What specifically will you do on the cruise, and how does that tie in to the big picture?
I will help with the launch, recovery, piloting and maintenance of the ROV, the MOCNESS (multiple opening/closing net and environmental sampling system) and the Tucker trawl. The MOCNESS consists of six, 10-square-meter nets that can sample a lot of water and collect a lot of critters, mostly above 300 meters. The Tucker is a single net that can be used to make an oblique trawl for deeper living animals. I will be helping to identify and sort those animals and looking for patterns in their distributions.

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
ROV, MOCNESS, Tucker Trawl and plastic sorting trays (mission critical).

Alana Sherman Alana Sherman
Electrical Engineer
MBARI

http://www.mbari.org/staff/alana/default.htm

Have you been to Antarctica before?
Yes.

What are you looking forward to?
Seeing video of the icebergs taken from the ROV.

What are you not looking forward to?
I like to swim so I miss the pool.

What specifically will you do on the cruise, and how does that tie in to the big picture?
I keep the ROV and Lagrangian sediment traps operating so scientists can collect data.

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
ROV and Lagrangian sediment traps (LST's).

Karie Sines
Working for Maria Vernet who is out of Scripps Institute of Oceanography, UCSD

Research interests:Phytoplankton ecology surrounding a free-floating iceberg.

Your specific role on the cruise:
Biological oceanography

Have you been to Antarctica before?
Yes.

What are you looking forward to?
Working with all the interesting people and the unbelievable scenery.

What are you not looking forward to?
Seasickness.

What specifically will you do on the cruise, and how does that tie in to the big picture?
Collecting and running chlorophylls as a measure of biomass surrounding the icebergs. I will also be helping out on a culturing experiment involving the Trace Metal and Bacterial groups.

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
Fluorometers, light sensors (QSL2100) and lots of vacuum pumps.

Gordon StephensonGordon Stephenson

Benjamin Twining Benjamin Twining
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
http://www.bigelow.org/index.php/research/srs/benjamin_twining/

Research interests:
Trace metal bioavailability and biogeochemistry, metal-plankton interactions.

Your specific role on the cruise:
My "group"' (myself and my student Hai Lin) are responsible for iron measurements on the cruise.

Have you been to Antarctica before?
I have never been on the continent of Antarctica. I participated in the previous Iceberg cruise (June, 2008), and I sailed south of the Antarctic circle during the SOFeX project.

What are you looking forward to?
I'm looking forward to continuing our research in this remote corner of the earth. Many research questions have arisen since returning from the first cruise, and we are lucky to have the opportunity to return to address them. I'm also looking forward to seeing a number of good friends established on the first cruise. I'm also looking forward to a pisco sour (or two).

What are you not looking forward to?
I will miss my family, including two small children, immensely. Conveniently, I will also miss a good portion of"'mud season" at home in Maine!

What specifically will you do on the cruise, and how does that tie in to the big picture?
I will be collecting samples for measurements of particulate iron in the waters surrounding the icebergs. I will be assisting in the deployment and recovery of sampling gear designed to collect water without contamination by metals such as iron (Fe). I will also be assisting my student, Hai Lin, in the collection and analysis of samples for measurements of Fe(II), Fe-binding ligands, and total dissolved Fe around the icebergs. Finally, I will be assisting the Vernet and Murray groups with the nutrient-addition incubation experiments to probe for Fe and other micronutrient limitation. All of this work is designed to help us answer the questions:

  1. Are Fe concentrations enriched/elevated in proximity to the icebergs? If so, what chemical form is that Fe in?
  2. Is phytoplankton growth limited by Fe in these waters? If so, do the icebergs alleviate that limitation through their inputs?

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
For water collection, we will use two different 'fishes', one designed for collecting shallow (~5 meters) water and one designed for collection deep (~100 meters) water. These are towed from the starboard side while the ship steams slowly, and water is pumped directly into the clean van for sampling. We will also deploy Niskin-X bottles for collection of clean samples at a number of depths (down to ~1000 meters). On the ship we will use a chemiluminescence flow-injection analysis system to measure Fe(II) in real-time and total dissolved Fe off-line (several days after sample collection).

Maria Vernet Maria Vernet
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
University of California, San Diego

http://polarphytoplankton.ucsd.edu/

Research interests:
Phytoplankton, diatoms, nutritional growth conditions, primary production, and response of phytoplankton to the presence of the iceberg.

Your specific role on the cruise:
Research in biological oceanography. We are a group of four in charge of understanding phytoplankton abundance and composition in response to the iceberg presence and identification of the main mechanisms.

Have you been to Antarctica before?
Yes, several cruises starting in 1988.

What are you looking forward to?
A productive cruise, with integrated scientific activities to answer a common question.

What specifically will you do on the cruise, and how does that tie in to the big picture?
We expect to confirm findings from December 2005 when we measured a strong gradient in physical and biological variables in relation to the iceberg. We found that phytoplankton abundance and composition (species involved) were affected by the iceberg.

What kinds of specialized equipment will you use?
Niskin bottles in CTD rosette, alongtrack sampling, cultures in the light van, phytoplankton nets (5, 20 and 63 micrometer mesh).

For additional information:
http://icestories.exploratorium.edu/dispatches/index.php

IceburgExpedition Homepage
Find out why our scientists and equipment are in the Antarctic.

Unmanned Aerial VehicleDaily Expedition Logs
Find out what the scientists are doing daily out in the antarctic.

ResearchersLife on the Ship
Find out what it's like to be on a research ship out in the antarctic.

ROV PhantomExpedition Equipment
A detailed look and description of the equipment used on this cruise.

Google EarthFollow the ship's voyage
A link to the expedition's voyage on Google Earth.

phytoplanktonExploratorium's Ice Stories
Antarctica's Iceberg Phytoplankton

Additional Links