Thursday, February 7, 2012


C-IMAGE team deploying the SIPPER, a plankton imaging system.

Last night, the water filtering went smoothly except for the dreaded “blank” sample.  In this sample, instead of using one filter paper, they use two!  This increases the resistance in the suction and increases the time it takes to filter 2 liters of seawater exponentially.  The reason they do this is to check the second filter to see if anything is making it through the first filter.  It is just a way of ensuring that they are not missing anything.  After the CTD, bongo net, and multicore, they deployed the “SIPPER”.  This is the device, which resembles a sled that they pull behind the boat at various depths while it is linked to a computer, retrieving massive amounts of data on both physical parameters and how much and what kind of plankton are down there without actually having to catch it!  The Weatherbird II crept along at a slow pace all night long pulling this device behind it.  It wasn’t finished until 5:30 this morning!  We just had a breakfast casserole and are waiting to get to the deep, deep, stations.


USF Graduate Student Bo Yang and Research Engineer Technician Karen Dreger Prepare the SIPPER