Posted by K. Bylsma , C-IMAGE , Teacher at Sea for Sunday, August 10,2013.

Today was the last day of testing at site PCB01. WOW!! Drop was at 8:00, so in our perfected system, we were finished in NO time.

Jonelle spent this time teaching me how her toxicity tests work from the Shipek samples. This is quite a process, given that only a small fraction of her testing takes place while we are still on the boat. She then takes the samples to the lab, grows E-coli bacteria , dilutes the samples, incubates, dilutes, and regrows for 120 agar laden petri dishes. The process usually takes about 3 weeks. She drew out a schematic of the process for me to better understand , as well as the immediate data collected on the Microtox machine. (see photo) The only toxicity levels that were positive on the samples she shared were the surface of two stations, one of which was the surface layers of DWH.

Her Master’s work in microbiology has prepared her for extensive lab work, leadership on these cruises, and an opportunity to share with her native Trinidad community. ( She has worked on oil rigs in Trinidad and returns periodically to

After that, it was time to clean and pack. This group has a real system down, a kind of bucket brigade where everyone takes a job or a section to be responsible for. Everyone pitches in as we are cruising into port in Panama City. By noon, we have docked and most everything is secured. Thomas made lunches early so that everyone can finish their sections.

We remain on the vessel tonight and drive back in rental vehicles tomorrow to St. Petersburg. This has been one of the most rewarding learning experiences ever offered. I have several wishes, though;

* That  more  educators were extended these types of professional growth opportunities.

* that students will be able to experience through this blog a portion of the excitement, joint learning with specialists, and an appreciation for the interconnectedness of systems.

* that ( teachers) YOUR school year is as exciting and rewarding as this has been for me !