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Time to Get to Work

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We left the dock on the R/V Point Sur at midnight and reached our first station in the Gulf of Mexico around 2 pm today.  All supplies, microscopes and equipment got set up and stored away in the dry lab and we settled in for the welcome and safety meeting.  The great news is that since we followed the LUMCON Covid-19 protocols including quarantine, and we are vaccinated, the team is ready work!

 

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Today has been spent putting the MOCNESS together.  This is a Multiple Opening and Closing Net and Environmental Sensing System that we use to collect a variety of organisms from various depths in the midwater column (MOC10).  We will be dropping the 6-net system to 1500 m and collecting animals at different depths as it comes back to the surface.  Part of the team is testing and calibrating the acoustics array which will collect data using sound waves throughout the cruise.  The CTD (measures conductivity, temperature, and depth) has been set up as well which will be deployed to collect water quality data.  Our DEEPEND photographer is spending the day setting up his lab as well.  Things are coming together quite nicely so far.

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We are excited to be out here and ready to do some science!

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Dr. Heather Judkins is an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. She received a Bachelors degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island, Masters degree in Science Education from Nova Southeastern University and her PhD in Biological Oceanography from the University of South Florida. Her research focuses on understanding the evolution, ecology, and biogeography of cephalopods with a main focus currently in the Wider Caribbean. Her role in this project includes the identification of deep-sea cephalopods, examining genetic diversity, and analysis of cephalopod ecology and distribution in the water column.

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