GOM-SCHEMA Cruise Log 1 – 04/26/15 (Kate Blackwell)

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The third research cruise of GOM-SCHEMA is underway! Funded and supported by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), U.S. Naval Research Lab (NRL), and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), this project continues to investigate the impact from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill on several shipwreck sites and their associated microbial infauna and coral associated in fauna located in the Gulf of Mexico.  For more info, go here: http://www.boem.gov/GOM-SCHEMA/ or http://mbac.gmu.edu/mbac_wp/gulf_wrecks/. On this research cruise, we will be collecting additional aqueous and sediment samples from each of the shipwreck sites visited on the past two expeditions in March and July of 2014.

Throughout the afternoon, scientists arrived to board the R/V Pelican and began setting-up for the coming week out at sea. Scientists from George Mason University (GMU), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), NRL, University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTMSI), and American University (AU) will be conducting experiments and collecting data for ongoing research projects throughout the week. We’ll highlight each of them throughout the trip!

Our work could not be done without the support of the excellent R/V Pelican crew.  Capt. Nic Allen led us through a brief discussion and exercise on boat safety in the evening before we set-off. With training successfully completed, we were treated to a chocolate ganache and pecan double-layer cake. Who said food on a research cruise had to be bad?

On 8:00 PM (CST), the R/V Pelican set-out to her first destination! Before arriving at the Halo shipwreck site, we stopped briefly at a C6 site to deploy the Conductivity, Temperature and Depth (CTD) rosette. Fun fact, it used to be known as the Salinity, Temperature, and Depth analyzer, but that acronym….

Our trip’s Chief Scientist, Dr. Leila Hamdan will close today’s log with a few words. We have been planning the trip for months, and spent two days in port getting ready to sail. But ocean science relies on two very important things: weather and team work, two things you can’t plan for, but hope for the best of.

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