Hurray!!! We made it to the field yesterday! We are very happy scientists!

In the helicopter on the way to F6, we passed over the icebreaker, USCGC Polar Star. This ship is cutting a channel for the resupply vessel to reach McMurdo Station in a few weeks. It’s amazing that the ship can break through several meters of sea ice! Also, if you look closely, you can see one of our stoichiometry treatment carboys (lower right corner) safely tucked away in the helicopter. Photo: Ashley Shaw

In the helicopter on the way to F6, we passed over the icebreaker, USCGC Polar Star. This ship is cutting a channel for the resupply vessel to reach McMurdo Station in a few weeks. It’s amazing that the ship can break through several meters of sea ice! Also, you can see one of our stoichiometry treatment carboys (lower right corner) safely tucked away in the helicopter. Photo: Ashley Shaw

Yesterday, Tandra, Andy, Matt, and Ashley went to F6 near Lake Fryxell to apply treatments to the stoichiometry experiment. It took us a little over two hours to complete our mission. First, we carried the full carboys from the helo pad to the plots. And at 25lbs per carboy, they get heavy! After setting up all of our supplies near our experiment plots, we carefully filled the pouring containers with the correct nutrient treatment. Then, we slowly applied the nutrient solutions to the correct treatment plots. After each one has been poured out onto the correct plot, the pouring container has to be refilled and poured out again on the next plot! We do this 8 times for each treatment (48 times!), because each of the 6 treatments that requires pouring has 8 replicates.

At the stoichiometry plots at F6 yesterday. Matt (L) is happy that we’re out in the field and getting some work done. Andy (R) prepares supplies for the treatments. If you look closely, you can see the plots that have already been treated (they’re wet!) and the stakes that mark the plots. Photo: Ashley Shaw

At the stoichiometry plots at F6 yesterday. Matt (L) is happy that we’re out in the field and getting some work done. Andy (R) prepares supplies for the treatments. If you look closely, you can see the plots that have already been treated (they’re wet!) and the stakes that mark the plots. Photo: Ashley Shaw

Today, Byron, Zach, and one of our Italian colleagues are on standby to visit New Harbor at the mouth of Taylor Valley for an algae and moss project. Tomorrow, Ashley, Andy, Matt, and Tandra are heading to South side Lake Bonney to treat the second set of stoichiometry plots and to sample the BEE control plots (read about that experiment here).

We got some help from the Artist-in-residence, Lily (far-right). She and Matt (right-center) are filling the containers. Tandra (left) heads out with a full pouring container to treat one of the plots, Andy (left-center) waits for the next pouring container. Photo: Ashley Shaw

We got some help from the Artist-in-residence, Lily (far-right). She and Matt (right-center) are filling the containers. Tandra (left) heads out with a full pouring container to treat one of the plots, Andy (left-center) waits for the next pouring container. Photo: Ashley Shaw

 

Written by: Ashley Shaw

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