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Part of my job as a biological oceanographer involves sampling in the field. We use both Coast Guard vessels as well as private charter vessels to sample the waters on Canada's Pacific Coast. There are several dozen activities that we do in the field -- this is a sampling of some of the things that happen on board.
All sorts of different Coast Guard ships are used for science in CanadaDeck crew run all the equipment (in this case a winch) for usCTD (conductivity, temperature, depth) unit. A basic oceanography instrument that can be outfitted with various sensors
Deploying the CTDLive feedback of the CTD cast - temperature (red), salinity (blue), light transmission (green), density (white)Taking the CTD unit as close to the bottom without touching is aided by a pinger and echosounder
CTD/Rosette unit. The CTD is sometimes combined with a rosette holding a number of sample bottles so that samples of water can be brought back from different depthsExtracting samples from water bottles tripped at depthOxygen samples taken between 1000 and 0 m show amounts of oxygen in the water. Left white bottle is from 1000 m (little oxygen) and right orange bottle is from the surface (high oxygen)
Styrofoam cup fun: cups are lowered from the CTD/Rosette unit on deep (3000+ m) castsStyrofoam compresses at depth, making really small cups. Compare to the full-sized mug in the backgroundFor one cruise there were too many non-meat eaters on board, requiring a stop in Gold River to pick up more veggies (I would be the vegan)
Acoustics transducer used to detect fish and plankton populationsThe backscatter detected from the transducer. Dense layers on the top are plankton; bottom are fishSunset in one of the coastal inlets. Sometimes the weather turns foul and we need to hide for a day or two
It's getting rough -- must be about time to do a plankton towThe MOCNESS, a very large plankton and larval fish capture device with six netsBongo plankton nets
The BIONESS, a smaller version of the MOCNESS that carries nine netsA Tucker Trawl, complete with three netsWhat's in this sample? (The original caption was 'Ewwww... more whale snot')
A plankton sampleLots of oily plankton make really good seabird and fish foodTotes and totes of krill
Our crab larvae isolation tank, used to find green crab larvaeThere's lots of time to catch up on your reading. Note the fashion statement in the jeansLisa really didn't like me taking this picture -- look closely at the eyes
Current moorings being configured prior to deploymentOn occasion land birds get blown offshore and land on the ship. A few survive, but most die from seasicknessA very confused seagull landed one day on the helicopter deck and laid an egg
Fresh cookies are served at 9.30am on the W.E. RickerGym on the J.P TullyMooring lines also make really good places to sit or nap
A fresh coat of paint is applied to the lifeboatsSurvival suits, just in case you need to abandon ship. Also referred to as Gumby suitsIsn't this little fish cute?
'King of the salmon' -- a very unique fishTote of salmonA good sized squid
Fresh hake ready for analysisSampling in the fish lab for weight, length, sex, stomach contents and moreSunfish or Mola mola get really big -- this one was the size of a small car

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