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Cloudy with drizzle
Latitude: 38° 16'N
Longitude: 60° 24'W
Wind Direction: WSW
Wind Speed: 18 Knots
Sea State: 3
Sea Temperature: 76°F (24.4°C)
Swell(s) Height: 6 Foot
Barometric Pressure: 1015.0 MB
Visibility: 6 Nautical Miles
Spicy Italian sausage
Cream of wheat
Raisin bran muffins
Red beans and sausage
Spicy Oriental rolls
Seasoned deep-fried potato skins
Chocolate cream pie
Spiced pork shoulder roast
Linguini with white clam sauce
Thai coconut green curry green beans
Caribbean vegetable sauté
Garlic bread sticks
Homemade tropical macaroon squares
The land of the living
June 13, 2003
By Joe Appel
The primary goals of Expedition 7 have been
spelled out by Chief Scientist Jess Adkins: to find fossil corals,
to make detailed maps of the New England Seamounts, to know more
about the history of this ocean water and therefore all the ocean,
and to come away from the cruise knowing how to find more corals
in the future.
Jess is a chemist, and so is most of the science group. So, the emphasis of the
scientific research has been related to chemistry. But there's another group
of scientists here, doing complementary but distinct work: the biologists.
Tim Shank, a research biologist with Woods
Hole Oceanographic Institution, notes that each of the five biologists
on the cruise has his or her own goals. "But we have a common
goal too," he adds, "which is to characterize the fauna of this
area at some level."
Shank is joined by Rhian Waller, Kate Buckman, Jon Moore, Mercer Brugler, and
Susan Mills. They work at different institutions and do different types of work.
But they're all excited about what the New England Seamounts have offered them
"We have more than 450 samples representing at least 111 different species," says
Rhian, who studies at the Southampton Oceanography Centre, in Great Britain. "I
say 'at least' because there are some things we've seen where we don't even know
exactly what they are yet. It's exciting when you can't identify something."
The questions this group raises have important ramifications for many elements
of marine biology. How many species are down there? Is there any "genetic communication" between
the same species of animal found on different seamounts? What is the relationship
between the size of soft corals and their age?
That's only a small list of the issues to be studied. "Not much is known about
the ecology of deep water corals," Rhian says. "There's a lot we can learn here
that we didn't necessarily set out to learn."
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