|Dissecting a herring caught during our first Georges Bank cruise to see what was in its stomach (Photo: Peter Wiebe)|
Our second cruise is timed to occur after the herring have mostly finished spawning (hopefully!). Once they spawn, the herring start to feed, munching down on all the krill found in this region. So during this next cruise we'll be studying the krill's behavior in high predation conditions. This is what we refer to as a 'natural experiment.' In a laboratory setting, it's easy to conduct experiments where conditions (tank temperature, for instance) are manipulated to produce different experimental treatments. In ocean-going fieldwork it's hard to do proper experiments (e.g., it's hard to manipulate the temperature of Georges Bank) and so we look for these natural experiments where conditions vary in a way that we can capitalize upon.
|Map of Georges Bank and the Gulf of Maine (NOAA-USGS). The red rectangle shows the area where we worked on our last cruise, and where we'll be starting out again this time.|
Stay tuned for more updates from the fogs of Georges Bank!