A few numbers: all told we spent a whopping $695,184 on ship-time alone -- these kinds of expeditions are certainly expensive propositions. We traveled over 4300 nautical miles, a very impressive distance, equivalent to about twice the width of the US -- and all done at an average of about 12 miles an hour! We went through over a hundred gallons of ethanol to preserve our net samples, and collected hundreds of gigabytes of data.
|Limacina retroversa, a species of pteropod that proved to be very abundant in the northern part of our study area. These beautiful shells are only about a millimeter long! [Photo: Nancy Copley]|
Now we enter the next phase of the project, where we churn through those data and samples to glean as much information as possible on pteropods and their environment. By next year we'll no doubt have fresh insight into this problem that will help guide our continued fieldwork -- next summer we'll be back on the water, this time in the Pacific, to repeat the exact same sampling in the very different pH conditions of the northeast Pacific. Stay tuned to find out what we learn!