Schools on Board: Phytoplankton and the Arctic Ecosystem

October 1, 2011

Today, we learned about phytoplankton, which is important because it is responsible for most of the primary production in the Arctic ecosystem. Scientists want to know if the Arctic Ocean will be emitting or absorbing CO2 in the future due to climate change.

It’s starting to feel like we will be leaving the ship really soon. We started discussing a farewell presentation for the scientists and crew. The helicopter pilot also started giving safety briefings to prepare us for getting off the ship.

Even though we are leaving soon, we are still doing exciting activities. The chief engineer gave us a tour of the engine room this afternoon. It was very loud and smelled like diesel, but it was cool to see the inner workings of the ship. What I found interesting was the fact that the heat from the engines is used to boil seawater in order to obtain freshwater for the ship. —Karen Butt ’12

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