Welcome back to my cheesy blog. I cannot believe that this is the fifth trip I am taking to the Antarctic! Perhaps it is high time that I finally introduce myself. My name is Adrian and I am addicted to academics- um I mean I am a PhD candidate at George Mason University. One day I hope … to graduate.
For my PhD research I am looking at ways to design a new marine protected area (MPA) in the Western Antarctic Peninsula region. A well designed MPA would help conserve a wide variety of marine species and help make the fisheries more sustainable. That means I need to have a very good understanding of how the marine ecosystems function in the Western Antarctic Peninsula region.
This year, for the first time, I am travelling to Antarctica as a full fledged member of a science program. I will be on the zooplankton team for NOAAs winter oceanographic cruise. I believe my actual title is something like “junior biological technician”, which accurately portrays that I have a lot to learn!
So, this year come with me as I learn about the little critters that live in the Southern Ocean and support the marine food web. We will be catching all sorts of odd looking animals. We expect- and hope- that there will be a lot of krill (a little shrimp like creature that is eaten by fish, penguins, seals, whales and even harvested by people).
It is also my first oceanographic research cruise on a big ship! I will be living and working on the RVIB Nathaniel B Palmer for about a month. The Palmer is the bigger sister ship to the RVIB Laurence M Gould (a.k.a “Fisher’s Price’s my first ice breaker”) that I travelled on a few years ago. It should be good sciencey times. Stay tuned!