Life in the Dead Zone Cruises 2010 - Chesapeake Bay, MD
The metatranscriptomic portion of the Life in the Dead Zone project commenced in April 2010, with a day cruise out of Cambridge, MD. Ian flew down to Maryland for this cruise, and despite our best efforts it was just too windy, and we had to come back while still in the Little Choptank River. Further cruises in May and June 2010 were, however, successful, and we obtained samples for metatranscriptomes from both surface and deep water. One big surprise was that we could only get ~ 2 L of water through a 142mm diameter, 0.2 um filter, and a 1.0 um prefilter clogged with < 1 L of water.
On July 4, Ian traveled from Shoals, where he was spending the summer teaching and doing research, to Maryland to partake in the first week-long cruise of the project on board the R/V Hugh F. Sharp, along with summer techs Alex Wolverton and Ted Hermann. We set off from Cambridge and sailed North overnight to just below the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, before deploying a scanfish on a transect to the south bay. A minor glitch had us in port at the Patuxent River mouth for a few hours before continuing on the transect. Once at our most southerly station, we started daily stations up the bay, where each time we sampled surface and deep water for community gene expression. We also conducted several other expeirments, including: 1) terminal electron acceptor addition (TEA) experiments; 2) collection of copepods for viruses; and 3) a virus addition experiment to examine the impact of elevated virus pressure on community gene expression.
Ian departed the vessel at 4 am on the second to last day by zodiac and was dropped off at the end of the Bay Bridge. He was picked up by limmo (!) and jetted back to Shoals to attend the RIFS student symposium, where his intern, Dani Neuharth-Keusch, was speaking. Ted and Alex completed the cruise and returned with the samples to Ithaca.