7th Grade Students
8th Grade Students
About Roger

Dr. David Nelson's Cruise
September 2, 2005 - October 1, 2005
Plankton Dynamics & Carbon Cycling in the Equatorial Pacific Ocean by Fe, Si, and Grazing

Mrs. Brice's Nelson Cruise Logs

Live At-Sea Broadcasts

The first research cruise that the students followed in the 2005 school year was the Nelson Cruise which studied plankton and their effect on CO2 in the atmosphere in a seawater upwelling zone near the equator. The teacher, Mrs. Brice, participated in this cruise from Honolulu, Hawaii to San Diego, California (see map below).

She stayed in contact with her students via satellite explaining the research being conducted to her students, answered their questions, assisted in their related lessons, and sent photographs. The students also participated in live at-sea, two-way discussion broadcasts with Mrs. Brice and ship-board scientists.

Summary of Science

Of the many linkages among the cycles of biologically active elements in the ocean atmosphere-biosphere system, regulation of the oceanic carbon cycle by the processes that supply nitrogen, phosphorous, silicon, and iron to surface waters may be the most important. Phytoplankton photosynthesis, export of organic carbon from the surface layer, and remineralization of that carbon in the deep sea comprise a 'biological pump' which transports CO2 from the atmosphere to the deep ocean at globally significant rates.

Ice core records suggest that oscillations in the global-scale efficiency of this pump may play a major role in controlling atmospheric CO2 concentrations on glacial/interglacial time scales. Because N, P, Si, and Fe availability are all known to limit organic matter production by phytoplankton or its export to depth in present day ocean habitats, limitation by those elements may be the main biogeochemical mechanism regulating atmospheric CO2 levels.

The research phase of this project will be conducted in the upwelling zone of the Eastern Equatorial Pacific (135° - 140°W). The R/V Revelle will leave Honolulu on September 2, 2005 and return to San Diego California on October 1, 2005.




The Science Party

Water Sampling Equipment



Chief Scientist, Dr. David Nelson
Oregon State University

Dr. William Balch
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences

Dr. Stephen B. Baines
Marine Science Research Center
Stonybrook University, Stony Brook, New York

Dr. Mark Brzezinski
Dept. of Ecology Evolution and Marine Biology
University of California, Santa Barbara

Dr. Fei Chai
School of Marine Sciences
University of Maine

Dr. Richard Dugdale
Romberg Tiberon Center
San Francisco State University

Dr. Richard A. Feely
Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory

Dr. Michael Landry
Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Dr. Christopher Measures
University of Hawaii

Dr. Paul Treguer
Institut Universitaire Europeen de la Mer

Dr. Benjamin Twining
Dept. of Chemistry, South Carolina University, Columbia, SC

Dr. Francis Wilkerson
Romberg Tiberon Center
San Francisco State University

Lowering the CTD into the water to collect
phytoplankton samples and data on the
water column

Chlorophyll concentration near Buenos Aires
as seen from space courtesy of NASA's SeaWifs