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First leg as chief scientist: WOW!

06/08/2010, 11:26 PM by Patricia Yager
This is a true color (what your eye would see) of the river plume, as seen from space, with our cruise track in black.  You can see the blue color of the tropical ocean in the lower right.  The greenish brown Amazon plume covers most of the rest of our st<br/><br/>Credit: Courtesy of NASA (thanks to Helge Gomes)
This is a true color (what your eye would see) of the river plume, as seen from space, with our cruise track in black. You can see the blue color of the tropical ocean in the lower right. The greenish brown Amazon plume covers most of the rest of our st
Photo Credit: Courtesy of NASA (thanks to Helge Gomes)

As we head toward Cayenne tonight, on the evening of completing the first leg of our expedition, I am feeling a bit wistful as I look back on the past couple of weeks.  That went by fast!  I have hardly had a chance to catch my breath, much less sleep.  Seems like we just got here!  

And yet, when I look over all we have accomplished (16 stations later), I'm very proud to have been leading this amazing group of scientists.  What an awesome team of creative, hard-working, and talented people.  I can't wait for the preliminary synthesis discussion we will have at the science meeting tomorrow. 

I am also thrilled and impressed with a captain, ship, and crew who are clearly the best of the best.  I sat up on the bridge tonight, watching (trying to help, ha!) collect a wayward sediment trap in the dark.  I was so impressed. They have risen to every challenge with grace and skill.  We are fortunate indeed to have such a great professional team and platform for our research.

What an incredible place too.  The contrast between the blue sky and the green of the plume water is stunning.  The thunderheads, rainbows, sunsets, and starry starry nights are truly beautiful.  And just about every day there is a surprise finding and we learn something new that we didn't know before.  

I'm exhausted, but energized too.  This is fun!

Tish

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Question of the Day

  • Do the bacteria in the water make us sick?

    Only a few of them.  Bacteria are in every habitat on Earth, growing in soil, hot springs, radioactive waste, water, as well as in organic matter and the live bodies of plants and animals. Bacteria recycle nutrients, with many steps in nutrient cycles depending on these organisms, such as nitrogen fixation.