It is night three of our cruise on the RV Armstrong! As a member of this ship’s night watch, I am writing this dark and early at 3:00 am. Fortunately, it took surprisingly little time to adjust my sleep schedule to the night shift. This is probably a good thing because we have been hard at work the last few nights with zooplankton sampling, tows, and acoustic surveys. We have caught a number of different animals, including salps, krill, shrimp, myctophids, and copepods, that we have begun identifying and processing.

Figure 1: Zooplankton caught in net trawl Photo credit: Cassidy Bell, Stony Brook University.


Since this is the first time I have gone on a research cruise, it seems like I am learning something new every minute, whether it is about the science itself or about how to spend the time between sampling locations. In our most recent stretch of travel, we managed to squeeze in some time for arts and crafts. Throughout the day (and night), we have been adding to a steadily growing pile of styrofoam cups decorated by the science crew. The cups, which are adorned with a variety of patterns and ocean animals, will be attached to our CTD and sent down to under 1000 meters depth, where they will shrink under the pressure of the water and come out miniaturized. I guess it’s no surprise that our idea of a fun break from work is even more science!

cup art
Figure 2: Some of the beautiful art done be the science crew during the last day. Photo credit: Cassidy Bell, Stony Brook University.


cup tower
Figure 3: The tallest cup tower that we could manage before it all came crashing down. Photo credit: Cassidy Bell, Stony Brook University.


Post by Cassidy Bell, Undergraduate student at Stony Brook University.