Grad Students, Undergrads on Research Cruise


In early April, R/V Endeavor brought a group of enthusiastic students and faculty, led by Chief Scientist Susanne Menden-Deuer, out to the Gulf of Maine to study plankton dynamics on Georges Bank – a historically highly productive fishing ground. The cruise’s departure was delayed by gale force winds, and once at sea the team struggled with the 14 foot seas right outside Narragansett Bay. The next morning and all of the following days brought sunny skies and calm seas, perfect for deploying the CTD, capturing plankton for physiological and genetic analysis, and testing a new Lagrangian float under development. A total of 4 URI undergraduate students, 8 graduate students, 2 GSO faculty, and a Rhode Island high school mathematics teacher who joined the cruise as part of the Rhode Island Teacher at Sea program, worked hand-in-hand to better our understanding of plankton, microscopic inhabitants of the oceans that generate oxygen and fuel fisheries production. With all this hard work, the excellent food and a visit from humpback whales were much appreciated reprieves from a busy four days at sea aboard RV Endeavor.