Editor’s note: UGA Skidaway Institute professor Jay Brandes and graduate student Kun Ma are on a three-week research trip to a marine lab in Finland and sent this update.
So today (July 2) we had an all-hands meeting to get a status update on the experiment. It turns out that one of the 16 mesocosms has ripped and thus failed. One could see it in the salinity data- where 15 of the mesocosms had steady salinities, one showed a sharp drop after day 3. It has been windy and rainy lately and the salinity of the waters outside of the experiment has dropped since the start. We still have 2 other replicates so everything is still ok. The mesocosms are made of a heavy plastic, like the kind one might use in a tarp, and they can fail at places where they are welded into a continuous piece or from stress. They had divers inspect the mesocosms for holes. One cool thing about this experiment is that they have an automated sampling and measurement device at the experimental site that takes continuous measurements of temperature, salinity, chlorophyll and other parameters, so they know exactly how things are going at any time.
Kun and my experiments are going well, we are seeing lots of changes in color in our samples during our experiments. We have another week to go so hopefully our equipment holds up and we continue to get good results. There is a swan family that lives here and it is fun to see them swimming around. Haven’t seen any moose yet though!