During our first science meeting, we learn about the process of planning and conducting a scientific research cruise. The chief scientists also brief us on existing information about Axial Seamount. It is exciting to hear about current knowledge of this area, especially concerning the recent eruption in April. Much of this information has not been published, and we will have the unique opportunity to learn from experienced mentors who are engaged in exploring the changes that have occurred at this site.
Reevaluating my zooplankton project
With the goals of our scientific mission in mind, I end up modifying my initial project plans. One of the difficulties in choosing a topic is finding a question that you can answer with the time and resources you are given. Although zooplankton are ecologically important as food for many fish, birds and marine mammals, we decide that answering a question about bacterial communities will be more productive. I am excited about working with my mentor Bob Morris to explore research questions about bacteria near the vent sites. Furthermore, I may have data from last year to compare to what we collect on this research cruise.