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UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Oceanographic Research Project

Isn?t she a beauty? If you are interested in learning how to
handle one of these vessels, the UMass Boston Sailing Program
offers free one-hour lessons to UMB students and Community
Membership holders. Call Tom Walsh at (617) 287-7833 or (617)
287-7899 for more details and information.

Isn?t she a beauty? If you are interested in learning how to handle one of these vessels, the UMass Boston Sailing Program offers free one-hour lessons to UMB students and Community Membership holders. Call Tom Walsh at (617) 287-7833 or (617) 287-7899 for more details and information.

As part of an oceanographic research project, a team of individuals from the ECOS department at UMass Boston have ventured to the far reaches of the southern hemisphere. You can check out their progress on the university’s website (www.umb.edu). The group has been posting daily special reports to let people know what kinds of projects they are conducting and what life aboard the Antarctic Research Vessel R/V Gould is like. The team consists of Associate Professor Meng Zhou, research associate Yiwu Zhu, Ph.D. student Ryan Dorland, and Ph.D. student Joe Smith.

The project is a part of the US Global Ocean Ecosystems Dynamics (US GLOBEC) Program Southern Ocean project. The overall goal of the US GLOBEC Southern Ocean project is to elucidate shelf circulation processes and their effect on sea ice formation and Antarctic krill distribution, and to examine the factors that govern krill survivorship and availability to higher trophic levels, including seals, penguins, and whales.

The specific goals of their group are to understand mesoscale physical circulation patterns associated with bottom topography, islands, fjords and bays, and to understand krill distribution and effects of mesoscale circulation patterns, and aggregation behavior of krill.

Here is an excerpt from one of the journal entries on the university website, written by Ryan Dorland, “Lately we’ve been working on a ghost ship at night; nobody around apart from a few of the engineers who occasionally wander out of the holds and onto the main deck for some fresh air and coffee. The bridge crew refers to them as trolls. Although Joe and I don’t necessarily cloister ourselves in the lower decks of the ship, to many we are like trolls … or more so like vampires, having totally adapted to working nights. We sleep between lunch and dinner, ignoring the few available hours of daylight while half of our shipmates hunt whales, seals and penguins.” Also on the website there are a number of pictures showing different aspects of this exciting mission.