Dr. Nancy Rabalais, LSU&LUMCON, Chief Scientist
This summer we are faced with the Corona Virus and COVID-19 pandemic. We are worried for our health and for the health of others on the shelf-wide cruise, captains, engineers, marine technicians, cook, and operations crew members. We like to work in close association with them to make the cruise more sociable and workable. This summer social distancing might make that more difficult, but we are ready!
This summer we are faced with distancing rules, mask rules, number of people in one part of the vessel rules, gloves, and a much smaller science crew. However, we are committed to developing the summer 2020 map of bottom-water hypoxia and the ancillary environmental information.
Our cruise is considered a LOW RISK cruise by UNOLS, the oversight committee for the national academic fleet operations. We will be within one hour from a port, in case an emergency evacuation is necessary. There will be a single bunk quarantine berth as needed. We will have a smaller science crew than normal to complete the science work. We will all have Corona Virus tests 2-3 weeks out and 2-3 days out.
Our science crew participants will be limited to six individuals. This means three per shift. One person in the CTD computer room and two on the deck to handle the CTD launch and recovery and YSI6820 over the side with the bottom Niskin bottle, secchi disk, and surface water collection. This same crew will be responsible for filtering Chlorophyll a, suspended sediments, fixing the nutrient vials, and many other off deck activities, such as data entry and keeping up with station logs.
This will definitely strain our science participants, especially in the earlier parts of the cruise, when stations are much closer together. We expect to be over extended and welcome the challenge! Eventually, we will be able to capture a more reasonable time schedule for collecting and working up samples.
Our science crew participants this summer are:
Dr. Nancy Rabalais, LSU&LUMCON, Principal Investigator
Dr. Cassandra (Cassie) Glaspie, Assistant Professor LSU, Chief Scientist
Gina Woods, LUMCON Research Assistant and Pelican Lab Manager, Co-Chief Scientist
Victoria (Tori) Lambert, on Rabalais shift, LUMCON Marine Educator in charge of media outlets
Rebecca (Becca) Frowine, on Rabalais shift, LUMCON Marine Educator
Jill Tupitza, LSU Graduate Student with Dr. Glaspie, on shift with Glaspie
We are small but extremely energized and competent. We will get this done!