Archive for December, 2014

Investigating the properties of seawater

December 12, 2014

P1040030Today all three classes of first year marine scientists investigated various properties of seawater. Each student had a research question and hypothesis, designed a method to test their hypothesis then carried out their investigation in class.  In the photo above, Young is investigating the effect of salinity on conductivity and in the photo below Romanos is setting up his experiment to measure the effect of salinity on sea ice melting time.

P1040031P1040039Above, Alana is measuring the effect of bubbling carbon dioxide into the water on the dissolved oxygen in seawater and below, Malou is setting up her experiment which involved increasing salinity with ‘Instant Ocean’.

P1040034P1040041Noemi modified the salinity of seawater samples to mimic the salinities of different seas and measure the effect on boiling point.


P1040049Adva, in the photo above, tested the effect of bubbling oxygen gas into seawater on the pH and Sofiya, in the photo below, tested the effect of humidity on dissolved oxygen.

P1040048 P1040047Connor, in the photo above, added drops of solutions with different salinities to the surface of a coin to see if there was an effect of salinity on cohesion / surface tension.

P1040036David Hawley came down to the floating lab and checked out a few of the experiments as part of his last tour of classes as the director of Pearson College. He is on his way to the IBO in the Netherlands very soon.  We will certainly miss his visits to Marine Science classes, but David, please know that you are absolutely welcome to come back any time!





A very high tide

December 10, 2014

Michal2With all the rain, the low atmospheric pressure and the spring tides we are seeing evidence of very high high tides – a king tide. Michal was able to touch the top of the piling.

On that piling is a tide gauge that was set up by a four students for their Group 4 project. Although it is not ‘calibrated’, I suspect they did not see such a high during their sampling.

Tide guage


Check out the height of the water under the ramp to the lower floor of the floating building:


And the angle of the ramp to the upper floor:

RampFor comparison, I’ll post additional photos of extremely low tides when they occur.

Pedder Bay sunrise – 8 December 2014

December 8, 2014



And a waning moon setting over the Pedder Bay marina.


Oceanographic expeditions 2014

December 4, 2014


The three first year marine Science classes endeavoured to describe and explain the pattern of temperature and salinity in Pedder Bay on Monday 24 November (C block) and Tuesday 25 November (D and F blocks).

Wet wet wet

Many abiotic factors were measured…

TS measuring Sofiya

TS measuring

including, of course, temperature and salinity…

Air temp Dom

Air temp Alashua

…air temperature and relative humidity…


…Secchi depth…

Wind Ruli

…and wind speed.

Messenger prep

F block students also sampled at 30 m using a Niskin bottle and messenger.

Data record Sowmya Data record Mary

Data were recorded and subsequently analysed back on solid ground.

I suspect that the highlight for the two classes on Tuesday was not that the temperature and salinity were unchanging from the surface to depth at the more distant sites, but the humpback whale(s) that were sighted!!

Humpback back

Humpback flukeThanks to Alana and Ali for photos.