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Ice, Ice Everywhere

The Healy was surrounded by ice most of the day today, but it wasn’t in the big hospitable sheets that allow a dozen people to get out, walk around, and drill holes. So on two occasions today, scientists and the crew went to great lengths to get access to ice.

The target of the first adventure: a big chunk of ice with algae growing on it. The krill team needs ice algae to feed to the animals in their experiments. They’ve been getting that algae from cores other people have taken on the ice, but it would take a whole lot of cores to get enough algae that way. Some cores don’t hit any ice algae at all. And some days – like today – it’s difficult to even get onto the ice to take cores.

So a few days ago Rodger Harvey, a biochemist from the University of Maryland, asked the Coast Guard to come up with a net so they could lasso a big, algae-infused piece of ice and bring it on board. This morning they tested their technique on a promising-looking piece of ice.

Read on about our adventure in the slideshow below. Can't see the slideshow? Get the Flash plug in »

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