SEA Currents: SEASCape
Ocean Acidification, Whaling Conventions, and Sheets
Today we woke up at 6:30 and after the usual chores, we had our watch meetings and learned how to tie a bowline knot. While some of us were able to complete the knot right away, some struggled to tie it. The RA’s challenged some of us to tie the knots in weird and creative ways such as, tying it behind the back, with our feet, and by closing our eyes.
Afterwards, at about 8:00 we headed up to Madden Center and enjoyed an interesting presentation on ocean acidification from Jennie Rheuben. We all found the topic matter both startling and amazing because of the sheer magnitude of the rising carbon dioxide within the ocean. After the lecture, we went to the lab to test the information we had obtained from Jennie. We placed three packets of sugar and one packet of yeast into containers and proceeded to fill the containers with water. One of the containers held seawater while the other held nothing. One monitor tracked the pH levels, and the other tracked the carbon dioxide levels. It was so amazing to see that while the carbon dioxide levels rose, the pH levels decreased.
Once we were done with the lab, we chowed down on some chili and cornbread. (Thanks Sabrina once again for providing us with such delicious meals!) After some relaxing free time, we went back to Madden to take our roles as members of the International Whaling Commission. During the class period, we all got to choose our own nations and make complicated deals with one another to either be pro-whaling or anti-whaling. Liz told our noise levels were out of this world! It was a very lively convention.
By doing this, we realized that the IWC is not just to save whales. It involves economic decisions in base of the nations’ power, wealth, and relationships. The final vote on whether to remove the moratorium ended up being 9 for yes, 2 abstainers, and the rest voted no. Not enough votes (to some nations dismay) to be able to overturn the standing “law”. After the convention, we all got to enjoy peaceful and well needed 2 hours of rest and relaxation. Then we had dinner. Dinner, as always was very good and made everyone’s bellies very happy.
Yuki, instead of eating his dinner, decided to make all of us some Takoyaki , a traditional Japanese snack. They were very tasty. Thanks Yuki! After dinner we went back again up to Madden where we engaged in some leadership games involving the turning of a sheet, the lowering of a tube of paper, and quadrants. They were sometimes frustrating but when we completed our task as a team, the celebration was awesome. After getting all of our energy out, we finally settled down for a nice session of study hall. A very successful day in Woods Hole!
- Chiara & Maggie