Diana Tucker -When Science and History Meet

Day Four on the R/V Melville and I have learned so much. For the past four days the focus of Day Watch has been taking various core samples from the bottom of the ocean. The Kasten Core recovered about 2,000 years of sediment layers. A couple of the scientists pushed tags with dates and historical events into the core so we could visualize what was happening at the time the layer was formed. What an amazing experience!

Then the Piston Core was brought up, this time recovering layers that were set in place more than 12,000 years ago! It is humbling to think that the piece of mud you are holding is composed of bits and pieces of what brushed the feet and legs of the first humans to walk down the pacific coast; and the last of the saber-toothed tiges and mammoths that once called this place home.

Tonight we transition from day watch to night watch, and from geology to biology. I am eager to see what fascinating creatures are pulled up from the water column from five pm to five am! I only hope I can stay awake!

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10 Responses to Diana Tucker -When Science and History Meet

  1. 1 Period CPE says:

    Ahoy matey! We are enjoying checking in each day with you. We just saw the last batch of photos, we could use some clarification about the different core types. The views are beautiful. It is rainy and cold here in OH, so enjoy the sun and sailing.

    • Diana Tucker says:

      Box Core- brings up just the top layer of the ocean floor (a few hundred years). Mostly for looking at the micro and macroscopic invertebrates (no backbone) that live at the ocean floor.

      Kasten Core- goes back 2,000 years. Can be used to see what lived at various times in history and what the climate was like.

      Piston Core- goes back up to 18,000 years. Use is the same as above.

  2. 2 Period CPE says:

    We were able to watch the day 3 video. Have you seen any pirates x:) (Hugh and Josh). Whats the oldest sediment dug up ;)? What marine life have you found? XD

    • Diana Tucker says:

      The oldest sediment core so far is 12,000-18,000 years old. Lots of marine life on my night watch-octopus, larval fishes and crabs, squid and more. I have enjoyed hours of looking under a microscope at tiny worms that live in the oxygen-free bacterial mat of the ocean floor. There is so much life out there that we are just discovering!

  3. Yash Patel says:

    Have you found any fossilized animals?

    • Diana Tucker says:

      It seems from talking to the scientists here that there is some debate about the true definition of a fossil. We have, none the less, found some very old shells and remnants of organisms that lived up to 18,000 years ago.

  4. Katie says:

    That’s really funny how you posted about the historic markers because I mentioned it in a post yesterday. I love mixing history with science! Aince history is my favorite subject, anything with history is good. Have you found any thing that really surprised you? Is everyone having fun and getting along on the ship? Good luck staying awake 😉

    • Diana Tucker says:

      Everyone is getting. Staying awake is a challenge. I have been really surprised to see the microscopic life that exists at the bottom of the ocean where you would never expect to see it.

  5. Alexis Holt says:

    What kind of creatures do you think you will find?

    • Diana Tucker says:

      We have found larval fishes, squid, larval crustaceans, octupus, small sharks, snails and other fishes. They are all quite amazing.

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