I’ll have the pancakes…with a side of bacteria, please…

DeLeon Springs – February 20, 2010
Jenny Sherwood

Tanks ready in preparation for the sampling dives at DeLeon

Tanks ready in preparation for the sampling dives at DeLeon

This weekend was my first experience working with the Cambrian Foundation on a sampling project. I was utterly amazed at the precision and dedication of the divers and surface team. The devoted members ensured that every detail was scoured over, every precaution was taken to ensure safety, and all procedures were analyzed for efficiency. The team arrived at 9am to begin setting up the topside sampling station and to prepare for the demanding dive ahead. The four divers that would be collecting data for Rima and Aaron were Terrence Tysall, Renee Power, Bob Giguere, and Karl Shreeves.

Dr. Aaron Mills of the University of Virginia checks the alkalinity in a water sample from DeLeon Springs.

Dr. Aaron Mills of the University of Virginia checks the alkalinity in a water sample from DeLeon Springs.

Once the first set of samples arrived on the surface, the water chemistry team got to work! All four divers then traversed the cave to retrieve water samples and bacteria samples from each of the remaining five stations. The team of expert divers also established permanent sampling sites within the Deleon Springs cave so that Rima can monitor the changes in bacteria growth over time.

The divers returned with the remaining samples and the surface team went to work carefully analyzing the water samples for nitrate, ammonia, sulfide, iron, and alkalinity. Sampling took place over the next few hours, and we were led by Rima Franklin and Aaron Mills. I ran the nitrate test, analyzing three different water samples from six different locations. After careful sampling, the entire crew headed to the Sugar Mill’s Griddle House for make-your-own pancakes and extraordinary bacon!! Joined by family members and friends, we sat down to enjoy freshly flipped pancakes and conversation about the day’s activities. After lunch we took a quick dip in the spring, and we later headed for home with empty tanks, stuffed tummies, and full notebooks. We had a wonderful and productive weekend, and welcome to several new faces – Bob D., Jef and Suhavi!

Bob, Karl, Jef, and Renee tackle the grill!

Bob, Karl, Jef, and Renee tackle the grill!

Chef Jenny prepares pancakes for all!

Chef Jenny prepares pancakes for all!

Team members:
Bob Dehler
Jef Frank
Rima Franklin
Amy Giannotti
Bob Giguere
Kelli Gladding
Suhavi Kaur
Aaron Mills
Renee Power
Marissa Rodriguez
Kris Shannon
Jenny Sherwood
Karl Shreeves
Terrence Tysall
Nathalie Visscher

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