Divers Down at DeLeon!

Marissa goes over sampling protocols with the dive team as they prep their gear.

Marissa goes over sampling protocols with the dive team as they prep their gear.

Sept 23, 2011 – DeLeon Springs
Authors: Ashleigh Stewart and Justin Merritt

At around 8:30am, the team arrived at DeLeon Springs. Topside field sampling crews set up the analysis kits while the divers readied their gear. The topside team created ziploc bags labeled for stations 1-5 with corresponding letters A-E. Mesh biomass bags were packed and prepped for bacterial collection. These biomass bags were used to collect samples of bacteria in the cave system from our five established sites. Once all preparations were complete, the whole team conducted a briefing on the dive plan and walk-through on the surface. Soon after, the divers (Terrence, Renee, Karl, Alex, and Jef) set off to the spring and the topside team prepared for the water quality testing. Sample analyses were expedited by having a snorkeler (Kris) on the surface transporting samples from each station to surface crews.

Renee, Alex, Terrence, Karl, Marissa, Amy, and Jef review the maps and sampling stations prior to walk-thrus.

Renee, Alex, Terrence, Karl, Marissa, Amy, and Jef review the maps and sampling stations prior to walk-thrus.

After the water quality tests and sampling collections were completed, the dive team prepared for the installation of the porewater samplers as part of a study for Dr. Aaron L. Mills of the University of Virginia. The day ended with a debriefing before the storms rolled in. We were glad to welcome several new faces to our team this week – Wayne Kinard from Amigos Dive Center, Ashleigh Stewart, Justin Merritt, and Theo Chanat!

Divers go through pre-dive walk-thrus at DeLeon Springs before sampling

Divers go through pre-dive walk-thrus at DeLeon Springs before sampling

After departing from DeLeon Springs, several folks made a quick trip to Castaway Scuba in downtown Orlando to get air fills for tomorrow. Many, MANY thanks to Marta and the folks at Castaway for their generous donation! We had a wonderful day and are looking forward to a long sampling day tomorrow at Wekiwa Springs State Park! And thank you to the staff at DeLeon Springs for continued support of this research project!

Questions/comments to the Trilobite??

Team:
Theo Chanat
Jef Frank
Rima Franklin, Ph.D., VCU
Amy Giannotti
Bob Giguere
Alex Houston
Wayne Kinard
Justin Merritt
Aaron Mills, Ph. D., University of Virginia
Renee Power
Kris Shannon
Jenny Sherwood
Karl Shreeves
Ashleigh Stewart
Terrence Tysall
Marissa Williams

Sampling kits - ready to go!

Sampling kits - ready to go!

Alex, Karl, and Jef practice using a safety sausage as a lift bag for transporting samples to the surface.

Alex, Karl, and Jef practice using a safety sausage as a lift bag for transporting samples to the surface.

We welcomed Wayne Kinard from Amigos Dive Center!  Glad to have him join us!

We welcomed Wayne Kinard from Amigos Dive Center! Glad to have him join us!

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