Today is our last day in Bol’shie Koty and we’re wrapping up the last of our sample preparation and packing. We’ve crammed an amazing amount of science into the last week, starting with a three day research cruise along the coast of the southern basin of the lake. As we’ve mentioned before, we’re examining the nearshore food web under varying temperature and nutrient conditions, so we sampled fourteen sites in total between Bol’shoe Goloustnoe to the north and Listvyanka to the south.
At each site we collected algae, invertebrates, and water samples, which we then sorted and processed on the boat. To sample and process four sites in a day took >18 hours, but fortunately we had some great teamwork going on to get it all done. The crew of the cutter Kozhov was fantastically helpful as well.
One of the fun parts of doing nearshore work is in the opportunities for outreach. Many beachgoers and hikers inquired about what we were doing, and we enthusiastically showed off our amphipods and explained our research.
Since returning from the cruise we’ve done a bunch more sample processing, organizing, and cleaning up the explosion of our gear that occurred right after the cruise. We also had time to run one more lab experiment involving Stephanie’s beloved rotifers. This evening we’ll head to Irkutsk, and Monday we begin the long journey back to the States. Here’s to hopefully smooth travels and another successful field season!