A View from Down Under
While it may be summer in the southern hemisphere, it is still very cold on Antarctica, where WHOI researchers are conducting a number of projects on and around the continent. This month, biologists are working in the waters near Palmer Station, scuba diving and using towed instruments to study salps, a gelatinous creature that may in some years replace krill as the food source for whales and other large animals. The expedition can be followed on the Dive and Discover website starting February 21. Other scientists are preparing the first underwater cabled polar observatory, PRIMO, for Polar Remote Interactive Marine Observatory, to be located about three miles south of Palmer Station in 130 meters (about 400 feet) of water. PRIMO, to be installed in May 2006, will provide year-round biological and physical information and allow both researchers and students to interact with the observatory from anywhere in the world via the Internet. The Palmer Station Web cam provides current data and a view of Palmer Station today.