February 26, 2011

Photographer: John Stetson
Summary Author: John Stetson; Jim Foster

The photo above shows a batch of aquatic crustaceans called copepods in a water sample collected from the Gulf of Maine. The largest in the picture is only about 2 mm long. Copepods are the most numerous multicelled animals in seawater and may be the greatest contributors in the animal world to the carbon sink -- the capture of carbon from our atmosphere. At the end of a copepod's life, the carbon sinks with the little creature and remains on the ocean floor.

The Gulf of Maine Research Institute provided this copepod-rich sample to my students. We've been studying these creatures with a microscope that has a camera attached so that a projected image can be seen on a 20 in (50.8 cm) computer screen. This setup allows for a community of learners to observe together. Photo taken on January 7, 2011.

Photo details: Camera Maker: NIKON CORPORATION; Camera Model: NIKON D300; Lens: 105.0 mm f/2.8; Focal Length: 105.0mm (35mm equivalent: 157mm); Aperture: f/25.0; Exposure Time: 0.0040 s (1/250); ISO equiv: 200; Exposure Bias: none; Metering Mode: Center Weight; Exposure: Manual; Exposure Mode: Manual; White Balance: Auto; Light Source: Unknown; Flash Fired: Yes (enforced, return light not detected); Orientation: Normal; Color Space: Adobe RGB (1998).