A request is made to fund additional and back-up instrumentation for the R/V Blue Heron, an 86 foot Coastal vessel owned by the University of Minnesota and operated by the Large Lakes Observatory as part of the University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS) research fleet. The proposal includes two requests:

1) Spare CTD Sensors 2) Water Purification System

Broader Impacts: The principal impact of the present proposal is under criterion two, providing infrastructure support for scientists to use the vessel and its shared-use instrumentation in support of their NSF-funded oceanographic research projects (which individually undergo separate review by the relevant research program of NSF). The acquisition, maintenance and operation of shared-use instrumentation allows NSF-funded researchers from any US university or lab access to working, calibrated instruments for their research, reducing the cost of that research, and expanding the base of potential researchers.

Project Report

The University of Minnesota purchased a water purification system for the research vessel Blue Heron’s main shipboard laboratory as well as spare sensors for the vessel’s CTD/Carousel using funds provided by the National Science Foundation in grant OCE-1118203 ‘Oceanographic Instrumentation, R/V Blue Heron 2011’. Laboratory grade pure water is constantly needed on the vessel. In the past, researchers have brought large containers of pure water on board for their experiments, a tactic that can be difficult for longer cruises. The on-board water purification system will simplify cruise preparation and ensure that pure water is available even if there is an unplanned need for additional laboratory grade water on a cruise. The spare sensors are for our CTD/Carousel water sampling system. The CTD/Carousel is our most heavily used piece of equipment. The spare sensors and cabling will ensure that this instrument is available even if a sensor fails during a cruise. Equipment purchased for the R/V Blue Heron is used by researchers that use the vessel as a research platform. Therefore, the equipment is available to all users of the vessel, from scientists funded by the National Science Foundation to University of Minnesota classes that take students out on the vessel to learn about oceanographic research. During the 2012 season, three projects funded by NSF will use the spare sensors for the CTD/Carousel and the water purification system: J. Austin, OCE-1126453 ‘MRI: Acquisition of two Autonomous Moored Profilers for Lake Ecosystem Research'; J. Finlay, OCE-0927512 ‘Sources and sinks of stoichiometrically imbalanced nitrate in the Laurentian Great Lakes’; and S. Katsev, OCE/CO-0961720 ‘Transient diagenesis in organic poor sediments: Lake Superior’.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE)
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James S. Holik
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University of Minnesota Duluth
United States
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