FSU IPY Cruise: Meet FSU graduate student JiYoung Paeng
Hello, my name is Jiyoung Paeng, a graduate student in Chemical Oceanography at FSU. I’m from South Korea, and this is my second year at FSU and in the U.S.
JiYoung Paeng at work in her shipboard lab space.
My work aboard this cruise
I focus on identifying the source and fate of dissolved organic matter (DOM) to study the global carbon cycle in the oceanic and terrestrial setting. In the I6S cruise, under the guidance of Dr. Thorsten Dittmar, who is my advisor, I am trying to measure black carbon (like soot and charcoal), a relatively inert form that is produced by incomplete combustion during the burning of biomass and fossil fuel. (More about black carbon in Professor Dittmar’s bio soon to come.)
We are collecting water samples in 4-liter bottles from trace metal and main rosettes and then carry these back to the main lab, inside on the ship. Actually, it is hard for me to carry 4-liter bottles because it they are not light and my body is always shaking here. But I know it’s definitely a good exercise.
(Comment from cruise outreach coordinator: Ji-Young is a tiny girl, and water is a heavy substance. Over the course of this cruise she will have carried more than 20 times her own body weight in filled sample bottles, from the recovery point across a sometimes heaving deck and into the lab. Oceanography sounds glamorous, but though it’s really cool, it can include hard labor as well as mentally challenging work.)
Anyway, the filtered and acidified water is extracted through small cartridges (PPL) for about 9 hr. For removing salt, the cartridges are rinsed with HCl at pH=2, and then eluted (removal of an adsorbed* substance by washing with a solvent, especially in chromatography) with 6 milliliters methanol onboard. They are kept in a freezer until analysis for high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) in the lab back in Tallahassee, Florida at FSU.
My personal impressions of shipboard life
At first, on this cruise, I got seasick and had a terrible headache for a few days. It was a bad time. But now, I’ve adjusted and get too much food every day. The food onboard is great. One interesting thing is I can eat Kimchi, which is one of most famous side-dishes in Korea, even though there is no Korean on the ship, except for me. It makes me happier.
Here it has gotten colder as we’ve gone south, and a storm is coming around soon. I've got all samples for black carbon from main cast by CTD per odd stations. When I did sampling early yesterday morning, I was almost frozen with cold, more particularly my hand got numb with cold. So far, I have more than 100 of the extracted and eluted samples in a freezer. I hope these would produce desirable results.
In spite of the cold I also am having a good time because the people here are full of fun all the time. I am enjoying talking with new people, and I hope to have a good relation with them. This is a very special experience for me, and I feel privileged to participate. It will be our pleasure to report more shipboard news to you soon.
* Adsorbed substance = substance that has become attached to the surface of a different substance
What is IPY
Monday, 17 March 2008 19:26
FSU IPY Cruise: Meet graduate student JiYoung PaengWritten by CLIVAR Section I6S
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