Extra Credit Eric Collins Seminar


Water samples in the Arctic differ based on location. The flow of the water is important because the make up of microorganisms varies based on where the water originally came from. As well as the type of ice that is present in different locations. Water samples that may be taken at the same location also changes over time because the flow of water has changed due to differences in ice/glaciers beings present thousands of years ago which prevent water to flow through the paths that they do now, since the ice has melted, opening up a new path.

Another factor that adds more diversity to the oceans microorganisms is the freshness and salt concentration of the water. In the Bering Straight the water is generally pretty fresh as well as full of nutrients due to the different currents traveling through the Straight. Water with high salt concentrations is denser than fresh water, while warm water is less dense than cold. This causes different layers of water types in the ocean. However, when the deep water mixes with the shallow water it really causes problems for the Arctic because it can cause the ice sheets to melt.

Thoughts, Critical Thinking, Connections, Questions:

I think that the seminar was very interesting and was easy to follow all of the different topics beings discussed due to the visual aids through out the presentation. I thought that the topic was fascinating, thought I have always loved the ocean. However my interest had always been in the warmer climates due to the vibrant colors of the organisms that lived there. I did think that it was interesting to learn about how the salt concentration, currents, origins, and type of ice all have an effect on the Arctic and the wide variety of microorganisms that are present in all of the oceans different environments. I did have a question at the beginning of the seminar, Collins mentioned that there was an expedition that went to the North Pole to collect samples in 2014, and that he didn’t have those available today because he was still processing them. My questions is how long does it typically take to process samples that are collected from these expeditions?