North Pacific Research Board’s Arctic Program blog highlights recent Sikuliaq cruise in Bering, Chukchi seas

Brittany Jones carries a sediment core

Brittany Jones carries a sediment core after a multi-core deployment. Jones studied energy needs for two Chukchi Sea clams during the June 2017 Sikuliaq cruise. Photo by Brendan Smith.

A blog created by the North Pacific Research Board and moderated by NPRB Communications and Outreach Director Brendan Smith documents a June 2017 cruise on R/V Sikuliaq, led by College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences professor Seth Danielson. This cruise was part of the new NPRB Arctic Integrated Ecosystem Research Program, a five-year program focusing on how reduced sea ice influences the Arctic marine ecosystem.

Background on the program from the NPRB Arctic website:

In recent years, our understanding of the composition and structure of the Chukchi ecosystem has increased greatly, yet our knowledge outside of summer and fall months and year-round of the rates at which fundamental processes operate remains sorely lacking. This research expedition is one of a pair of late spring cruises to the northern Bering and southern Chukchi Seas in 2017 and 2018 at locations and times of year to conduct a closely integrated set of multi-­disciplinary process studies.

The goal of the Arctic Program is to better understand the mechanisms and processes that structure the Arctic marine ecosystem and influence the distribution, life history, and interactions of biological communities in the Chukchi Sea. NPRB is interested in research that addresses phenology and the alignment in space and time of primary production, secondary producers, and upper trophic level predators.

The Arctic Program will integrate observations collected during spring, summer, and fall in 2017, 2018, and 2019 to better understand how reduced Arctic sea ice and associated environmental changes influence the flow of energy through the marine ecosystem from plankton to fish, seabirds, marine mammals, and humans. Late spring and early summer sampling will occur in 2017 and 2018 aboard the R/V Sikuliaq. Late summer and early fall sampling will occur in 2017 and 2019.

Peter Shipton carts into position the first of six moorings to be deployed during the cruise. Photo by Brendan Smith.

ADDITIONAL CONTACT: Seth Danielson, sldanielson@alaska.edu, 907-474-7834

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