INTERNATIONAL ARCTIC RESEARCH CENTER — UNIVERSITY OF ALASKA FAIRBANKS

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Youths experience hands-on science at Bering Sea Days

“I’m a food chain,” yelled an enthusiastic 6-year-old. With her handmade red king crab crown, scallop finger puppet, phytoplankton sparkles and sun necklace, this young learner transformed into an ocean food chain. When asked who’s at the top of the food chain, she responded, “kindergarteners from St. Paul Island, Alaska.” This was just one of…

September 28-30- Good bye!

September 28 This is our last day at sea before reaching Arkhangelsk. More Minke whales were spotted this morning. The end is near. Well, Mother Nature didn’t let us down. We had the roughest day and night of the whole cruise pretty much when we entered the Barents Sea. I was in the computer lab…

September 27- goodbye, Ian (for the third time)

Today’s blog entry is dedicated to Mooring Team Leader Ian Waddington. Ian is retiring (for the third time!). He first retired in 2007 from his government job, and again in 2017, and now, 2018, supposedly for good. Where do I begin with such a huge personality? I suppose the first thing I should comment on…

September 26- stable isotopes

We had a little bit of rough seas last night, but it is much calmer today. Packing and paperwork are consuming a lot of the expedition members’ time. Scientist Spotlight: Isotope Geochemist Georgi Laukert (GEOMAR). Just hearing the word isotope makes me wrinkle my eyebrows. I wasn’t familiar with the term isotope at all until…

September 25- stormy weather

We are now in the Kara Sea headed southwest for Arkhangelsk trying to avoid an oncoming storm. The weather is blustery and the sea is rough. Everything we loaded and unpacked on the ship in Kirkenes is being packed to be ready for unloading. The rosette lab space is almost empty, and the hangar, my…

September 24- polar bears! (and walrus too)

We arrived and anchored in the bay at the Baranov Science Station yesterday during the dark at about 4:30 in the afternoon. When I was in my cabin I glanced out the window and saw a light and thought wow, it was a ship, the first one of the cruise. But, when I went up…

September 23- ice is nice … and it’s getting darker

The further west we go, the longer it is staying dark. It is now dark between about 2:30 – 13:30 (1:30 am). There is cause for more celebration, NABOS and CATS completed their last CTD cast today. There were a total of 138 casts, ranging from 60 – 3,000 m (197 – 9,843 ft.) I…

September 22- kitchen crew and shipboard amenities

The Bergy Bits are back, as well as periodic drift ice!  We are headed southwest back to Arkhangelsk, but going a different route, through Shokalskiy Strait, between Bolshevik and Oktyabrskoy Revolutzii (October Revolution) Islands. Shokalskiy Strait will lead us from the Laptev Sea to the Kara Sea. Time to meet some of the ship’s crew…

September 20-21- a mooring ditty for the final recovery

September 20 Another exciting day! We woke up to snow this morning and the last mooring recovery for this cruise is scheduled for today. This mooring recovery was a little bit different from all of the rest. What started out during daylight in moderate weather, ended up in the dark with blustery wind and snow.…

September 19- understanding mixing waters

Good morning! We are slowly headed southwest completing our transect. Our last mooring recovery will be tomorrow. On the September 5 blog entry, I explained that a station may include any of the following: Mooring recoveries and deployments Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth (CTD) Underway, Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth (UCTD) Micro Structure Profiler (MSS) casts Bongo…