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Return Back Northern Bering Sea 2007All Aboard the USCG Icebreaker HEALY
Cruising the Bering Sea - May, 2007

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In late May a 2-person HDvCC crew flew out by helicopter from Gambell, AK, to join lead scientist (and all-round ball of scientific fire) Jackie Grebmeier from the University of Tennessee on a cruise aboard the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker, HEALY. The cruise is part of Jackie's ongoing studies of how climate change is affecting the birds, marine mammals and fish of the waters between Russia and Alaska. If all goes well, and satellite logistics permit, we hope to have webchats and more between the international scientists and students on the cruise, and we'll be sending back as many images as bandwidth allows.

On the science goals of the expedition, Jackie writes: "Perhaps the most striking evidence of global climate change is decreased extent of arctic sea ice and recent studies indicate this is occurring now south of St. Lawrence Island (SLI) in the SLI polynya region (SLIP). Despite research on the consequences of sea-ice change for physical oceanography and weather, effects on arctic marine food webs from microbes to top predators are by comparison very poorly understood. This area is currently the sole wintering site of the world population of the benthic-feeding Spectacled Eider (SPEI), a principal top predator. Expansion of competing crab and fish predators as ice cover declines and the cold pool of bottom water contracts may affect food availability for the eiders."

Latest PodcastFor more on Jackie herself, Click Here. For background on the HEALY, and stories and images from last year's cruises, see the always interesting website of ARCUS's TREC project, Click Here. For coverage of the July 2007 cruise of Jackie, Lee and teacher Betty Carvellas on board the Canadian icebreaker, the "Sir Wilfred Laurier", check out Betty's Blogs. Click the Podcast button to the right for the latest video clips.

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