Bering Ecosystem Change

What are they Doing?

A diverse team of researchers participated in the first of three research cruises this spring and summer aboard the USCGC Healy in support of the Bering Sea Ecosystem Study (BEST) and the Bering Sea Integrated Ecosystem Research Program (BSIERP). Check out the logbook at http://www.nprb.org/bering-sea-projectcruises/current.html

Scientists onboard the ship documented late winter ocean conditions, studying the biological communities found in sea ice, examining the early spring plankton bloom, and investigating light penetration through open water and ice cover. Additionally, researchers examined the benthic communities living on the seafloor as well as observed an important benthic predator, the walrus. The region of the Bering Sea where the team was working is biologically rich and supports highly productive ecological communities of bivalves, gastropods, and polychaetes. These benthic communities have been changing over the past several decades, perhaps as a result of competing fish species moving north as waters warm.

Where are They?

The team traveled on the USCGC Healy to a sampling area in the northern Bering Sea. The Bering Sea lies to the west of Alaska and to the east of Russia. The team departed from and returned to the port of Dutch Harbor, Alaska, which is in the Aleutian Islands. During the cruise they sampled the biologically diverse waters as they moved northward toward Saint Lawrence Island.

Expedition Map

Journals

We are on our way into Dutch Harbor. The winds have been blowing consistently out of the north for the duration of our trip. This creates the polynya (area of open water and thin ice) in the leeward...
We were within sight of St Matthew Island yesterday. Tony Fishbach, USGS biologist with the Alaska Science Center, wanted one more shot at tagging a walrus in the polynya south of St Matthew. He had...
Wow! Lobsters in the Bering Sea! Who would have known that we would come across a relative to the Maine Lobster on the Healy! And Angus cattle! Actually, it is Easter Sunday, so the Coast Guard...
Dr. Sue Moore, NOAA/ Alaska Fisheries Science Center, National Marine Mammal Laboratory, is conducting research with acoustic sonobouys, hydrophones, and qualitative observations of marine mammal...
Bingo! Researcher Jim Lovvorn of the University of Wyoming saw two Spectacled Eiders (Somateria fisheri) flying low to the Northeast. I was with Dr. Lovvorn in a Bell Ranger helicopter flying on a...

Expedition Resources

Project Information

Dates: 11 March 2008 to 28 March 2008
Location: Bering Sea
Project Funded Title: Bering Ecosystem Change

Meet the Team

Craig Kasemodel's picture
Central Middle School of Science
Anchorage, AK
United States

Craig Kasemodel is a science and technology teacher at the Central Middle School of Science in Anchorage, Alaska. Mr. Kasemodel attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Montana State University and holds degrees in Economics, International Relations, and Fish & Wildlife Management, and spent several years conducting wildlife biology research in rural Alaska and Montana. Mr. Kasemodel enjoys teaching other teachers how to incorporate technology in their classrooms and introducing students to science. He is active with the ALISON Project and recently developed a freshwater science class for students to conduct water quality and stream assessments. In his spare time, he enjoys building computers and websites, fly-fishing, hiking, skiing, and spending time outdoors with his wife and chocolate lab. He is excited to be part of PolarTREC and to joined the crew on the Healy with the hope of increasing awareness of climate change and polar science.

Nora Deans's picture
North Pacific Research Board
Anchorage, AK
United States

Nora Deans is the Senior Outreach Manager for the North Pacific Research Board in Anchorage, Alaska. Nora joined the research team as an observer aboard the USCGC Healy. The North Pacific Research Board provided some funding for Craig Kasemodel to join the expediton.