What Are They Doing?

This joint U.S.-Canada research cruise used two icebreakers to collect data to identify the edge of the continental shelf in the Arctic Ocean. As needed, the Healy broke sea ice for the Louis S. St-Laurent, while it collected data to map the geology of the sub-seabed. Scientists aboard the Healy also measured seafloor bathymetry, collected high-resolution sub-seafloor data, made ice observations, collected water samples, and monitored marine mammals and ocean noise through high frequency audio recording.

Under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the continental shelf is defined as the stretch of the seabed adjacent to the shores of a particular country. Information from the cruise helped each country determine where they have rights over the natural resources of the seafloor, which include mineral resources, petroleum resources such as oil and gas, and animals like clams and crabs.

To learn more about the science of the expedition, please visit the Extended Continental Shelf Project website. In addition to a PolarTREC teacher, Caroline Singler, a NOAA Teacher at Sea teacher was also aboard and you can follow her journals here.

Where Are They?

The team lived and worked from the United States Coast Guard Icebreaker Healy. The USCGC Healy is a research vessel designed to conduct a wide range of research activities and can break through 4 ½ feet of ice continuously. The research team boarded the ship in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, traversed the Bering, Beaufort, and Chukchi Seas and disembarked in Barrow, Alaska. The Healy will work in tandem with the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Louis S. St-Laurent.

Latest Journals

This dwarf juniper above Skjoldungensund, Greenland was the tallest-growing plant around, by virtue of closely hugging a boulder to gain some headway above the surrounding Arctic tundra. TODAY'S JOURNAL: Greenland is known as a pretty harsh place, end even during our mid-summer visit it was…
Young explorers Aely, Wesley, Sarah, Kerry, Shannon, and Matthew help Joe Super collect water column data from the side gate on National Geographic Explorer at Qaqortoq, SW Greenland. TODAY'S JOURNAL: In my last post I showed how my partner Joe Super and I deployed a sensor via sea kayak to…
Joe Super and Bill Schmoker employing a sea kayak to gather water quality data in Skoldungensund, Greenland. TODAY'S JOURNAL: Yesterday I discussed measuring surface temperature vs. longitude as we approacehed Greenland to see where we entered the cold East Greenland Current. Today I'd like to…
Misleading Names: As I mentioned in the previous post, our voyage retraced early Viking pioneers who sailed from Iceland to Greenland (and ultimately to Newfoundland.) Most of my readers will know the irony in these islands' names, as Iceland is fairly green overall while Greenland is covered…
Dates
-
Location
USCGC Healy in the Bering, Beaufort, and Chukchi Seas
Project Funded Title
2010 U.S.-Canada Arctic Continental Shelf Survey
Bill Schmoker - Teacher
Teacher
Centennial Middle School

Bill Schmoker is an Earth Science teacher at Centennial Middle School in Boulder, Colorado where he has taught for 23 years. Additionally, Mr. Schmoker was a PolarTREC teacher in 2010 and a National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellow in 2013, works with pre-service teachers, has authored, edited, and consulted on many Earth Science Education products, and has held many leadership roles at the building and district levels throughout his career. Mr. Schmoker is also passionate about birding and bird photography, photographing over 640 species of North American birds and having his photos appear internationally in numerous books, magazines, web sites, and interpretive signage. He has been an instructor for the Denver Audubon Society, Boulder County Nature Association, The Nature Conservancy, the American Birding Association's Youth Birding Program and the Institute for Field Ornithology.

Helen Gibbons - Researcher
Researcher
U.S. Geological Service

Helen Gibbons is a public information scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Menlo Park, California. Ms. Gibbons works with USGS scientists around the country to publish informative articles about their coastal and ocean research in the monthly newsletter Sound Waves (http://soundwaves.usgs.gov/). She also helps researchers create written materials, displays, and hands-on activities for members of the general public interested in USGS science. She is looking forward to sharing ideas with the two teachers participating in the August 2010 Canada-U.S. joint Arctic expedition. Helen will serve as web coordinator for logs and images posted at the Continental Shelf Project Website (http://continentalshelf.gov/) before and during the expedition.

Jonathan Childs - Researcher
Researcher
U.S. Geological Survey

Jonathan Childs is a scientist at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Menlo Park, California. Mr. Childs scientific interests include using seismic reflection data to study and map the seafloor and studying the unique laws of the worlds oceans.

Brian Edwards - Researcher
Researcher
U.S. Geological Survey

Brian is a sedimentologist with the USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center who will serve as Chief Scientist aboard Healy during the joint U.S.-Canada extended-continental-shelf survey in August. He brings to the job more than 30 years of sea-going experience on 60-plus coring and geophysical cruises along the west coast of the United States, the Ross Sea (Antarctica), the North Pacific Ocean, and the Bering Sea. Brian specializes in sedimentary processes and stratigraphy, integrating insights gleaned from seafloor rock and sediment samples with information from remote-mapping products, such as close-up photographs of the seafloor, high-resolution bathymetric maps, and seismic-reflection profiles (sound "slices" through the seafloor that create an image like rocks exposed on the walls of the Grand Canyon). His recent studies have focused on how sediment moves from the land to the deep sea, processes controlling submarine landslides, saltwater intrusion into coastal aquifer systems, marine pollution, and seafloor habitats.

International Continental Shelf Survey Resources

PolarTREC teacher Bill Schmoker, one of 14 teachers nationwide, has been awarded the National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship. This article describes his upcoming National Geographic expedition to the Arctic Ocean aboard its research ship 'Explorer'.

Article
Arctic
All Aged
Download, Share, and Remix

PolarTREC alumni and science teacher Bill Schmoker is taking his second research trip to the Arctic this summer as one of a handful of educators chosen as a Lindblad Expeditions National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellow.

Article
Arctic
All Aged
Download and Share

A message to my students on the first day of school and instructions for completing their student journals while I'm on my cruise.

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

Vignettes from Dutch Harbor, Alaska in preparation for my 2010 PolarTREC Cruise on the USCG Cutter Healy.

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

Video created by PolarTREC teacher Bill Schmoker onboard the International Continental Shelf Survey. This was the first piston core that returned a gas hydrate sample in the core cutter. The hydrate was about 20 feet beneath the sea floor. Once on deck it began fizzing with escaping methane. Gas hydrates turn out to be very widespread throughout the world's oceans and in permafrost areas.

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share
Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

Bill Schmoker with the International Continental Shelf Survey expedition.

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

Boat opps aboard the USCGC Healy during the 2010 International Extended Continental Shelf Survey, filmed by PolarTREC teacher Bill Schmoker. Here we see the launch and deployment of the Arctic Service Boat.

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

Breaking heavy ice in the Canada Basin (northern Arctic Ocean) aboard the USCGC Healy during the 2010 International Extended Continental Shelf Survey. In the distance notice the Canadian Coast Guard Cutter Louis S. St. Laurent. Filmed by PolarTREC teacher Bill Schmoker.

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

Deploying an ice buoy from the USCGC Healy in the Beaufort Sea. The buoy drifts with the ice pack and relays its position to a satellite and so can be used to monitor ice movement. Filmed by PolarTREC Teacher Bill Schmoker on the 2010 International Extended Continental Shelf Survey.

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

Conducting a CTD cast aboard the USCGC Healy. Launched from the starboard A-frame, this device measures Conductivity (to determine salinity), Temperature, & Depth and returns water samples from user-selected depths via the array ("rosette") of trippable Niskin bottles. Filmed by PolarTREC Teacher Bill Schmoker on the 2010 International Extended Continental Shelf Survey.

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

Readying the 12-bottle CTD for a cast aboard the USCGC Healy on the 2010 International Extended Continental Shelf Survey.

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

2010 PolarTREC teacher Bill Schmoker arriving in Dutch Harbor, Unalaska Island, AK to begin his International Extended Continental Shelf Survey expedition aboard the USCGC Healy.

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

USCGC Healy experiencing the first ice of 2010 International Extended Continental Shelf Survey in the Bering Sea. Filmed by PolarTREC teacher Bill Schmoker.

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

Launch & recovery of the RHI (rigid-hull inflatable) boat aboard the USCGC Healy in foggy conditions. Filmed in the Canada Basin (northern Arctic Ocean) during the 2010 International Extended Continental Shelf Survey by PolarTREC teacher Bill Schmoker.

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

Gas (methane) Hydrate ice recovered in core catcher during bottom sampling opps aboard USCGC Healy in the Southern Beaufort Sea during the 2010 International Extended Continental Shelf Survey. Filmed by PolarTREC teacher Bill Schmoker.

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

Conducting gravity coring operations aboard the USCGC Healy in the Southern Beaufort Sea during the 2010 International Extended Continental Shelf Survey. This is a simple way to retrieve soft sediment cores- the coring pipe is driven into the sea bed by the 2-ton weight at the top of the coring device. Filmed by PolarTREC teacher Bill Schmoker

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

Black-legged Kittiwakes are joined by an immature Herring Gull (maybe Vega Gull??) in the Canada Basin (northern Arctic Ocean). Filmed aboard the USCGC Healy on the 2010 International Extended Continental Shelf Survey by PolarTREC teacher Bill Schmoker.

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

USCGC Healy sounding the foghorn during our transit of the Bering Straight on the 2010 International Extended Continental Shelf Survey. Filmed by PolarTREC teacher Bill Schmoker

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

Helicopter transfer via Canadian Coast Guard MBB Bo 105 from USGCC Healy to Canadian Coast Guard Cutter Louis S. St. Laurent in the Canada Basin (N. Arctic Ocean) during the 2010 International Extended Continental Shelf Survey. Filmed by PolarTREC teacher Bill Schmoker

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

PolarTREC teacher Bill Schmoker gives a walking tour of the USCGC Healy in the Canada Basin (N. Arctic Ocean) on the 2010 International Extended Continental Shelf Survey.

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

USCGC Healy breaking ice in the Canada Basin (N. Arctic Ocean.) Filmed from the Canadian Coast Guard Cutter Louis S. St. Laurent by PolarTREC teacher Bill Schmoker on the 2010 International Extended Continental Shelf Survey. Here the Louis is stopped for sonar repairs and the Healy is prepping a clear lane for the eventual resumption of sonar subseafloor profiling.

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

Helicopter transfer between the Canadian Coast Guard Cutter Louis S. St. Laurent & USCGC Healy in the Beaufort Sea. This is a MBB Bo 105 helicopter, a twin-engine craft with 4 rotor blades. Filmed by PolarTREC teacher Bill Schmoker on the 2010 International Extended Continental Shelf Survey.

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

USCGC Healy entering the ice pack north of Barrow in the Canada Basin. Note the paint scraped off on one large piece of ice and the Canadian Coast Guard Cutter Louis S. St. Laurent following us into the ice. Filmed by PolarTREC teacher Bill Schmoker on the 2010 International Extended Continental Shelf Survey.

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

Will fresh water turn into ice when it is dunked in the chilly waters of the Canada Basin? Find out with PolarTREC teacher Bill Schmoker, aboard the USCGC Healy on the 2010 International Extended Continental Shelf Survey.

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

The Canadian Coast Guard Cutter Louis S. St. Laurent working in the Beaufort Sea, seen from the USCGC Healy on the 2010 International Extended Continental Shelf Survey. Note the bubbler system at the bow of the Louis, which enhances its icebreaking capabilities by lifting ice around the bow and wetting the surface of the ice. Filmed by PolarTREC teacher Bill Schmoker.

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

MBB Bo 105 Helicopter transfer from CCGC Louis S. St. Laurent to USCGC Healy in the Canada Basin (northern Arctic Ocean.) Filmed by PolarTREC teacher Bill Schmoker on the 2010 International Extended Continental Shelf Survey.

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

Packing up the coring rail aboard the USCGC Healy in the Canada Basin (northern Arctic Ocean) on the 2010 International Extended Continental Shelf Survey. Filmed by PolarTREC teacher Bill Schmoker.

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

This video documents the process of piston coring in deep water (~3000m) over the so-called '09 Seamount, Canada Basin (N. Arctic Ocean). Filmed on the 2010 International Extended Continental Shelf Survey by PolarTREC teacher Bill Schmoker.

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

Piston Coring in the Eastern Canada Basin on USCGC Healy. Filmed by PolarTREC teacher Bill Schmoker on the 2010 International Extended Continental Shelf Survey.

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

Polar Bear on Beaufort Sea ice, seen from USCGC Healy on 2010 International Extended Continental Shelf Survey. Filmed by PolarTREC teacher Bill Schmoker.

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

RHI (Rigid Hull Inflatable boat) recovery on the USCGC Healy near Barrow, AK in the Beaufort Sea. Filmed on the 2010 International Extended Continental Shelf Survey by PolarTREC teacher Bill Schmoker

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

Summer Snow Day on the USCGC Healy in the SE Canada Basin (Arctic Ocean). Filmed on the 2010 International Extended Continental Shelf Survey by PolarTREC teacher Bill Schmoker.

Video
Arctic
Less than 1 period
All Aged
Download and Share

Overview

Density currents drive 3D movements within the world’s oceans that dwarf surface currents by volume. Density-driven movements due to temperature/salinity differences keep the world’s oceans well mixed & help to re-distribute heat from tropical areas towards polar areas. Resultant upwelling creates some of the world’s richest ocean ecosystems.

Lesson
Arctic
About 1 period
Middle School and Up
Download, Share, and Remix

Overview

Many students are familiar with topographic maps showing relief of land surfaces. In this lab they will produce their own bathymetric maps, the underwater equivalent. A bathymetric map shows sea floor features by contouring depths below sea level (instead of elevation above sea level as in topographic maps).

Lesson
Arctic
Less than a week
Middle School and Up
Download, Share, and Remix

This PolarConnect event with PolarTREC Teacher Bill Schmoker working onboard the US Coast Guard Cutter Healy was held with Centennial Middle School in Colorado. This event was closed to the public and does not have a Wimba archive.

Article about Bill Schmoker's upcoming PolarTREC expedition aboard the USCGC Healy in the Arctic Ocean. View the actual article at the Boulder Daily Camera Online.

For students wishing to follow along with Mr. Schmoker on the Healy 2 August - 6 September 2010.

Activity
Arctic
Middle School and Up
Download and Share