Upwelling and Ecology in the Beaufort Sea Journals

Arctic cod and brittle stars caught in the mid-water trawl net.  September 2017.  Photo by Lisa Seff.
Arctic cod and brittle stars caught in the mid-water trawl net. September 2017. Photo by Lisa Seff. Curious about how the research team catches the Arctic cod? Wondering what they do with the fish after they catch them? Well come find out! Join us onboard the R/V Sikuliaq as Dr. Joel Llopiz explains the details of his teams research while on the Beaufort Sea! Just click on the link below:
Watch For Ice sign on the street in Nome Alaska.  Photo by Lisa Seff.  August 23, 2017.
Watch For Ice sign on the street in Nome Alaska. Photo by Lisa Seff. August 23, 2017. Sea Ice vs. Land Ice: What’s the difference? During our live webinar there were many questions about sea ice so I thought I’d include a journal and some helpful links! Sea ice is frozen ocean water, which is different from glaciers and ice sheets which are land-based ice. Arctic sea ice can float freely where the Antarctic ice is mostly land based ice or attached to the coastline. When sea ice melts it does not directly influence sea level, however when land ice melts and runs into the sea that does directly influence sea level. We have not seen any sea ice during our research trip so far here in the Beaufort, and don’t expect to, as the present ice is further North. This month is the time of...
Dr. Steve Okkonen on the deck of the Sikuliaq.  August 2017.  Photo by Lisa Seff.
Dr. Steve Okkonen on the deck of theR/V Sikuliaq. August 2017. Photo by Lisa Seff. Steve is an oceanographer and works for the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He and his wife and their two dogs live in Kasilof, Alaska. He received his engineering degree at the University of Michigan. Steve then earned his teaching certification at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He taught math and science in elementary and high school classes for eight years before going back to school and obtaining his PhD in physical oceanography, also at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF). On this research cruise Steve is most interested to learn how the temperature, salinity, and currents might influence the distribution, in time and space, of zooplankton, fish and belugas. The CTD is positioned at...
Beluga whale.  Courtesy of Dr. Kate Stafford. Photo taken May 10th, 2009.
Beluga whale with blow at the surface! Photo courtesy of Dr. Kate Stafford. Photo taken April 30th, 2010. Beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) are at the highest trophic level of the ocean food web that we’re studying here at the top of the world in the Beaufort Sea. Despite not seeing any yet, I thought it was important to include a journal about these amazing animals. After all, Dr. Stafford heard from the aerial survey crew that they had seen belugas about 20 miles away from our location so we're still hoping to see some! Beluga whales are an incredibly beautiful and unique ocean mammal. They are one of the few whales that live in the Arctic year round. They are closely related to the narwhal which also lives in the Arctic and like the narwhal and bowhead, does not migrate to...
Aurora over the Beaufort Sea onboard the R/V Sikuliaq!
"Hey there's an Aurora!" That was all we needed to hear at about 1:30am to send us out into the dark cold night! I had stayed up late to work on our PolarTREC webinar that was coming up in a few days, and was very glad that I was already awake to see natures light show! It's about 3am now...and I'm really ready for bed, but I just couldn't go to sleep without posting some of my photos in a journal for you all to see later today. I hope you enjoy them! Aurora over the Beaufort Sea onboard the R/V Sikuliaq! September 12, 2017. Photo by Lisa Seff. Aurora over the Beaufort Sea onboard the R/V Sikuliaq! September 12, 2017. Photo by Lisa Seff. Wow! How awesome is that! Aurora over the Beaufort Sea and Lisa Seff onboard the R/V Sikuliaq! September 12, 2017. Photo by Lisa Seff. Aurora...
Ok, not exactly a fun fact, but definitely a fun photo-op for a research scientist who is studying fish!  Dr. Mike Lowe and fish friend.  Photo courtesy of Dr. Mike Lowe.
Dr. Mike Lowe on the water in Mississippi! Photo courtesy of Dr. Mike Lowe. My Polar Profile of the day will focus on Dr. Mike Lowe. Mike is a research scientist and works for the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center. After seeing his first Great White shark off the coast of California when he was just 5, he imagined that he would become a Shark Biologist. That same year for Christmas he asked for The Book of Sharks by Richard Ellis...and A Master’s of the Universe play set! Mike went on to pretty much live his childhood dream. He earned his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University at Galveston, his Masters degree at Auburn University and his Ph.D. in Coastal Sciences from the University of Southern Mississippi. He lives and works in Baton Rouge Louisiana. His...
The R/V Sikuliaq "lounge" on calmer days during a meeting.  August 2017.  Photo by Lisa Seff.
"Travel tips: How to avoid carsickness, seasickness and airsickness... Be careful what you eat. And stay home." I love that "Travel Tips" quote by Charles M. Shulz, the american cartoonist best known for his comic strip Peanuts featuring Charlie Brown. However, staying home wasn't an option that I've ever considered! Waves off the bow of the R/V Sikuliaq. September 6, 2017. Photo by Lisa Seff Fortunately I don't usually get sea sick, although my dad loved to tell a story of when I was about seven years old and he took me fishing south of Nantucket. The way he told the story, he was catching Striped Bass off the stern, doormat flounder off the starboard side and tuna off the port side...and I became horribly sea sick and we had to go home. He always told this story with a smile...
Chrissy Hernandez (to the left of the net!) works with the other members of Team Fish to pull in the mid-water trawl net
Today’s Polar Profile will focus on Chrissy Hernandez, a PhD candidate with the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography. Chrissy works with Dr. Joel Llopiz in his lab at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). She attended Columbia University's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences earning her undergraduate degree in Earth and Environmental Engineering. She lives and works in Woods Hole Massachusetts. Chrissy Hernandez off ship! Photo courtesy of Chrissy Hernandez. On this research cruise Chrissy will be working with a team to deploy, recover, and process fish samples that are taken with the mid-water trawl net. “We expect that the majority of the fish we catch will be Arctic cod, Boreogadus saida. In addition to measuring the length and weight of the fish and some...
Dr. Kristina Kvile.
Dr. Kristina Kville off ship! Photo courtesy of Dr. Kristina Kvile. My Polar Profile of the day will focus on Dr. Kristina Kvile. Kristina is a Postdoctoral scholar who works for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (also known as WHOI) in Woods Hole Massachusetts. Kristina received her bachelor degree in biology from the University of Oslo in Norway and her masters degree in marine Biodiversity and Conservation while studying in Portugal and France. She earned her PhD in marine ecology from the University of Oslo. She grew up in Ålesund Norway, but now lives in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Kristina is a zooplankton ecologist and is helping sample zooplankton on this research trip, with a focus on copepod and krill. Specifically she will be working with Dr. Carin Ashjian from...
Mid-Water Trawl Net.
8:45am on Wednesday I awoke to a changed sea this morning! Waves off the aft-portion of the starboard side. R/V Sikuliaq. September 6, 2017. Photo by Lisa Seff. I could feel the ship rolling and pitching a little more than it had been the past few days but it was hearing Dr. Mike Lowe say, "I'm hunting for more strapping" that caught my attention! When a storm event is headed your way it's time to add strapping and tie down anything and everything that might get damaged, or might do damage during rough seas! And the right time to tie things down is before the ship really starts to rock and roll! Mid-Water Trawl net strapped down to the deck during rough seas. Onboard the R/V Sikuliaq. September 2017. Photo by Lisa Seff. The R/V Sikuliaq is in Marine Zone 240 on the chart for...