Projects

Project Location:
Barrow, Alaska
Project Funded Title:
Annual Observations of the Biological and Physical Marine Environment in the Chukchi and near-shore Beaufort Seas near Barrow, AK

Project Members

Carin Ashjian

Carin Ashjian
Organization: 
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Occupation: 
Researcher

Steve Okkonen

Steve Okkonen
Organization: 
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Occupation: 
Researcher

Project Description

The research team worked out of Barrow, Alaska, at the juxtaposition of two Arctic seas; the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. It is a region frequently traveled by the endangered bowhead whale. This project had its genesis in understanding why the region near Barrow, Alaska has been a feeding hotspot for migrating bowhead whales. The whales and their prey will continue to be a focus of the team's interpretations. The research team conducted oceanographic sampling of the physical and biological marine environment in the region over the period 2005-2011 and observed significant inter-annual variability. Long-term studies of the ocean conditions in the Arctic are needed in order to understand how these environments vary inter-annually. The research team will continue to document conditions in the biological-physical ocean ecosystem, through annual boat-based surveys in order to predict and understand potential impacts of climate change on the Arctic ecosystem.

Location