Hidden Ocean 2016: Chukchi Borderlands
Background Information

Mission Plan

Mission Plan

From July 2 – August 10, 2016, an international and multi-disciplinary team of scientists, media personnel, and educators will sail to the Chukchi Borderlands onboard the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy.

Arctic Climate Change

Arctic Climate Change and the Chukchi Borderland Region

The Arctic Ocean is one of the most remote locations on Earth, as well as the region where the impact of climate change may be most strongly expressed. In the last two decades, concerns about enhanced and rapid environmental changes have put the Arctic into the spotlight of scientific and public attention.

Arctic Seafloor Fauna

Arctic Seafloor Fauna

Contrary to what one might expect in an ice-covered ocean, the seafloor of the Arctic Ocean is actually teeming with life. These seafloor animals are called “benthos.”

Fishes in the Arctic

Fishes in the Arctic

Fishes in the Arctic Ocean, as in most other ocean regions of the world, are an important part of the ecosystem. Some species live within the water column while others live close to the seafloor, and they are important predators on plankton and bottom-dwelling animals (benthos). 

Zooplankton of the Arctic

Zooplankton of the Arctic

During this summer’s expedition, we will be exploring the poorly known deep-water zooplankton of the Arctic. The smaller, more robust, and “armored” crustaceans, called copepods, are relatively well known here. 

Arctic Marine Mammals

Arctic Marine Mammals

When we talk about “marine mammals,” we actually talk about groups of very different animals with different lifestyles and habitat requirements. This group includes whales that live exclusively in water and seals and walrus, also known as “pinnipeds,” that dive for their food.

Arctic Seabirds

Arctic Seabirds

Seabirds rely on coastal islands and cliffs to lay eggs and raise young, but they feed themselves and their chicks from the sea and spend most of the year far from shore. Thus, seabirds link the land to the sea, with most species completely dependent on marine ecosystems for their food. 

microbial network

Navigating the Hidden Microbial Network in Arctic Sea Ice

During this expedition, we will study the various complex networks that intersect to make up this unique, extreme ecosystem: brine channels, food webs, and genetic exchange networks that are all dominated by microbes. 

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