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Arctic Research Expedition - Chukchi & Beaufort Seas
NOAA Ship Ron Brown (RB15-07)
August 6 to September 4, 2015

01 August 2015 - For the first time, the NOAA Ship Ron Brown has ventured into the U.S. Arctic. Throughout the month of August, Ecosystems and NOAA Ship Ron Brown Fisheries-Oceanography Coordinated Investigations (EcoFOCI) scientists from the Pacific Marine Environmental Lab (PMEL) and Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC) are on board sampling ice-free portions of the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.

In order to understand the changing ecosystems of the U.S. Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, this research will produce baseline characterizations of the biological, chemical and physical oceanography of ice-free areas. The effort is multi-institutional. During the last five years, EcoFOCI has occupied several sampling transects across these shelves, partnering Planned Arctic work aboard NOAA ship Ron Brown showing ship track and work locations. with the National Marine Mammal Lab (NMML) within the BOEM-funded CHAOZ-X and ARCWEST programs. Four of the planned cruise transects are part of the Distributed Biological Nancy Kachel is Chief Scientist of this research cruise. Observatory (DBO) where the sampling focus centers on biological hot spots: locations of high productivity, biodiversity and rates of biological change. The DBO effort has expanded into the Beaufort as of 2015, and comprises part of the Brown cruise effort in that area. Eco-FOCI will sample transects using CTD casts, Tucker sled trawls and bongo tows.

EcoFOCI scientists have deployed moorings on the Chukchi shelf. Three biophysical moorings, stations C1, C2, and C4, will be recovered during this research cruise. EcoFOCI maintains five biophysical moorings in the Hanna Shoal region as part of CHAOZ (stations C2, C6, C7, C8, and C9).

This is a joint research cruise between EcoFOCI (NOAA/PMEL, NOAA/AFSC, and UW/JISAO) and National Ocean Service (NOAA/NOS/NCCOS) with collaboration from Oregon State University (OSU) and NOAA/Office of Response and Restoration (ORR). Other participating institutions include Bureau of Ocean Energy and Management (BOEM), United States Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Management (U.S. F&WS), Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (AK DEC), and University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF).

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