Arctic Sea Ice Ecology

Arctic Sea Ice Ecology
Location: Barrow, Alaska
Team: Andy Juhl, Craig Aumack, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Purpose: Climate and Sea Life
Start Date: May 2013

Polar ice is home to large communities of algae that thrive in the frigid Arctic environment. These tiny organisms have a big impact on the marine ecosystem and the entire planet -- including us. Andy Juhl and Craig Aumack, scientists from Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, are in Barrow, Alaska studying algae in and below sea ice, and how our warming climate may impact these important organisms.

A Tale of Sea Ice, Algae and the Arctic

by | 5.29.2013 at 4:12pm
Sea ice algae.

I returned to New York on Monday, but Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory scientists Andy Juhl and Craig Aumack remain working in Barrow, Alaska for another week. They’ll continue to collect data and samples in a race against deteriorating Arctic sea ice conditions as the onset of summer causes the ice to thin and break up.

Science, Creativity and Isopods

by | 5.27.2013 at 3:12am
Andy Juhl lowers ROV Brinson into the Arctic Ocean.

It’s near midnight and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory researchers Andy Juhl and Craig Aumack, and Arizona State’s Kyle Kinzler are gathered around a table in their lab at the Barrow Arctic Research Consortium discussing the best way to catch an isopod.

Ctene Sensations of the Arctic Ocean

by | 5.23.2013 at 1:40am
Ctenophores

One of the goals of Andy Juhl’s and Craig Aumack’s Arctic research is to determine the role of ice algae as a source of nutrition for food webs existing in the water column and at the bottom of the Arctic ocean.

Collecting Core Data About Arctic Ecosystems

by | 5.20.2013 at 1:53pm
Andy Juhl records the temperature of the ice every 10cm for the length of the core.

Our team spent most of Friday on the Arctic sea ice, drilling and sampling ice cores at our main field site. For each core collected, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory scientists Andy Juhl and Craig Aumack take a number of different physical, chemical and biological measurements

What Lies Beneath Arctic Ice?

by | 5.19.2013 at 3:38am | 1 Comment
Arctic Algae

On Thursday we lowered a camera into an ice borehole to get a look at the underside of the ice. In the following video, you can clearly see the algae living in the bottom of the ice due to their pigments, which they use to harvest light.

Ice Capades

by | 5.17.2013 at 6:24am
Andy, Kyle and Craig prepare to finish drilling a hole in the ice.

Fieldwork is exciting and inspiring, leading scientists to new ideas, places and observations about how the world works. Spring on Alaska’s North Slope provides an especially productive environment for fieldwork. When the sun never sets, it’s easy to linger in the field and the lab long into the well-lit night.

Settling in to Work and Life in Barrow

by | 5.16.2013 at 12:00am
Barrow, Alaska

While I arrived in Barrow, Alaska on Tuesday, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory scientists Andy Juhl and Craig Aumack, and graduate student Kyle Kinzler from Arizona State University, got here one week ago.

Investigating Life in Arctic Sea Ice

by | 5.14.2013 at 3:08pm
Barrow, Alaska

Andy Juhl and Craig Aumack, microbiologists from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, are spending a month in Barrow, Alaska studying algae in and below sea ice, and how our warming climate may impact these important organisms.