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Bering Sea Days 2015

16.10.2015 in 2015 Seabird Camps, Education

It’s been a crazy full week.   The school on St. Paul Island has been buzzing with activity, learning, and excitement. It’s been really fun to pass doorways, and hear talk of bones, pressure, plants, ocean acidification, fur-seals, birds… and more! We had a biodiversity field trip out to a fur-seal…

October on St. George Island

16.10.2015 in 2015 Seabird Camps

After a busy week on St. Paul with Bering Sea Days, I flew over to St. George Island. Winds had been high for the last week, and so I was thankful to actually be able to land. It’s been a wonderful couple of days here. Most seabirds have gone for…

Start of Bering Sea Days

08.10.2015 in 2015 Seabird Camps

Bering Sea Days has started on St. Paul Island. Bering Sea Days is a weeklong program hosted by the Ecosystem Conservation Office, Aleut Community of St. Paul Island, and the Pribilof School District, and funded by the Central Bering Sea Fisherman’s Association. The whole school week is dedicated to learning…

Crested Auklet video

21.09.2015 in 2015 Seabird Camps, Education

We’re continuing to learn about the amazing seabirds that breed on the Pribilof Islands. After a great field trip to the cliffs, kids attending Seabird Camp split off into different groups to put

That’s all folks!

04.09.2015 in At-sea research, Education

We are out of candy, so we are heading in to Wainwright. Well, we are out of candy, but that’s not why we are heading in to Wainwright. The 2015 AMBON cruise is coming to an end on Saturday.

Charismatic microfauna

01.09.2015 in At-sea research, Education

Seabirds are charismatic megafauna—they are large animals that have popular appeal due to their cute or beautiful appearance. So what about all the little critters out there? They deserve our attention too, though it may take a microscope to truly appreciate them. I asked planktonologist Caitlin Smoot to tell us…

At Anchor

27.08.2015 in At-sea research, Education

  Early Tuesday morning, we left our study area to head up to Pt. Barrow. Why? Because the marine forecast for our region was calling for 35 knot winds and 12 foot seas.

Walruses, auklets, and brittle stars, oh my!

24.08.2015 in At-sea research, Education

  Walruses are part of that special group of animals that are so ugly they are cute. In more scientific terms, walrus are part of the pinniped clade, which also includes seals and sea lions, and like to eat clams. We have seen quite a few of them over the…

The Night Shift

21.08.2015 in At-sea research, Education, Uncategorized

While the seabird and marine mammal observers sleep at night, other scientists are afoot. At every sample station (red dots on the map), they are on deck deploying gear to collect physical, chemical, and biological samples. The first thing to go into the water at a station is the CTD,…

Life on the R/V Norseman II

17.08.2015 in At-sea research, Education

When you are living and working on a boat, two things stand out—you are stuck on the boat, and that boats can move in multiple directions at the same time! As far as being stuck on a boat goes, the Norseman II is an excellent choice! It is comfortable and…

The Wheelhouse Gang

12.08.2015 in At-sea research, Education

We have been transiting from Prudhoe Bay to our first sample station for the past several days (yellow star in location map above shows current location), and were lucky to start out with glassy seas. Unfortunately, that was not meant to last, and conditions returned to their normal gray, windy, and…


10.08.2015 in 2015 Seabird Camps

The kids on the Commander Islands have just returned from their summer camp.  We’re really excited to hear about the camp activities, it sounds like it was an action-packed adventure.  And, we can’t wait to hear their camp song! Many thanks to this report from camp leader Natalya Fomina. The…


10.08.2015 in At-sea research, Education

What is the Arctic Marine Biodiversity Observing Network (AMBON) project? The AMBON project is one of three pilot projects whose goal is to help establish a national network to monitor the biodiversity of U.S. waters, from micro-organisms to whales. The AMBON project focuses on the Chukchi Sea, while the other…

Checking nest-boxes

03.08.2015 in 2015 Seabird Camps

Seabird activities continue on St. George.  Abram gave a talk about the red-legged kittiwake project, that included using Google Earth to check out the small hand-full of islands where they breed.  It’s amazing to think that 70% of the world population breeds on St. George Island! The crew then headed…

Foggy Start

03.08.2015 in 2015 Seabird Camps

Seabird Camp on St. George had an unplanned start.  The plane carrying Ann and Peter circled the island a few times, but it was too foggy to land and they had to return all the way back to Anchorage (an 11 hour round trip!).  This is not unusual for St….

Seabird Portraits

13.07.2015 in 2015 Seabird Camps

Kids participating in the recent Seabird Camp on St. Paul Island have created some beautiful portraits of the local seabirds to share with the students on the Commander Islands. Tufted Puffin Young Kittiwake Tufted Puffin Tufted Puffin portrait Red-faced Cormorant Rainbow Horned Puffin Least Auklets Horned Puffin Crested Auklet  …

Commander Island Summer Camp

09.07.2015 in 2015 Seabird Camps, Commander Islands

Where are the Commander Islands? The Commander Islands are located at the end of the Aleutian Islands, and about 110 miles east of the Kamchatka Peninsula. Funded by the National Park Service’s Shared Beringian Heritage Program, we’ll be working closely with biologists and the school district on the Commander Islands…


01.07.2015 in 2015 Seabird Camps

The wrap-up for this year’s camp started with finding a place for all of our big animal masks.  We can thank Mr. Mac at the St. Paul School for displaying all the masks so nicely on the school library.  Now the kids can see their creations year-round! Intern Marjorie continued…

The Grand Finale!

30.06.2015 in 2015 Seabird Camps

The day of the plays!  Even with the extensive prep work we had done, everything came down to the wire Saturday.  Masks, props and the background mural were all completed as the minutes ticked toward show time. The mural was finished moments before our gathering at the Rec Hall.  Parts…


28.06.2015 in 2015 Seabird Camps

The last day of this year’s seabird camp!  Our plays and goodbyes will happen tomorrow at 7:30 at the Rec Hall. We started the day by hearing more about life in the Commander Islands.  It is very similar yet different from here.  Campers were excited to hear that kids from…