Author Archives: arcticscientist

Final Stop: Dutch Harbor, Alaska.

The Healy arrived at Dutch Harbor, Alaska early morning of September 28, 2011.  The USGS Arctic Ocean Acidification Team disembarked there for the flight home. Water samples taken on the cruise will remain on the Healy for a couple of months until she … Continue reading

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Ophiuroid ossicles on the Healy

Here are some pictures of the Ophiuroid ossicles on the Healy.  The ossicles are contained in porous sample bags similar to”tea bags” within a Nalgene bottle. The seawater flows though the top and out the bottom of the bottle.  After … Continue reading

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Passing the Magnetic North

The Healy passed the magnetic north a few days back.    According to one of the captains aboard, the magnetic north pole is at 82°18 N Longitude and 113° 24 W Latitude. A gyroscope is used on the Healy to determine direction … Continue reading

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Ice Liberty

There was time for a short break for ice liberty on the Healy.  Initially, a small Coast Guard team did recon of an area on the ice floe that was chosen because of ice thickness.  The specially trained team went … Continue reading

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Ophiuroid Ossicles: An Indicator for Ocean Acidification?

Molly Miller is part of the scientific research team for the USGS Arctic Cruise 2011. Ophiuroids,  or brittlestars,  have “hard parts” that are are part of an ocean acidification study on the Healy. Here is some information from her on ophiuroid research. … Continue reading

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Weather Balloons: Launching Daily

Our shipmate, Aerographer’s Mate Second Class (AW), Bill Dearing of the U.S. Navy, launches a weather balloon everyday.  The balloons gather data about the upper level winds, temperatures, relative humidity, and air pressure over the Arctic Ocean.  Amazingly, the Arctic … Continue reading

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Air Dropping Supplies to the Healy

Today there was an air drop for the Healy! The Coast Guard from Kodiak Alaska flew a C-130 plane over the Healy to drop parts to repair broken equipment on board, including a pipe and flange for cooling water for … Continue reading

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A Trip into the Hold

Here is a series of photos of Lisa Robbins going down a hatch on the Healy to get some equipment out of the hold below.   You have got to be fit and limber on this boat!  

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How “small” is the Arctic Ocean?

The Arctic Ocean is the smallest of the Earth’s five oceans at approximately 14,056,000 km2 .  Sea Ice in the Arctic Ocean averages about 3 meters thick.  The USCGC Healy can go steadily through Sea Ice up to 4 meters … Continue reading

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Arctic Night: Sunlight 24/7

Now that the Healy is near the North pole, the days are longer with 24 hours of sunlight. Paul Knorr took some photos around 2:30 AM and, as you can see, the sun is low on the horizon but does … Continue reading

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Vertical Profile Data: Fresh for the Ocean

There are three water masses in the Arctic Ocean. The surface waters range from 0-200 meters (m) depth, the intermediate waters from 200 m to 900 m, and the bottom waters from 900-bottom (Millero, 2006).  In comparing Stations 3 and … Continue reading

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What is a Lead?

Leads are large cracks or lanes that are formed by movement of the Arctic sea ice by currents.  They can open suddenly at any time.  They are a great way for the Healy to easily move through the ice.   … Continue reading

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Views from the RAVEN: A Remotely Operated Plane

Shipmate Capt. Steve Wackowski is testing a small-unmanned aerial system (SUAS) to use for science in the Arctic and elsewhere. He has outfitted a similar one that has been used by the USGS and FWS out in the western states. … Continue reading

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Ringed Seals Spotted from the Healy

This is from the FWS biologist Sophie Webb who is onboard the Healy: Ringed seals are the smallest of the ice seals averaging about 4 feet (1.2meters) in length weighing approximately 120 lbs. They maintain  breathing holes in the ice with … Continue reading

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Everyone’s Job is Important on the Healy

Coast guard MK2 Christopher Schumacher (Machinery technician) gave a talk to the scientists on board the Healy about “What Blue can do for you.” Shu has a wonderful southern accent and the ability to be entertaining- from the standpoint of … Continue reading

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Home for Seven Weeks

Life on board the Healy is very busy. Most of the time is spent in the lab, sampling or analyzing data on the computers. Here are some pictures of the stateroom and shower of Lisa Robbins. Most of the scientists … Continue reading

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Rendezvous with the St-Laurent

The Louis St. Laurent is an ice breaker vessel from the Canadian Coast Guard. The St. Laurent is working in collaboration with the USCG Ice Breaker Healy. The two vessels met and are now tied up together so scientists aboard … Continue reading

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Polar Bear Tracks

The scientists did not see them, but the mom and cub are nearby!

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Is Ice Just Ice?

Pablo Clemente-Colon (Chief Scientist of the National Ice Center) gave us a science talk the other night and told us some interesting facts about ice. You may think that “ice is just ice”- but actually there are specific designations for … Continue reading

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First Water Sampling Station – What is a Rosette?

The Healy arrived at the first water sampling station in the Arctic Ocean. The scientific team used a device at the first station called a rosette that can take multiple water samples and measurements at once. The rosette sampler is … Continue reading

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What is a Mustang Suit?

The Arctic Ocean is a very harsh environment. Survival in the water is only minutes without proper protection. The mustang suit is a thermal survival suit for just this type of place. On the Healy, team members are required to … Continue reading

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Icebergs!

First the first time on the cruise, the Healy is moving through a patch of icebergs in the Arctic Ocean.  Here are a few photos from the Healy:  

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Measuring CO2 in the Air – From the Bow of the Healy

Jonathan Wynn and Lisa Robbins install a sampling tube to measure carbon dioxide (CO2) using a CO2 analyzer on the bow of the ship.  Data from the CO2 analyzer is sent to a computer on board the vessel for later … Continue reading

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Lab Set Up and Ready to Start Working

The scientific team are making themselves at home on board the Healy. They have unpacked the lab and are busy trying to set up water sampling. They have been briefed on safety procedures and have tried on mustang suits (post … Continue reading

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Traveling Via Helicopter

Traveling by helicopter to the Healy was quite an experience. Here are some photos of the scientific team as they made their way to the ship via helicopter transport. Boarding the Helicopter: Flying to the USCGC Healy:   Finally, on … Continue reading

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Arctic Cruise: Day 1 – On Board, Unpacking, and Lab Set Up

The USGS ocean acidification team is on board the USCGC Healy! Unpacking and laboratory set-up are the first order of business. Setting up is an exhausting process but the sooner the lab is set up, the sooner the team can … Continue reading

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It’s Official – The Arctic Research Cruise is Underway

Today is the official first day of the ocean acidification Arctic research cruise. The scientific team has been transported to the USCGC Healy via helicopter today to begin their seven week journey. Stay tuned for more information!

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Waiting for the Healy

The team arrived in Barrow, Alaska late in the day on August 13th. The sky was overcast, the weather cool, and there were only dirt roads. They spent the day of August 14th exploring the area while waiting for the … Continue reading

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Where is Barrow, Alaska?

Barrow, Alaska has the distinction of being the farthest North of all North American cities. It is also the port from which the scientists will board the USCSC Healy. It is approximately 725 miles from Anchorage, Alaska to Barrow, Alaska. … Continue reading

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2,524 Miles to Seattle, Washington

The 13 pallets left St. Petersburg, Florida on May 3rd and arrived about a week later for loading on May 11th. Technician Chris DuFore flew out to ensure the safe loading and proper storage of the equipment and supplies aboard … Continue reading

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Packed and Ready to Go!

To get ready for the Arctic cruise preparation began many months in advance. We had to have all of our equipment and personal items packed ready by May 3rd! They had to be shipped across country to Seattle, Washington for … Continue reading

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