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On March 29, fifty scientists set out from Dutch Harbor, AK as part of the International Polar Year (IPY) aboard the United States Coast Guard Cutter Healy to try to elucidate the effects of climate change on the Bering Sea Ecosystem.  The second cruise of a six-year, $50 million study funded by the National Science Foundation and North Pacific Research Board, HLY0802 (cruise number) is focused on the animals and plants at the base of the food chain. 

The Bering Sea is one of the world’s most prolific bodies of water providing more than half of the seafood caught in the United States.  The productivity of these waters is largely influenced by seasonal sea ice.  These waters are home to King Crab, Alaskan Pollack, Cod and many other commercially valuable species. 

As part of the BEST-BSIERP (Bering Ecosysystem Study-Bering Sea Integrated Ecosystem Research Program) project, I was invited aboard to chronicle the expedition.  Follow along on this journey through the ice-covered Bering Sea and learn about what scientists are doing to understand the effects of climate change. 

bering_sea-map-231x3001
stationsonly_1_27-225x3001This is a map of where samples will be taken during the cruise.