The Western Arctic Shelf-Basin Interactions (SBI) project is a multi-year project involving scientists specializing in topics ranging from physical oceanography to microbiology, all focused on gaining a better understanding of the Arctic Ocean ecosystem.  Environmental change predicted to influence the entire globe is expected to be especially pronounced in the Arctic.  Ocean biology is greatly under sampled and nowhere is that more apparent than in the remote Arctic.  The SBI project and our work are just part of a major effort to understand the biology of our plant.  Low temperature, seasonal ice cover and large riverine inputs distinguish the Arctic from better studied oceans.  Members of Kirchman’s lab participating in SBI spring and summer cruises in 2002 and 2004 examined many aspects of Arctic microbial ecology, including the abundance and activity of Bacteria and Archaea, limitation of microbial growth by substrates and temperature, community respiration, net community production and bacterial/archaeal growth efficiency.  Our work in the Arctic suggests that the microbial food web runs at a slower pace than in warmer oceans.  The Arctic food web appears to be characterized by an uncoupling of plant growth from heterotrophic metabolism on the continental shelf of the Chukchi Sea and in the Arctic basin. 

Cruises on the US Coast Guard Ice Breaker Healy embarked in Nome, Alaska where everything, including the cars, arrives by barge or aircraft.  The atmosphere is that of a remote outpost.   Summer visits were sunny, but winter is surely entirely different.

Enjoy the photos below of Nome and the Arctic Ocean.  Click on the links at the top of the page to visit my other sites highlighting research cruises to other parts of the globe.

Western Arctic Shelf-Basin Interactions (SBI)

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Research Cruises

Barrow, Alaska Photos and Movies

Summer 2007


Western Arctic Shelf-Basin Interaction

Summer 2002 and 2004



Summer 2003


Hawaii Ocean Time Series (HOGS)

Winter 2004


North Atlantic Spring Bloom (NASB)

Summer 2005