6 Highlights from the Healy Science Mission to Chukchi and Beaufort Seas

August 28, 2018
By Jessica Rohde

by Janet Hsiao (NOAA) and Meredith LaValley (IARPC)

USCGC Healy safely returned to Alaska's Port of Nome after 18-days at sea. Below are some highlights from this journey: 

1. This year’s Healy science mission kicked off with a community meeting in which relevant results and current research goals were shared with those living in the area. The meeting helped frame the larger context and importance of the scientists’ research for Arctic communities.

 (Photo by: Janet Hsiao)

2. An impressive count of 31 of moorings were successfully serviced over the course of the science cruise. This process entailed retrieving the hefty moorings that had been gathering observations during the year, washing them down, extracting their data, and deploying another mooring in its place to continue collecting information.

 (Photo by: Meredith LaValley)

3. Jessica Cross (NOAA/PMEL) and Jessica Creamean (NOAA/ESRL) ventured forth in the Healy’s small boat in order to collect samples from the nearby sea ice. A great deal about the Arctic Ocean system is still unknown and they will use these samples to help answer questions about the effects of sea ice on cloud formation and ocean acidification.

(Photo by: Meredith LaValley)

4. Evie Fachon representing WHOI's Anderson Lab was able to successfully set up the Imaging FlowCytoBot that captures high resolution images of phytoplankton in the underway seawater. This will supplement their CTD water samples to determine the origin and extent of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in the Arctic.

(Photo by: Evie Fachon)

5. Robert Pickart, chief scientist on board from WHOI, and his team of physical oceanographers completed 142 CTD casts on HLY1801. The high-resolution sampling of the outflow from Barrow Canyon will enable a better understanding of the fate of the Pacific water as it enters the deep Arctic On.

(Photo by: Janet Hsiao)

6. Those aboard this year’s science cruise were lucky enough that a swath of ice blown down from more northern waters overlapped the cruise’s path. With the ice (a highly productive ecosystem) came a number of exciting animal sightings including an “ugly of walrus” and a very chunky polar bear.

(Photos by Charlie Wright)

After the Arctic scientists disembark from the Healy they’ll return to their various institutions across the country. The time spent together on the Healy allowed scientists from diverse fields of study the opportunity for spontaneous discussions, problem-solving sessions, and information sharing, which deepens their understanding of the Arctic system as a whole.

 (Photo by Meredith LaValley)