Marine Arctic Ecosystem Study (MARES) Announces Pilot Program: Biophysical, Chemical Observations, Marine Mammal Tagging Components

May 18, 2015
By Jessica Rohde

Photo by Bill Schmoker (PolarTREC 2010), Courtesy of ARCUS

Launched by BOEM and NOPP in late 2014, the Marine Arctic Ecosystem Study (MARES) has announced its first pilot field activities. The international partnership will examine the physical, chemical, and biological components of US and Canadian waters during summer/fall 2015. Of particular interest ​for this study are ​the ​a) ​under-the-ice time ​evolution​ and b) across-shelf structure​ of several variables such as temperature, chlorophyll, ​oxygen, current speed and direction, as well as the biogeochemical impact of the Mackenzie River plume on the eastern ​Beaufort Sea. New partners just joined MARES as the second and last component of the 2015 pilot program was officially launched. This component involves the tagging of three marine mammals species in order to better understand the linkages connecting their presence to environmental conditions.

The results and findings will be relevant ​to ​a number of areas including climate change, environmental protection, exploration and discovery, and ecosystem structure and functioning. MARES is well aligned with national policies and the vision of the Arctic Council, and follows the ecosystem-based management approach and aims to advance the community's understanding of the complex marine ecosystem of the Beaufort Sea.

The partnership model used for MARES brings together federal and state agencies, tribal and non-tribal organizations, and the private sector. As of May 2015 these include:

(*) Management lead
(**) Research lead

MARES will launch a larger field program in 2016.

The MARES program has been developed to be able to incorporate additional partners at any point in time. Please direct any ​questions and/or comments​ to Dr. Guillermo Auad: Guillermo.Auad@boem.gov.

Posted by Jessica Rohde on behalf of Guillermo Auad, BOEM

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