Hidden Life in the nearshore sea ice off Alaska: from Little Diomede to Barrow

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Pictures from the sampling events in Little Diomede, Alaska. Spring 2006

Hidden Life in the nearshore sea ice off Alaska: from Little Diomede to Barrow

Rolf Gradinger & Bodil Bluhm, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Sea ice is a crucial habitat in many polar organisms. Sea ice algae contribute significantly to primary production in many parts of the Arctic and, thereby, provide a food source for seasonal or permanent inhabitants of sea ice and the ice-water interface. Animal communities (ice fauna) exploits the high algal biomass. Little is known of the diversitiy of these communities, and many Arctic regions are still completely unexplored.

Our study tried to elucidate the diversity of sea ice communities in the nearshore Arctic. It was the first ever sampling effort for sea ice fauna in the Bering Strait region. In addition we used identical techniques to study the life in the sea ice close to Barrow.

Sea ice plays an integral part in the life of the people living in both rural communties. Sea ice is used as a platform for hunting and travel. During our visits to Little Diomede, public outreach through presentations and school visits was an important part of our activities.

This study was supported by the NOAA office of Ocean Exploration under grant NA040AR4600054. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in the material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of NOAA.

page modified 07-Apr-2006 For use of the pictures on the webpages of this NOAA funded project request permission from Gradinger or Bluhm.
visits (since April 10, 2006)