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9 July, 2003

The Adventure Continues

Part two of my TEA adventure will be quite a contrast to my earlier experience on Little Diomede Island in March and April. Aside from the obvious seasonal differences this part of the research takes me aboard ship for two weeks plus time back on Little Diomede, stops at Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands and Barrow, Alaska.

The ten-member team will assemble at Dutch Harbor and board the Canadian Coast Guard Ice Breaker Sir Wilifred Laurier. The ship will travel from Dutch Harbor through the Bering Strait and on to Barrow.

The diverse team consists of members from three Universities and two government organizations and of course me. Allow me to introduce you to each team member. I will give a more detailed description of their work as the trip progresses.

Dr. Jackie Grebmeier, University of Tennessee Chief Scientist

Jane Eert, Department of Fisheries & Oceans / Institute of Ocean Sciences, Sidney, B.C. Co-Chief Scientist

Dr. Lee Cooper, University of Tennessee Arianne Balsom, University of Tennessee Rebecca Pirtle-Levi, University of Tennessee Dr. Peter Lee, University of Charleston, South Carolina

Nathan Garcia, University of Charleston, South Carolina

Sarah Thornton, University of Alaska Fairbanks Sigrid Salo, Pacific Marine Environment Lab, National Oceanic & Atmospheric Admin.

David Brown, Saint Peter School, Quincy Illinois

The purpose of the research trip is to undertake annual hydrographic and benthic sampling at 27 selected sites north and south of the Bering Strait as well as several sites near Little Diomede Island. The project is part of the National Science Foundation funded, Bering Strait Long-Term Observatory.

Water and sediment samples will be collected for analysis and measurement of a variety of chemical and biological components at the 27 selected sites.

The region of study is parcticularly interesting to researchers due to its high productivity of a large variety of aquatic organisms and is sensitivity to environmental changes. By monitoring and collecting data on the various elements within the water column and sediments scientist hope to gain a better understanding and information on the health status of this complex and diverse ecosystem.

I hope that you will continue to follow our team through the Bering Strait and e mail us questions along the way.

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