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 10.17.17

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Science Seen

Site takes readers to ‘Edge of the Arctic Shelf’

Writer/photographer Chris Linder is filing daily reports and images from the Coast Guard cutter Healy all this month at the cruise Web site "Edge of the Arctic Shelf."

The icebreaking vessel, now in the Chukchi Sea, is in Alaska waters now through October as part of the Shelf-Basin Interactions Experiment, a three-year effort to better understand chemical and physical properties of the ocean that may be affected by climate change.

Though the jargon of this kind of science can make it a hard sell, Linder—in his third year following the research—has filled the site with gems, including a recent interview with a marine geochemist, whose excitement comes through as he explains why ocean chemistry is important. (For one thing, it could help determine the age of ocean features, such as the swirling parcels of water called “eddies.")

“One of the great things I have observed ... is the interaction between all of the different scientists,” writes Linder. “Physical oceanographers, chemists, and biologists all sit within arm’s reach of one another, and each new discovery sparks a round of discussion. These discussions often lead to changes in the science plan as we struggle to make the most of our limited time in this remote, inaccessible ocean.”

In addition to posting his observations and photos, Linder also fields questions from schoolchildren, who are observing the northern research from afar.

Sponsoring the cruise site are the Office of Naval Research, the National Science Foundation and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

The main site address is www.whoi.edu/arcticedge. Most highly recommended: the daily postings from the site. (The following link takes you there directly.)

[Read more at Edge of the Arctic Shelf]

Photo by CHRIS LINDER / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution | Posted 09.17.04 at 6:32 pm


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