And they're off!
After 14 days of quarantining in a hotel in Seward, Alaska, the 4-person CODA science team received negative test results and the “all-clear” to board Sikuliaq. They left this morning and are headed to the north slope of Alaska to retrieve moorings from the seafloor that have been collected important data on the ocean conditions since last November (when a much bigger science team put them in the water from the Sikuliaq).
Leaving Seward, they now have a 1,700-mile passage to reach the first mooring site. Last year, the science team boarded the ship in Nome, a good 1,500 miles closer to the project sites. But this year many of the small towns in Alaska have restricted outside visitors to keep the residents protected from potential Covid-19 infections. And so, this year their journey starts with an 8-day passage through the challenging waters of Alaska. Fair winds, Sikuliaq!
You can follow their journey on Marine Traffic.
Back here on shore, we are really excited to announce a partnership between Onpoint Outreach (that’s who brings you these Ice in Motion updates) and STEMSEAS, an NSF-funded project that pairs undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds with research ships for hands-on field work exploration.
Like so many of us, STEMSEAS had to change their plans this year, as the students could not travel for the ship experiences they were anticipating.
While it is not quite the same as being at sea on an ice breaker, we are facilitating an immersive virtual experience for those students through a series of live streams and ongoing virtual conversations with the scientists on the Sikuliaq throughout the 30-day voyage.
We will also continue to share stories from the expedition here and on Instagram.
Do you have any questions for the scientists? Drop them in the comments below and we will get them answered!