Category: Sea Ice


Arctic Worries: Climate change impacts communities and wildlife in the Arctic

Science writer Jenny Woodman of Proteus writes about Cooper Island research and the current field season. George Divoky frets–with good reason. In 2016, CNN Correspondent John D. Sutter called him the man who is watching the world melt. The description is as distressing as it is apt. George sends us regular dispatches from a small field camp...


Seabirds and Sea Ice

Over most of its range the Black Guillemot is a nearshore seabird, occupying coastal waters during both the breeding and nonbreeding seasons, as do other members of the genus Cepphus. Pelagic or open ocean waters can offer abundant prey resources, but these options are often distant, patchy and unpredictable. The nearshore typically offers seabirds a smaller but...

Cooper Island Research Part of SENSEI:  Sentinels of the Sea Ice

Cooper Island Research Part of SENSEI: Sentinels of the Sea Ice

In 2015 Christophe Barbraud of the Centre d’Etudes Biologiques de Chizé began assisting us with the analysis of the four-decade demographic database we have obtained from the Cooper Island Black Guillemot colony.  Christophe is a highly respected avian demographer whose study species include the Snow Petrel, an ice-obligate Antarctic seabird, as well as a number of other seabirds. ...


If it’s Polar, Go Solar

Most Alaskans and others who live in bear country are familiar with the adage that provides species-specific advice on how one should react in a close encounter with a bear in the wild. “If it’s black, fight back. If it’s brown, get down.” The rhyme is premised on black bears being small enough (and, relatively,...


The Earliest Year

During the 1970s, in my first years in Arctic Alaska, people would talk about it being a “late year” or “early year” when discussing the timing of snowmelt, arrival of birds, flowering of plants, or the melting of sea ice. It was generally assumed one would rarely or ever see an “average year” but that over time annual...