Navigation Links
University of Texas marine scientists awarded $5.6 million for study of critical Arctic environment

AUSTIN, Texas A team of Arctic researchers led by the University of Texas Marine Science Institute's Ken Dunton will embark on a comprehensive study of the Hanna Shoal ecosystem in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska's northwest coast with a $5.6 million grant from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE).

The oil industry is intensely interested in the Chukchi Sea and has plans to drill throughout the area.

"This important grant will help us continue studies we began in 2009, which demonstrated that an area known as the Hanna Shoal is an important biological ecosystem in the northern Chukchi Sea," said Dunton, a professor of marine science.

The main objectives of the study, which will be conducted from 2011 to 2016, are to identify and measure physical and biological processes that contribute to the high concentration of marine life in the Hanna Shoal area.

"We know the ecosystem is productive," Dunton said. "Now we are asking the questions of why is it so productive and how is it going to change with respect to climatic warming."

The study will document ocean circulation, ice conditions and organisms living both on the bottom of the sea and in the water column, such as zooplankton. Bowhead whales depend on zooplankton for food and are valuable culturally to the native Inupiat people of the Arctic coast as part of their subsistence diet, along with seals, fish and walrus.

"Industry is ready to begin exploratory drilling, but they want as much information as possible to avoid having any obvious or measureable impacts on the local ecosystem," Dunton said. "Knowing the location of biologically sensitive areas is very valuable to the permit holders. The information we gather will allow BOEMRE to make better decisions on how best to recover oil and gas from in the Chukchi Sea at minimum risk to the Arctic ecosystem."

BOEMRE will integrate data from this study with other relevant Chukchi Sea studies to provide a more complete understanding of environmental considerations such as food web and contaminant bioaccumulations. Analysts and decision makers will use the information in future National Environmental Policy Act analyses and decision making regarding potential energy development in the Chukchi Sea.

Dunton is an expert on arctic coastal and shelf ecosystems. His co-principal investigators at The University of Texas at Austin are Steve Lanoux, assistant director for operations at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTMSI), and David Maidment, professor of civil engineering in the Cockrell School of Engineering. Susan Schonberg, a research associate at UTMSI, is also heavily involved in developing the project. The team will include researchers from the Florida Institute of Technology, Old Dominion University, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the University of Maryland, the University of Rhode Island and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.


Contact: Ken Dunton
University of Texas at Austin

Related biology news :

1. Rice University establishes National Corrosion Center
2. Case Western Reserve University researchers track Chernobyl fallout
3. Case Western Reserve University project ties soil conservation and river management together
4. Brown University and Women & Infants Hospital expand national childrens study to Bristol County
5. NIH selects Case Western Reserve University to participate in National Childrens Study
6. US Senate confirms Clemson University engineering Dean Esin Gulari to National Science Board
7. University professor stresses links between US Navy sonar and whale strandings
8. Scent on demand: Hebrew University scientists enhance the scent of flowers
9. University success at national engineering awards
10. University of Leicester professor adds new perspective to rainforest debate
11. Providing toilets, safe water is top route to reducing world poverty: UN University
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
University of Texas marine scientists awarded $5.6 million for study of critical Arctic environment
(Date:6/22/2016)... June 22, 2016   Acuant , ... verification solutions, has partnered with RightCrowd ® ... for Visitor Management, Self-Service Kiosks and Continuous ... that add functional enhancements to existing physical ... and venues with an automated ID verification ...
(Date:6/15/2016)... June 15, 2016 Transparency ... titled "Gesture Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis ... 2024". According to the report, the  global gesture recognition ... 2015 and is estimated to grow at a ... by 2024.  Increasing application of gesture ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2, 2016 The Department of Transport ... the 44 million US Dollar project, for the , ... including Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , to ... production and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous renowned international ... Decatur was selected for the most compliant ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016  Global demand for ... percent through 2020 to $7.2 billion.  This market ... beverages, cleaning products, biofuel production, animal feed, and ... diagnostics, and biocatalysts). Food and beverages will remain ... by increasing consumption of products containing enzymes in ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... solutions for clinical trials, announced today the Clinical Reach Virtual Patient Encounter ... their care circle with the physician and clinical trial team. , Using the CONSULT ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016   Ginkgo Bioworks , ... industrial engineering, was today awarded as one of ... of the world,s most innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks ... for the real world in the nutrition, health ... work directly with customers including Fortune 500 companies ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica delle Marche in Ancona combed ... pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a new article on the Surviving ... signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of mesothelioma patients that can help ...
Breaking Biology Technology: