On June 15, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy (photo above) will depart Dutch Harbor, Alaska, for its 5-week-long journey north through the Bering Strait to the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Along the way, forty-three NASA-funded scientists will study how climate change is affecting the ecology of the Arctic. They will collect samples and even disembark for extended periods to work directly on the sea ice. They’ll study everything from the Arctic Ocean’s optical properties (how it reflects and absorbs light) to phytoplankton physiology.
To follow the expedition in coming weeks, please visit NASA’s ICESCAPE blog.