Four months of scientific research is on tap for the Coast Guard Cutter Healy, which was scheduled to leave Seattle on July 24, headed north for its annual Arctic west summer deployment.
The 420-foot vessel, with a permanent crew of 87, is to conduct three major science research missions. In partnership with the National Science Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Office of Naval Research, scientists on board will conduct physical and biological oceanographic research in the Arctic Ocean.
First up will be a NOAA-sponsored mission to boost understanding of biological processes along Alaska’s Continental Shelf. The second mission, sponsored by the Office of Naval Research, focuses on understanding how upper level ocean stratification and sea ice in the Beaufort Sea is responding to inflow and surface forcing changes.
The final mission, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, is to examine effects of the Pacific water inflow into the Arctic and its associated boundary current on the ecosystem.