Dave Kimmel at work aboard the R/V  Ocean Starr . Photo credit: Ed Farley

Dave Kimmel at work aboard the R/V Ocean Starr. Photo credit: Ed Farley

My name is Dave Kimmel and I am a research oceanographer with the Eco-FOCI program of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center. I specialize in zooplankton ecology and the goal of our research is to characterize the distribution and abundance of the mid-sized zooplankton community. We do this by towing a bongo net with two different mesh sizes. We then preserve the sample from one side of the net and do a rough count of zooplankton on the other side of the net. The map shows the abundance of zooplankton > 2 mm in the bongo nets, as estimate from the rough count. These larger zooplankton, in this case dominated by Calanus glacialis/marshallae, were present in very low numbers in the northern and western portion of the Chukchi Sea grid. This area was characterized by high crab zoea/megalopae counts and the presence of phytoplankton. As we approached the Chukchi slope, we encountered increasing numbers of Calanus and these abundances were coincident with a colder water mass and phytoplankton presence in the nets decreased. We also observed several individual Calanus hyperboreus, a larger, Arctic copepod, in the net samples. This suggests that colder water from the Arctic basin is being transported into the eastern portion of the Chukchi Sea.

 The map shows the abundance of zooplankton > 2 mm in the bongo nets, as estimate from the rough count.

The map shows the abundance of zooplankton > 2 mm in the bongo nets, as estimate from the rough count.