Field Notes: The Polar Field Services Newsletter

Dear John

John Whiteman

From: Kip Rithner
To: John P. Whiteman

Hello John!

I haven’t visited the Ice Stories blog for a while, but it sounded as if your spring work was going well. Did you recapture a lot of last year’s polar bears? How’d the sea ice look?

John P. Whiteman wrote:

Hi Kip,

Based on my limited experience, the near-shore ice between Deadhorse and Kaktovik looked typical in April, perhaps even a little heavy and consolidated. It began breaking up quickly towards the end of April. The thin ice that formed near Svalbard really increased the extent for the entire Arctic, but that ice broke up quickly and the extent is decreasing quite rapidly at this point. I’m interested to see how the melt season progresses.

We did have some success this spring – the main accomplishment was retrieving several more body temperature loggers. We had some bad weather – a 5-day blow and a 2-day fog kept us down for a week straight.

U Wyoming’s John Whiteman is a PhD student in the ecology program. His advisor, Hank Harlow, has an NSF grant to study polar bear physiology in the context of changing sea-ice conditions. When John is in the field he writes about his work for the Ice Stories blog—an interesting peek into the world of polar bear research. For more, visit the Harlow project Web site: http://www.uwyo.edu/polarbear/.

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