Across the Bering Strait


From Haley Smith Kingsland, Stanford University

65° 46’ N, 169° 33’W, June 17-18 — With Russia to port and the United States to starboard, the Healy paused for seven stations across the narrow Bering Strait. Farther north, scientists requested an eighth station on the Chukchi shelf. Research is on a roll, and many ICESCAPE teams have divided their work into twelve-hour shifts.

Instruments deployed at the Bering Strait transect measured properties of the water column at four different sea depths — 2 meters, 10 meters, 25, and 50. “The transect went really well, much better than I would have expected,” said chief scientist Kevin Arrigo. “At one point we were even an hour and a half ahead of schedule!”


Here is ICESCAPE’s cruise track delineated by transects. We started at the Bering Strait transect and will continue to many more research stations in the Kotzebue transect, Chuckchi Hot Spot, Barrow Hot Spot, and sea ice. You can follow the Healy’s cruise track at <> as well as <>.





The light green squares represent the seven stations across the Bering Strait.





The International Date Line separates the two Diomede Islands, so residents of Little Diomede in the United States can gaze towards tomorrow on Big Diomede in Russia. Here, we spotted a small community on the very tip of Little Diomede Island. (Photo by Haley Smith Kingsland)




Fairway Rock from the fantail. (Photo by Haley Smith Kingsland)





Marine science technician Horace Brittle, or MST1, lowers the CTD rosette into the ocean. (Photo by Haley Smith Kingsland)




Elliot Weiss of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography operated a light sensor on the Healy’s bow walkway. (Photo by Haley Smith Kingsland)





During the Bering Strait transect, we felt almost warm on deck. Temperatures were in the mid-40s! (Photo by Haley Smith Kingsland)





Station eight was the first station we deployed the ASB, or Arctic Survey Boat. From it Stan Hooker’s team measured the optical properties of the ocean and collected water samples for those working in the main science lab. What’s it like to conduct research from a small boat? “It’s an excruciating amount of work,” says Stan. “We’re still in survival mode.” (Photo by Haley Smith Kingsland)




At station eight the PRR went off the Healy on a cable near Siberia. “Be careful you don’t deploy the package in Russian waters!” one of the marine science technicians warned. (Photo by Haley Smith Kingsland)




“We’re playing hard at work and working hard at play in the Arctic!” joked Greg Mitchell of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography as he ran from bow to fantail while deploying his optical packages. (Photo by Haley Smith Kingsland)


9 thoughts on “Across the Bering Strait”

  1. I believe climatic change is the excuse for surviving or living. It is the same!

    But climatic change is not only the element of global warming (fire)-hot, it’s the water now, the second of importance.

    Global warming has lost character.

    First: fire.

    Second: Water.

    Main rolls main characters, the thing is to live and survive.

  2. Great post, i will keep in touch. In fact i an interested in becoming a partner of urs.

  3. Great Photos, I’m sitting on a Dynamically Positioned Oilfield vessel off the cost of NW Australia, No jackets required down here! Looks like very interesting work.

  4. Hi,
    I am so happy getting to see the information about your trip. However, you have only posted information about the Lead Scientist, but you have many other scientists (internationally known with MANY ocean hours on this cruise namely my husband-Stan Hooker). I would love to see some additional information posted about the other scientists. Stan has been working on global warming and optical oceanography for many years.

  5. Thank you all very much for reading and commenting!

    Jane, don’t worry, we’ll feature profiles of each principal investigator and his or her research group during the course of the cruise. So Stan will have his own post!

    We’ll also post images and information about the lab spaces on the Healy in coming days, as not all of the work occurs outdoors. This week we’ve covered a lot of “firsts” before settling into routine.

    Feel free to email me ( with questions or concerns.

    Best, Haley Kingsland

Comments are closed.