Arctic Challenge for Sustainability Project

ArCS Blog

Analysis of sediment samples in the Arctic Ocean on the Pacific side

I stayed at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) from 13th February to 14th April with support from the ArCS’ program for young researchers’ overseas visits.

During my stay, I got sediment samples taken by Healy, an icebreaker ship of United States, and investigated diatom resting stage cells in sediments of the northern Bering Sea, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Diatom resting stage cells are like “seeds” which have high durability. They are formed under nutrient- and light-limited conditions.

While diatom community structure in the water column shows strong seasonal changes, the diatom resting stage cells community sinking and accumulating on the sea floor over long-time scale sheds light on past and on-going environmental changes including inter-annual differences of sea ice extent. I investigated the diatom resting stage community of some Arctic shelves exhibiting differences in the timing of sea ice retreat. This investigation highlights the influence of sea ice distribution on the horizontal distribution of diatom resting stage cells community. I will compare the results with environmental factors in more detail. To date, there was no existing study investigating the diatom resting stage cells over a large region, apart from this work.   Thus, thanks to the ArCS’ dispatch program, for the opportunity to glean important insights on the distribution of diatom resting stage cells.

When I was in Woods Hole, I have had productive discussions about my study with scientists and technicians and enjoyed some seminars in WHOI. I also attended the English class every week in church and the home party, which were good opportunities for me to experience the culture of the United States. All things in my life in Woods Hole were personally exciting because it’s my first time to stay abroad. I’d like not to forget the experience in the stay and to keep in touch with people I have met in WHOI.

Finally, I would like to impart my thanks to the ArCS’ program for young researchers’ overseas visits, Donald Anderson for supervising my work in WHOI and to everyone who supported my research during my stay.

Yuri Fukai (Hokkaido University)

With the member of the lab.

The Redfield building in WHOI