Ship Request

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  Arctic EcoFOCI  -  2011  -  Global  
  Project Information  
Project Title: Arctic Ecosystems and Fisheries-Oceanography Coordinated Investigations (Eco-FOCI) Project Status: Submitted
Principal Investigator: Phyllis J. Stabeno, NOAA_PMEL Project Institution: NOAA_PMEL
Project ID: 102056 Version #: 10
Date Submitted: 6/26/2009 3:52:00 PM Created By: Paul Kunicki
Date Last Modified: 9/3/2014 2:25:00 PM URI Serial #: None
Funding Agencies: NOAA - NONE - Funded
OTHER - NONE - Funded
Summary of Field Work: The purpose of this multidisciplinary research effort is to understand the changing ecosystems and physical environments of the Northern Bering Sea, Chukchi Sea, and Beaufort Sea. There is dramatic evidence of an overall change in the Arctic region, temperature increases are double those found in southerly latitudes, sea ice extents over the last 5 years are the lowest on record, and ocean ecosystems are shifting due to Arctic warming and changing sea ice conditions. Research accomplished on this cruise would primarily focus on Goal 2 of NOAA’s Arctic Vision and Strategy: Improved baseline observations and understanding of Arctic climate and ecosystems reduces the uncertainty in assessing and predicting impacts caused by a changing Arctic. Data acquired from the cruise will be used to address: base-line conditions/abundance/distribution (temperature, salinity, nutrients, pCO2, pH, chlorophyll, marine mammals, zooplankton) and examine cross-shelf advection of nutrients and plankton, and assess the distribution, relative abundance of eggs/larvae of arctic cod and snow crab. This cruise will collect data on all 5 of the DBO (Distributed Biological Observatory) transects. Further, there will be recoveries and deployments of biophysical moorings (including sensors to measure T, S, currents, fluorescence, ice thickness, and passive listening device for marine mammals). This project supports: BOEM (ArcWEST and CHAOZX), Fisheries-Oceanography Coordinated Investigations (FOCI), Alaska Ocean Observing System (AOOS), National Marine Mammal Laboratory (NMML), Alaska Fisheries Science Center (AFSC), and the Ocean Acidification (OA) program. AUV’s will be deployed during the cruise and act as “Data Acquisition Multipliers.” In order to be successful, operations need to take place during the August-September time frame when the region is usually ice free.

Eco-FOCI is a joint research program between the Alaska Fisheries Science Center (NOAA/National Marine Fisheries/AFSC) and the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (NOAA/Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research/PMEL). The program was established by NOAA in 1984 to study relationships between the marine environment and the survival of commercially valuable fish in the western Gulf of Alaska. Walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma) was the first fish species examined in these studies. Since the inception of the program, the scope has evolved to encompass study of the ecosystems of the North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea with the goals of improving understanding of ecosystem dynamics and applying that understanding to the management of marine resources.

FOCI comprises physical and biological oceanographers, atmospheric scientists, and fisheries biologists from federal and academic institutions. FOCI promotes cooperation between scientific disciplines, while determining the influence of the physical environment on marine populations and the subsequent impact on fisheries. Substantial variations exist in the natural processes of the Gulf of Alaska. Bering Sea, and Aleutian Islands, ranging from temperature and salinity changes, to fluctuations in sea-ice extent, atmospheric forcing, tidal influences, freshwater influx, productivity and mixed-layer depth. These variations occur on many timescales: seasonal, annual, decadal and longer. FOCI scientists integrate field, laboratory and modeling studies to determine how varying biological and physical environmental trends influence this large region.

The program has significant annual ship time requirements each year. Following the layup of several large NOAA vessels on the west coast in the mid-1990s, FOCI has relied on a mix on NOAA and charter vessel support to accomplish its annual operations, generally requiring 90-120 days in the field each year. Main operations include several surface/sub-surface mooring exchanges and re-occupation of dense networks of station sites for CTD casts, trawls, towed vehicles, and/or small net tows (matched to the capability of the vessel involved). Collateral program activities also include observation and research on marine mammal and bird populations in the region.

Annual operations are distributed throughout the year, mostly in the spring and fall with strong dependence on seasonal ice conditions. Some activities are also accomplished in summer and winter seasons as well. The optimum schedule for an individual operation often depends on many criteria including sea ice, productivity blooms, and other expected seasonal conditions generally limiting much flexibility on dates.
Summary of Facility Requirements: Due to the area of operations, vessels which support Arctic Eco-FOCI must be capable of operating in sea state 5, or greater. Operations in this region, which include mooring deployments and recoveries, and/or the ability to conduct dense sampling profiles in the water column with CTDs, towed vehicles, and net tows, and AUV's require the use of large and stable platforms such as UNOLS Global-Class vessels. Unless specifically designed for operations in high latitudes, vessels of regional or smaller class are generally insufficient for support of FOCI field work. Due to previous experience, FOCI field projects should not be scheduled on vessels such as R/V KILO MOANA or R/V WECOMA, as these platforms have limited capabilities for operations in the Bering Sea.
Summary of other requirements and comments: Information on the FOCI-related program NPCREP (North Pacific Climate Regimes and Ecosystem Productivity) can be found on the web at
Ship Request Identification
Type of Request: Primary Ship Use Request Status: Submitted
Request ID: 1003895 Created By: Paul Kunicki
Date Last Modified: 9/3/2014 2:25:00 PM Date Submitted: 6/14/2010 12:34:00 PM
Requested Ship, Operating Days and Dates
Year: 2011 Ship/Facility: Global
Optimum Start Date: 4/20/2011 Dates to Avoid: Due to conditions in the Gulf of Alaska, cruise can not start any earlier.
Earliest Start Date: 4/15/2011 Multi-Ship Op: No
Latest Start Date: 4/25/2011 Other Ship(s):

Operating Days Needed: Science Days Mob Days De-Mob Days Estimated Transit Days Total Days
16 1 0 0 17
Repeating Cruise?
(within same year)
No Interval:   # of Cruises:  

Description of Repeating cruise requirements: none
Justification/Explanation for ship choice, dates,
conflicts, number of days & multi-ship operations:
Work Area for Cruise
Short Description of Op Area
for use in schedules:
Gulf of Alaska
Description of Op Area: Gulf of Alaska from Seattle, WA to Kodiak, AK
Op Area Size/Dia.:  
  Lat/Long Marsden Grid Navy Op Area
NP09 map
NP06 map
Foreign Clearance and Permitting Requirements
Foreign Clearance Required? No Coastal States:
 Important Info on Foreign Research Clearances  

Are you or any member in your science party bringing in any science equipment items which are regulated for export by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and/or the Export Administration Regulations (EAR)?
No If yes, have you applied for the necessary permits through your export control office? No
 Questions about ITAR/EAR regulations?

Comments about foreign clearance requirements or
description of any other special permitting requirements
(e.g., MMPA, ESA, IHA, Marine Sanctuaries, etc.)
Port Calls
Requested Start Port Intermediate Port(s) Requested End Port
Seattle, WA, USA None Kodiak, AK, USA
Explanation/justification for requested
ports and dates of intermediate stops
or to list additional port stops

 Important Info on Working in Foreign Ports

Science Party
Chief Scientist: Phyllis J. Stabeno, NOAA_PMEL
# in Science Party 15 # of different science teams 4 # Marine Technicians to be
provided by ship operator:
(include in science party total)
Explanation of Science Party Requirements and Technician Requirements Science teams: Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and possible Moorings.
Two marine techs are desired for round-the-clock operations.
Instrumentation Requirements That Impact Scheduling Decisions
Unselected Dynamic PositioningUnselected ADCPUnselected MultibeamUnselected Seismic
Unselected Dredging/Coring/Large Dia. Trawl WireUnselected Stern A-frameUnselected Fiber Optic (.681)Unselected 0.680 Coax Wire
Unselected SCUBA DivingUnselected Radioisotope use - briefly describeUnselected NO Radioisotope use/Natural level workUnselected Other Operator Provided Inst. - Describe
0 PI-Provided Vans - briefly describe Unselected MOCNESS  
Explain Instrumentation or Capability
requirements that could affect choice
of ship in scheduling.

Water column observations in moderate/heavy seas require max stability possible in order to obtain good quality date. Excessive heave/roll/pitch affects data collection.

Major Ancillary Facilities (that require coordination of schedules with ship schedule)
Unselected Helicopter Ops (USCG)Unselected Twin OtterUnselected Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) 
Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV)
Unselected Other AUVUnselected Sentry  
Coring Facility
Unselected Jumbo Piston CoringUnselected Large Gravity Core Unselected MC800 multicorer w/ MISO camera/telemetryUnselected OSU Coring Facility (MARSSAM)
Unselected Other Large Coring FacilityUnselected WHOI Long Core  
Human Occupied Vehicle (HOV)
Unselected AlvinUnselected Clelia (HBOI)Unselected JSL I & II (HBOI)Unselected Other HOV
Other Facility
Unselected MISO Facility - deep-sea imagingUnselected Other FacilityUnselected Potential Fields Pool Equipment 
Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV)
Unselected JasonUnselected Other ROV  
Seismic Facility
Unselected Ocean Bottom Seismograph Instrument Center (OBSIC)Unselected Ocean Bottom Seismograph Instrument Pool (OBSIP)Unselected Ocean-Bottom Seismometer Program (UTIG)Unselected Other Seismic/OBS Facility
Unselected PASSCALUnselected Portable MCS groupUnselected Portable MCS/SCS groupUnselected U.S. Geological Survey Ocean Bottom Seismometer Facility (USGS at WHOI)
Towed Underwater Vehicle
Unselected ARGO IIUnselected Hawaii MR1 (HMRG)Unselected IMI12 (HMRG)Unselected IMI120 (HMRG - formerly DSL 120A)
Unselected IMI30 (HMRG)Unselected Other Towed Underwater VehicleUnselected Towfish 
UNOLS Van Pool
Unselected AUV Lab Van #1Unselected Clean Lab VanUnselected Cold Lab VanUnselected General Purpose Lab Van
Unselected Radioisotope Lab VanUnselected Wet Lab Van  
UNOLS Winch Pool
Unselected Mooring SpoolerUnselected Portable WinchUnselected Turn Table 
Explain Major Ancillary Facilities
Requirements and list description
and provider for "other" systems.

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