COMIDA: Chukchi Sea Offshore Monitoring in Drilling Area: Epibenthic communities on and around Hanna Shoal

Project Description

The northern Chukchi Shelf receives extraordinarily large inputs of organic matter advected from the highly productive shelf regions of the North Pacific and from in situ sources of primary production, including ice algae, sediment microalgae, and phytoplankton. These contributions of highly labile organic carbon, together with potential benthic sources of regenerated inorganic nitrogen, probably contribute to the enormous secondary production of this region. In particular, the relatively shallow depths (40-55 m) and appreciable bottom flow facilitate high standing stocks of biota, particularly in the benthos. These "hotspots" have been noted in the vicinity of Hanna Shoal, particularly along its southeastern and eastern margins. The Hanna Shoal Ecosystem Study, an extension of the COMIDA CAB program (2008-2011), is a multi-disciplinary investigation funded by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to examine the biological, chemical and physical properties that define this ecosystem. The project spans 2011-2015, with field seasons in 2012-2013. My lab is examining the epibenthic communities in this area. These epibenthic communities contain a wide range of organisms and serve an important role in the marine ecosystem. They are involved in carbon remineralization, benthic production, and are important prey items for higher trophic levels. We are using data from 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013 to ask questions about spatial and temporal variability in this system and to explore their environmental drivers.

Project posters



Research Team

Principal Investigator

picture of Brenda Konar

Brenda Konar

Associate Dean of Research and Administration
Director of Institute of Marine Science
Director of Coastal Marine Institute
  • phycology
  • research scuba diving
  • biodiversity
  • monitoring programs
  • nearshore ecology
  • ecosystem change
  • benthic ecology
  • kelp forest ecology
(907) 474-5028
Full Profile

Co- PI Investigators

Ken Dunton, The University of Texas Marine Science Institute
Carin Ashjian, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Robert Campbell, University of Rhode Island
Lee Cooper, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Jacqueline Grebmeier, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science
Roger Harvey, Old Dominion University
David Maidment, The University of Texas at Austin
John Trefry, Florida Institute of Technology
Thomas Weingartner, University of Alaska
Afonso Souza, The University of Texas Marine Science Institute

Research Staff

Alexandra Ravelo, Marine Science PhD Student, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Kimberly Powell, Marine Science MS Student, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Jasmin Gross, Marine Science MS Student, University of Bremin, Germany

Project Funding

Start Date: 2008-00-00 End Date: 2015-00-00

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