The Chukchi Borderlands Unexplored Seafloor Communities

Project Description

In the Chukchi Borderlands area north of the Arctic Chukchi Sea, water masses from the Arctic, Pacific and Atlantic oceans meet and interact over tremendously complex bottom topography, creating intricate currents and sea ice drifts. It is also the region of the most dramatic summer sea ice meltdown in the last decades. in a multi-disciplinary setting, we explore the benthic invertebrate and fish communities and the marine mammals in this from poorly known region. We combine traditional sampling techniques with state-of-the-art photographic mapping using ROV to assess the diversity of this region.

Graduate Student Opportunity in Marine Science

 We are seeking a graduate student research assistant for a project exploring diversity and biogeographic linkages of Arctic benthic invertebrate communities in the northern Chukchi Sea.  This work is part of a multi-disciplinary project that includes a research expedition to the study region in summer 2016. The successful candidate will be expected to assist with tasks that are central to project objectives, and to conduct their own original research within the framework of the larger project.  Possible student research may include microscopic identification of benthic invertebrates, environmental DNA sequencing, and analysis of sediment organic matter components. The candidate will be expected to participate in field work in late summer 2016. 

Prospective students are encouraged to apply at either the MS or PhD level. PhD candidates would be expected to develop additional research objectives that complement the project.  Funding will be provided for a minimum of 1.5 years, including tuition, stipend (starting at ~$21,000 / year for MS students), and basic health insurance.  The student may be required to work with the advisor to pursue additional sources of external funding.

To apply:

Application materials and general information about the graduate program are available at  Applications must be submitted by May 1, 2016.  However, application review is currently underway and will continue only until a suitable candidate is identified. Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the prospective supervisor directly, as soon as possible (Sarah Hardy,; 907-474-7616). Required application materials include three letters of recommendation, general GRE scores, and transcripts from all institutions attended.

Research Team

Principal Investigator

picture of Katrin Iken

Katrin Iken

  • Trophic interactions and food web analysis
  • Benthic diversity and communities
  • Stable isotope analysis
  • Phycology and invertebrate ecology
  • Shallow water ecology and deep-sea biology
  • Polar marine biology
(907) 474-5192
Full Profile

Co-Principal Investigator

picture of Brenda Norcross

Brenda Norcross

  • fisheries oceanography
  • fisheries ecology
  • fish habitats
  • early life history of marine fish
  • Arctic fishes
Full Profile
picture of Sarah Hardy

Sarah Hardy

Associate Professor
  • Benthic-pelagic coupling
  • Polar marine ecology
  • Reproduction and life-history strategies of marine invertebrates
  • Trophic interactions
  • Lipid and stable isotope analysis
  • Ecology of soft-sediment habitats
(907) 474-7616
Full Profile

Co-Principal Investigator

Kate Stafford - Applied Physics Lab, University of Washington,

Project Funding

NOAA Ocean Exploration
Amount: $2,308,991
Start Date: 2015-08-00 End Date: 2017-07-00

Submit your project
If you are CFOS faculty, student or staff member without your project highlighted here, we want to hear from you.  CLICK HERE

Back to Top