Arctic biodiversity Workshop April 2003

sea ice


Arctic biodiversity workshop

This first international workshop with participants from 9 countries was held at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in April 11-14, 2003. Its purpose was to a) determine interest and need for a multidisciplinary biodiversity study in the Arctic within the Census of Marine Life (CoML) Program, and b) to discuss the joining of the existing CoML longitudinal and latitudinal NaGISA (Natural Geography In Shore Areas) transects with a transect that would cross the North Pacific/Bering Sea at the Aleutian Islands.

Emphasis was on discussions of what is known and what is yet unknown about Arctic biodiversity, both geographically and taxonomically. Working groups identified gaps in knowledge in the sea ice habitat, the pelagic realm and benthic coastal and deep-sea systems. Unified methods to study these habitats were suggested so that results can be compared. Country representatives introduced the logistics potentially available in their countries to assist in a potential future international Arctic Census of Marine Life. Another outcome of the workshop was the need to organize a second round of workshops in North America and Europe to interest a larger group of scientists and facilitate more detailed and concrete discussions. The major outcome of the NaGISA Bering Sea Transect meeting was a joint US-Russian proposal to the National Science Foundation.

These web pages provide the recommendations of three working groups established during the course of the workshop, condensed presentations and a complete list of participants. The published proceedings volume can be ordered through the Alaska Sea Grant Program.

The organizers thank the Census of Marine Life, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences for financial and logistical supported.

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