Arctic News

Kelsey Lindsey's articles about Arctic LTER science

Ed Rastetter stands on a small hill overlooking Toolik
Field Station on August 1, 2017. (Kelsey Lindsey)

As the Arctic warms, scientists at this remote field station try to make sense of the changing environment

Toolik Field Station on Alaska's North Slope offers scientists a prime location to study how climate change is impacting Arctic ecosystems


Arctic grayling in plastic containers. Each container 
is marked with one of the three populations of
fish being studied. (Kelsey Lindsey)

A North Slope "fish spa" might hold answers to how arctic grayling will react in a changing climate.

Researchers are testing whether some populations of arctic grayling are better suited than others to the changing climate.


Nick Barrett works on the swimming pool heater used
to heat Fog 1 lake. (Kelsey Lindsey / Alaska Dispatch News)

North Slope lakes get artificial warmth to simulate climate change.

Using swimming pool heaters and generators, scientists are hoping to see how fish and smaller organisms will react as the region warms.

Falmouth Teacher Bring Arctic Science to Class

Celeste Cruse, a 7th-grade teacher at Lawrence School in Falmouth, spent two weeks in arctic Alaska in July with Arctic LTER scientists. Her stay at Toolik Field Station was through the National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences for Teachers program.

Read more on the MBL website and in the Falmouth Enterprise paper.

Arctic LTER Synthesis Book

A Changing Arctic: Ecological Consequences for Tundra, Streams, and Lakes. edited by John E. Hobbie and George W. Kling Published by Oxford University Press.

This book in the Long Term Ecology Research (LTER) Synthesis Series, reports results from ecological studies at a site in northern Alaska, the region around Toolik Lake. When the study began in the mid-1970s, ecological research in northern Alaska had been restricted by the difficulty of access in a region with no roads. Accordingly, research was concentrated on the coastal ocean, shallow ponds and lakes, and the wet coastal tundra near the Barrow research laboratory where there was an airport. In addition to research at nearby sites, the ONR-funded Barrow laboratory supported a few temporary field camps in the mountains where small planes could land on lakes and snow fields.

This era of limited access suddenly changed in 1975 when the construction of the oil pipeline and the adjacent Dalton Highway gave scientists easy access to a transect of the coastal plain, foothills, and mountains of the Brooks Range. A foothills site with tussock tundra, the deep Toolik Lake, and the Kuparuk River was chosen for detailed investigation. In 1987, the research became the Arctic LTER project, a part of the NSF Long Term Ecological Research program (LTER) that now includes 25 sites. The Arctic LTER project is responsible for the collection of environmental data and the measurement of samples of various types from the tundra and aquatic systems as well as for the archiving of environmental data accessible to all.