Arctic LTER News

A North Slope "fish spa"

Printer-friendly version

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.

Arctic LTER Synthesis Book

Printer-friendly version

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.