Alaska is an enormous state with few options to access remote areas of scientific research interest. Expensive and inconvenient travel often means that individual projects devote an inordinate amount of resources simply to get out in the field. The Alaska Platform of Opportunity Portal (APOP) is an interactive map-based portal that displays information about upcoming research cruises in Alaska waters. The portal allows users to select specific research vessels and displays information including proposed cruise tracks, schedules, and vessel capabilities for individual cruise legs. Users can search by equipment needs (crane, ice capability, storage space) or bunk space and contact information is displayed for both the ship’s scheduler as well as the Principal Investigator for each cruise leg. Some of the research vessels that have been included in the portal are the USCG Icebreaker Healy and the USFWS R/V Tiglax. Information for the NOAA vessels Oscar Dyson, Rainier, and Fairweather will be uploaded to the portal when it becomes available. Areas of operation are geographically displayed as either line or polygon features.
This project used approximately $8K of ABSI LCC funds from FY2012, matched by $23K of staff time and hardware resources provided by AOOS. The APOP was operational in early 2013, serving the information shown in the image below. We are currently working with principal investigators to begin serving data for the 2014 field season.