St. Matthew Expedition
In late July of 2012, we participated in an integrated science expedition to St. Matthew and Hall Islands in the central Bering Sea. This expedition was organized by the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge who visits roughly every 5 years, primarily to conduct counts of ledge and crevice-nesting seabirds that have been monitored there since 1983. This year they hosted scientists from a variety of disciplines ranging from Archaeology to Entomology providing access to Alaska’s most remote island group via the research support vessel M/V Tiglax. In addition to seabird colony counts, basic inventories of plant, insect and freshwater fish assemblages were completed alongside ecologists evaluating coastal erosion and landscape change as well as the remnants of early human settlement of the island. The ABSI LCC also helped support the expedition by facilitating the acquisition of new and existing satellite imagery of the area. You can download a fact sheet about the expedition HERE.
Dispatches from Ned Rozell, Science Writer for University of Alaska’s Geophysical Institute in Fairbanks who accompanied this team of scientists: