National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce


Arctic Airborne Investigations and Research Project Takes Flight

NOAA and partner scientists recently completed two successful field tests in the US Arctic merging new technologies and traditional ship surveys to assess real-time phytoplankton species distributions in response to surface warming. 

The rapid warming of the Arctic Ocean has led to earlier sea ice retreats in spring and later arrivals in fall. This shift has prompted significant changes in phytoplankton communities, which is a critical measurement to understand ecosystem health. 

The aerial flight team of six pose in front of a blue and white NOAA Twin Otter aircraft wearing flight suits in both orange and blue.

The 2023 June Arctic Airborne Investigations and Research crew consisted of staff from NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations and University of Washington. They flew over the Southern and Central Chukchi Sea and coordinated overflights with R/V Sikuliaq


From left to right: Denise Miller (OMAO), Sarah Cozart (OMAO), Nicholas Underwood (OMAO), Jiaxu Zhang (UW/CICOES and NOAA PMEL), Michael Steele (UW/APL), and Zheng Liu (UW/APL). Photo credit: Brent Schoumaker (OMAO)


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