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Seafloor Study of the Amerasian Basin, Arctic Ocean

July 17 – August 28, 2006 | Arctic Ocean


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Steve Stevenoski Teacher
Steve Stevenoski
Lincoln High School
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
Lawrence Lawver
University of Texas
Austin, Texas

Steve Stevenoski joined Dr. Lawrence Lawver and a team of scientists on a seven-week research expedition (funded by the National Science Foundation) aboard the Healy Icebreaker to explore the tectonics and history of the western section of the Amerasian Basin deep beneath the Arctic Ocean. Virtually nothing is known about the sea floor structure and seismic characteristics of this area; this research will provide important insights into the evolution of the region, sea level fluctuations and prehistoric climate.

The experiments used sea-ice seismometers that will be deployed on the ice using U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) helicopters; radio transmitters and a global positioning system (GPS) allowed monitoring of the data on board the ship. The information collected will be used to update existing data, to construct realistic models of the region, and to address such questions as the tectonic origin and structure of various underwater ridges and plateaus. Seismic data was collected throughout the Arctic Ocean, along and over the Chukchi Borderland including Northwind Ridge and Chukchi Plateau as well as across and over Mendeleev Ridge. The team also identified future drilling sites, which will be used to study the climate history of the arctic region, ocean circulation patterns, sea-level fluctuations and the impact of ice-covered versus ice-free conditions on the life of the Arctic.

Steve Stevenoski is a high school science teacher at Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. He has been an advocate for science education at the local, regional and national level and has received multiple awards for his innovative teaching methods and use of technology in the classroom. In 1995 Steve was one of four teachers selected from across the U.S. to participate in the Teachers Experiencing Antarctica (TEA) program. Working in Antarctica with Dr. Lawrence Lawver sparked a keen interest in polar research and prompted him to create an online polar learning community (http://www.icenews.org/). Steve is looking forward to continuing to work with Lawrence, this time at the other end of the world.

Lawrence Lawver is a geophysicist at the University of Texas at Austin who specializes in marine geophysics. He has a particular interest in the paleogeographic reconstruction of underwater landmasses, particularly in the Polar Regions where the impact of plate tectonics and the evolution of landmasses is not well known. More information about Lawrence’s work can be found at http://www.ig.utexas.edu/people/staff/lawver/index.htm.

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