The Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS) Arctic Research Seminar Series invites leading Arctic researchers to share their latest findings and what they mean for decision-making. These seminars will be of interest to the Arctic research community, federal agency officials, congressional staff, non-governmental organizations, Arctic educators, and the public.
This seminar, titled Diverse Responses and Emerging Risks for Marine Mammals in a Rapidly Changing Arctic, will be presented by Donna Hauser, a Research Assistant Professor at the International Arctic Research Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks. Donna studies marine ecology and has examined the habitat use, distribution, and behavior of marine mammals for over 15 years.
The rapid and pervasive loss of Arctic sea ice has several potential impacts to ice-associated marine mammals. Declines in sea ice cover are also occurring in concert with expanding anthropogenic activities that may have compounding effects on Arctic marine ecosystems. This talk will examine intersecting issues of recent sea ice loss, Arctic marine mammal responses, and new anthropogenic risks associated with an increasingly navigable Arctic. Dr. Hauser will provide several case studies to illustrate how changes in the timing and extent of sea ice cover affect distribution, migration timing, and foraging behavior of two Pacific Arctic populations of beluga whales. Results suggest diverse and flexible responses by belugas in the face of rapidly changing sea ice conditions, which are in line with other emerging trends from the Pacific Arctic region. Second, she will discuss a recent vulnerability assessment of 80 populations of seven Arctic marine mammal species to vessels in the increasingly ice-free Northwest Passage and Northern Sea Route, which quantified the heterogeneity of risk across species, populations, and regions. Finally, these results will be discussed in the context of ongoing conversations about the future resilience of Arctic marine mammals in changing sea ice ecosystems.
A live webinar is available to those unable to attend in person. Instructions for accessing the event online will be sent to webinar registrants prior to the event.
For those of you on Twitter, we invite you to join us in live-tweeting the event using the hashtag #arcuswebinar.
For more information and to register for the event, go to: ARCUS Arctic Research Seminar Series homepage