Session Chair: Sara Strey (Northland College, United States)
Technical Support: Gabriela Roldan (University of Canterbury, New Zealand)
BIOLOGICAL - MARINE / FRESHWATER / TERRESTRIAL
22:30 - 22:45 GMT: It’s Time to Put a Value on Salps: Quantifying the Role of S. Thompsoni in Southern Ocean Energy Flow.
Paige Kelly, Kerrie Swadling, Stuart Corney, Jessica Melbourne-Thomas and So Kawaguchi, IMAS, Hobart, Australia
Abstract: In Southern Ocean ecosystem models, salps are often considered a “dead end” due to the assumption that higher trophic level species avoid them and instead prey upon more desirable food sources such as Antarctic krill. However, there is emerging evidence of more frequent “high salp/low krill” years in the Southern Ocean, meaning that avoiding salps may not be a viable option for typical krill predators. This evidence suggests it is time to reconsider the role of salps in the Southern Ocean ecosystem, and to quantify their potential energy input as a food source. To do this, we must have a better understanding of their life history, nutritional value, and the environmental conditions that favour salp blooms.
We present preliminary results addressing these unknowns, including recent Salpa thompsoni life history and abundance data from the salp biome of the Indian Sector of the Southern Ocean, and comparative nutritional profiles of Salpa thompsoni and Antarctic krill. Results suggest that recent salp blooms are associated with the position of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, and that during periods of increased salp abundance, higher trophic level species may be faced with a food source that has <50% of the nutritional value of Antarctic krill.
We discuss how this information is being incorporated into dynamic energy budget models, to inform how fish, whale and penguin species will sustain their metabolic needs under varied salp/krill abundance scenarios.
This work provides previously unreported, quantitative estimates of the role of salps in the Southern Ocean, and will improve future predictions of how gelatinous species may alter the structure and functioning of polar ecosystems.
Swan Li San Sow, CSIRO
Abstract: The Southern Ocean (SO) is a major site for the sequestration of global anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2), responsible for up to 40% of annual oceanic CO2 uptake. Within harsh low temperature and high salinity environments of the SO, microbes dominate and support carbon sequestration and critical nutrient cycling processes. Carbon sequestration occurs mainly through a microbial-driven CO2 fixation biological pump. The effects of climate change on the physical oceanography of the SO may have a globally significant impact on the microbial ecology and therefore the efficiency of this biological pump. The extent of this impact is unclear, because the diversity and functional capacity of the microbial assemblages inhabiting the SO is still not well understood. Water masses within the SO also have distinct physicochemical properties and are likely to harbor varying microbial communities. Additionally, the key environmental parameters controlling these microbial community variations are still poorly deciphered. To better understand this microbial community, we sampled seawater at multiple ocean depths from 4 different transects along the Australian and New Zealand region of the Southern Ocean (71°E-170°W). Sampling interval was every 0.5 – 1 degree from 42 - 66°S. This study will not only advance the depth and breadth of the SO’s bacterial, archaeal and eukaryotic community composition through high vertical and spatial resolution metagenomics profiling using 16S and 18S rRNA gene tag sequencing, but combine this with physicochemical observations to investigate the potential triggers of the observed microbial community shifts. Preliminary bacterial 16S Operational Taxonomic Unit (OTU) data have shown community shifts before and after crossing major SO fronts, indicating the SO bacterial community to be endemic to hydrographically distinct water masses. Shifts were also at observed at depths 500 m and beyond. These findings will contribute significantly to filling critical gaps of knowledge on how changes in Southern Ocean physical oceanography under forecasted global change scenarios might change the CO2 uptake and biological pump in the Southern Ocean.
POLICY / EDUCATIONAL / COMMUNICATION
23:00 - 23:15 GMT: Approaches to Regulate High Seas Fisheries in Arctic Ocean -- A Perspective from New Entrants
Yu Long, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
Abstract: All States are under an obligation to cooperate in taking conservation measures when regional fisheries management regimes are established for the performance of conservation and fish stock in high seas management. Such measures include the allocation of fishing rights, which in general are not clarified in the UNCLOS and the subsequent treaties. Instead, they leave certain discretionary room to the regimes. In the context of the Arctic Ocean fisheries, this paper will focus on what approaches are applicable, and how, when states are cooperating through existing regional fisheries management regimes. Emphasis is added on discussing how new entrants are accommodated into a high seas fishery regime as well as whether they are treated in a non-discriminatory manner. For understanding the extent of the participatory rights, the legal consideration will focus on three aspects, including qualification of memberships, allocation of participatory rights and its implementation.
Following research will refer to state practices in the central Barents Sea (the Loophole). Fisheries management in the Loophole is a mixture of the coastal State solution and a multilateral approach on one hand, and corresponding regimes including the Joint Norwegian-Russian Fisheries Commission (the Joint Commission) and the NEAFC on the other. Considering both of the regimes related with new entrants, the analysis will compare their different approaches, especially regulations concerning allocation of participatory rights and their implementations in the Loophole. Finally, this paper will seek to comment recent changes in the governance of fish stocks in the CAO.
23:15 - 23:30 GMT: Internationalisation of Higher Education through Cross-boundary Science Initiative of the Polar Regions
Ahmad Firdaus Ahmad Shabudin, National Higher Education Research Institute, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia
Abstract: In order to achieve competitive advantage in both national and international higher education ecosystem university increasingly adopt strategies for internationalisation, and research & development (R&D) as a part of key activities are seen as main elements for that contribution. Therefore, several universities have identified the tackling of global challenges and cross-boundary issues an important driver for internationalisation of its institution and R&D activities. With an increasing interest in the polar science across the globe, along with the long history of scientific collaboration within the regions (through research institutes and universities) and the engagement in polar science by state members of the polar governance (Antarctic Treaty System and Arctic Council), it is time to explore the theoretical understanding of how the efforts in polar science activities have formed a robust foundation for internationalisation dimension of national higher education and science agenda in order to strengthen effective communication with multi-stakeholder, particularly top management of university, policy makers and investors. The presentation will highlight the importance of the international dimension of polar science performed in universities, by bringing to the attention motivational cores and values for supporting the internationalisation of universities through polar R&D initiative, followed by main indicators used in practice to capture the extent to which dimension of polar R&D is internationalised. There are four possible national driver factors for internationalisation of university R&D activities through polar science initiatives which are political, economic, academic and cultural/social. Meanwhile, the publication, mobility, research funding, and networks and cooperation from polar science initiatives could potentially be harnessed to tap researchers and its university into internationalisation opportunities, position themselves strategically in the global science arena, and they might contribute to the advancement of global science as well as tackle grand challenges of polar regions’ socio-scientific issues.
GEOLOGICAL / ENVIRONMENTAL / TERRESTRIAL CRYOSPHERIC ENVIRONMENTS
23:30 - 23:45 GMT: Investigation of Water Track Networks and their Geotechnical Implications in Boreal Regions
Mendbayar, Uyanga; Misra, Debasmita; Gupta, Tushar; Ghosh, Tathagata, University of Alaska Fairbanks, United States
Abstract: Water tracks are drainage pathways that route water through the soil over a laterally constraining subsurface layer such as bedrock, clay, and permafrost. Due to the prevalence of permafrost in the polar environments, water tracks form the dominant drainage network and thus play a major role in hydrology, geomorphology, and geochemistry of the polar ecosystem. However, water tracks remain relatively unexplored and the existing literature is largely confined to their hydrological and geochemical properties in tundra biome devoid of vegetation. Main goals of this study are to initiate the investigation of water tracks in thickly vegetated boreal regions and to establish the foundation for a systematic understanding of their interactions with engineered infrastructures. Such understanding is vital in providing better resolutions for mitigating damage to infrastructures and for predicting potential impacts from climate change. Case studies conducted at two sites (a residential property and Goldstream Road) with highly-varying water tracks in Fairbanks, Alaska, led to different but quite promising insights. Water track characterization at the residential area revealed that water tracks not only form due to lateral constraining layer, but can also form along vertical boundary between two units with contrasting hydraulic properties such as compacted fill and natural soil. The water track by Goldstream Road suggested that temperature and moisture content are significant parameters of water tracks. Resistivity data collected by Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory on Goldstream Road also indicated low resistivity around the characterized track. Furthermore, several techniques to map water tracks in boreal regions were attempted at each study area. Findings from this study emphasize the need for future explorations of water tracks and their geotechnical implications. The outside-the-box approach of this study will encourage integration of engineering applications and practical merits to scientific researches to better cope with the arising challenges of climate change.
Emilie Sinkler, University of Alaska Fairbanks, United States
Abstract: Art is a powerful tool used to elicit emotion, convey information, and even influence the way we perceive our world. It also shares similar elements to scientific research, with a focus on observation and interpretation. An art exhibit collects works from a variety of artists and a variety of styles and media, providing multiple perspectives on a common theme. These multiple perspectives encourage visitors to expand their thinking and connect with past experience.
As a part of the Velvet Ice project in West Antarctica, we created an exhibit of art selected from works submitted by artists from around the world who found inspiration in topics from ice microstructure to ice core research to life at a field camp. The art illustrates physical and more symbolic aspects of our research. We showed the exhibit within a traditional setting in the Museum of the North in Fairbanks Alaska; however, to provide a more powerful connection between the art, the science, and the place, we installed the exhibit in open air near the West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) Divide camp. While this location limited visitors to those working at the camp, we are creating a "virtual" version of this exhibit through a website and book to share the exhibit more broadly. Many people connect more easily with art than with science; therefore, art is a powerful way to reach a broader public audience, to encourage new ideas and questions, to generate new interest, and to make science a more human endeavor.
POLICY / EDUCATIONAL / COMMUNICATION
Olivia Lee,University of Alaska Fairbanks, United States
Abstract: A particular challenge faced by academically-focused researchers conducting outreach is the inability to translate research results into effective outreach material. Recent experience working with professional science communicators and artists has helped shape my expectations of what effective research outreach should or could look like. The basic concept of good storytelling was one of the lessons learned in ways to present complex, potentially controversial scenarios research in northern Alaska. Additional experience presenting lessons learned among a group of experienced art-science collaborators at a national conference further provided insight into the importance of story-telling and powerful visualizations for sharing research. With ever increasing availability of information through the internet and shrinking attention spans, storytelling can be used as a tool to more effectively share research broadly. Examples of storytelling use in a scenarios research project is shared and ideas to encourage other researchers to experiment with more effective stories to share research will be discussed.
CULTURAL / HISTORICAL
00:15 - 00:30 GMT: Geolocation Journeys: a Science+Arts Collaboration Supporting Marine Predator Research
Jaimie Cleeland and Annalise Rees,University of Tasmania, Australia
Abstract: Geolocation Journeys is an innovative collaboration between marine predator scientists at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies and the Tasmanian College of the Arts helping to increase public awareness and support Antarctic marine predator research. This presentation will discuss the cross-disciplinary collaboration and how the project is creatively promoting research by engaging public support.
Geolocators are tracking devices used on Southern Ocean top predators, from delicate shearwaters to imposing elephant seals. Geolocators record ambient light levels, water temperature and time enabling scientists to uncover the foraging movements of predators to identify regions that are of high ecological significance. By gaining an understanding of how marine predators use their ocean habitats, and in particular how these regions are affected by human activities such as industrial fishing and climate change, more effective management strategies can be put in place for their protection.
Geolocation Journeys brings together scientists and artists to create unique wearable artworks using ‘retired’ geolocators, to raise awareness of the extreme migrations these species embark on and the changing climate they are currently experiencing. With each piece comes a history of the individual animal the tag was deployed on and a printed map of the journey it undertook. These pieces are constructed using repurposed scientific materials; embossed with the unique identification number of the tagged animal.
By sharing artworks with the non-scientific community through public talks, school workshops and open days these tactile objects metaphorically transport people into the Southern Ocean, with a view from the perspective of a seabird or seal. These tiny pieces stimulate and aid critical dialogue about Antarctica and the rapid changes it is experiencing. This project not only captivates those ecologically minded, but by bridging the fields of art, ecology, physics, astronomy, engineering and mathematics it appeals to a broad, curious audience.