LISTEN: Pared down Sikuliaq sailing in Gulf of Alaska maintains research streak

The University of Alaska’s research vessel, the Sikuliaq, in Seward on Monday, May 4, 2020. (Sarah Spanos/University of Alaska Fairbanks)

More than two decades of ocean sampling in the Gulf of Alaska will remain uninterrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, as the University of Alaska’s research vessel Sikuliaq set sail out of Seward on Monday.

The research cruise is pared down a bit, from what’s usually a two-week mission to one, and with fewer researchers on board.

One of those is chief scientist Russ Hopcroft, professor of oceanography at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Hopcroft says there were some extra logistics and special permission for the cruise this year, but he says conducting the research every spring is fundamentally important for our understanding of the ocean off Alaska’s coast.

Hopcroft spoke with Alaska Public Media’s Casey Grove about the Sikuliaq’s 2020 sailing.

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