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Sealife sample

A Star in Hand

In August, WHOI research associate Philip Alatalo helped net and preserve plankton (and at least one sea star) from the Chukchi Sea, off the coast of Alaska. The samples were collected at a feeding hotspot for bowhead whales, according to the expedition's chief scientist, WHOI biologist Carin Ashjian. Looking at the variety and number of plankton helps researchers determine the environmental conditions at different times of the year and how this may influence the whales' feeding behavior. The study is one of multiple, long-term research efforts in the Arctic and adjoining subpolar seas. (Photo by Carin Ashjian, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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