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Bering Sea buoy

On a Clear Day

Technician Scott Hiller tends to a buoy in the Bering Sea during a 2009 Polar Discovery expedition. Buoys sit atop a long chain of instruments that monitor ocean conditions, and are regularly checked because the sea ice can destroy them in minutes. On this day, Hiller said the water was so clear that "you could see instrument after instrument going down into the darkness." He checked the battery, sensors and radio transmitter on top. Of course, it's not just the ice that can be a hazard to buoys. "Sometimes birds eat stuff," Hiller said. (Photo by Chris Linder, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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