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October 17, 2011

US Coast Guard rescue swimmers and polar bear sentinels from the USCGC Healy stand by as scientists measure sea ice properties during NASA’s 2011 ICESCAPE cruise in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. Samples of sea ice and the underlying seawater were taken aboard the Healy, where WHOI biological oceanographer Sam Laney and MIT/WHOI Joint Program student Emily Brownlee used a seagoing Imaging FlowCytobot to determine what species of algae live in and below Arctic sea ice. Laney and co-PI Heidi Sosik are part of the three-year ICESCAPE program, which aims to examine the impact of climate change on the biogeochemistry and ecology of the region, such as the melt ponds pictured, which act as skylights that let sulight penetrate the ice and feed the photosynthesizing algae below.(Photo by Sam Laney, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

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