The winter/spring meeting of the Arctic Icebreaker Coordinating Committee (AICC) was held on Thursday 22 March and Friday March 23, 2012 in Seattle, WA. With the extended Healy schedule in 2011/2012 which involved a trip to Nome, the AICC delayed the usual December meeting until the Healy had returned to Seattle. It was decided to combine the winter and spring meetings.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Robin Muench, Chair of the AICC, opened the meeting with welcome remarks and introductions. Tim Schnoor/ONR and Renee Crain/NSF/OPP called in on a speaker phone. There was a last minute change to the agenda and Eric St. Pierre/USCG will present highlights from the Nome event.
The 2011 season was a full season which was comprised of four long cruises. The Healy arrived back in Seattle on 5 Feb 2012, with approximately 250 operating days. Impact to the 2012 schedule will be discussed.
There has been progress on the following items since the April 2011 AICC meeting.
The next meeting will be January 17-18, 2013 so as not to conflict with Marine Symposium in Anchorage which is the week of January 21st.
Jon Alberts/UNOLS provided a report on recent UNOLS activities. This included recent personnel changes within the UNOLS office. The UNOLS office will begin it’s 4th year at URI/GSO on May 1, 2012. Some recent activities include the Polar Research Vessel Refresh Project and the report which was submitted to NSF in Feb. 2012. The Appendix A & B workshop which was held in February 2012 in San Diego was reviewed along with the UNOLS Greening of the Fleet Workshop held in January 2012. Details on both of these workshops can be found on the UNOLS home page. An update on the UNOLS participation in the Univ. of Alaska Sikuliaq workshops was presented. We also discussed the progress made in providing training cruises for Coast Guard Marine Science Technicians (MST’s) on UNOLS ships. The AICC committee membership and the upcoming committee positions which include a new chair was discussed. See Power Point presentation.
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Report
Dee Williams/BOEM provided the BOEM report. - See Power Point
Thank you to the USCG for the opportunity to place teams on the Healy.
The annual budget of the Arctic office is 15 million. Most of this is for planning and finding a platform is one of our hardest challenges.
Current research projects that are underway in the Alaskan region can be viewed at our web site: www.boem.gov/akstudies
Recently completed projects included the deployment of met buoys which have been deployed by the Healy for various studies.
For the Hanna study, science teams will be on the Healy doing environmental studies. These will be conducted by University of Texas, which are contracted to do future leasing projects.
Other BOEM projects include:
ONR report/ Tim Schnoor
ONR has regenerated an Arctic Program with Martin Jeffries as the program manager. There is a 5 year department research initiative from FY 12 to FY 16.
NOAA Arctic Research Program Report
Andy Armstrong, co-director at UNH Hydrographic Center provided a power point presentation on recent Arctic cruises.
In 2011 on Healy, NOAA did a Barrow margin survey line then a seismic line with Louis St. Laurent. This was an AUV cruise, with bathymetric studies. This was the last of the seismic cruises with Healy and Louis St. Laurent.
In 2012 focus will be on a bathymetric survey along Mendeleev Ridge. This will complete the extended continental shelf studies in the western Arctic, unless we are surprised by data set.
NOAA is planning a coast survey reconnaissance cruise on the NOAA Fairweather.
NOAA Arctic Research Program update, continued: Kevin Wood
See Power Point.
Kevin provided an update on the NOAA Pacific Marine Environment Laboratory, (PMEL) activities and the RUSALCA program.
In 2012, Phyllis Stabeno/PMEL will have 3 Arctic cruises. For the RUSALCA program, there are (2) Arctic cruises. There has been some uncertainty with Custom issues.
For the NOAA-ONR MIZ radiosonde program, we are looking for vessels of opportunity for potential wave glider deployments.
Department of State Report
Barbara Moore submitted a letter describing recent activities with the Extended Continental Shelf Program. Please see letter in the appendices. Andy Armstrong added more details on this ECS program.
National Ice Center
John Simms/NIC gave a Power Point on the National Ice Center which is supported by the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and NOAA working together to provide ice information.
There are international partnerships that NIC works with, such as the North American Ice Service/NAIS, a multi agency with Canadian Ice service, International Ice Patrol and the U.S. National Ice Center.
International Arctic Buoy Program IABP- a global program to deploy drifting buoys in the Arctic Ocean
International Ice Charting Working Group. – works to promote cooperation between all the world’s ice centers.
The NIC has had ice analysts sailing on the Healy and this has been a good valuable experience which NIC would like to continue into the future.
NIC requires Radarsat imagery which is very expensive and the current funds end in August 2012. We are trying to find alternative funding sources to add to NGA.
Update on the R/V Sikuliaq
Steve Hartz/UAF shared a Power Point progress report with the committee on milestones which have been met. See appendices. Current specifications were given. The launch date for the Sikuliaq is October 13, 2012 in Marinette, Wisconsin.
Friday 23 March 2012
The meeting was reconvened by Robin Muench/AICC Chair at 0830.
Chair requested minutes be approved from the last meeting AICC meeting which was held on April 20 & 21, 2011. Committee requested a correction to the minutes be made. Edit the name on Alaskan Native Program, change to lower case on native program as this doesn’t refer to a specific native program.
Motion was made and seconded. All in favor and minutes were approved and posted.
Review of Action Items
A discussion led by Robin Muench on action items followed with a review of each.
See Power Point appendices.
Any other new action items
NSF/OPP Arctic Report
Renee Crain/NSF provided this agency report via telephone. She thanked all PI’s for cooperation as well as the efforts of STARC, Ch2MHill, Steve Roberts, UCAR and UNOLS.
Where we are headed? 2011 was the first year we didn’t have the icebreaking budget.
In 2012 we got a budget cut. Some upgrades on Healy, working with STARC on what is feasible. We want to continue to support Alaskan Native observer programs.
CH2MHILL - Faustine Bernadac
Faustine Bernadac from CH2MHILL provided the report and a Power Point presentation.
In October 2011, CH2MHILL won the 4 year award with possibility for 2 (2) year options. Polar Field Services will be responsible for the day to day efforts and the prime planning office. The company is now comprised of 4 entities. CH2MHILL, Polar Field Services, UMIAQ, and CPS.
Barrow Hotel room availability is becoming an issue which requires early planning in order to make sure it will all work. They can provid a list of who to contact in Barrow which can be posted on Icefloe.
Non-NSF programs are supported by UMIAQ. Renee can work with Andy Armstrong for the ECS program to come up with the best system. Mayer could work directly with UMIAQ.
U.S. Coast Guard Reports-
Mike Krause provided a Power Point presentation on the State of the Icebreaker Fleet. He provided details on the Carin Ashjian cruise and the Nome rescue. Details on the Polar Sea and Polar Star were provided. The Polar Star is due back in late 2013, ready for mission execution and shakedown. Science equipment needs to be looked at.
On the Polar Sea, the intent is to still decommission the ship, awaiting final decision. The crew of Polar Sea is working on the Polar Star and parts and equipment are being transferred to the Star. Rajiv Khandpur commented that the CG will decommission the Polar Sea in the coming year.
In 2013, in the presidential budget there was 8 million dollars to develop operational requirements.
U.S. Coast Guard Report cont’.
LCDR Doug Wyatt gave the PACAREA.District 17 report. See Power Point for details.
District 17 will continue the bi-monthly C-130 flights. Operation Arctic Shield will continue with outreach planning, public safety, medical and dental programs.
Healy Schedule for 2013:
BOEM cruise 9-24 Aug
Extended Continental Shelf cruise Aug 26 to Sept 23, 2013
North Slope Moorings, October 9-21, 2013
U.S. Arctic Research Commission Report
John Farrell provided the USARC report in a Power Point. He covered the organizational structure of USARC and some recent activities. This included an Ecosystem Based Management approach which is now being developed.
Daily updates- subscribe at Arctic.gov
Prezi.com- shows the link between Arctic researchers
Polar Star Yard Work Update
Ryan Young provided a Power Point on the maintenance programs and engineering side responsible for maintenance of the ships. An overview of Healy maintenance schedule for this in port dockside period was given.
Discussion on the science equipment for Polar Star- We are looking at science equipment, but at present don’t have the resources, either time or money.
Nome Mission Presentation
Eric St. Pierre/USCG provided an extensive overview presentation on the Healy rescue to Nome
Science Modifications, infrastructure and equipment
Scott Hiller and Woody Sutherland/ SIO discuss the STARC Science Support Program in a Power Point. Woody reported that HazMat/Isotope procedures and compliance will be a major priority in the area of environmental health and safety.
On Icefloe.Net administration, Scripps is working on the backend of this with Tom Cook. A slide on the list of equipment they are working are or will be in 2012 was shown as well as plans for the Healy dry-dock in 2013. All the spaces they plan to work on was reviewed. They maintain on the Icefloe web site a list of the project s that they are working on. The computer lab will have an extensive refit. In the photo lab we will change the desk height to make it more usable space.
Electronic Support Unit/Seattle ESU Report
Jim Wilson of the ESU group provided an update in a Power Point and various projects, upgrades, and systems they are working on. This included:
Update on the communication systems on both the Healy and the Polar Star.
Met Lab ventilation
Data Archive availability on ship. On SIO ships we keep two years worth of data.
AICC needs to provide input to STARC on how long they want to keep the data onboard the ship. AICC decided that a minimum of two years of raw data is to be kept on the ship.
Check on static Mapserver- yes, AICC needs to watch this.
2011 Cruise Debrief Issues