Current Research at SSSC For a summary of our current research endeavors, please visit this link.
Our Scientist in Residency (SIRF) Program has brought some of the top scientists from across the country to Sitka to conduct research and participate in scientific education programs in our local schools and community. Please see this link for more information on our SIRF Fellows and this program.
Our most recent SIRF Fellow is Dr. Allen Pope. Allen is a postdoctoral research associate working at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado and the Polar Science Center in Seattle, Washington. His current research projects include studying Landsat 8 applications to the cryosphere as well as investigating drivers of elevation change in West Antarctica. Read more about his work here.
Hot off the Press: Additionally, SSSC Field Station has just started a new project in collaboration with the University of California Santa Cruz. At the start of 2016, SSSC’s research lab was busy with the activities of a dive team from the University of California Santa Cruz led by Dr. Kristy Kroeker, a marine ecologist who studies how environmental change is likely to affect coastal marine ecosystems in the future. Dr. Kroeker’s lab is currently studying kelp forest ecosystems across their range in North America, with sites extending from Baja, Mexico to Sitka, AK. Across this range, kelp forests are exposed to very different temperature and chemistry conditions, with those in Sitka regularly experiencing strong, seasonal acidification. Dr. Kroeker and her two technicians spent half of January scouting sites and installing infrastructure for their experiment, including mooring environmental sensors to the bedrock and installing bolts for settlement tiles. They are now off to set up this same infrastructure at their other kelp forest sites along the west coast of North America. Together, these sites will enable a large-scale, comparative experiment to see how varying environmental conditions impact these nearshore marine systems. SSSC is excited to have an ongoing collaboration with this talented group of scientists, and look forward to seeing them when they return again in the spring!
Publications associated with Sitka Sound Science Center
Au, W. L., Thode, A., Folkert, K., and Straley, J. (2011). “Examining the biosonar process involved with depredation of black cod by sperm whales in the Alaskan long line fishery (A),” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 129, 2398.
Cohen, Sarah, Davis, Tammy, Shaw, Linda and Ruiz, Gregory. 2011 Discovery and significance of the colonial tunicate Didemnum vexillum in Alaska. Aquatic Invasions Volume 6, Issue 3: 263–271
Cook, J. A., C. Brochmann, S. L. Talbot, V. Fedorov, E. B. Taylor, R. Väinölä, E.P. Hoberg, M. Kholodova, K. P. Magnusson. 2013. Genetics. Pp. 567-590. In Arctic Biodiversity Assessment. Conservation of Arctic Fauna and Flora Committee, Copenhagen.
Cook, J.A., Edwards, S.V., Lacey, E, Guralnick, R.P., Soltis, P.S. , Soltis, D.E., Welch, C.K., Bell, K.C., Galbreath, K.E., Himes, C., Allen, J.M. Heath, T.A., Carnaval, A.C., Cooper, K.L., Liu, M, Hanken, J., and Ickert-Bond, S. 2014. Natural History Collections as Emerging Resources for Innovative Education. BioScience (August 2014) 64 (8): 725-734 doi:10.1093/biosci/biu096
Cox, M. K., R. Heintz, and K. J. Hartman. 2010. Measurements of resistance and reactance in fish with the use of bioelectrical impedance analysis: sources of error. Fish Bull. 109:34-47.
Cox, M. Keith., and R. A. Heintz. 2009. Electrical phase angle as a new method to measure fish condition. Fishery Bulletin. 107:477-487.
Heintz, R. and M.K. Cox. 2008. Seasonal Growth and Energy Dynamics of Forage Fish in Nearshore Habitats of Prince William Sound, Alaska. North Pacific Research Board Chapter 3.
Cox, M.K. and K.J. Hartman. 2007. Testing brook trout bioenergetic models. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. 137: 357-363.
Mathias, D., Thode, A., Straley, J., and Folkert, K. (2009). “Relationship between sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) click structure and size derived from videocamera images of a depredating whale (sperm whale prey acquisition),” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 125, 3444-3453.
Mathias, D., Thode, A., Straley, J., Calambokidis, J., Schorr, G., and Folkert, K. (2011). Acoustic and diving behavior of sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) during natural and depredation foraging in the Gulf of Alaska, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. submitted.
Mesnick S, Taylor B, Archer F, Martien K, Escorza Treviño W, Hancock-Hanser B, Moreno P Medina S, Pease V, Robertson K, Straley J, Baird R, Calambokidis J, Schorr G, Wade P., Burkanov V, Lunsford C, Rendell L and Morin P. (2011) Sperm whale population structure in the eastern and central North Pacific inferred by the use of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), microsatellites and mitochondrial DNA. Molecular Ecology Resources, Special Issue: SNP Development in Non-model organisms, Vol 11, pages 278-298.
O’Connell, V., Straley, J.M., Liddle, J.B., Wild, L.A., Behnken, L., Falvey, D., Thode, A.M. (2015). Testing a passive deterrent on longlines to reduce sperm whale depredation in the Gulf of Alaska. ICES J. Mar. Sci. 72(5), 1667-1672. doi: 10.1093/icesjms/fsv014
Schakner, Z.A., Lunsford, C., Straley, J., Eguchi, T., and Mesnick, S.L. (2014). “Using models of social transmission to examine the spread of depredation behavior among sperm whales in the Gulf of Alaska.” Plos One. 9(10): 109079-109084.
Sorte CJB, Bracken MES (in review) Warming and Elevated CO2 Interact to Drive Rapid Shifts in Marine Primary Productivity. PLoS ONE.
Straley, J.M., O’Connell, V., Liddle, J.B., Thode, A.M., Wild, L.A., Behnken, L., Falvey, D., Lunsford, C. (2015). Southeast Alaska Sperm Whale Avoidance Project (SEASWAP): A successful collaboration among scientists and industry to study depredation in Alaskan waters. ICES J. Mar. Sci. 72(5), 1598-1609. doi: 10.1093/icesjms/fsv090
Straley, J.M., Andrews, R.D., Schorr, G.S., Thode, A.M., Calambokidis, J.A., Lunsford, C.R., Chenoweth, E.M., O’Connell, V.M. (final draft in review by co-authors) Local movements, habitat use, and long distance migrations across stock boundaries by satellite tagged sperm whales in the North Pacific.
Thode, A.M., Straley, J.M., O’Connell, V., Behnken, L., Falvey, D., Mathias. D.K., Wild, L.A., Calambokidis, J., Schorr, G.S., Andrews, R.D., Liddle, J.B., Lunsford, C. (2015). Cues, creaks, and decoys: using passive acoustic monitoring as a tool for studying sperm whale depredation. ICES J. Mar. Sci. 72(5), 1621-1637. doi: 10.1093/icesjms/fsv024
Thode, A., Skinner, J., Scott, P., Roswell, J., Straley, J., and Folkert, K. (2010b). “Tracking sperm whales with a towed acoustic vector sensor,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 128, 2681- 2694.
Thode, A., Straley, J., Tiemann, C. O., Folkert, K., and O’Connell, V. (2007a). “Observations of potential acoustic cues that attract sperm whales to longline fishing in the Gulf of Alaska,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 122, 1265-1277.
Tiemann, C. O., Thode, A. M., Straley, J., O’Connell, V., and Folkert, K. (2006). “Three-dimensional localization of sperm whales using a single hydrophone,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 120, 2355-2365.
Vlietstra, L.S., K.L. Mrakovcich, V.C. Futch, and, B.S. Stutzman. In Press. Anthropogenic climate change in marine and environmental science programs in the United States. Journal of College Science Teaching.
Vlietstra, L., L. Bell, and J. Condon. 2015. Kelp, climate, and more in Sitka Sound. U.S. Coast Guard Academy Alumni Association Bulletin 84:44-47.
Witteveen et al. 2011. Using movements, genetics and trophic ecology to differentiate inshore from offshore aggregations of humpback whales in the Gulf of Alaska. Endang Species Res 14: 217–225.