University of Hokkaido Okhotsk Sea - Sea Ice Field Course

University of Hokkaido, Japan, conducted a 10 day field course on sea ice in northern Hokkaido. Ice conditions were superb with 40-50 cm thick fast ice at Saroma and solid pack ice extending as far as the eye could see at Utoro. Fifteen postgraduate students from Japan, Australia, Malaysia and Indonesia participated in the course.

Students were introduced to both physical properties of sea ice and to the biological communities living within the sea ice.

Each student participated in a small research project covering topics such as brine channel distribution and formation, radiative transfer, heat loss and ice growth, ice floe size distribution, isostatic equilibrium and microbial community structure.

Lectures also covered climate change, Antarctic and Okhotsk Sea oceanography, glaciology and ecology. Students presented the results of their research projects to the class at the end of the course.

This field course was the first IAI- accredited course to be successfully completed.

For more information: Dr Shigeru Aoki, ILTS, Hokkaido University

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