Beaufort Lagoon Ecosystems LTER

member of the U.S. Long Term Ecological Research Network

lagoon photo
Coastal lagoons along the Eastern Beaufort Sea (courtesy of Susan Schonberg)

This project establishes a new Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) program along the northern Alaskan Arctic coastline in the Beaufort Sea. Lagoon systems encompass more than 50% of the Beaufort Sea coast, providing food and habitat for large populations of migratory fish and waterfowl that are essential to the culture of Inupiat communities of northern Alaska. We believe that the differential availability of seasonally distinct resources is critical for maintaining the high productivity of these ecosystems.

Research Assistantship Available

A Ph.D. research assistantship is available (beginning Spring or Summer 2019) in Arctic coastal carbon cycling in the Lougheed lab at The University of Texas at El Paso. This position is part of an interdisciplinary team funded by the National Science Foundation to study linkages between terrestrial and aquatic processes within Beaufort Sea lagoons at a newly established Arctic LTER site. The student will be expected to enroll in either our Ecology and Evolutionary Biology ( or Environmental Science and Engineering ( doctoral programs. A background in aquatic biogeochemistry would be beneficial, with a degree in chemistry, biology, environmental science, or a closely related field, preferred. Students will participate in all aspects of the project, from field work in the Arctic to publication of findings. Applicants are expected to have a strong academic background, show evidence of independent work in the field and/or lab, and demonstrate a capacity to contribute to a collaborative research environment. For more information, please email a statement of interest/background and a copy of your CV to Dr. Vanessa Lougheed (

2018 Summer Field Season

This summer marked our inaugural sampling season during which researchers and their students deployed to the three research nodes along the Beaufort Sea coast: Utqiagvik (formerly Barrow), Deadhorse, and Kaktovik. The summer culminated with the Kaktovik Oceanography Program held for a week in August with the village's young students. Project Investigators, Program Managers, and two teachers from Texas hosted the students and spent a week learning about their local marine environment.

As research progresses, we'll share key findings, datasets, and publications on this website.



investigators working on the project this summer


universities represented on the project


research nodes: Utqiagvik, Deadhorse, and Kaktovik


kilometers of coastline studied