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

Beaufort Lagoon Ecosystems LTER is a new Long Term Ecological Research program along the northern Alaskan Arctic coastline in the Beaufort Sea. Lagoon systems encompass more than half 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. BLE will use sampling, monitoring, and modeling to study these lagoons and their interactions with the surrounding environment to better understand how these ecosystems function and to predict how they will change in the coming decades.

Alaska Ocean Acidification Network interviews BLE LTER scientist Arley Muth

BLE scientists on field mission

Alaska Ocean Acidification Network recently interviewed Arley Muth, a BLE LTER scientist working on the Boulder Patch area east of Prudhoe Bay to study seasonal levels of pH among other ecological questions. Pictured, clockwise from top right: project manager Christina Bonsell, scientist Arley Muth, and principal investigator Ken Dunton, on a field mission to the Boulder Patch.

Ph.D. Assistantship in Arctic Estuarine Food Web Ecology

A Ph.D. research assistantship is available (beginning spring/summer 2020) in Katrin Iken's lab at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (UAF, CFOS) ( This position is part of a new Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program funded by the National Science Foundation to study the food web ecology of Beaufort Sea lagoons. The student's research would focus on discerning how variable carbon inputs (terrestrial, marine phytoplankton, sea ice) are utilized in the lagoon systems over the course of the year from frozen to break-up to open water. We seek applicants with a background in trophic ecology, especially with lab and data analysis skills in stable isotope analysis, compound-specific (amino acid) stable isotope analysis, and/or fatty acid analysis. The student is expected to participate in field work in the Arctic as well as develop a strong research thesis project. Applicants should have a M.S. degree in a marine or environmental science field, 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 Katrin Iken (

Iken faculty page
CFOS graduate program



investigators working on the project this summer


universities represented on the project


research nodes: Utqiagvik, Deadhorse, and Kaktovik


kilometers of coastline studied