Welcome to the Arctic research website at

UMCES Chesapeake Biological Laboratory

Welcome to the Arctic Research website at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory (CBL) of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES). This website is meant to provide information about ecosystem and biogeochemical research in the Arctic, particularly the work of Jacqueline Grebmeier and Lee Cooper.

Our team at CBL includes faculty research associates, Stephanie Soques, Alicia Clarke, Joanna Snellings, and Sophia Garms, as well as, graduate students: Syeda Sadia Ali, Brian Marx, and Nick Silverson. Christina Goethel, PhD, is an Assistant Research Scientist at CBL and also a visiting professor at St. Mary's College of Maryland. Alynne Bayard helps us with mapping our data using geographical information system technology (GIS) as well as producing graphics, and quality assurance for data we share with the scientific community. Cédric Magen provides expertise on a part-time basis for CBL's stable isotope lab.


Featured Research:

Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) noaa dbo

One of the pressing needs for evaluating climate change impacts on biological systems in the Arctic (and globally) is the need for sustained observations of changes in biological systems. Biological observations cannot be automated to the same extent as many physical measurements can (e.g. salinity on moorings, etc.). As a result, there is much less scientific documentation of how biological systems are changing and/or adapting as a result of environmental change. We were involved in a science planning process supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Science Foundation, the international Pacific Arctic Group, and the International Arctic Science Committee, to initiate more systematic biological observations in the Pacific Arctic sector. This has evolved into the Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) which takes advantage of increased multi-national interest in the larger Bering Strait region. Jackie Grebmeier (jgrebmei@umces.edu) is the key contact for this effort and further information on the DBO effort can be found at the DBO website, https://dbo.cbl.umces.edu/.

Scientific results from the DBO project have been presented at a number of scientific meetings, including a special session at the 2018 Ocean Sciences Meeting that will be held in Portland, Oregon, USA from Feb 11-15, 2018. Submissions to a special issue of Deep-sea Research II on DBO scientific results are now underway.

The 5th DBO Data Meeting was held January 22-23, 2020 in Seattle, WA, USA. The final report can be downloaded here. Presentations can be downloaded here.

The 4th DBO Data Meeting was held November 8-9, 2017 in Seattle, WA, USA.

Presentations from the 2017 4th and 2016 3rd Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) Workshops as well as the 2014 Pacific Arctic Group (PAG) Meeting (http://pag.arcticportal.org/) are posted below:

4th Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) Workshop
November 8-9, 2017; Seattle, WA:

Click here for final report
Click here for presentations

3rd Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) Workshop
March, 9-10, 2016; Seattle, WA:

Click here for final report
Click here for presentations

Pacific Arctic Group (PAG) Meeting
October 28th - 29th, 2014; Seattle, WA
Click here for presentations

Dr. Monika Kędra from the Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Science, is an international collaborator in the DBO, working with Dr. Jackie Grebmeier on benthic taxonomic issues. She has prepared a benthic taxonomic portal for organisms collected in the Pacific Arctic region. To access the site, see: http://www.iopan.gda.pl/projects/DBO/

Click here for more information on the DBO and other Arctic-related research projects.


Read about Masters student Nick Silverson's work using a genomics approach to address questions related to biodiversity and population structure in the Pacific Arctic.

Read a new physical oceanography paper that uses Distributed Biological Observatory data, Pickart et al. 2023, The Pacific water flow branches in the eastern Chukchi Sea, Progress in Oceanography,Volume 219, 2023, 103169, ISSN 0079-6611, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2023.103169.

Watch an interview of Jackie Grebmeier and lab staff and students explaining our benthic work in the Bering Sea and its relationship to gray whale populations (Courtesy of Chesapeake Bay media).

See a presentation by NSF Program Director of the Arctic Observing Network, Roberto Delgado, and AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow, Xoco Shinbrot, on "Advancing Knowledge of the Arctic through Science, Education, and Collaboration".

Read about Christina Goethel's teaching experience as a Fullbright Arctic Scholar in Iceland here

For 2023 Cruise season DBO station and regional coordinates click here.

Read about the final Arctic Ocean research cruise of 2021 and how there is evidence that a healthy ecosystem thrives in November here

Read about Chelsea Koch's research showing that female and young walruses depend on disappearing Arctic sea ice for food sources here and the journal article here

Gemery, et al 2020 article "Stable oxygen isotopes in shallow marine ostracodes from the northern Bering and Chukchi Seas" is available to read here

Read the section in NOAA's 2020 Arctic Report Card that our lab contributed to.

Read "CASCADE - The Circum-Arctic Sediment CArbon DatabasE" about biogeochemical cycling in the shelf seas and interior basins of the semi-enclosed Arctic Ocean and which is currently under review.

Listen to an interview with Jackie Grebmeier and Lee Cooper on NPR's Morning Edition with Rebecca Hersher about unseasonably hot temperatures in the Arctic during 2020

Read the annual Arctic Report card, including an article about Arctic Ocean marine algae response to climate warming

Read about late-season Arctic Research and how it reveals unseasonably warm ocean temperatures and an active ecosystem

Read about @modernwomeninSTEM's profile on Christina Goethel, PhD student in marine science and how she was inspired to do research in the Arctic after seeing a rare blue whale! Listen to a podcast with Christina discussing impacts to her research during COVID.

Hear a short news piece carried on Alaska News Nightly (a public radio program heard throughout Alaska) covering Jackie Grebmeier's community presentation in Nome in August 2019 describing research results from Distributed Biological Observatory fieldwork (audio link is in article).

Jackie Grebmeier joins the fall Pacific Arctic Group meeting in Hangzhou, China Oct 14-16, 2019.

Click image for larger view

Watch an interview with Piper Bartlett-Browne, teacher at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Dover NH, USA, at the end of her PolarTREC experience aboard the USCGC Healy, August 2019

View Jackie Grebmeier's, "Update for the Pacific Distributed Biological Observatory in 2019: Warming Seawater and Biological Change"

Read about research using seashells collected by the Grebmeier lab that show ecosystem shift from arctic to sub-arctic in Alaskan waters within the last few decades.

View Jackie Grebmeier's presentation, "The Pacific Arctic: An Ecosystem in Transition" given at the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States. Powerpoint slides are also available for download.

Jackie Grebmeier named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

News feature in the Washington Post, covering 2018 field work and new findings aboard USCGC Healy

Access datasets specific to the Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) research available through the NSF Arctic Data Center, please click here.

Visit our new stable isotope lab website

Click here to download an article in Polar Biology, "Sipunculan fauna in the Pacific Arctic region: a significant component of benthic infaunal communities" (Kędra, et al. 2017)

To access a new benthic taxonomic portal for organisms collected in the Pacific Arctic region, click here

The 4th DBO data meeting was held Nov. 8-9, 2017 in Seattle, WA, USA. Click here for presentations.

Jackie Grebmeier honored with 2016 UMCES President's Award for Excellence in Application of Science

Jackie Grebmeier awarded the 2015 International Arctic Science Committee Medal

Jackie Grebmeier and Lee Cooper receive Alaska Ocean Leadership Award