USCG SCIENCE OF OPPORTUNITY CRUISE
The UNOLS Arctic Icebreaker Coordinating Committee (AICC) is an
NSF/USCG-sanctioned committee chaired by Jim Swift, Scripps Institution
of Oceanography. The purpose of the AICC is to provide Arctic polar
science projects with planning and scheduling assistance and to
facilitate communications between scientists, science funders, and
facility providers. Particular concerns of this committee at present are
the USCG icebreakers Polar Sea, Polar Star, and HEALY. Additional
information about the AICC is available on the UNOLS web site
(http://www.gso.uri.edu/unols/unols.html) or the Arctic Research
Consortium of the United States (http://arcus.polarnet.com/AICC).
The U.S. Coast Guard recently informed the AICC of the possibility for a
limited number (20-30) of berths available for scientists on a
Science-Of-Opportunity (SOO) cruise on USCGC POLAR SEA. The cruise is
planned for approximately 30 days duration during May-June of 1998
(target dates only). The anticipated operating area for the cruise will
be the Western Arctic. THERE IS NO FUNDING BEING MADE AVAILABLE BY THE
USCG TO SUPPORT SOO RESEARCH OTHER THAN THE OPPORTUNITY FOR SHIP TIME.
Science of opportunity is defined as follows: following extensive yard
and maintenance periods, Coast Guard icebreakers may proceed to the
Arctic to conduct machinery trials, to test equipment, and to conduct
training, in conditions which duplicate normal operating conditions.
The Coast Guard calls these missions "shakedowns". During these
shakedowns, the USCG allows scientists to deploy with the icebreaker to
take advantage of research opportunities on a NOT-TO-INTERFERE basis
with machinery and equipment trials, or other training missions taking
place. Scientists who deploy on shakedown missions are not charged for
icebreaker use under the current multi-agency reimbursement agreement
for dedicated science missions. It is important to note that while
science will be accommodated whenever appropriate, science is NOT the
first priority of the mission, and in fact, there is no guarantee that
ANY science will be accomplished during these missions.
For the 1998 cruise, the Coast Guard requests that scientists who are
interested in participating submit an Icebreaker Science-of-Opportunity
Request Form (http://www.gso.uri.edu/unols/aiccsoo/sooform.htm).
Requests submitted before the deadline of 15 November 1997 will be
assessed by the AICC for suitability, including geographic region,
seasonality, number of berths, compatibility of scientific programs and
personnel responsibilities, USCG equipment requests, and laboratory
Highly specific time and geographic requirements cannot be guaranteed.
Arrangements for sample-only requests will be the responsibility of the
The USCG will select the participants for the cruise. The AICC's role
is to facilitate communication between the scientific community and the
USCG, including assembling information about potential Science Of
Opportunity investigations and assessing them for suitability.
If you wish more information on the SOO cruise, please visit the
appropriate web sites, or contact Dr. Phil McGillivary, the science
liason representative for the USCG, by e-mail at
PMcGillivary@d11.uscg.mil or by phone at (510)437-5355.