Seasonal Ice Zone Observing Network (SIZONet)

SIZONet is an interdisciplinary project that implements an integrated program for observing seasonal ice in the context of a changing Arctic. Sea-Ice System Services (SISS), which offers a framework to organizing observational networks, guides SIZONet’s overall design. Garnered data within SISS involves the role of sea ice in maintaining a cool Arctic, and the benefits and hazards associated with sea ice, including how sea ice may aid Indigenous peoples. To join in SISS’s goal of better understanding sea ice, and as a contribution to the International Polar Year (IPY) project Sea Ice Knowledge and Use (SIKU), Mr. Eicken’s team has collaborated with Indigenous experts from Alaskan coastal communities, who have kept logs of ice conditions and ice use in their area. Such observations, along with geophysical measurements and modeling studies, can improve predictions of ice conditions, and in doing so, let different ice users understand and respond to a rapidly changing Arctic. 

Through a partnership between SIZONet and ELOKA, Mr. Eicken’s team has developed an on-line interface to a database that archives and shares these important sea ice observations gathered by the community. Visitors can browse records of weather and sea ice conditions, animals encountered, and photographs taken along the observation routes by sea ice experts. To learn more, explore the Local Observations from the Seasonal Ice Zone Observing Network web interface.

This information is available to the different communities as a resource for learning, teaching, and remembering, while also being accessible to other researchers and the public. The database is meant to bring together different types of sea ice knowledge, and help track sea ice changes from a user perspective.

Lead Hajo Eicken

Organization Geophysical Institute - University of Alaska Fairbanks

Country United States

Geographic Coverage Bering and Chukchi Sea

Communities Barrow, Gambell, Wales, and other communities

Related Organizations

  • Sea Ice Knowledge and Use (SIKU) – IPY project
  • Native Village of Wales
  • Barrow Arctic Science Consortium
  • North Slope Borough of Alaska
  • Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium
  • Study of Environmental Arctic Change (SEARCH)

Web sites SIZONet Project, Local Observations Interface