Environmental Projects: Kotzebue Sound 2007-2008 Ringed Seal Satellite Tagging Project:


Participant Participant Participant Participant


Alex Whiting
Environmental Specialist for the Native Village of Kotzebue 1997-present. Completed and ongoing grant projects through the USDA, EPA, BIA, FWS, NPS, NSF, AK Native Health Board, State of Alaska , Leopold Institute and First Nations. A uthorized to tag seals as a Co-Investigator under ADF&G's Scientific Research permit in 2004-2009.

Kathy Frost
Marine ecologist who has conducted research on marine mammals in Alaska since 1975. Research focuses on natural history and ecology of seals and beluga whales in Alaska including distribution, movements and diving behavior (satellite tagging) of spotted seals, harbor seals, bearded seals and belugas; trophic interactions of ice-associated seals; abundance and trends of marine mammal populations; habitat use and diet of harbor seals. 2000 to present – Alaska Marine Ecosystems Research. 1994 to present - Affiliate Associate Professor, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, University of Alaska Fairbanks. 1975 to 2000 - Marine Mammal Research Biologist for ADF&G

John Goodwin
Alaska Native hunter who has lived in the Kotzebue area for more than 50 years, and spent his entire life learning about the ocean and the marine mammals of the Kotzebue Sound area. Familiar with currents, weather conditions, ice conditions, and water depths in Kotzebue Sound. Experienced in setting and handling nets and removing animals from nets through experience as a commercial salmon fisherman and through his use of nets to fish for beluga whales and seals. Holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton masters License. Participated in catching, tagging and sampling bearded, spotted and ringed seals in Kotzebue Sound in 2004-2008. Authorized to tag seals as a Co-Investigator under ADF&G’s Scientific Research permit in 2005-2008. Has participated in four seal research cruises in the Bering Sea tagging ice seals and is the Maniilaq Representative as well as the Chairman of the Alaska Ice Seal Committee.

Research Assistants

Jeff Barger (2008), Cyrus Harris (07-08), Grover Harris Sr. (07-08), Grover Harris Jr. (2008), Lee Harris (2007), Nereus Doc Harris III (07-08), Edward Ahyakak (2008), Jerry Jones Sr. (07-08)
All local Tribal members with many years experience living off the land and catching marine mammals for sustenance. All except Jerry Jones, have participated in the bearded seal tagging project recently concluded in Kotzebue Sound . Lee Harris also spent May 2007 in the Bering Sea aboard the research vessel Healy tagging and studying ice seals.

Pearl Goodwin
John Goodwin's wife and camping partner is responsible for recording data and taking pictures of the seals captured and tagged, and making sure all samples are labeled properly.


Native Village of Kotzebue
In addition to the activities funded under this proposal, the Tribe is contributing the following: 1) funds to pay tagging fees for 10 or more ringed seals, 2) start-up costs for the project prior to arrival of scientific party (gas, oil, etc.).

Alaska Department of Fish and Game
ADF&G's Arctic Marine Mammal Program is collaborating as follows: 1) contributing 6 satellite-linked SPLASH and 6 SPOT5 tags and Argos data acquisition time for 20 tags, 2) contributing equipment, supplies and field logistics as necessary to complete the project, 3) conducting analysis of seal movements and dive data, 4) providing regularly updated maps of seal movements to be posted on Kotzebue IRA project website, 5) authorizing capture and tagging of seals to be conducted under ADF&G's Scientific Research permit.

Selawik National Wildlife Refuge
The Selawik National Wildlife Refuge provides the use of their bunk house in Kotzebue during field work and other project activities.

Shell Exploration & Production Company
Shell provided funds for purchase and deployment of 13 SPLASH tags in 2008


In Depth

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Project Overview

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Environmental Program

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