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 Linton Beaven, Stephanie Soques, and graduate students Mengjie Zhang and Christina Goethel. Alynne Bayard helps us part-time with mapping our data using geographical information system technology (GIS). We also have an Associate Research Scientist associated with our research group, Cedrick Magen, who provides expertise for day-to-day operation of CBL's stable isotope mass spectrometry instrumentation.


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 have been 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 as part of a Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) taking advantage of increased multi-national interest in the larger Bering Strait region. A workshop held in Seattle in May 2009, a town hall forum at the 2010 Ocean Sciences Meeting in Portland Oregon, and the feature article published in EOS, (the Transactions of the American Geophysical Society) on May 4, 2010 are part of the larger initiative. In 2011 two DBO open science community workshops were held, one during Arctic Science Summit Week in Seoul, Korea (March) and prior to the fall Pacific Arctic Group meeting in Sidney, BC, Canada (November); see workshop reports at http://pag.arcticportal.org/. A DBO pilot field program was held during 2010-2012, with multiple cruises occupying two DBO stations and transect lines in the SE Chukchi Sea and Barrow Canyon (see preliminary results at the DBO website). 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://www.pmel.noaa.gov/dbo/.

The DBO effort for improving observations of the changing Arctic ecosystem has grown in attention among several US federal agencies. The concept is being incorporated into the Strategic Action Plan for "Changing Conditions in the Arctic" that is an objective of the National Ocean Council's effort for formulation of a National Ocean Policy for the United States.

Click here for sea floor video from the Sir Wilfrid Laurier cruise, July 2016

Initiation of the Distributed Biological Observatory concept aired on the Alaska Public Radio Nework on April 14, 2011. Click here to listen.

The 3rd DBO Data Meeting was held March 9-10, 2016 in Seattle, WA. Click here for links to the the workshop report and selected presentations.

Presentations from the 2014 2nd Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) Workshop as well as the 2014 Pacific Arctic Group (PAG) Meeting (http://pag.arcticportal.org/) are posted below:

2nd Distributed Biological Observatory (DBO) Workshop
October 29th - 31st, 2014; Seattle, WA
Click here for presentations

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

Dr. Monika Kedra 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.


Click here for sea floor video from the Sir Wilfrid Laurier cruise, July 2016

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

Our Arctic Marine Biodiversity Observing Network (AMBON) program that we are participating in was highlighted as a new US initiative for understanding Arctic environmental change during President Obama's September 2015 visit to Alaska. Click here to see the White House fact sheet.

Jackie Grebmeier awarded the 2015 International Arctic Science Committee Medal

Jackie Grebmeier and Lee Cooper receive Alaska Ocean Leadership Award