NOSB 2004 Research Project: Effects of contaminants upon Alaska's marine ecosystems
Contaminants in Alaskan ecosystems arise from physical, biological, and chemical pathways driven in part by geography, unique cold climate conditions, meteorology, and ocean circulation. Contaminants include persistent organic pollutants (POPs), heavy metals, acidification and arctic haze, radioactivity, and viruses and pathogens. Although most of these pollutants arise from recent anthropogenic factors, some have preindustrial sources. For example, dioxins and furans that are ubiquitous, toxic and environmentally persistent organochlorine compounds, have been found in northern coastal anthropological sites where trees are uncommon and coastal peat was burned for fuel.
Long-range transport and biomagnification of contaminants can pose a human as well as environmental health problem in Alaska, where much of the coastal population has traditional diets incorporating fish, birds, and marine mammals that reside high on marine and lake food webs. The health of coastal communities definitely depends upon the health of coastal ecosystems.
• Sea Grant's mailing and physical addresses (for submitting papers)
• Past research papers (archives)
This project will count as 50 percent of the 2004 Alaska Region NOSB competition. The document will be worth 25 percent and the oral presentation of the project will count as 25 percent toward the 50-percent total.
Contaminants project list—Native Science Committee [PDF, 1.4 MB]
Yukon River monitoring program [PDF, 500 K]
Kenai watershed newsletter, Winter 2003 [PDF, 267 K]
Kenai watershed newsletter, Spring 2002 [PDF, 657 K]
Kenai watershed hydrocarbon pollution [PDF, 86 K]
Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) based in Norway
Past research papers (archives)
NOSB archives | NOSB home page