Collecting winter data on U.S. Coast Guard icebreakers
Winter research and monitoring of icebound rivers, lakes, and coastal seas to date has usually involved seagoing civilian scientists leading survey efforts. However, because of poor weather conditions and a lack of safe research platforms, scientists collecting data during winter face some difficult and often insurmountable problems. To solve these problems and to further research and environmental monitoring goals, new partnerships can be formed through integrating efforts of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) with citizen science initiatives. USCG and a research group at Ohio's Bowling Green State University are entering the third year of such a partnership, in which icebreaking operations in Lake Erie using USCG Cutter Neah Bay support volunteer data collection. With two additional USCG vessels joining the program this winter season, the partnership serves as a timely and useful model for worldwide environmental research and monitoring through citizen science and government collaboration.
Oyserman, Ben O.; Woityra, William C.; Bullerjahn, George S.; Beall, Benjamin F.N.; and McKay, Robert Michael L.. (2012). Collecting winter data on U.S. Coast Guard icebreakers. Eos, 93 (10), 105-106.