Monitoring Climate Change With Arctic Seabirds, Friends of Cooper Island: Supporting the Long-Term Research of George Divoky and Associates
George Divoky’s research on Black Guillemots (Iŋaġiq) on Cooper Island, a barrier island about 25 miles southeast of Barrow, has received national and international attention as an indicator of climate change. You can go to this site to find out more about his work. During the summer field season, George blogs about the happenings on Cooper Island.
- Can These Seabirds Adapt Fast Enough to Survive a Melting Arctic? – George Divoky’s work is featured in the Audubon Magazine, Winter 2017.
- Go to this page to see the Polar Palooza information on George’s research – You can also watch a video interview of George which was produced by the Polar Palooza. More information on George Divoky can be seen at the NSF Arctic Stories website.
- Find “Friends of Cooper Island” and Adventures in Climate Change on Facebook!
Black Guillemot carrying arctic cod to young. Photo: George Divoky
Two male Black Guillemots, strutting. Photo: George Divoky
The Cooper Island Nest Case Project
In an effort to help guillemots continue breeding on the island and monitoring a rapidly changing environment, all 150 wooden nest boxes currently used by the guillemots are being replaced with bear-proof plastic cases. View a slide show of the new nest sites being built in Seattle and then traveling to Barrow, and Cooper Island. Learn how you can help with the continuing research of the black guillemot as it responds to the many changes occurring in the Alaskan Arctic. For more information on George’s nest case project or to sponsor a nest site click here.
Black Guillemot defending next box. Photo: George Divoky
- Divoky, G.J., G.E. Watson, and J.C. Bartonek. 1974. Breeding of the black guillemot in northern Alaska. Condor 76:339-343.
- Divoky, G.J., and B.B. Harter. 2007. Supernormal delay in hatching, embryo cold tolerance and egg fostering in the black guillemot Cepphus grylle. Marine Ornithology 38:7-10.
- Divoky, G.J., and B.B. Harter. 2008. Decreases in summer pack ice extent result in annual and seasonal prey shifts and lower breeding success in an arctic seabird. This poster explains how the 2006-07 data illustrate the dependence of the black guillemots on the ice pack for food resources.
- Budge, S.M. et al. 2008. Tracing carbon flow in an arctic marine food web using fatty acid-stable isotope analysis. Oecologia 157:117-129.
- Divoky, G.J. 2010. Polar Bears in a sea of change: 36 years of observations from a barrier island in the Beaufort Sea. Poster presented at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium in Anchorage, Alaska, January 2011. This poster describes the changes that Dr. George Divoky has seen in sea ice extent and polar bear sightings while conducting his research on Black Guillemots at Cooper Island, east of Barrow, Alaska.
- Divoky, G.J., et al. 2015. Effects of recent decreases in arctic sea ice on an ice-associated marine bird. Progress in Oceanography 136:151-161. doi.org/10.1016/j.pocean.2015.05.010.
- Divoky, G.J. et al. 2016. Arctic sea ice a major determinant in Mandt’s black guillemot movement and distribution during non-breeding season. Biology Letters 12:20160275 doi:10.1098/rsbl.2016.0275.
- Robertson, A., et al. 2016. Energetic value of prey species utilized by black guillemots (Cepphus grylle) on Cooper Island, an Arctic barrier island. Poster presented at the Alaska Marine Science Symposium, Anchorage, Alaska, January 2016.
- Alaskan black guillemots fight ice retreat – See this story on BBC Nature News by Jonathan Amos.
- He’s watching the world melt – Read this article on CNN by John D. Sutter, September 20, 2016.
- Can these seabirds adapt fast enough to survive a melting Arctic? – Audubon article written by Hannah Waters, photographs and video by Peter Mather, 2017.
- USFWS Black Guillemot – Alaska Seabird Information Series.