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Reflections in biodiversity


A researcher's reflection is seen in clear water of a location to document biodiversity

The Kuril and Sakhalin Island projects are international efforts to document the biodiversity of the landmasses that surround and enclose the Sea of Okhotsk. The primary centers of focus are the Kuril Islands, Sakhalin Island, the Okhotsk coast of Siberia and the Kamchatka Peninsula.

Funded primarily by the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Biotic Surveys and Inventories program, the research objectives are to record the detailed species-level diversity of life in aquatic and terrestrial habitats of the Okhotsk region, as a prologue to investigations of biological patterns and processes; and as a basis for the development of conservation strategies for this part of the world.

Each summer since 1994, three-dozen scientists and their students from the University of Washington, the Far East Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Hokkaido University spend eight weeks aboard a Russian research vessel exploring remote islands and continental shorelines.

To learn more, visit the program's website Here.

This research was supported by NSF grants DEB 94-00821, DEB 95-05091 and DEB 00-71655; Theodore W. Pietsch, principal investigator.

Credit: Theodore W. Pietsch

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