A Seattle-based Coast Guard icebreaker returning from two months studying polar bears, marine mammals, sea birds and Arctic sea ridges will be open for tours in Juneau today and Friday.
Ensign Emily Holt, deck watch officer on the ship, said the tour will cover areas such as the bridge, ward room, cruise lounge, galley, and, for those who are interested, the engine room.
"It's just to get an idea of the ship layout and what life is like underway," she said.
With up to 75,000 horsepower, the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Sea is the world's most powerful non-nuclear icebreaker, according to the Coast Guard.
It just completed a 100-day deployment, of which 60 days were spent above the Arctic Circle. Over the course of those 60 days, scientists from the Naval Research Laboratory took core samples to study sediment composition, and water samples to study temperature, salinity and levels of oxygen at varying depths.
Scientists from varying institutions studied polar bears that had been tagged with radio collars in the spring.
The study's findings correlate the theory that polar bears travel distances up to 600 miles. The study is intended to find out more about polar bears' ability to adapt to a retreating ice edge due to global warming, and is the first study of polar bears at sea, Holt said.
The scientists disembarked in Barrow last week.
The cutter is 399 feet and has a reinforced hull. It can break through up to 21 feet of ice, carry 150 crew members and 35 scientists, and has five laboratories with space for seven extra portable labs.
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