The CASSANDRA Oceanographic Cruise is imminent

Figure 1: R/V Laura Bassi.

The Italian contribution to SAS. The CASSANDRA (AdvanCing knowledge on the present Arctic Ocean by chemical-phySical, biogeochemical and biological obServAtioNs to predict the futuRe chAnges) project was recently approved as part of the Italian Arctic Research Program (PRA), and an Arctic oceanographic cruise is planned on board the R/V “Laura Bassi” (Figure 1).

The CASSANDRA oceanographic cruise will have 15 researchers on board and will depart from Longyearbyen (Svalbard Islands) on 29 August and arrive in Bergen (Norway) on 14 September 2021. The project is coordinated by the Italian Institute of Polar Sciences (ISP) and involves the National Institute of Oceanography and Applied Geophysics (INOGS) as a participant.

CASSANDRA project seeks to quantify the present state of the physical, chemical, biological and biogeochemical systems of a sub-Arctic historic transect at 75°N crossing the Greenland Sea Gyre (Figure 2). As part of the Synoptic Arctic Survey (SAS), CASSANDRA will operate with a multidisciplinary approach, making use of common protocols.

Figure 2: Working area and Transect (46 stations) across the Greenland Sea Gyre (from 75°N 16°E to 75°N 13°W).
Figure 2: Working area and Transect (46 stations) across the Greenland Sea Gyre (from 75°N 16°E to 75°N 13°W).

Emphasis of the project will be also devoted to understanding the major ongoing transformations on the water masses, the marine ecosystem and the carbon cycle. Other relevant measurements along the route of the vessel without interference with navigation will be made: upper layer currents by hull mounted ADCP, surface temperature and salinity by thermosalinograph, broadband shortwave and longwave radiation fluxes, automatic observation of cloudiness conditions, meteo parameters, and sampling activities of biological aerosol.

CASSANDRA will train young researchers and create opportunities to promote the next generation of polar researchers. We chose the name CASSANDRA because today the environmental message manages to permeate more and more, both in the social strata of the population and at the political level, and we would like to dispel your legend of unheard Prophetess.



NEW DATE: SAS April Webinar

April 22nd – Arctic Science Snapshots: Early Career Scientists, 16:00-17:30 (CEST)

In this SAS-webinar, Early Career Scientists (ECS) will present snapshots of their research in the Arctic. Short and concise presentations covering ongoing or planned studies of changes in physical oceanography, marine ecosystems as well as carbon cycle and ocean acidification.

Contribution from the participants in the SAS-Oden expedition July-September 2021:

Lennart Gerke (PhD-student, Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research GEOMAR, Germany): Ventilation Timescales, Anthropogenic Carbon and Variability in the Arctic Ocean – Ventilation and anthropogenic carbon storage in the Arctic Ocean provided by transient tracer data. E-mail:

Yannis Arck (PhD-student, Heidelberg University, Germany): Ventilation Timescales, Anthropogenic Carbon and Variability in the Arctic Ocean – A combination of stable noble gas isotopes with Ar39 and C14 applied on arctic ocean ventilation and sea ice formation E-mail:

Claudia Morys (Postdoc, Stockholm University, Sweden): Driving factors for regional variation in benthic species communities in the Central Arctic Ocean. E-mail:

Flor Vermassen (Postdoc, Stockholm University, Sweden): Arctic invasions of sub-polar planktonic foraminifers in the past and present – The hunt for Turborotalita. E-mail:

Christien Laber (Postdoc, Linnaeus University, Sweden) Grazing and viral lysis of picophytoplankton in the Central Arctic Ocean. E-mail:

Ashish Verma (Postdoc, Umeå University, Sweden): Maintenance respiration and morphological adaptations of prokaryotes in the Central Arctic Ocean. E-mail:

Lisa Winberg von Friesen (PhD-student, University of Copenhagen, Denmark): An overlooked source of nitrogen? Diazotrophy in the Central Arctic Ocean. E-mail:

Birthe Zäncker (Postdoc, The Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, UK): Production and export of phytoplankton-derived organic matter in the changing Arctic Ocean – Role of parasites, saprotrophs and mineral ballasting. E-mail:

Eun Yae Son (PhD-student, Graduate school of frontier science, The University of Tokyo, Japan): Turbulent mixing in the western Arctic from the Mirai cruises (tentative). E-mail:

SAS March Webinar



March 16th – Large-Scale Arctic Insights, 14:00 – 15:30 UTC (15:00 – 16:30 CET)

The Arctic Ocean is brimming with change. In SAS, we’re trying to approach and understand the totality of change and how it potentially connects the different compartments of the ocean. In this new March seminar we are extremely happy to present a diverse set of excellent speakers who will share recent insights on large scale Arctic oceanography, biology, and biogeochemistry in the spirit of the SAS. All are welcome to join. 

Mary-Louise Timmermans (Yale University): Ocean heat and freshwater dynamics and change in the Canadian Basin

Bodil Bluhm (University of Tromsø): Bio-physical coupling on the pan-Artic continental slope

Jens Terhaar (University of Bern): Around one third of current Arctic Ocean primary production sustained by rivers and coastal erosion



SAS January Webinar

The planning of the 2021 field season is well underway, and several important Synoptic Arctic Survey (SAS) cruises will take place.

On this occasion we would like to invite you to join the SAS January Webinar, where we will be learning about some of these cruises, and the finer details that goes into biological sampling programs. We will also learn the latest about drivers of Arctic ocean acidification.

There will be time for questions and discussions after each presentation.

Date, time and location:

January 28. 2021

14:00 – 15:30 UTC (15:00 – 16:30 CET)

Online, see details below



Pauline Snoeijs Leijonmalm (Stockholm University)

­Organizing a biological core parameter program for the SAS-Oden 2021 expedition

Heidemarie Kassens (GEOMAR)

Arctic Century – International expedition onboard research icebreaker Akademik Tryoshnikov 

Karl Adam Ulfsbo (University of Gothenburg)

Drivers of ocean acidification in the Arctic Ocean


The Webinar will take place in GoToMeeting. Please submit your e-mail in this form to get the meeting ID and password (the contact will only be used for this webinar, and the list will be deleted after two months).

Feel free to distribute this throughout your community and network.

See you there!

Meet our new coordinator, Anne Kari

Hello Anne Kari Øhman Meisingset!

  • What is your background? I have an MSc in chemical oceanography from the University of Bergen where I studied the increase in anthropogenic CO2 in the Nordic seas and Arctic Ocean. After finishing my degree last year, I participated in an ICOS Norway project, and I have been working on getting my thesis published.
  • What will you be doing in the SAS project? I will join the SAS team as a coordinator.
  • What fascinates you about the Arctic? There is so many fascinating things about the Arctic, but what intrigues me the most is all the unanswered questions and the ability to be a part of a community that might answer some of them. For example, how will climate change affect the Arctic region, and how will the physical, chemical, and biological processes respond to that change? When I worked on my thesis I never really knew what to expect from my results in the Arctic Ocean since there is not many findings to compare with, and it was always exciting to dive into different theories that could explain what I found.

The Synoptic Arctic Survey (SAS) – Informational Meeting during the AGU’s Fall meeting in San Francisco

December 11, 2019, 14:30 – 15:30
ARCUS Community Meeting Room Monterrey II
Hotel Nikko
222 Mason St.
San Francisco, CA

The Synoptic Arctic Survey (SAS) is an ongoing international
program conducting a multi-nation, oceanographic field based
effort on a Pan Arctic Scale over two years (2020-2021) during a
single season (late summer).

With this the SAS seeks to achieve the baseline understanding of
the fundamental structure and function of the linked
carbon-ecosystem-physical systems that will permit detection of
ongoing and future changes in the Arctic Ocean.

The first cruises will take place in late summer 2020. Several
cruises will also take place in 2021. Join us for an informal
update on the status of the international efforts.

All are welcome.

Øyvind Paasche (International SAS Science Steering Committee
Chair (SSC)) and Carin Ashjian (Int.’l SSC Member and Co-Chair, US SSC)