About FjordPhyto

Sharing Science

Bringing science to the public is very important to us! Adventurous polar visitors not only get to see the amazing beauty and wildlife of these remote regions, they get to contribute to the legacy of polar research through hands-on citizen science. Expert polar guides teach passengers about the changing ecosystems, providing a perspective on ocean life they may not have previously considered.

Community Effort

FjordPhyto brings polar travelers and scientists together for a Citizen Science approach to understanding changes in marine ecosystems within fjords along in the Arctic and along the west Antarctic Peninsula.

We love challenges

The polar regions are vast and difficult to access year round. Some scientific monitoring occurs, but there is still so much to learn. Luckily, there is a vibrant ship-based community of travelers ready to engage in science. These ships visit polar fjords throughout the northern and austral summers.


Glacial Meltwater

Polar regions are experiencing rapid rates of temperature rise and glacial ice melting. Which fjords experience a greater influx of this melted glacial water?

phytoplankton community

Just like wildflowers blooming in a field, not all wildflowers or fields are the same. What types of phytoplankton communities do we see amongst various fjords and how do they differ?

Long Term

Monitoring change within the dynamic polar regions, requires long-term observations. With the help of polar passengers, FjordPhyto focuses on monitoring changes in fjord phytoplankton communities week-to-week, month-to-month, and year-to-year.

Why does this matteR?

Antarctic Ecosystems

Researchers are discovering that fjords along the west Antarctic Peninsula are hotspots of biological activity and biodiversity.  Intense phytoplankton blooms occur throughout the summer feeding animals that live in the water and on the seafloor. One of the most crucial animals to the Antarctic ecosystem are krill. Krill feed penguins, seals, and whales.  Antarctica remains the most pristine region in the world. Yet, despite it’s remoteness, it is experiencing the most rapid rates of warming due to climate change.

Arctic ecosystems

The Arctic is an ocean covered with drifting ice, hemmed in by surrounding continents. In winter new ice forms and snow accumulates. In summer, the ice melts rapidly, winds and currents keep the pack ice in forever motion, forming great pressure ridges. Fjords in the Arctic are not thought to be biodiversity hotspots like those in Antarctica.

Conferences Attended

Polar 2018 (SCAR/IASC) – oral presentation – Davos, Switzerland – June 2018

APECS International Online Conference: Butterfly Effectoral presentation; Best Innovative Communication Winner – May 2018

AECO/IAATO Polar Field Staff Conferenceoral presentation – Iceland – October 2018

CitSci2017volunteer – St. Paul, Minnesota – May 2017

Gordon Research Conference: Polar Marine Scienceposter presentation – Ventura, California – March 2017

scripps oceanography uc san diego