Last call for applicants to sail

IODP Expedition 377: Arctic Ocean Paleoceanography (ArcOP)

We have extended the deadline fpr ANZIC applications from scientists in our member institutions for scientific participation in an extremely exciting and innovative ECORD expedition in the Arctic Ocean with the offshore phase in the latter half of 2018. We are guaranteed one scientific place. The links in the attachment provide more scientific background. Opportunities exist for researchers (including graduate students) in all ocean drilling specialties. While other expertise may be considered, specialists in the following fields are required: sedimentology, paleontology, palynology, organic geochemistry, inorganic geochemistry, structural geology, paleomagnetics, microbiology, physical properties, geophysics, stratigraphic correlation and downhole logging. For the offshore phase of the expedition, we are particularly looking for the following fields: sedimentology, paleontology, organic geochemistry, inorganic geochemistry, microbiology, physical properties, and petrophysics/downhole logging.

The applicants will either be part of 1) the limited offshore party (European autumn 2018) and the onshore sampling party in Bremen in early 2019 or 2) the larger onshore sampling party. Please specify whether you are interested in the offshore-onshore or onshore-only aspects of the Expedition. Please note that there is no option to participate offshore-only. For the offshore phase of the expedition, they are particularly looking for the following fields: paleontology, sedimentology, organic geochemistry, inorganic geochemistry, physical properties, and petrophysics/downhole logging.

The proposal upon which this expedition is based was submitted as IODP Proposal #708 ‘Arctic Ocean Paleoceanography’. The full proposal describing the primary drill sites, as well as up-to-date expedition information, can be found on the Expedition 377 webpage

The Co-chief Scientists for this Expedition are Prof. Rüdiger Stein (Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Germany) and Prof. Kristen St. John (James Madison University, Harrisonburg, USA).

Could senior scientists please ensure that this offer is widely circulated to relevant groups in their institutions.

Background and objectives

The overall goal of the drilling campaign is the recovery of a complete stratigraphic sedimentary record on the southern Lomonosov Ridge to meet the highest priority paleoceanographic objective: the continuous long-term Cenozoic climate history of the central Arctic Ocean. Furthermore, sedimentation rates two to four times higher than those at the site of IODP Expedition 302 (ACEX) permit higher-resolution studies of Arctic climate change in the Pleistocene and Neogene. This goal can be achieved by careful site selection, appropriate drilling technology, and applying multi-proxy approaches to paleoceanographic, paleoclimatic, and age-model reconstructions.

This sedimentary sequence from the central Arctic Ocean will be studied to answer the following key questions:
– Did the Arctic Ocean climate follow the global climate evolution during its course from early Cenozoic Greenhouse to late Cenozoic Icehouse conditions?
–    Are the Early Eocene Climate Optimum and the Oligocene and Mid-Miocene warmings also reflected in Arctic Ocean records?
–    Did extensive glaciations (e.g., the OI-1 and Mi-1 glaciations) develop synchronously in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres?
–    What is the sedimentary record of timing of repeated major (Plio-) Pleistocene Arctic glaciations as compared to that postulated from sediment echosounding and multi-channel seimic reflection profiling?
–   What was the variability of sea-ice in terms of frequency, extent and magnitude?
–    When and how did the change from a warm, fresh-water-influenced, biosilica-rich and poorly ventilated Eocene ocean to a cold, fossil-poor, and oxygenated Neogene ocean occur?
–   How critical is the exchange of water masses between the Arctic Ocean and the Atlantic and Pacific for the long-term climate evolution as well as rapid climate change?
–  What is the history of Siberian river discharge and how critical is it for sea-ice formation, water mass circulation and climate change?
–    How did the Arctic Ocean evolve during the Pliocene warm period and subsequent cooling? How do the ACEX2 records correlate with the terrestrial record from the Siberian Lake El’gygytgyn?
–    What is the cause of the major hiatus recovered in the ACEX record? Does this hiatus in fact exist?


Until the platform and drilling services are confirmed (estimated Spring 2017) all timings are provisional. It is envisaged that the offshore phase of the expedition will last a maximum of 60 days during Autumn 2018, with only a subset of the Science Party participating. Offshore activities will focus on core recovery, curation, sampling for ephemeral properties, biostratigraphy, physical properties, preliminary lithostratigraphy (whole core observed at core ends and through plastic liners), and downhole logging. The cores will not be split at sea.

Subsequently, an Onshore Science Party (OSP) will be held at the MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen, Germany, in early  2019 (exact dates to be confirmed), where the cores will be split. The OSP will be a maximum of 4 weeks long, the exact length dependent on core recovery. All members of the Science Party must attend the Onshore Science Party. Please see (and linked pages within) for an overview of Mission Specific Platforms in IODP.

Successful applicants will be invited either as an offshore-onshore participant, or as an onshore-only participant. Please note that there are no opportunities for offshore-only participation.
ANZIC applications

Australians should visit for a link to the application form, a completed version of which should be sent to Neville Exon ( and Rob McKay (, with all parts in one document. New Zealanders should contact Chris Hollis ( on how to proceed.

Applicants should bear in mind that their applications will be firstly reviewed and ranked by the ANZIC Science Committee and, if they pass that hurdle, by the expedition co-chief scientists.  Clearly, they need to convince both groups that they would be excellent in the role.

The ANZIC Science Committee makes allowance for the relative opportunities of the applicants, so that early career researchers, including graduate students, have a good chance of selection. Note that non-tenured applicants must have a position at an Australian or New Zealand member institution for at least one year after the sampling party in Bremen in early 2019, and ideally more, to enable them to carry out the necessary post cruise research.

As well as the form, applicants should provide:

1. Participation Plan and Budget (maximum of four pages): This should set out why they are interested in the expedition, how their skills suit the position applied for, what they would bring to the expedition, and the nature of their initial post-cruise research plans (including publication plans), and a brief outline of what budget they might need beyond that covered by their institution.

To maximise the return to ANZIC from the involvement of our scientists on expeditions, we ask that applicants endeavour to assemble a team, including ANZIC scientists, of potential land-based science party members in various fields, set out who has agreed to join that team if you are successful, and what they would aim to do post-cruise. The potential existence of such a team, which would provide additional analytical and scientific skills, would strengthen the applications. If all went to plan, the team members could be attached to the land-based science party, and thus get early access to material from the vessel. Of course, final research plans will depend on the material actually recovered by the vessel, and negotiations in Bremen as to who does what.

2. Curriculum Vitae including selected publications (maximum of two pages)

3. Letter of support for non-tenured applicants by their supervisor: This should cover general support from the institution for the application, include an outline of the proffered post-cruise support, and indicate when the present position, or a new position, will end (at least one year post-cruise is required).

4. Financial support: For ANZIC scientists all travel costs, including those to some post-cruise meetings, would be covered by ANZIC. In addition the ANZIC IODP Office may provide up to $A40,000 for post-cruise activities (mainly analytical costs) for Australian and New Zealand university and research institution scientists and post-graduate students, if funding cannot be obtained in any other way. Applications for such funding can only be made after expeditions are completed and samples are in hand.

5. Application deadline: The deadline for scientists to submit applications to ANZIC is MONDAY 3rd JULY 2017. Candidates shortlisted by us will be considered by ESO in European Summer/Fall 2017.This is an excellent opportunity for scientists, doctoral students or post docs to collaborate with an international team of scientists. Neville Exon and Rob McKay will be happy to provide advice for the applications, and help where possible with timing problems for non-tenured scientists or post-graduate students.