|Mapping Cold History: patterns of oceanographic and fisheries research in the US Arctic|
|The Arctic has long held a special place in the American mind. Dangerous, enticing, and mysterious, the Arctic region first attracted explorers and scientists to its periphery. In recent decades the entire Arctic, bordered by eight nations, has become a critically important natural laboratory for studying a wide range of environmental processes, including natural and human-induced climatic variation. It is one of the most unique regions where fisheries scientists and oceanographers have worked and works, one rich with heritage resources. The recent International Polar Year (IPY) and the reemergence of the Arctic as an area for resource exploration and marine transportation has reinvigorated research in the region.
Understanding the patterns of scientific research requires exploring both the political and the geographical patterns of the research. While written narratives are the traditional method for exploring the relationships, visual and spatial views of the locations and interrelationships of the subjects of these works are exceedingly valuable, leading to new insights and questions. Utilizing GIS and related visualization techniques, this paper explores the areas where oceanographic and fisheries research was conducted in the Bering Sea and the US Arctic in the late 20th century — and will suggest what historians and other scholars can gain from geographic approaches.