SPECIAL CALL: IODP is seeking a Paleogene radiolarian specialist to join the offshore and onshore phases of Expedition 377 Arctic Ocean Paleoceanography (MSP). The deadline to apply for this special call is September 30, 2021.

The International Ocean Discovery Program (IODP) is now accepting applications for scientific participants on Expedition 377 Arctic Ocean Paleoceanography (ArcOP), a Mission Specific Platform (MSP) expedition organized by the ECORD Science Operator (ESO) and the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat (SPRS).

To learn more about the scientific objectives of this expedition and how to apply to sail, watch a recording of an informational webinar that was held on 30 March 2021 (click here to access).

The overall goal of Expedition 377 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.

The 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 seismic 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?

The offshore phase of the expedition will last a maximum of 50 days in August and September 2022, 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 either late 2022 or early 2023, 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. 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.

Possible Impacts of COVID-19: It may be tempting to think that COVID-19 might have receded enough by August 2022 for life to return to near-normal. However, ESO and SPRS are considering mitigation measures to ensure the expedition can continue in anything other than a complete global shutdown. These measures may include (and are not limited to) having a quarantine period before joining the vessel, regular testing, having up-to-date vaccinations against new COVID variants, back-up staff, alternative embarkation location(s), and of course a robust plan for managing an infection while at sea. Science Party applicants should be aware of the potential for such measures or similar, should be prepared for flexible arrangements and, if quarantine periods are used, an expedition commitment longer than the offshore phase and/or Onshore Science Party.

This is a special call for scientists with expertise in Paleogene radiolaria. U.S.-affiliated scientists interested in participating in this expedition should apply to sail through the U.S. Science Support Program – click here to review the application process and link to the USSSP Application Portal. The deadline to apply for this special call is September 30, 2021.

For more information about Expedition 377, visit To learn more about MSPs, visit to the ECORD Science Operator webpage. For questions, please email