The first studies of the Boulder Patch began in summer 1978 under the OCSEAP program. Earliest work focused on the
collection of kelp and the associated invertebrate fauna at what became a long-term study site, DS-11.
Several monitoring sites were added in 1984 as part of a baseline environmental
assessment program funded by British Petroleum Exploration, Inc. In more recent years, with funding from BOEM, researchers began long-term
monitoring of temperature, salinity, pH, water level, bottom currents, and irradiance. These physical measurements
complement biological research on kelp growth, faunal and floral diversity, biomass, and rates of kelp sporeling
recolonization and establishment. In addition, concerted efforts are underway to thoroughly annotate the algal species composition
of the Boulder Patch with phycologist Dr. Bob Wilce (above left, with Ken Dunton). Updates to the algal species list are also
undergoing revision using genomic methods.
Dunton, K.H. 1984. An annual carbon budget for an arctic kelp community. In: The Alaska Beaufort Sea: Ecosystems and Environments. P. Barnes, D. Schell, and E. Reimnitz (eds.), p. 311-326. Orlando: Academic Press.Dunton, K.H. 1985. Growth of dark-exposed Laminaria saccharina (L.) Lamour. and Laminara solidungula J. Ag. (Laminariales: Phaeophyta) in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 94:181-189.
Dunton, K.H. and P.K. Dayton. 1995. The biology of high latitude kelp. In: Ecology of Fjords and Coastal Waters. H.R. Skjoldal et al. (eds.), p. 499-507. Amsterdam: Elsevier.Dunton, K.H. and C. Jodwalis. 1988. Photosynthetic performance of Laminaria solidungula measured in situ in the Alaskan High Arctic. Marine Biology 98:277-285.
Dunton, K.H. and S.V. Schonberg. 2000. The benthic faunal assemblage of the Boulder Patch kelp community. In: The Natural History of an Arctic Oil Field. J.C. Truett and S.R. Johnson (eds.), p. 371-397. New York: Academic Press.Dunton, K.H., S.V. Schonberg, and D.W. Funk. 2009. Interannual and spatial variability in light attenuation: evidence from three decades of growth in the arctic kelp, Laminaria solidungula. In: Smithsonian at the Poles: Contributions to International Polar Science. Krupnick et al. (eds.), pp. 271-284, Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, Washington, D.C.
Wiencke C., I. Gomez, and K.H. Dunton. 2011. Phenology and seasonal physiological performance of polar seaweeds. In: Biology of Polar Benthic Algae, C. Wiencke (ed.), pp. 181-194 (Ch 9), Walter de Gruyter GmBh & Co. Berlin/New York.Wilce, R.T. and K.H. Dunton. 2014. The Boulder Patch (North Alaska, Beaufort Sea) and its benthic algal flora. Arctic 67 (1): 43-56.